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JAMAICA 2005

Birdfinders first tour to Jamaica was a huge success with not only all 28 endemic species seen well, but also most of the limited-range West Indian endemics as well. Although the hurricane in September 2004 had clearly had an effect on some areas, expert local knowledge meant that we were able to use backup sites in some cases.

Highlights? Well, the very fact that all of the endemics were seen well speaks for itself. An adult and juvenile Jamaican Owl seen at daytime roost must rank fairly high but prolonged views of two of the most difficult endemics, Crested Quail-dove and Jamaican Blackbird, within a short time of each other must be at the top. Two excellent sightings of the often-difficult Jamaican Lizard-cuckoo and no less than six Chestnut-bellied Cuckoos also featured highly. In the beauty stakes, Jamaican Tody had to be the winner but in the difficulty stakes Jamaican Elaenia took a long time to give itself up! Of the non-endemics, a single Caribbean Flamingo, a pair of White-tailed Tropicbirds leaving their nest, three Caribbean Coots, over 100 of the rare West Indian Whistling-duck, two Masked Ducks, superb views of no less than five Caribbean Doves, an amazingly confiding Rufous-throated Solitaire and four Bahama Mockingbirds rated very highly.

Yellow-billed Parrot

Yellow-billed Parrot