Birdwatching Nature Trails
NATURE TRAILS AND BIRDWATCHING IN ST LUCIA
With its lush tropical rain forests, many beaches, wild Atlantic coast and striking volcanic rock formations, St. Lucia is widely known as the most beautiful of all the Caribbean islands. It is also one of the most diverse and being only 100 miles or so from the South American mainland, it is a bird-watching and nature lover’s paradise with 177 bird species, 6 being endemic to the island (St Lucian parrot, Oriole, St. Lucia warbler, Semper’s warbler, St. Lucia Pewee and the St. Lucia black finch), plenty of sub-endemics, including the Whitebreasted Thrasher, Grey trembler, Rufous-throated Solitaire and the Forest Thrush and many fascinating migratory birds (including the large North American Osprey).
Set in tropical gardens on a cliff above the Caribbean Sea only a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, Cap Maison itself attracts many bird species that fish regularly and spectacularly within easy sight. However, the best way to experience the bird life and natural beauty of the island is by exploring the wilder places on foot. We have therefore put together a unique half or full day tour with the island’s foremost ornithologist Adams Toussaint. With a degree in Environmental Science from Hartwick College in New York State, Adams is a specialist working with the Forestry Department whose knowledge of the bird and plant life of St. Lucia is second to none and whose passion is infectious.
The trip begins with an early morning drive to the edge of the rain forest on the south eastern Atlantic coast and a chance to see, amongst others, the rare white breasted thrasher and colourful St. Lucian Oriole and the spectacular whitebreasted thrasher. After a tasty local breakfast, the trip continues on to the Des Cartieres rain forest to see (on foot) a whole host of animal and bird life including the colourful and famous St. Lucian parrot. Thanks to a major project in the 1980s, sightings of this beautiful large bird are now fortunately more regular than in the past and each tour has a very good possibility of sightings. The rainforest also provides the opportunity of seeing the rare and endangerd St. Lucia black Finch and the haunting melodic and beautiful singingRufous-throated Solitaire. Adams’ knowledge of the various plant qualities provides a fascinating background and he has a story to most plants. From the rain forest, a stop for another local meal and then on to the high cliffs of Moule a Chic on the extreme Southern coast for a chance to enjoy the fabulous panoramic views and to see the Tropic bird. Finally, a stop at the wetlands on the same coast to see the Ospreys and many other water birds, before heading back to the comfort of Cap Maison. Trips leave early on Saturday mornings and are best booked in advance.
“The sight of the dawn mist rolling through the rain forest canopy whilst the animal and bird life in the forest comes to life is a very special experience and one I would recommend to all visitors to the island, especially with Adams whose knowledge is impressive.” Adam Gobat, Owner, Cap Maison.
“Adams was a great birder and good company and he knows his stuff. On top of that he's a good, safe driver. And he went out of his way to make sure I saw all the critical birds on St. Lucia, i.e. the 5 endemics and the thrasher. I recommend his services highly.’ Jeff Hopkins, New York.