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Birding Jamaica

AT A GLANCE

FOCUS

Independent Tailor-made Holidays: birds and photography 

WHERE

Port Antonio (Jamaica) 

SAMPLE WILDLIFE

all 20 plus endemics are possible in a week plus other Caribbean species. 

CLIMATE

Tropical warm to hot. 

ACCOMMODATION

rooms with private facilities at our boutique inn. Optional birding excursions with transport and guides available.

Gradually, more and more naturalists are realising what Jamaica has to offer, the flora and fauna of this lush tropical Caribbean island offers a relaxed insight into neo-tropical wildlife at a pace to suit anyone.  Perhaps the most beautiful part of Jamaica is its unspoiled eastern region with its lush green hills and pristine undeveloped beaches, the peace and solitude offered by the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and the small town of Port Antonio - an area that has recorded 25 of the island’s 28 endemics! Jamaica is ideal for birders wishing to visit a Caribbean destination, or for those who have previously visited Trinidad and Tobago and want to sample another bite size tropical birding destination. Who can resist the island’s exquisite national bird, the Streamertail?  There are now two species of Streamertail Hummingbird, both of which breed in the gardens of our featured property, the delightful Hotel Mocking Bird Hill. These year round holidays are perfect for non-birding partners too. The property is listed in the ‘Birds of the West Indies’ as one of the best birding sites on the island, with a garden list of over 40 species recorded.  With advance notice, the owners can arrange birding trips with a car and driver plus a local birding guide to the other key sites. We can also combine this property with Forres Park and/or Green Lane, ask for your quote.

Mocking Bird Hill features just 10 rooms nestled on 6.5 acres of tropical gardens and trees on a hillside with stunning views including out over the turquoise Caribbean below. It is close to town and the beach, and only a short drive to waterfalls, forests and botanical gardens elsewhere on the north-east coast. The owner/managers Barbara Walker and Shireen Aga are justly proud of their superb, eco-friendly property which has been open since 1993. ‘Sustainable luxury’ describes the place perfectly, no plastic room amenities, ‘bottled water’ is in Thermos flasks, stationary is produced by a women’s co-op and the toiletries are also locally produced plus the water is heated by the sun. The rooms are breeze-cooled, beautifully decorated with hammock-strung balconies and private facilities. They also feature coffee/tea-making facilities, Chocolate tea balls, fresh flowers, a tropical fruit plate on arrival, free house recipes and complimentary spring water. Honeymooners will also enjoy some extra very special benefits too! There are no TVs or phones but free wireless is available in the lobby area along with two house computers for guest use.

The Terrace Bar enjoys magnificent views, there is a swimming pool in the garden, an on site art gallery, complimentary afternoon tea and sundowner drink each day. The property also runs a free shuttle to nearby Frenchman’s Cove Beach. The hotel’s restaurant, ‘Mille Fleurs’ is another major highlight, with views over the Blue Mountains and the ocean with the chef preparing a daily changing menu with produce from local suppliers and the kitchen garden. Creative Caribbean cuisine with a continental flair with choices for each course and vegetarian options always available. Yum!

 

 

Sample itinerary

Day 1: Fly London Gatwick to Jamaica. Transfer on arrival to your accommodation.

Days 2- 7: Six full days in Jamiaca, many birds can be seen in and around the hotel. Optional excursions to other parts of the island.

Day 8: Transfer back to airport for overnight flight home.

Day 9: Arrive London Gatwick.

