The 10,000 Birds team does more than its share of birding at Jamaica Bay but at last we (as in ME) will be on location on a bay in Jamaica. And you’re invited!
Jamaica has a lot more to offer naturalists than just resorts and rastas. With at least 28 endemic species and tons of Caribbean specialties, this island promises exceptional birding in an idyllic setting. Trips to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico definitely infected, or better yet inspired me with the Caribbean birding bug. What’s not to love about the West Indies? The weather is always amazing and every island has its own unique avifauna. Plus, the trip from the U.S. east coast is surprisingly short.
I’ll be visiting the Hotel Mocking Bird Hill on Nov. 7-10, 2009. Jamaica’s “No.1 eco-chic hotel” has been dubbed one of the best places for bird watching in Jamaica due in no small part to the fact that one can usually see almost all of the Jamaican endemics between the Blue Mountains and Port Antonio. Hotel Mocking Bird Hill is particularly known as one of the best places to see a highly coveted hummingbird, the Black-billed Streamertail.
Check out this incredible itinerary:
- Transfer from Kingston and arrival at MBH;
- late afternoon birding on property with guide early evening
- Early morning birding at MBH – on grounds
- Transfer to rafting after breakfast
- Rafting down Rio Grande, great looks at waders, etc
- Lunch at Miss Betty
- Drop off at Frenchmans Cove -beach (aside from swimming, good afternoon birding)
- Take packed breakfast and transfer to Ecclesdown Road and Reach Falls
- Bird guide for early morning birding with possibility to follow
- with visit to Reach Falls (entrance fee not included)
- Lunch on San San Beach with possibility to relax at beach
- Late afternoon birding San San area and on the grounds again with guide
- Early morning departure to go birding in the Blue Mountains
- Continue on to Kingston for late afternoon departure
Pretty sweet, no? The reason I’m sharing the details with you, other than to arouse eye-popping envy, is to invite you to come along. Once my new best friends Shireen and Barbara of MBH shared this itinerary with me, I asked them what the cost would be to have others come along. I can’t be the only person who would love a short tropical getaway at a posh eco-lodge in early November, right?
Here’s my full disclosure: I have absolutely no financial incentive to get others to take advantage of this offer. My trip was completely arranged before I offered this idea to the proprietors of MBH. Honestly, I firmly believe that the only thing better than exploring gorgeous new countries and finding new birds is exploring gorgeous new countries and finding new birds WITH friends.
The cost of this 3-night trip, not counting airfare, beverages, entrance to Reach Falls, lunch on the beach at Long Bay, and incidentals of a private nature such as tipping will be $842. This assumes 6 people signing up. If 8 sign up, the price drops a bit and I assume the price might go up for only 2 or 4. This also assumes double occupancy. If you arrive and depart Kingston when I do, you can probably transfer with me. Otherwise, the price for an individually chartered taxi is $165.00 for 1-2 passengers.
So there it is. I’ll be heading to Jamaica in early November with the intention of scooping up 20+ Jamaican endemics and a raft of other sensational species. Care to join me? If so, contact Shireen at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill (info AT hotelmockingbirdhill DOT com) quickly as I assume spaces for this adventure are limited. Be sure to let me know too, so we can start planning for an amazing time!