Jamaica Birding

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Jamaican Owl

Recent reports from the team

25 August 2014
Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo 1 flew  into the canopy above us at Niagara and was calling loudly. Great views

17 August 2014
Chuck-Wills-Widow seen flying in a valley below Silver Hill Gap

17 August 2014
Good numbers of Black Swifts at dusk near Section in the Blue Mountains

16 August 2014
Jamaican Owl heard and then seen in the wooded gardens of Bay View Villas, Portland.

16 August 2014
Jamaican Blackbird 2 seen foraging beside the road at Ecclesdown

16 August 2014
Crested Quail Dove seen foraging beside the road at Ecclesdown

12 August 2014
Black-billed Parrot several  seen foraging in the canopy at Ecclesdown Road.

11 August 2014
Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo 2 several seen foraging at the forest edge  near Ecclesdown

12 July 2014
Yellow-billed Parrot flock of 5 flying low at Niagara in the Cockpit Country


12 February 2014
Spotted Rail 2-3 seen, 2 adults and 1 juvenile at Black River Upper Morass

15 February 2014
Blue Mountain Vireo 2 seen foraging in undergrowth for insects foraging at Niagara in the Cockpit Country

26 August 2013
Northern Patoo – roosting in a Poinciana tree at Bluefields. Near to the spot where we found the parent and chick earlier in the year

23 August 2013
Black Tern – A group of around 25 seen at Parottee, St. Elizabeth at the waterline of the salt ponds. Interesting range of plumage from adults, full breeding, to moulting adults and juveniles. The species is a regular visitor at this time of year, presumably passage migrants heading south from the breeding grounds in North America.

20 August 2013
Jamaican Blackbird3 seen foraging beside the road at Ecclesdown. Probably a family group. Great views for 5 minutes

4 August 2013
Rufous throated Solitaire. Many were singing close to Hardware Gap in the Blue Mountains. Excellent views of one from about 20 feet.

Black Swift around a dozen just before dusk near Section in the Blue Mountains. 2 White-collared Swifts with them.

30 July 2013
Osprey – first early sighting for the winter season at Black River Upper Morass
Least Bittern – male in reed beds, just above the water line.

23 July 2013
Ring-tailed Pigeon – We had on occasion been told by locals that this species was a regular feeder on their crops. Previously we had seen a group of Ring Tails perched on yam sticks near Quickstep and found it strange. On this occasion, we realised that as we observed one perched on top of a yam stick, eating the growing tip and fresh leaves of yam at Niagara, St. James.

Blue Mountain Vireotwo observed in deep cover along the trail at Niagara

Black-billed Parrot – flock of around 20 chattering noisily in the trees at Niagar.  When they flew, there were also 2 Yellow-billed Parotts with them.  Mixed feeding groups are not uncommon

21 July 2013
Crested Quail Dove – Two seen on the trail from Quickstep, St. Elizabeth going north into Trelawny. Excellent views of the chocolate and purple colors in the plumage in the dappled sunlight as they sat quietly on a branch

11 May 2013
White-rumped Sandpiper – Good numbers of them at Parottee, St. Elizabeth feeding close to the shoreline of the morass. This date coincides within a week for sightings of the same species at this location in 2012.

13 April 2013
Spotted Rail – great views as this secretive rail crept between the waters edge and reed beds at Black River Upper Morass

12 April 2013
Northern Harrier One seen at Black River Upper Morass, St. Elizabeth near to Elim. Probably the same juvenile as we observed a couple of weeks back.

7 March 2012
Yellow-breasted Crake. Great views in the scope for around two minutes of this tiny, rare and elusive resident at the edge of a reed bed in the Black River Morass.

29 February 2012
Spotted Rail. Very rare Spotted Rail seen by our guides.  Amazing views for an hour on edge of a reed bed.

10 February 2011
Green-rumped Parrotlets. We rarely see these birds. But today as we were driving to Portland, in the vicinity of Falmouth, 8 flew in front of the vehicle and landed in mangroves.

