10-Days Birding for Endemics

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Ten Days Birding for the Endemics

Price on Request

This 10-day bird watching tour allows you to see Jamaica’s twenty eight (28) species of endemic bird species, plus a large number of other birds within a period of eight days.  With your arrival and departure days mainly for traveling and rest, this tour enables you to bird at a slower pace in order to accumulate positive results.

From the airport and back to the airport, you will have your desired vacation, bird watching in Jamaica.  With the possibility of seeing over three hundred (300) species of birds to include Jamaica’s 28 endemic species, our team will do its very best in making your dream a reality.  If you have the energy, we have the time.


Day 1 – Montego Bay to Black River

We begin the tour at the Donald Sangster’s International Airport in Montego Bay. Here, we will board our transport, which will take us to our lodge in Black River. Depending on our flight arrival time in Montego Bay, we may have time to visit the Montego Bay’s Sewage Pond in order to view some water birds, then continue our journey to our lodge.  On arrival at our lodge, we will check in, have some refreshments and if time permits, we will be doing some late afternoon birding along the local shoreline.  We will be spending two nights in this area at the same accommodation.

Dinner & Overnight at a seaside economy class lodge which is located within close proximity of ponds for both shore and wetland birding.

Day 2 – Black River & South Coast Areas

We depart the lodge at 7:00am for the lower Black River Morass for an exciting Black River Safari Tour.  We will turn a tourist trip into a naturalist one combining bird and crocodile watching. It gives a clear view of the food chain between fish, birds, other animals and people in the area.  After this fascinating start to our day, we will have breakfast at a local restaurant in Black River very close by.

After breakfast, we will bird nearby ponds and the coastline viewing waders and other water-birds such as Orinoco Goose, Canada Goose, Least Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Moorhen, Caribbean Coot, American Coot, Yellow-breasted Crake, King, Spotted, Clapper and Black Rails to name a few.

After lunch we go inland to Elim, which is located in the Upper Black River Morass in search of the West Indian Whistling Duck.  The we will return to our lodge in Black River for overnight.

Dinner & Overnight at a seaside economy class lodge

Day 3 – Black River to the Blue Mountains via the Cockpit Country

Today, we will be in for a full day of bird watching.  This means that we will depart our hotel in Black River for the Cockpit Country at 5:00 am with our packed breakfast. This mountainous part of the island is located in center of the country and is known for its peace and tranquility; ideal for birding.  Historically, these mountains are also known to have hosted runaway slaves in the past.

Its tall and glaring peaks of white rocks are hosts to many caves that were homes to the Taino people (usually called Arawak Indians).  The trail-like roads of this area will satisfy our birding appetite with Greater Antillean Elaenias, Jamaican Crows, Black-billed Parrots, Yellow-billed Parrots, and a wide range of Warblers such as Worm-eating, Swainson’s and Tennessee Warbler.

About mid-day, we will continue our journey to the Blue Mountains stopping on route for lunch and visiting the Hellshire Hills on the south coast for a chance to view the Bahama Mocking Bird and Stolid Fly-catcher.  From here, we will head towards Forres Park, which is located in the southern Blue Mountains, stopping at Hope Gardens to look for both endemic parrots. We will continue to Forres Park Lodge (This is a mountain economy class lodge which is located at about 3,500 feet in close proximity to three mountain/forest habitats) in the Blue Mountains in time to have a coffee or beer before settling down for dinner.

Dinner & Overnight at Forres Park Lodge

Day 4 – Forres Park to Old Mine Trail

Today we will have an early departure (5:30 am)  to the Old Mine Trail in a nearby forest where we will be expecting to connect with Ruddy and Crested Quail-doves, White-eyed Thrushes, Ring-tailed Pigeons, White-chinned Thrushes, Warblers and Flycatchers.  We will return to our lodge for breakfast then rest until after lunch.

After lunch we will have the option of visiting a nearby coffee processing plant or have some R&R before dinner or again explore deeper into the forest for some afternoon birding for about three hours before returning to our lodge.  In the evening we hope to see Jamaican Owl, which will be one of hardest endemic species to see on our tour.


Dinner & Overnight at Forres Park Lodge

Day 5 – Forres Park to Abbey Green

Today, we will be taking our first high mountain trip away from our lodge.  We will depart early, at 5:30 am with packed breakfast and lunch to Abbey Green which is located about five thousand feet (5,000 ft.) in the Blue Mountains.  Here we will bird for about three (3) to four (4) hours with our hopes high in view of seeing Crested Quail-doves, White-eyed Thrushes, Blue Mountain Vireos, Jamaican Vireos Ring-tailed Pigeons and a possible Jamaican Owl in day-light then return to our lodge for a relaxing afternoon.

