Anse Chastanet, St Lucia's best vacation resort  
       
 

Birdwatching


When birdwatchers consider a new destination for their next holiday, one of the first questions they ask is "what are the speciality birds of the area?". High on their list of priorities will be birds that are endemic to that location - in other words, they are found nowhere else on earth. St Lucia is blessed with five such species and four of them can be found within the grounds of Anse Chastanet with the fifth located not too far away.


ANSE MAMIN TRAIL

Firstly there is the St Lucia Pewee - a delightful small flycatcher; green on top and orange underneath which sallies out from its favored perch in search of prey before returning to the same branch. These can be found both along the entrance track to the resort and also in the estate at Anse Mamin. Next, the St Lucia Warbler, both brightly colored and inquisitive; blue-gray above with bright yellow under-parts and black facial markings, it is widespread throughout the grounds.

Not quite as numerous, but both dramatic and boldly colored is the yellow and black St Lucia Oriole. Back in 1987, there were considered to be less than 60 pairs in existence, however there has been a considerable recovery since and probably two different pairs can be found at Anse Mamin.

 

 

Finally, there is "Jacquot," our national bird, officially known as the St Lucia Parrot. Saved from certain extinction by the ravages of Hurricane Allen in 1980, there is now a flourishing population of perhaps 1,000 birds normally found in higher elevation rainforest - an hour's drive away. However, two individuals graced the shoreline trees at Anse Chastanet early in 2009.

Whilst not strictly endemic, two other species easily found on property only occur on one or two nearby islands: the Lesser Antillean Saltator and the Gray Trembler. Both are easily found in the damp lowland deciduous estates and the drier forested slopes.

However, you don't have to hike into the woods to find a wealth of colorful birdlife. Both Green and Purple-throated Caribs together with their tiny relative the Antillean Crested Hummingbird can be found taking nectar from the flowerbeds surrounding the accommodation areas; both Zenaida Doves and Common Ground-Doves amble along the walkways in the early mornings whilst Scaly-naped Pigeons, Scaly-breasted Thrashers, Tropical Mockingbirds and Gray Kingbirds are ever present along the tree-lined roadways. Overhead, both Broad-winged Hawks and American Kestrels keep an eye out for prey; Magnificent Frigate birds, or "Cisseau" as they are known locally simply hang in the air looking for a free meal whilst in the restaurant, if you don't keep a watchful eye on your butter or jam, those piratical Lesser Antillean Bullfinches and Bananaquits will enjoy a stolen breakfast.

And a final note on the subject of "special birds." Keen "birders" will be well aware just how shy and elusive Mangrove Cuckoos are to see - there is nowhere in the world where this species is easier to find than at Anse Chastanet.

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Call 1 800 223 1108
 

Birdwatching Weeks at Anse Chastanet

Guests staying at Anse Chastanet St.Lucia between Sept 1-15  have the opportunity to partake in special birdwatching events hosted by Martyn Kenefick, a Caribbean based ornithologist and bird book author. While the resort offers birdwatching year-round, a specialist program has been created for avid bird watchers from Sep 1 - 15.

The Anse Chastanet resort property encompasses 600 lush tropical acres including the historical French Colonial plantation of Anse Mamin with very good and easily accessible birdwatching opportunities right on the resort property. In addition, there are birdwatching locations on other parts of the island such as the general Piton area, on the Maria Islands, Quilesse Forest Reserve and on the island's East Coast 

The specialist program includes one full day and two half day island excursions to birdwatching sites off the resort property, one half day whale watching trip, in addition to which Mr Kenefick will personally guide 2-3 hours birdwatching estate tours and hold daily talks about the birdwatching (Mon - Fri). 

The specialist program can be added to any reservation of 7 nights or more at Anse Chastanet. The program will run MoN - Fri. The full event package is offered at US 450 per person. To sign up for the program please contact Anse Chastanet Resort via adventure@ansechastanet.com 

To make an actual hotel reservation in addition to the program, Anse Chastanet Resort can be booked directly via email, local tel 758 459 6100, toll free 1-800- 223 1108.From the UK, call 0800-894-057. Anse Chastanet can be booked through a variety of tour operators in the UK.

Martyn Kenefick is "an English "ex pat" who has lived in Trinidad for the last 10 years since taking early retirement from the Financial Services industry in the UK. Having been an active "birder" since the early 70's his hobby has taken him privately from China and Thailand to Alaska and Antarctica. He is a freelance ornithologist and bird watching guide / tour leader and in recent years has led organized tours to Kazakhstan, Kenya, The Gambia and California; whilst in his adopted home, he regularly leads tours for British, American and Australian bird watching tour operators. He is the primary author of the recently published Field Guide to the Birds of Trinidad & Tobago and also the Hon Sec of the Trinidad & Tobago Rare Birds Committee"

 

 
       
     
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P O Box 7000
Soufriere, St. Lucia
ansechastanet@candw.lc
www.ansechastanet.com