Terry Anderson, Kentucky, USA

Birding the Islands April 2019 trip: Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles

Terry crossing the lagoon en route to the Magnificent Frigatebird colony

Terry crossing the lagoon en route to the Magnificent Frigatebird colony

“I have had an interest in the cultures of the Caribbean Islands for a long time and since I became an avid birder I wondered how I could visit these islands and also look for birds. I was stymied until a friend told me about  the company Birding the Islands run by Ryan Chenery that did that ! I signed onto the April 13-25,2019 trip Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles and was amazed at the birds we saw ( yes we got every endemic ) and was able to experience these islands cultures to boot. I highly recommend going on this trip with Ryan, he has a fun spirit, is a great birder and has connected with local guides on each island that were keen on finding birds and also added to my knowledge of each island. An unforgettable experience”.

Gunda Narang, New York, USA

Birding the Islands April 2019 trip: Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles

"Ten Islands in 12 Days - Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles was thoroughly enjoyable, worry free, and a great experience. 

Gunda and Ryan (the Bajan Birder) birding in paradise in April 2019

Gunda and Ryan (the Bajan Birder) birding in paradise in April 2019

Ryan made everyone feel welcome, was very well organized, and handled the various and complicated tour arrangements and group dynamics, such as transportation by air, water and road, accommodation, food, and local guides, seemingly with ease.  All of us benefited from his deep knowledge of birds and life and history of the different islands.  He made sure that every participant had as good a look as possible of every bird in question and that no one had missed anything.   Ryan is very personable and has a lot of humor which makes traveling with him a true pleasure”. 



Ronald Cicerello - Kentucky, USA

Birding the Islands April 2019 trip: Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles

Ron (foreground) scanning for Imperials!

Ron (foreground) scanning for Imperials!

“I had a great time birding the Lesser Antilles with Ryan and seeing all the endemics and more – as promised! Ryan and his able and interesting local guides know the birds and where to find them. Logistics for this ten-island tour could be challenging, but Ryan’s attention to detail made for smooth boat and air transits. Our lodgings were quiet and comfortable, and meals were diverse, including seafood and a welcome sampling of island specialities. Ryan’s positive attitude and pride in island culture are contagious. Birding with him was pure fun. If you want to see all the Lesser Antillean endemics, and sample some excellent rum, go local and choose Ryan. You cannot do better."




Gerry Hinchcliffe, Surrey, United Kingdom

Gerry at the small fishing village of Dennery in St. Lucia

Gerry at the small fishing village of Dennery in St. Lucia

Some years ago I tried to organise a Lesser Antilles trip myself, but although some of it was easy, there were several parts that just wouldn’t work. On Ryan’s tour everything worked and I was very pleased I went! Ryan, the Bajan Birder, is a very personable fellow who really cares about the needs of his clients and knows the islands well, through his repeated visits. None of the walks were too long or too exhausting and there was plenty of interest as each island was very different to the next. We didn’t miss a single endemic, even though a couple of them can be very tricky. In the next few years Ryan plans to run tours to other destinations and we are looking forward to joining him.

Keith and Jade Lovell, Bermuda

Birding the Islands Feb.2018 trip: Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles (including Trinidad extension)

Jade and Keith in the rain forest in Trinidad

Jade and Keith in the rain forest in Trinidad

"We recently enjoyed a wonderful trip to the Lesser Antilles with Ryan Chenery, The Bajan Birder, and cannot praise him and the experience enough.  Ryan’s attention to every detail made the trip a joy, allowing us to focus on each moment of this epic adventure to ‘find the bird’! 

On each island we were met by Ryan’s local contacts to ensure the best opportunity to locate all of the endemics of that island.  In addition, we saw a variety of other wildlife both on land and by boat.

Travelling with Ryan was a great way to visit a number of diverse islands without a worry.  Our air and boat travel were made easy.  Accommodations were both comfortable and varied, and we liked that Ryan included a wide variety of food, allowing us to sample some of the local delights.

In summary, we returned home happy, healthy and with mission accomplished…we got the birds"!

Keith and Jade Lovell

 

 

 

Robert (Bob) East, United Kingdom

Birding the Islands Feb. 2018 trip: Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles (including Trinidad extension)

Bob (centre) along with The Bajan Birder and Jade are all smiles as we set off across the ocean bound for Montserrat

Bob (centre) along with The Bajan Birder and Jade are all smiles as we set off across the ocean bound for Montserrat

"I took part in ‘Birding the Islands’ February 2018 tour of the Lesser Antilles and Trinidad. I didn’t know this part of the world or the tour company Birding the Islands so was not sure what to expect. But I can report that the tour far exceeded expectation as far as beautiful views, wildlife habitats and birds in particular were concerned; accommodation and food was first rate and complex travel arrangements smooth, bar one minor incident with a baggage hold warning light. Tour group size was limited to 6; the group consisting of a cross section of birders from big listers to casual birders, Ryan and the local island guides kept this diverse group enthused with rare and endemic birds, ocean mammals, snakes and bats as well as tales of the exotic Caribbean and rum punches.  As for birds all the Lesser Antillean and both Trinidad endemics were seen except the invisible Martinique Oriole, c’est la vie. In summary strongly recommend this tour with a Caribbean specialist company for all birders and wildlife enthusiasts irrespective of objectives".

Bob East

 

Shane Woolbright, New Mexico, USA

Birding the Islands Feb. 2018 trip: Every Endemic in the Lesser Antilles

Shane on Barbuda showing a young local boy a photo of the warbler endemic to his island.

Shane on Barbuda showing a young local boy a photo of the warbler endemic to his island.

"Anyone who has tried to develop a birding trip to pick up the endemics across the islands of the Lesser Antilles knows those 29 birds require visits to ten islands, and that means quite a lot of logistical effort to find flights, boats, and local guides at each island, let alone finding car rental, hotel, restaurants.  So I abandoned my planning efforts to plan a birding trip to finish up my Caribbean list and took the Lesser Antilles birding trip with Ryan Chenery and his company Birding the Islands Ltd.  In 12 days Ryan directed our group through 10 islands, had drivers and guides waiting for us at each airport or boat dock, and was able to have all of the birds that one would want to find in these islands in view, less a few pelagic species desired but not found.  But while pelagics were few, we had good views of six species of whales and several dolphins.  Accommodations were fine.  In fact, we were shocked that on the devastated island of Dominica we were able to stay in new digs with electricity.  Here we also had meals from local gardens and fresh chicken or pork as there were no restaurants.  Breakfast and lunch were often on the go, but dinners were always quite good with differing food choices on each island.  This would seem to be the best way to put away a bunch of islands and their endemics".

Shane Woolbright