The Twin Island Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis has always been under the radar for Birdwatchers. This is somewhat surprising as the two islands have a well established and diverse eco-system. St. Kitts alone has 9 large Ponds, some hosting an amazing array of birdlife at certain times of the year.
St. Kitts is 68 Sq. mi. in size and is shaped a bit like a guitar. It is generally flat around the coasts becoming mountainous as you head inland. It is approximately 16 miles long and around 4 miles across at its widest point. The South-East peninsular is around 40 million years old, with the North-western part of the island including Mount Liamuiga around 1 million years old.
Both of the islands have their advantages in respect to bird watching, and we outline some of the more interesting locations.
Great Heeds Pond: This is probably the least accessible pond to approach. It is located directly north of the Government landfill just beyond Conaree Village.
BIRD RATING: GOOD
Half Moon Pond: This pond is located just north of the Frigate Bay Area.
BIRD RATING: VERY GOOD.
Muddy Point Pond: This pond is located just past the Marriott Hotel at Frigate Bay towards the Northern end of the Golf Course. BIRD RATING: POOR
Golf Course Ponds: These three ponds are located in the middle of the Golf course at Frigate Bay. They can sometimes host rare birds for St. Kitts. The last two new sightings were seen here (Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and a Wood Duck.)
BIRD RATING: GOOD
Frigate Bay Pond: This pond is located at southernmost part of Frigate Bay between the Frigate Bay Main Road and the Beach on the Caribbean Sea, and is very easily accessible. Many different species have been spotted here and it often has a large number of Birds.
BIRD RATING: EXCELLENT
Friar’s Bay Pond: Located on the South East Peninsular road just over the hill from Frigate Bay. BIRD RATING: POOR
Great and Small Ponds: Generally these two ponds that are connected once they are full of water. A large pond of around 1 mile in diameter, it is located on the South East Peninsular as you approach White House Bay. It is presently under development for construction of a marina. The small pond is located on the western edge adjacent to Ballest Bay, and the Great pond in to the East.
BIRD RATING; GREAT POND—GOOD, SMALL POND—GOOD
Turtle Beach Pond: This Pond is located adjacent to Turtle Beach (Mosquito Bay) on the eastern end of the South East Peninsular. BIRD RATING: EXCELLENT
Major’s Bay Pond: Located at the southern tip of the road on the South East Peninsular, where the Car ferry to Nevis docks. BIRD RATING: POOR
Other Birding locations
The Basseterre Harbor: Lots of different sea birds are often seen in the harbor of the Capital, Basseterre.
Caribelle Batique Gardens: A wide variety of birds are usually seen here. It is located just off of Old Road Town, several miles west of the capital, Basseterre.
Area below Caribelle Batique: The rain forest area below Caribelle Batique adjacent Sky Safaris Zip Line, just above Old Road Town.
Wingfield level: The agricultural road beyond Caribelle Batique leading up to Wingfield level, which is well above the Zip Line operations adjacent Old Road Town.
The Brimstone Hill road: A walk up this road can lead to interesting sightings from time to time. It is best not to walk up the hill when a cruise ship is in as the vehicular traffic will scare the birds away.
South East Peninsular: Anywhere on the South East Peninsular particularly from White House Bay to Turtle Beach, Cockleshell and Major’s Bay area.
There are many other areas in the rainforest and Ghuts, all of which could lead to interesting discoveries.
Nevis is the sister island of the twin island State, and is very scenic and fairly tranquil. It is 36 sq. mi and is somewhat round like a ball, with parts of the island being dated at over 3 million years old.