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Sunrise Birding LLC - Worldwide Birding Tours and Wildlife SafarisJamaican Tody. Photo by Gina Nichol.JAMAICA
ENDEMICS & SPECIALS!
December 2 - 9, 2017
No messing around!

29 endemics possible in one week!
Past reports:  2012    2013     2014     2016

Trip Cost & Travel Planning>     Registration Form>

Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!

Jamaica's avian treasures are little known to most of its beach going tourists. This beautiful, warm, friendly island, known for rum and reggae has a rugged interior covered with lush forests that harbor no less than 29 endemic bird species.  These unique species are found nowhere else in the world and Jamaica is home to more endemics than any other Caribbean island making it the best kept birding secret in the tropics! Add to that at least 17 Jamaican subspecies and a host of other Caribbean endemics and you have a fabulous winter birding getaway!

Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo. Photo by Gina Nichol.Our itinerary explores the less traveled interior of the island from rolling hills to the cool, lush rainforests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains in eastern Jamaica. Here we get ALL of the endemics. No need to mess with Cockpit Country and the throngs of tourists in other parts of the island.  Our local guide knows the spots for species like Blue Mountain Vireo, Crested Quail-Dove, Jamaican Blackbird, and the lovely Black-billed Streamertail hummingbird. We’ll explore the tropical environs of the famous Ecclesdown Road home to Black-billed and Yellow-billed Parrots, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Oriole, and Jamaican Crow. Jamaica's fantastic birds have been revealed on all of our wildly successful 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 tours.  Our fine-tuned 2017 itinerary offers even better opportunities to see all of Jamaica’s endemic birds and more!

Join us for a fantastic winter getaway and the absolute best in Caribbean birding!

Trip Cost & Travel Planning>     Registration Form>
Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!

What clients said about our 2016 Tour>            Photos:  Jamaican Tody, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo by Gina Nichol.


ITINERARY (Subject to change depending on birds!)

Day 1: Arrival in Kingston, Jamaica
Plan to arrive in the afternoon in Kingston, Jamaica (Airport code KIN) on the southeastern coast of the island. On arrival, you will be transferred to our hotel to get settled before dinner and the official start of the tour this evening.


Days 2 -4: Blue Mountains
Yellow-billed Parrot (Photo: Steve Bird)The lush forests of the Blue Mountains cover the eastern part of Jamaica and today we bird our way to the cool forest. Starting with an early morning excursion to the Hellshire Hills for Bahama Mockingbird and possibly Stolid Flycatcher, we will then spend the rest of the morning birding the Royal (Hope) Botanical Gardens adjacent to the campus of the University of the West Indies. This 200 acre gardens is the largest public green space in the Kingston metropolitan region. The gardens offer quiet respite from the bustling city and excellent birding. Several of Jamaica’s endemic birds are to be found here including the stunning little Jamaican Tody, Yellow-billed Parrot (Photo: Steve Bird), the newly split, newest endemic Jamaican Parakeet, Jamaican Mango, the tiny Vervain Hummingbird and White-chinned Thrush, locally known as ‘Hopping Dick’. A small lake may hold a Least Grebe among the Moorhens and Green Herons. We may also find lingering North American warblers such as Northern Parula, American Redstart, Cape May and Black-and-White also escaping the wrath of winter further north. Time permitting, we will also drive up the Widcombe Road where we hope to see the endemic Orangequit and there will surely be a few Smooth-billed Anis.

Later in the day, we continue up into the Blue Mountains for the next three days. Here we have a chance to encounter Jamaican Woodpecker (Photo: Gina Nichol), Yellow-shouldered Grassquit, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher and Ring-tailed Pigeon - all endemic species. Our destination a coffee plantation situated on the slopes of Jamaica’s picturesque Blue Mountains. The grounds around the lodge are the home of the dazzling endemic Red-billed Streamertail, Jamaica’s national bird which forages in the garden flowers. Here Vervain Hummingbirds and Bananaquits should entertain us with their antics and we have more chances to see the endemic Orangequit here. Jamaican Owl nests here and we have the rest of today and all day tomorrow to find and marvel at the colorful avian delights in the area including the remarkably beautiful Jamaican Spindalis (Stripe-headed Tanager), Jamaican Oriole, Sad Flycatcher and more.

29 Jamaican Endemics:

  • Crested Quail-Dove
  • Ring-Tailed Pigeon
  • Black-Billed Parrot
  • Yellow-Billed Parrot
  • Jamaican Parakeet
  • Chestnut-Bellied Cuckoo
  • Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo
  • Jamaican Owl
  • Black-Billed Streamertail
  • Jamaican Mango
  • Red-Billed Streamertail
  • Jamaican Tody
  • Jamaican Woodpecker
  • Jamaican Becard
  • Jamaican Elaenia
  • Jamaican Pewee
  • Rufous-Tailed Flycatcher
  • Sad Flycatcher
  • White-Chinned Thrush
  • White-Eyed Thrush
  • Jamaican Crow
  • Blue Mountain Vireo
  • Jamaican Vireo
  • Jamaican Euphonia
  • Arrowhead Warbler
  • Jamaican Spindalis
  • Orangequit
  • Yellow-Shouldered Grassquit
  • Jamaican Blackbird

29 species found in Jamaica
and nowhere else!