9 February 2011
Least Bittern. We observed 3 of during our boat tour on the Black River. Ospreys were also performing well catching fish.

8 February 2011
Jamaican Owl. These are now well into the nesting season. We should start seeing the young owls soon. They are absent from usual day time roosts, but we were fortunate to have great views at Content Property during the early evening.

8 February 2011
Crested Quail Dove. Briefest glimpse as it flew from the side of the road as we were walking in the vicinity of Cockpit Country Forest

8 February 2011

Jamaican Blackbird in southern Cockpit Country sink. This particular specimen has a slightly crossed beak tips. We last saw it in November 2009. It seems to feed easily in bromeliads and looks in excellent condition despite its deformity

8 February 2011
Blue Mountain Vireo. We saw this on the outskirts of Cockpit Country. We had stopped the vehicle to observe a Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo and it suddenly appeared in a shrub less than 10 ft from us. Excellent views. Chestnut –bellied Cuckoos were in abundance. Mating displays were observed.

8 February 2011
White-eyed Thrush. This bird can be pretty elusive. One though was clearly observed in a feed tree just beside where we parked the vehicle on a forest track in Cockpit Country. We watched it for around 5 minutes.

6 February 2011
Jamaican Crow. A group of around a dozen were observed near Elderslie St. Elizabeth. They were in the clearly observed as the call and chased each other in a Spathodia Tree. It is unusual to see so many in single location. Usually, it is very small family groups

6 February 2011
Black-billed and Yellow-billed Parrots. This sighting was confusing. One of our team saw two yellow bills fly into deep foliage of an Ackee tree. Wolde put the “scope on them” and reported Black-bills. Vaughan was adamant that it was Yellow-bills judging from flight pattern and call. Both were correct. The Black-bills flew out and over our heads, followed a couple of minutes later by the Yellow-bills.

6 February 2011
Greater-Antillean Elaenia. We were treated to a great sighting of this bird in dense foliage near the Niagara Forest in Cockpit Country Conservation Area. Jamaican Elaenia also seen. No conspicuous wing bars on this one and a longer eye stripe.

5 February 2011
Masked Ducks. Four seen at a roadside pond near Black River. This was a new location for this largely nocturnal feeding duck.

5 February 2011
American Herring Gull. One immature on the beach near Black River. This is very rarely sighted in Jamaica and was a first for all of us on the island. Also observed a Forster’s Tern in company with other terns. Again a pretty unusual species for Jamaica.

23 January 2011
Rufous-throated Solitaire. These birds descend to the lower slopes of the mountains in winter. This one though nearly came for a sea bathe. It was in a tree beside a villa property. We occasionally here them at Bluefields but this was a beautiful sighting.

4 October 2009 – Parottee Great Morass, St. Elizabeth
1 White Ibis, 5 Caspian Terns, 3 Common Terns, 1 Gull-billed Tern feeding on the mud flats opposite Idlers Rest Hotel.

2 October 2009 – Cave, Westmoreland
A small family group of Guyana Parottlets was seen in the foothills of Cave Mountain. Since hurricane Ivan in 2004, when the population of this species was radically diminished, they have rarely been seen.

1 October 2009 – Content Property, St. Elizabeth
Two Jamaican Owls heard calling in the evening. One was briefly seen flying in the moonlight.

18 September 2009 – Cockpit Country, South Trelawny
On tour 2 Blue Mountain Vireos, Jamaican Elaenia, White-eyed Thrush

17 September 2009 – Ipswich, St Elizabeth
Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo heard calling and then seen to glide through a forested valley.

15 September 2009 – Bluefields, Westmoreland
Northern Potoo and Jamaican Peweein the mountain forest at about 700ft elevation.

13 September 2009 – Ecclesdown Road, Portland
During one of our tours, 2 Jamaican Blackbirds foraging in bromeliads close to the roadside, also, Black-billed Streamertail, Black-billed and Yellow-billed Parrots and Crested Quail Dove.