DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN SAINT LUCIA - 13th January 2023
With a series of successful house parties in Scillies, Cyprus and Scotland we are replicating our success with something slightly more exotic - a private villa in the tropical Caribbean paradise island of Saint Lucia! Upon arrival we will drive to our fantastic accommodation where we will spend the next 7 nights. And we should arrive just in time to enjoy our first rum puch as we watch the sunset!
DAYS 2 - 7 LES PITONS - QUILESSE FOREST RESERVE - DES CARTIERS TRAIL
Over these 6 full days we should be able to enjoy copious amounts of sunshine, some pool time back at the villa, the odd siesta, lots of great food at our villa, plenty of beer & wine, oh and then there's the birds..!! We will take a series of morning and afternoon excursions to look for everything this fabulous island has to offer. There are 4 definitive endemics to find: St Lucia Amazon, St Lucia Warbler, St Lucia Black Finch and St Lucia Oriole. Plus the distinctive St Lucia subspecies of Lesser Antillean Pewee may also merit specific status. There's also an endemic race of House Wren along with 14 Lesser Antillean endemics and many other exciting Caribbean birds to be searched for amidst the island’s beautiful forests. High on our target list are Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Purple-throated Carib and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, which we should see in the garden of our villa.
We will make a couple of excursions to the hills of the Quilesse Forest Reserve, which covers thousands of acres of lush mountains and valleys, and holds many of the target species such as St. Lucia Parrot, St. Lucia Oriole and St. Lucia Black Finch. The nearby Des Cartiers Trail passes through rainforest, cloudforest and elfin woodland habitats where we have further opportunities to see Saint Lucia Parrot. Other traditional birding sites include the Sulphur Springs is probably the world’s only drive-in volcano and Millet’s Rainforest Trail. During our excursions we should easily mop up the remaining endemics: Saint Lucia Pewee and the stunning Saint Lucia Warbler. The 14 Lesser Antillean endemics can be seen at a variety of sites but we aim to find them all, along with the more widespread Caribbean species: Ruddy Quail-Dove, Zenaida Dove, Black Swift, Lesser Antillean Swift, Green-throated Carib, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Caribbean Elaenia, Caribbean Martin, Grey Trembler, White-breasted Thrasher, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Rufous-throated Solitaire, Bare-eyed Robin, Antillean Euphonia, Carib Grackle, Black-faced Grassquit, Lesser Antillean Saltator and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch. On one evening we will search for the isolated race of Rufous Nightjar.
DAY 8: END OF TOUR
We have the whole morning for some final birding before returning for lunch at the villa and packing in readiness for our late afternoon flight back to the UK, where we will arrive the following day.