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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Millet Nature Reserve, St. Lucia

SAINT LUCIA | Friday, 1 February 2019 | Views [42]

Pamela and Connie, Millet Nature Reserve, St. Lucia

Pamela and Connie, Millet Nature Reserve, St. Lucia

CRUISES ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR BIRDERS — or early risers in general.  Ships generally don’t dock until after 8:00 AM with shore excursions leaving up to two hours later.  And for some inexplicable reason, we didn’t dock in St. Lucia until ten.  So much for an early start.  With the cost of shore excursions and the large groups, we’ve found it makes sense to hire our own taxi and go off on our own — especially if we want to go birding.  Connie discovered Millet Nature Reserve on E-bird, and we were off as soon as the gangway was secured.  Matthew agreed to drive us there and back for $80, which sounds like a lot for 13 winding and hilly kilometers until you consider a shore excursion would set us back about $100 each.

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   St. Lucia Warbler

Pamela, Millet’s chief cook and bottle washer — and guide — told us admission and 3 hours of guided birding cost $30 each, and all but guaranteed we would see all four of St. Lucia’s endemics plus a few others new to us.  So we ponied up and set off on the slippery, hilly, muddy trail.

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  St. Lucia Black Finch                          St. Lucia Oriole

I always hate it when a guide says, “Oh, the parrots (or whatever) were here this morning but they’ve gone now.”  Shoulda been here yesterday.  But we did see the St. Lucia black finch SL Oriole and SL warbler without much difficulty.  We got photos of the gray tremblor and lesser Antillean saltator as we slipped and slided up the trail to  Parrot Lookout.  A loud squawk was followed by a flash of red against the green canopy and we saw our only St. Lucia Amazon.  Mission complete.

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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