New bird specie record for I.M.B.D. 2016!

By: Michael Ryan

At last! An opportunity to get out in the field again after being consumed by work for so long! For the seventh time in eight years, a quiet celebration of the International Migratory Bird Day took place in St. Kitts. I.M.B.D is celebrated in the Caribbean on or around the second Saturday in October.


As is customary I go birding for two full days, or approximately 20 hours or less, roughly half of the time around our local ponds and the rest of the time up in the hills or by the shoreline. The aim is to spot as many different bird species as possible during that time, and hoping to break my personal record of 73 species sighted in St. Kitts, set in 2014.


It started on Saturday. October 15th, when I got a great start as our ponds were full of Waders, particularly in the Half Moon Bay pond. The following Monday, I took off from work and went up in the hills at Wingfield Level searching for Warblers, and then returning to sea level. Finally, a couple of weekends later, I finished my 20 hours.


No new lifers for me, nor any extremely rare birds but a few interesting sightings. An immature Tricolored Heron was a plus and a large Pectoral Sandpiper which initially looked by a Ruff caused some excitement. Several Warblers were spotted at Wingfield in one location, over a period of less than an hour, and was thrilling! Very enjoyable!


With just three hours to go, I was a still a few short of the record, so travelling to Greatheeds Pond, I saw an American Coot and a Blue-Winged Teal, then on to the Basseterre Harbor, where I saw a Herring Gull and a Lesser Blacked-Backed Gull to bring me level with the record of 73 species. So on Saturday, November 5, I set out to Frigate Bay for my final hour and low and behold, right on Muddy Pond, all alone, was an American Golden Plover! Yes, I had done it in the final minutes, a personal record!


The total number of different bird species spotted was 74, one more than 73 that were spotted in 2014! A good feeling, no, a great feeling!! Not bad for a tiny little island like St. Kitts!

Below is a list of the Birds spotted over those few, very enjoyable days, in order in which they were seen. Life can be good sometimes!

  1. Zeneida Dove
  2. Eurasian Collard Dove
  3. House Sparrow
  4. Magnificent Frigate Bird
  5. Spotted Sandpiper
  6. Grey Kingbird
  7. Brown Pelican
  8. Great Egret
  9. Pectoral Sandpiper
  10. Stilt Sandpiper
  11. Tricolored Heron
  12. Bannaquit
  13. Common Ground Dove
  14. Nutmeg Manikin
  15. Lesser Antillean Bullfinch
  16. Killdeer
  17. Semipalmated Sandpiper
  18. Semipalmated Plover
  19. Yellow warbler
  20. Osprey
  21. Cattle Egret
  22. Great Blue Heron
  23. Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  24. Little Blue Heron
  25. Belted Kingfisher
  26. Snowy Egret
  27. Lesser Yellowlegs
  28. Greater Yellow-legs
  29. Western Sandpiper
  30. Solitary Sandpiper
  31. Least Sandpiper
  32. Common Moorhen
  33. Pied-billed Grebe
  34. Caribbean Coot
  35. American Kestral
  36. Barn Swallow
  37. Blacked-Necked Stilt
  38. Short-billed Dowitcher
  39. Snowy Plover
  40. Wilsons Plover
  41. Royal Tern
  42. Sanderling
  43. Red Jungle Fowl
  44. Black Bellied Plover
  45. Rock Dove
  46. Antillean Crested Humming Bird
  47. Ruddy Turnstone
  48. White-cheeked Pintail
  49. Blacked faced Grassquit
  50. Caribbean Elaina
  51. Black whiskered Vireo
  52. Least Tern
  53. Brown Booby
  54. Scaley-naped Pigeon
  55. Pararie Warbler
  56. Blackpoll warbler
  57. Lesser Antillean Flycatcher
  58. American Redstart
  59. Stolid Flycatcher
  60. Black & White Warbler
  61. Pearly-eyed Thrasher
  62. Scaly-breasted Thrasher
  63. Purple Throated Hummingbird
  64. Red Tailed Hawk
  65. Bridled Quailed Dove
  66. Willett
  67. Laughing Gull
  68. Brown Trembler
  69. White-winged Dove.
  70. American Coot
  71. Blue winged Teal
  72. Herring Gull
  73. Lesser Blacked Backed Gull
  74. American Golden Plover

The simple pleasures of life!