Trinidad & Tobago Birdwatching:
The Birds of Trinidad & Tobago
Expert birdwatching guides introduce you to the wonderful variety of birds on the twin islands in two weeks of easy birding in friendly Caribbean style.
Trinidad Bird watching
Day 1 D You are met at Piarco airport and transferred to Pax Guest House on the Mount St Benedict monastic estate or a more comfortable hotel in Port of Spain if you prefer, for 6 nights. Either base provides easy access to all points of the island. You will be accompanied by private local birdwatching guides on Days 2-7 and 12-14.
Mount St Benedict
Day 2 BLD At 7am your guide collects you for an orientating day of birdwatching at Pax and the Mount St Benedict estate. On their hummingbird trail 11 hummers have been recorded including Long-billed Starthroat, White-chested Emerald, Green Hermit, Tufted Coquette, Copper-rumped and Ruby-topaz Hummingbird. Up to 12 raptors can be readily seen from the Avian Terrace, including Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Common Black, Grey-headed and Double-tooth Kite, White and Short-tailed Hawk. The Alben Ride has flycatchers and seedeaters.The forested hills produce Violaceous and White-tailed Trogon, White-flanked Antwren, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Golden-headed and White-bearded Manakin, Rufous-breasted Wren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tropical Parula, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Blue Dacnis, Trinidad Euphonia and White-shouldered Tanager.
Day 3 BLD Birdwatching at Aripo Agricultural Research Station: open savannah, wet pastures, hedgerows and isolated trees. Typical here are Savannah Hawk, Wattled Jacana, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, White-headed Marsh and Pied Water Tyrants, Grey Kingbird, White-winged Swallow and Red-breasted Blackbird. In season: wintering American shorebirds. In the heat of the day retreat to the cool of the Heights of Aripo TnT’s highest mountain at 3000ft, in search of White Hawk, Common Black Hawk, Violacious and White-tailed Trogons, Purple Honeycreeper, Turquoise and Speckled Tanagers.
Point-a-Pierre, Waterloo & Caroni Swamp
Day 4 BLD Today you visit the Point-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust which runs a breeding programme for Scarlet Ibis and Whistling Duck. Other species include Saffron Finch, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Red-capped Cardinal, Black-crowned Night Heron, Grey-necked Wood Rail, Anhinga, Osprey and Ringed Kingfisher. Then the tidal mudflats at Waterloo which offer Neotropic Cormorant, Brown Pelican, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Tricoloured, Striated, Little Blue and Great Blue Herons, Snowy and Great White Egrets, Semipalmated Plover, both Yellowlegs, Semipalmated, Solitary, Spotted and Western Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, and Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns. In the late afternoon travel by boat (shared with others) at Caroni Swamp for mangrove specialities: Grey Pottoo, Black-crested Antshrike, Bicoloured Conebill, Straight-billed Woodcreeper and stunning displays of Scarlet Ibis.
Valencia Stretch & Cumaca Valley Mnts
Day 5 BLD Search for montane forest species such as toucans, bellbirds, woodpeckers, Zone-tailed Hawk, Blue Dacnis, White-flanked Antwren, Collard Trogon and Green Kingfisher.
Day 6 BLD Today you go birding down the pristine east coast to Manzanilla and Nariva Swamp. Opportunity to see Red-bellied Macaw, either at dusk or dawn, depending on where the birds are roosting when you visit.
Blanchisseuse and the Lalaja Road
Day 7 BLD Bird the Arima/ Blanchisseuse Road and the Lalaja Road for forest-dwelling species of the Northern Range which include Channel-billed Toucan, Double-toothed Kite, Black-tailed Tityra and Ornate Hawk Eagle, Golden headed Manakin, Blue-headed Parrot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Red-legged Honeycreeper, and Speckled and Hepatic Tanagers. End the day with a transfer to Asa Wright Lodge, your base for the next 3 nights.
Asa Wright Nature Centre
Day 8 BLD A day based at Asa Wright Nature Centre. This morning one of the lodge’s naturalist guides will take you on an orientating tour (shared with others). The rest of the day is free for independent birdwatching on their trails. Its birds of greatest interest include White-necked Jacobin, Collared Trogon, Blue-crowned Motmot, Chestnut Woodpecker, Great Antshrike, Bearded Bellbird and Oilbird. In addition to the birds you may come across Agouti, Tegu Lizard and Trinidad Squirrel.
Day 9 BLD Second day for
independent birding in the grounds of Asa Wright. As you are staying for 3
nights you will be shown the Oilbird colony at Dunston Cave. Optional natural
history field trips are available locally at extra cost with different sites
visited on different days e.g. to Toco in search of the Trinidad Piping-guan and
in season (Apr–Jul) evening visits to watch turtles nest.
Day 10 BLD Final morning’s birding at Asa Wright then transfer to the airport for a short flight to Tobago where you will be met and transferred to the Cuffie River Nature Retreat. Your base for 2 nights.
Cuffie River Nature Retreat
Day 11 BLD A day based at Cuffie River. The resident naturalist guide is very knowledgeable about the avifauna and escorts guests on the trails (shared with others). There are also productive nectar feeders and well-stocked feeding tables for independent birding.
Arnos Vale and Grafton Estates
Day 12 BL On Arnos Vale Estate you can see Red-crowned Woodpecker, Blue-crowned Motmot, Rufous-Tailed Jacamar, White-winged Becard, Rufous-Vented Chachalaca, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Barred Antshrike, and Green-rumped Parrotlet. Then to Grafton Estate for White-Fringed Antwren, White-tipped Dove, Stripe-breasted Spinetail and Scrub Greenlet. Transfer to Blue Waters Inn for 3 nights.
Little Tobago Island
Day 13 BL Today you bird the North Coast for Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, Plain Antvireo, Laughing Gull, Great Black and Short-tailed Hawk, Least and Royal Tern and Streaked and Brown-crested Flycatcher. Then travel by glass-bottomed boat (45min) to Little Tobago Island where a trail overlooks the nesting ground for Red-billed Tropicbirds, and wheeling displays of Brown and Red-footed Boobies, Royal, Bridled, Sooty and Sandwich Terns and Magnificent Frigatebird.
Day 14 BL Today you visit Gilpin Trace, a trail in the Tobago Forest Reserve, where one of the rarest hummingbirds the near-endemic White-tailed Sabrewing is found. It is also a good location for Blue-Backed Manakin, White-throated Spadebill, Rufous-breasted Hermit and White-necked Jacobin. Then bird along Merchiston Road before returning for some free time at Blue Waters Inn.
Day 15 B A morning free before your transfer to the airport for a flight to Trinidad in time for onwards flights home.
Guide price from £2,275 - £2,555*
15 days / 14 nights
* Price varies according to dates of travel:
Bird guide A
Low season 2013: £2,275
Mid season 2013: £2,420
High season 2013/14: £2,555
With services of an experienced local birdwatching guide/driver with vehicle. For pre-dawn starts 4 days add £60pp
Low Season: 01May - 31 Oct
Mid Season: Easter period and 01 Nov-15 Dec
High Season: 16 Dec -31 Mar
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Birdwatching in Trinidad & Tobago
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