Saturday, August 24, 2013

Birding in Jamaica

As always, I tried to squeeze in some birding during a recent family vacation in Jamaica.   One place that I wouldn't miss is Rocklands Bird Sanctuary just a few minutes out of Montego Bay.  A fun place to visit....although the last mile or two of the trip is up a pretty winding narrow road.    Go slow.   

I went there twice.  The first visit was in the late afternoon and we took the family.  We spent a couple of hours in the gardens, with one highlight clearly being having the hummingbirds (Streamertails) come and actually sit on your hand while drinking out of small tubes of sugar water.  It is a great place to take those non-birders who are trying to indulge you in your birding passion.  Everyone loved it.  Carribbean Doves, Jamaican Mangos and Orangequits, among others were easy to see.  

My second visit was an early morning guided birding trip with Flex, who manages the place now.  He did a  nice job, has great ears and knows the local  birds.   We spent several hours walking the trails around the place.  We started at sunrise.  It was amazing what diversity there was within a mile of the house.  We saw about 30 species, with a number of them being endemics to Jamaica.   Well worth the trip.  

Papa Birder

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