Northern Jamaica

Sunday, March 13th I heard several birds calling early, including Northern Mockingbird, White-chinned Thrush, and Western Loggerhead Kingbird. Once it got light enough, it was time for some birding around Toby's. It wasn't long before the group started to show up. The first new bird of the trip was Vervain Hummingbird, followed by the introduced Saffron Finch

Montego Bay

We walked outside Toby's and around the tennis courts, adding Laughing Gull, Gray Kingbird, and (Golden) Yellow Warbler. There were some Antillean Palm-Swifts and Black-whiskered Vireo was heard. My first lifer of the day was a Jamaican Mango. Red-billed Streamertail completed our hummingbird collection for the morning. After that, we added some warblers: Prairie Warbler, Northern Parula, Black-and-white Warbler, and Common Yellowthroat (heard). We walked down by the shore where we added Royal Tern, Brown Pelican, and some Barn Swallows over the water. Then we returned to Toby's for breakfast.

Driving the North Coast

By the time we had breakfast and the vans finally showed up it was after 10. Finally we were off! We headed east along the north coast. Additional birds seen in transit included Turkey Vulture and Magnificent Frigatebird. Although the distance was not great, travel on the Jamaican roads is slow. We arrived at Green Castle Estate sometime after noon. We saw a Mourning Dove as we arrived. Once out of the cars, some Graham's Anoles (Jamaican Turquoise Anoles), Anolis grahami, caught our attention, as did a White-collared Swift overhead. Then it was time for lunch.

Green Castle Estate

After lunch we walked down a trail to the reservoir. Caribbean Dove was heard as we left the building (and later). A Carolina Wren-like song was a Jamaican Vireo. We did not see the bird today. We added Black-throated Blue Warbler as we continued and before running into some Jamaican Orioles. These were soon followed by the poorly-named Sad Flycatcher (it doesn't sound sad) and the well-named Yellow-shouldered Grassquit. Somewhere in here we also saw a Jamaican Giant Anole, Anolis garmani.

The reservoir added a number of waterbirds: Common Gallinule American Coot, the soon to be lumped Caribbean Coot, American Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, a couple of Lesser Scaup, a Ring-necked Duck, Blue-winged Teal, and a couple of Pied-billed Grebes. A Northern Waterthrush was heard.

On the way back up the trail we found some cute little Jamaican Todys. A Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead. Although we didn't see it perched, we got some nice looks at a Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo flying back and forth. I got a brief glimpse of a Cape May Warbler and some Olive-throated Parakeets flew by.

By then it was time to leave. Our van got a look at a Mangrove Cuckoo on our way out. A marshy area added 3 Killdeer. Then we were back on the main road headed for San San. Rock Pigeon was the only new bird we saw on the way.

Goblin Hill Villas

It was late afternoon when we reached Goblin Hill. We had not gotten to our rooms before spotting Black-billed Streamertail and Jamaican Mango at the hummingbird feeders. We also found a White-chinned Thrush out on the lawn.

Goblin Hill consists of a group of villas, each with one or two bedrooms. The villas come with a housekeeper. Rich and Gavin had arranged for all the housekeepers to get together in their villa (I had the other room there) and fix our meals. They had been preparing a nice Jamaican dinner before we arrived, and the entire group gathered in our villa for dinner.

After dinner we took a short walk owling walk down the entrance road. We were rewarded with a Jamaican Owl. We're getting up early, so it was then time for bed.

Today I totalled 60 species including 9 lifers, bringing the trip total to 64 species and 12 lifers.

Goblin Hill Villas, San San