Dominican Republic - Carribean Cruise from La Romana, Dominican Republic - 5th April -12th May 2009

Published by Mark Graham (helen.graham7 AT

Participants: M. A. Graham


This report may be helpful to anyone going on a Carribean cruise who is interested in seeing some birds on the way. Before going on the cruise I found it difficult to get any up to date information. As it turned out the quality and quantity of birds was incredible. The birds could be found with little effort and in most cases by taking a walk from the ship. The Helm Field Guide ‘Birds of the West Indies’ was indispensable.

The itinerary:

La Romana[Dominican Republic]
Day at Sea
Roseau Dominica
St.George’s Grenada
St.John’s Antigua
Phillipsburg St.Maarten
Road Town Tortola
La Romana

The Ship:

The brilliant Thomson Destiny. A great ship with a wonderful atmosphere.

La Romana (Dominican Republic)

I was able to see a lot of birds at the beginning and end of the voyage simply walking around the area just outside the cruise ship complex. Species included: Magnificent Frigatebird, Royal Tern, Laughing Gull, Cattle Egret, Gray Kingbird, Antillean Palm Swift, Yellow-faced Grassquit, American Kestrel, Northern Mockingbird, Bananaquit, Hispanolian Parrakeet,
Smooth-billed Ani, Hispanolian Woodpecker, Antillean Mango,Red Legged Thrush.

At Sea: Audubon’s Shearwater, Bridled Tern, Northern Gannet, Magnificent Frigatebird. There were lots of Flying Fish and Dolphins seen on the way.

Roseau, Grenada:

In the harbour: Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Royal Tern, Laughing Gull. Green Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Blue heron, Eared Dove

Spice Farm on the way to Trafalgar Falls: Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Black-faced Grassquit, Carib Grackle, Cattle Egret, Lesser Antillean Tanager, Yellow-bellied Elania, Tropical Mockingbird.

Around Roseau: Gray Kingbird, Rock Dove, Black-faced Grassquit, Gray Kingbird.

St.George’s Dominica:

White Tailed Tropicbird at sea from ship.
Harbour: Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigate Bird, Carribean Martin,

Botanical Gardens: A wonderful habitat. Aim for the Cricket Stadium about 25 minutes from the boat. Look in the area behind the Parrot House. Black-whiskered Vireo, Bananaquit, Zenaida Dove, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Smooth- billed Ani, Common Ground Dove, Gray Kingbird, Scaly-breasted Thrasher,Nutmeg Manikin,Broad Winged Hawk.

St John’s Antigua:

Harbour: Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Royal Tern, Peregine Falcon, Laughing Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull, Cattle Egret,

Walk from St Johns to Dickinson Bay; McKinnons Salt Pools at Dickinson Bay were amazing.It is well worth the 3 mile walk from the ship through the car park as you turn left out of the cruise terminal. Then walk through the less than charming housing area before taking a parallel course to the cruise ships.You will soon reach either a roundabout or a road going north past the old football stadium and a school. Once you get away from the more densely housed area there are lots of birds to see. Aim first for the big sea inlet lagoon type area.[If you want to avoid this walk simply take a taxi direct to Dickonson Bay]: Yellow Warbler, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Green-throated Carib, House Sparrow, White Crowned Pigeon, Carib Grackle,
Ground Dove, Zenaida Dove, Black-bellied Plover, Black-necked Stilt,

Mckinnon’s Pools: Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Little Blue Heron, Laughing Gull, Sandwich Tern, White-cheeked Pintail, American Coot, Common Moorhen, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-necked Stilt, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plover, Bananaquit, Green-throated Carib.

Phillipsburg St.Maarten;

Harbour; Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Pelican, Royal Tern, Laughing Gull.

Salt Ponds:[behind the shops] Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Blue Heron, Laughing Gull, Lesser Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plover, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-necked Stilt, American Coot, Common Moorhen, White-cheeked Pintail, Bananaquit, Common Ground Dove, Zenaida Dove, Gray Kingbird.

Road Town Tortola; White Tailed Tropicbird [well out to sea on the way in].

Harbour: Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Laughing Gull, Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Pelican, Royal Tern.

Around town including the Botanical Garden: Pearly-eyed Thrasher, White-winged Dove, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Killdeer [on fields adjacent to cruise ship area], Bannaquit, Green-throated Carib, Spotted Sandpiper.