Jamaican Woodpecker. Photo by Gina Nichol.

Rufous-tailed Flycatcher. Photo by Steve Bird.Here, we'll spend time birding a fabulous forest trail that can produce Ring-tailed Pigeon, Jamaican Tody, Rufous-throated Solitaire, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher (Photo: Steve Bird), Jamaican Spindalis, Jamaican Pewee, Greater Antillean Elaenia, and Yellow-shouldered Grassquit. By now we should have several views of Orangequit under our belts and we'll hope for White-eyed Thrush, Greater Antillean Bullfinch, Black-faced Grassquit and even Crested Quail Dove. In the evenings, we will listen for the resident Jamaican Owls around the lodge and hopefully get a glimpse of these sometimes elusive birds. Three nights, Blue Mountains.

 

Red-billed Streamertail. Photo by Steve Bird.On at least one day, we will head to Hardwar Gap looking for high-elevation bird species like Arrowhead Warbler, Jamaican Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher, the endangered Ring-tailed Pigeon, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, Rufous-throated Solitaire, and the beautiful Crested Quail-Dove. The lush forest slopes offer more endemics including Jamaican Spindalis (Stripe-headed Tanager), Jamaican Euphonia, White-eyed Thrush, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Blackbird, Yellow-shouldered Grassquit, Jamaican Woodpecker, Jamaican Vireo and Blue Mountain Vireo. Red-billed Streamertails (Photo: Steve Bird) are possible here (always a treat!) and mixed flocks of warblers and tanagers could hold Cape May, Black-and-white and Prairie Warblers. Overhead, we’ll watch for White-collared and Black Swift.

 

Days 5 & 6: Hardwar Gap / John Crow Mountains
This morning after an early breakfast, we'll have another birding session at Hardwar Gap. Later on we will travel to Portland on the northeast coast of Jamaica and check into our lovely beach side hotel. The grounds and surrounding of the hotel offer great birding and this location gives us access to the John Crow Mountains over the next two days. We will bird the mountains along the forested, famous Ecclesdown Road, another endemic hotspot offering chances to see Black-billed Streamertail, Jamaican Blackbird, Crested Quail-dove, Black- and Yellow-billed Parrots, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, Jamaican Crow, Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Becard, Jamaican Elaenia, Jamaican Oriole, Yellow-shouldered Grassquit and Ring-tailed Pigeon. Some of these birds are difficult to see and we'll work to get the best possible views of all of the species. One morning we will spend some time scanning the Caribbean Sea at Hectors River for White-tailed Tropicbirds that frequent the waters just off the coast. Magnificent Frigatebirds are likely here and terns are possible including Royal Tern.  Two nights Portland.

 

Arrowhead Warbler. Photo by Steve Bird.Day 7: Breakfast / Depart to airport
Today depending on departing flight times (late afternoon/evening flights are advised) we will have another birding session at Ecclesdown Road to try and get more views of Jamaica's wonderful birds. Later on, we will head back to Kingston and the airport warmed with the memories of the great hospitality and wonderful birds of Jamaica.

Arrowhead Warbler, Crested Quail Dove (below). Photos by Steve Bird.

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Crested Quail Dove. Photo by Steve Bird.JAMAICA!
December 2 - 9, 2017
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TOUR PRICE: $2495.00 per person/double occupancy from Kingston, Jamaica (Airport Code: KIN) based on minimum of 6 persons. Single supplement: $425.00

Deposit: $500.00 per person. Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise gina@sunrisebirding.com when you have made payment. 

Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7, group airport transfers, ground transport throughout, park entrance fees, water and snacks and services of leaders.

Not included: International flight, passport fees, departure tax, insurance, drinks, laundry, tips, and items of a personal nature.

Note: The tour price is based on a minimum of 6 passengers.  If there are less than 6, a small group supplement may be charged.

RESERVATIONS: This tour is now OPEN FOR BOOKING! To reserve your place on this tour, contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to hold your space! Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit within two weeks to secure your place. Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.   >Download & print the Registration Form. 


Final payment is due August 2, 2017. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees). Please inquire.

Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Cancellations and Refunds:  All cancellations must be made in writing.  In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.

There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. 

Insurance:  The purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover any eventuality is strongly recommended.  Sunrise Birding, LLC can not accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour. 

Travelex

 
Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at gina@sunrisebirding.com 
Phone: 203.453.6724

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