Jamaican bird endemics

Crested Quail-Dove (Geotrygon versicolor) - Mountain Witch, Blue Partridge 

Ring-tailed Pigeon (Columba caribaea) - Ringtail 

Jamaican Owl (Pseudoscops grammicus) - Patoo with the big eyes 

Black-billed Streamertail (Trochilus scitulus) - Black-billed Doctorbird 

Red-billed Streamertail (Trochilus polytmus) - Red-billed Doctorbird 

Jamaican Mango (Anthracothorax mango) - Doctorbird 

Yellow-billed Parrot (Amazona collaria) - Yellowbill 

Black-billed Parrot (Amazona agilis) - Blackbill 

Jamaican Woodpecker (Melanerpes radiolatus) - Woodpecker 

Jamaican Tody (Todus todus) - Robin Redbreast 

Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo (Hyetornis pluvialis) - Old Man Bird 

Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo (Saurothera vetula) - Old Woman Bird 

Rufous-tailed Flycatcher (Myiarchus validus) - Big Tom Fool 

Sad Flycatcher (Myiarchus barbirostris) - Little Tom Tool 

Jamaican Elaenia (Myiopagis cotta) - Sarah Bird 

Jamaican Becard (Pachyramphus niger) - Mountain Dick (male), 

Mountain Judy (female) 

Jamaican Pewee (Contopus pallidus) - Willie Pee 

Jamaican Euphonia (Euphonia jamaica) - Blue Quit 

Arrowhead Warbler (Dendroica pharetra) - Ants Bird 

Blue Mountain Vireo (Vireo osburni) 

Jamaican Vireo (Vireo modestus) - Sewi-Sewi 

White-chinned Thrush (Turdus aurantius) - Hopping Dick 

White-eyed Thrush (Turdus jamaicensis) - Glasseye 

Jamaican Crow (Corvus jamaicensis) - Jabbering Crow 

Jamaican Spindalis (Spindalis nigricephala) - Mark Head 

Orangequit (Euneornis campestris) - Blue Baize 

Yellow-shouldered Grassquit (Loxipasser anoxanthus) - Yellow Back 

Jamaican Blackbird (Nesopsar nigerrimus) - Wild Pine Sergeant 


Please note: All itineraries are subject to weather, local conditions and final approval by the relevant authorities.

Air-inclusive packages to Hotel Mocking Bird Hill

Departures                                       

Year round from £1895 per person, sharing a twin room with private facilities.

Single supplements from £690.00 per week 

Supplement for superior rooms from £129 per person per week, sharing a twin.

Extra nights at Mockingbird Hill from £130 per person, sharing a twin.  

(*NB The hotel is normally closed in September). 

Price includes: return economy class flights from London Gatwick to Kingston with BA including prepaid taxes, transfers (approx 2-2.5 hours each way), 7 nights accommodation at Mockingbird Hill with breakfast and 3-course a la Carte dinner, sharing a garden-view twin room with private facilities and WildWings bird checklist. 

Price excludes: Local airport tax (US$30), drinks, other meals, gratuities, birding and other excursions, travel insurance and other items of a personal nature.

Flights supplements for higher BA booking class’s, which will be advised at time of booking if applicable. Weekend (Friday-Sunday) flight supplements apply 

BA World Traveller and Club World supplements available on request. One way upgrades also available.  

Deposit: £500 per person.

We can tailor-make your Jamaican holiday for any duration, and also combine Mockingbird with other properties on the island. Please ask Sarah for more details.

 



Optional Birding Excursions bookable locally:

Ecclesdown- A morning birding excursion with a stop at Reach Falls and the beach on the way back. Approx £195 for 2 persons including transport and guide.

Blue Mountains-A full day trip with an option to visit a coffee estate on the way back. Approx £245 for 2 persons including transport and guide. 

4 Garden View Rooms  

3 Superior Rooms , on the upper level, include a luxury bathroom, bathrobes and an extended range of tropical body care products.

2 Deluxe Rooms , these have an extended open seating area with folding serpentine doors into the balcony for tropical-style indoor/outdoor living.

1 Suite, offers a separate bedroom, sitting area and two bathrooms. Free wireless internet, DVD player and flatscreen TV, i-pod docking station plus magazines and books.

Group quotes also available; please contact Sarah-Jane Thompson to arrange your visit to this WildWings tropical paradise.


 

 

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