When visiting a tropical place, I enjoy a mix of relaxing on the beach and exploring the island. You can explore an island many ways including hiking, snorkeling, taking guided tours, golfing, biking, boating, and taking a cooking class. When visiting Anguilla, I explored the island one morning by taking a bird watching tour.
Bird watching is a very neat way to get to see not only the wildlife of a place but also the landscape and climate. I contacted Nature Explorers Anguilla, a local company owned by Jackie Cestero. This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Nature Explorers Anguilla. I simply want to provide an accurate account of my experiences with this Anguilla company and share it with others.
Nature Explorers Anguilla offers a variety of bird watching and photography tours. Various options exist depending on what time of day you want to take your tour and how long you want it to be. With all tours you will be picked up at your hotel or place you are staying, which is very helpful. Binoculars and bottled water are included. You’ll want to bring your own camera for all tours! As you can see from my pictures, we were able to get up close (would still bring a zoom lens) for some amazing shots.
I booked my Anguilla bird watching excursion online and spoke with Jackie several times via e-mail. She was always super helpful and very responsive. On the morning of our bird watching tour, it was pouring down rain. Of course! Jackie reached out to me, saying that it was a poor day to go bird watching (bet we wouldn’t have seen one bird!) and asked our availability in rescheduling. We were able to find another day that worked for both of us. I greatly appreciated being able to move this tour without penalty and to a day we could enjoy the tour!
Bird watching morning take two was a success. The sun was shining and Jackie picked us up bright and early. Our first stop was the golf course. We were set to play the golf course on another day, so it was a neat sneak peek. Jackie began telling us about a list of birds we would be seeing that day and detailed information about them. I could tell immediately she was super knowledgeable, not only about birds but about all wildlife and about the island itself. We learned so much from her about Anguilla birds and the island!
Jackie knew exactly where all the local birds were on the island; and because of that, we were able to see all sorts of babies with their mothers! Here are a few pictures of pied-billed grebes, located in the water at the Cuisinart Resort Golf Course. A unique trait of this bird is that it continually dives under the water and then pops up above the water. It was like watching for manatees, only of the bird variety!
A large numbers of pelicans could also be found at this stop.
We then stopped at several different wetlands around the island. Here we found a variety of water birds.
While stopped at the wetlands, we encountered a quite vain bird – the Lesser Antillean bullfinch. This bird of black and red was quite entertaining, as he was continually trying to look into the car’s side mirrors. It was so humorous to watch him fly about, coming back to sit on the car to watch himself in the mirror.
Another stop was at Road Salt Pond. This is the largest enclosed body of water on Anguilla and can be found in the Sandy Ground area. We had driven past this a few days back without even realizing all that was here. This pond has a long history of salt production and is a breeding site for least terns. We were in luck as we were able to capture some very neat moments with these birds.
Here you’ll see a least tern with a fish hanging out of its mouth.
The least tern prefers sandy beaches and gravel surfaces for laying its eggs. We watched this bird for quite some time in order to be able to get a glimpse at its egg that it was sitting on. It was so exciting when the mother finally let us see the egg!
This duck is called the white-cheeked pintail. The white-cheeked pintail is a fairly common type of duck in both the Caribbean and South America. Feeding on mainly aquatic plants, you’ll find it near the water.
These birds were some of my favorites to watch; they were the black-necked stilt.
Look how this bird is pretending to have a broken wing.
I loved watching these little babies walk alongside the adults. They looked so soft and fuzzy and nothing like the parents. Crazy how something so small and round turns into a bird with such long legs and a more graceful-looking body.
I also got a glimpse of this snowy egret by the salt pond. Such beautiful white feathers he had!
Finally we went looking for my favorite bird – the hummingbird. However, I was visiting during the two weeks out of the year in which hummingbirds nest. So although we went to several local hummingbird hangouts where they are normally very common, we were unable to see any. Gives me a good excuse to go back to Anguilla!
I learned a lot on my bird watching tour in Anguilla and would highly recommend it to those visiting the island. If you have any questions on Anguilla or the bird watching tour, feel free to reach out.