BIRDING REPORT February 16, 2013



By: Percival Hanley

Saturday 16th February, 2013 from 11:00am to 6:00pm

Party: Tim & Wendy Tasker of the UK and P.Hanley, Guide


Though we began our birding trip relatively late the day turned out to be very successful. We commenced by visiting the Frigate Bay Pond where we found among the usual cadre of birds, a male & female pair of American Wigeonsin the middle of the pond, which have been observed there over several weeks. Also of note was that there was a good collection of over 20 coots, made up of about an even number of American Coots and Caribbean Coots. There was a pair of Caribbean Coots who noticeably stayed away from the “crowd” as they paid close attendance to 3 chicks in their “private” corner of the pond.

We then took a walk along the ponds on the golf course. In the first pond there were 3 Yellow-crowned Night Herons and about 4 Pied-billed Grebes and a lone Sora sneaking through the mangrove edge. The other ponds were disappointingly unspectacular with just a large number of Common Gallinules, a few Coots, about 2 Grebes, a couple of Snowy Egrets and a lone Green Heron. Two Caribbean Martins zipped overhead as we were on the way back.

Our next stop was the Half Moon Pond behind Conaree. Not much was seen there as it appears most of the birds were under the mangroves enjoying the shade from the noon-day sun, but of note we found a Solitary Sandpiper, a few Ruddy Turnstone, some Spotted Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, a Great Blue Heron and an Osprey.

On our way to the next stop (Wingfield Estate) we passed by the Cattle Egret rookery at camps and observed the nesting birds and their chicks and juveniles. As we passed Old Road Bay we saw two birds on a fishing boat anchored a few hundred yards from shore. We easily identified one of the birds as a Brown Booby, but had some difficulty with the second bird, but wereeventually able to positively identify it after a check in my Sibley’s field guide – it was a juvenile Brown Booby!

At Wingfield we saw 2 of the 3 local species of hummingbird, the Antillean Crested and the Purple-throat Carib, along with Pearly-eyed Thrashers, Scaley-breasted Thrashers and a couple of Black-whiskered Vireos.The Antillean Cresteds were in numbers on the Rainfall Trees that were in full bloom at the rear of Caribelle Batik. One very delightful sighting was of four Bridled Quail-Doves foraging in the underbrush just below the bridge by Wingfield Estate.

After returning to Basseterre we drove along the Bay Road and spotted a Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull flying along the shoreline. We then headed for the South East Peninsula and made a stop at the Cockleshell Pond. This had the greatest collection of birds, with what we estimated to be well over 300 Blue-winged Teal, with the males in Breeding plumage. There were also a few Green-winged Teal among them along with numerous coots (American and Caribbean), Yellow-crowned Night Herons, a Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, 5 Willets, a group of 28 Ruddy Turnstones and another group of about a dozen Short-billed Dowitchers and some Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. But the pond gave its best treats, as, in the middle of the pond we spotted a rare Tri-colored Heron (juvenile) and best of all the first recorded sighting in St.Kitts of a lovely, elegant pair of Northern Pintails! This really crowned a successful day in which we spotted 52 species of birds.


Here is the day’s list:

  1. Brown Pelican
  2. Brown Booby
  3. MagnificientFrigatebird
  4. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  5. Royal Tern
  6. Little Blue Heron
  7. Tricolored Heron
  8. Snowy Egret
  9. Great Blue Heron
  10. Great Egret
  11. Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  12. Green Heron
  13. Cattle Egret
  14. Solitary Sandpiper
  15. Short-billed Dowitcher
  16. Least Sandpiper
  17. Spotted Sandpiper
  18. Willet
  19. Lesser Yellowlegs
  20. Greater Yellowlegs
  21. Ruddy Turnstone
  22. Sora
  23. American Coot
  24. Caribbean Coot
  25. Common Gallinule
  26. Pied-billed Grebe
  27. Northern Pintail
  28. American Wigeon
  29. Blue-winged Teal
  30. Green-winged Teal
  31. American Kestrel
  32. Osprey
  33. Red-Junglefowl
  34. Scaley-naped Pigeon
  35. Rock Dove
  36. White-winged Dove
  37. Bridled Quail-Dove
  38. Eurasian Collared Dove
  39. Common Ground Dove
  40. Zenaida Dove
  41. Antillean Crested Hummingbird
  42. Purple-throated Carib Hummingbird
  43. Gray Kingbird
  44. Caribbean Martin
  45. Scaley-breasted Thrasher
  46. Pearly-eyed Thrasher
  47. Black-whiskered Vireo
  48. Yellow Warbler
  49. Bananaquit
  50. Black-faced Grassquit
  51. Lesser Antillean Bullfinch
  52. Caribbean Elaenia