Birdwatching at Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia

Bird Watching isn't just for the girls! The Anse Chastanet resort is now offering special birdwatching events to help budding ornithologists and just plain old bird enthusiasts another look at these gorgeous islands. While not birdwatching, St. Lucia offers tons of other cool activities like Jungle Biking, SCUBA Diving, Zip Line / Canopy Tours and more.

Guests staying at Anse Chastanet St.Lucia between October 1-15 have the opportunity to partake in special birdwatching events hosted by Martyn Kenefick, a Caribbean based ornithologist and bird book author. While the resort offers birdwatching year-round, this year a specialist program has been created for passionate bird watchers.

The Anse Chastanet resort property encompasses 600 lush tropical acres including the historical French Colonial plantation of Anse Mamin with very good and easily accessible birdwatching opportunities right on the resort property. In addition, there are birdwatching locations on other parts of the island such as the general Piton area, on the Maria Islands, Quilesse Forest Reserve and on the island's East Coast

When birdwatchers consider a new destination for their next holiday, one of the first questions they ask is "what are the specialty birds of the area?" High on their list of priorities will be birds that are endemic to that location - in other words, they are found nowhere else on earth. St Lucia is blessed with five such species and three of them can be found within the grounds of Anse Chastanet with the others located not too far away. Firstly there is the St Lucia Pewee - a delightful small flycatcher; green on top and orange underneath which sallies out from its favored perch in search of prey before returning to the same branch. These can be found both along the entrance track to the resort and also in the estate at Anse Mamin. Next, the St Lucia Warbler, both brightly colored and inquisitive; blue-gray above with bright yellow under-parts and black facial markings, it is widespread throughout the grounds. Not quite as numerous, but both dramatic and boldly colored is the yellow and black St Lucia Oriole. Back in 1987, there were considered to be less than 60 pairs in existence, however there has been a considerable recovery since and probably two different pairs can be found at Anse Mamin. Whilst not strictly endemic, two other species easily found on property only occur on one or two nearby islands: the Lesser Antillean Saltator and the Gray Trembler. Both are easily found in the damp lowland deciduous estates and the drier forested slopes.

Martyn Kenefick is "an English "ex pat" who has lived in Trinidad for the last 10 years since taking early retirement from the Financial Services industry in the UK. Having been an active "birder" since the early 70’s his hobby has taken him privately from China and Thailand to Alaska and Antarctica. He is a freelance ornithologist and bird watching guide / tour leader and in recent years has led organized tours to Kazakhstan, Kenya, The Gambia and California; whilst in his adopted home, he regularly leads tours for British, American and Australian bird watching tour operators. He is the primary author of the recently published Field Guide to the Birds of Trinidad & Tobago and also the Hon Sec of the Trinidad & Tobago Rare Birds Committee"

The specialist program includes one full day and two half day island excursions to birdwatching sites off the resort property, one half day whale watching trip, in addition to which Mr Kenefick will personally guide 2-3 hours birdwatching estate tours and hold daily talks about the birdwatching (Monday to Friday).

The specialist program can be added to any reservation of 7 nights or more at Anse Chastanet. Rates at Anse Chastanet start us US 300 nightly plus 10% service charge and 8% government tax. A seven night stay package with airport transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner and tax/service included is US 1735 per person in double occupancy. The program will run Monday to Friday. The full event package is offered at US 450 per person. To sign up for the program please contact Anse Chastanet Resort via [email protected] or call Tel 800-223-1108

To make an actual hotel reservation in addition to the program, Anse Chastanet Resort can be booked directly via [email protected], local tel 758 459 6100, toll free 1-800- 223 1108. Daily rates start from US 300 nightly plus 18% tax/service. Guests staying for 6 nights and more are eligible for the 6th night free Delight promotion: Based on this promotion, a 6 night stay in standard accommodation inclusive of breakfast and dinner and inclusive of tax/service starts from US 1357 per person in double occupancy. Add US 450 for the birdwatching specialist program. For more resort information visit the resort website www.ansechastanet.com

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