In the late afternoon we can sit on the balcony of our lodge in order to view the garden birds as they peck away on plant blossoms and berries.  Later, we will refresh ourselves, settle down for dinner, do our bird count checklist and maybe go looking for the Jamaican Owl again!  Tonight, we will have our dinner and overnight at Forres Park Lodge in the southern Blue Mountains


Dinner & Overnight at Forres Park Lodge

Day 6 – Forres Park to Port Antonio via Hard-war Gap

Today, again we will depart our lodge at 5.00 am.  This time, we will leave with our packed breakfasts and our luggage to Hard-war Gap.  This reknowned birding spot is located at over 5,000 feet in the central Blue Mountains and is one of the best places to find some of the rarer endemic species like Yellow-shouldered Grassquit.  In this lush forested area, we will listen to the beautiful dawn chorus especially the flute-like call of the elusive Rufous-throated Solitaire.

Today we will be hoping to get more than half of the 28 endemic species of birds on the island.  After a morning’s birding at Hard-war Gap, we will depart the high mountains for Port Antonio stopping at other sites for additional birding.


Dinner & Overnight at Jamaica Palace Hotel

Day 7 – Rio Grande rafting

After six days of full on birding, with four more to go, today we will have a later more restful start.  For those wanting to rise early birding around the hotel grounds can be very productive.  We will all breakfast at the hotel then depart at 9:30 am to Berry Dale for our relaxing raft ride down the Rio Grande.

This deep rural community is located in the lower northern hills of the Blue Mountains. At Berry Dale we will go to the Rafting Station to purchase our rafting tickets, board the rafts and head downriver.  Along the way we are expecting to see river birds such as Sandpipers, Green Herons, Blue Herons and some common endemic species which will be on overhanging branches.

This trip will last about two and a half hours with a stop midway, for lunch at makeshift Jamaican restaurant that serves authentic Jamaican cuisine at the riverside.

After lunch, we will continue downriver to Rafters Rest.  At Rafters Rest, we will disembark our rafts, have some refreshments then look around the sea and river shores for additional water birds before departing Rafters Rest for our hotel.

Dinner & Overnight at Jamaica Palace Hotel

Day 8 – Bird Watching Along the Ecclesdown Road

Another 5:00 am start with packed breakfast to the Ecclesdown rain forest. Along the Ecclesdown road, we will be in for some intriguing bird watching amidst lush green vegetation which grows to form a canopy.  These overgrown areas attract birds like the Crested and Ruddy Quail Doves. The berries, shrubs and bromeliads and moist ground and the overgrown tree-branches are what is needed to attract our target birds – most of the remainder of the 28 endemic species.

We will bird in Ecclesdown for about five hours then leave to Boston Bay for lunch.  After lunch, we will visit a nearby beach or, continue to our hotel for some relaxation.  If you are not tired out you can have some afternoon birding in a nearby forest.

Dinner & Overnight at Jamaica Palace Hotel

Day 9 – Bird Watching In Happy Grove & the Ecclesdown Road

Today being our last day of intense birding, we will again depart at 5:00 am with a packed breakfast.  This time we will drive along the northeastern coast to the Happy Grove and Hectors River areas, where we will be looking off shore for White-tailed Tropic Birds.

After our viewing of these lovely birds and learning about their habitat, we will have our breakfast overlooking the breaking waves of the northeastern Caribbean Sea, then head to Reich Falls.  Here we can do more birding or have a swim. After Reich we will head back to our hotel via the Ecclesdown Forest for more views of birds that you may have not seen on our previous day.

On our way back we will stop at Long Bay or Winifred’s beach for lunch, which will consist of authentic Jamaican Cuisine.  After lunch, we will have the option of swimming and just relaxing on the beach, or just head back to our hotel to relax. Just before dinner we will meet dinner to do our count of birds seen throughout the day.

Dinner & Overnight at Jamaica Palace Hotel

Day10 – Port Antonio to Montego Bay

Although flights are generally in the afternoon, last minute birding is not really possible as the journey is lengthy (unless you are an early riser).  Because of this we leave as early as possible (after a leisurely breakfast) and have an easy drive with some restroom or refreshment breaks on the way.  We will also stop for lunch at a Jamaican restaurant along the way.

In this case, some last minute birding is recommended before having breakfast. After breakfast, we will then check out and depart, heading in the direction of the airport.  If there is enough time, we can stop along the way to view other species of water-birds.  On arrival at the airport, we will check our luggage in and prepare for our return journey home.

Price on Request


Price includes:

Nine night’s accommodation

All meals

All transportation

Access fees to attractions mentioned

Bird guide fees

Price does not include:

Alcoholic Beverages

Additional meals/drinks; which are separate from those quoted in the package

Room/ laundry services

Gratuity for Housekeepers, Waiters or Waitresses

Gratuity for Drivers

Gratuity for Bird watching Guide


October 2013


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