Actually his real name is Bertrand Jno Baptiste but Dr Birdy has the prescription for finding Dominica’s two endemic parrots and many other birds such as the Antillean Hummingbird. I contacted him by email and arranged a morning of birding using his car with a pick up at the Tamarind Tree Hotel. The hotel staff know him quite well as the proximity of the property to the (pink route) Syndicate (Morne Diablotin National Park) attracts many birders.
Since we arrived after dark, I was excited to see how beautiful the island is!
As we drove to the Syndicate, we saw some seabirds flying by and a few fishermen.
I can’t quite make this one out.
Antillean Crested Hummingbird
We keep driving uphill.
A smaller trail leads to the parrot lookout.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to hike to the summit. This is a relatively easy walk through the forest.
Dr Birdy leads the way. Notice that scope? This was essential to see the Sisserou especially.
We were the only ones there. We set up the scope and got the cameras ready, then it was a waiting game.
Dominica’s most wanted!
Mostly Red-necked Parrots flying back and forth through the gorge. Trying to get a photo at a distance was quite a challenge! If you look very closely, you can see the tiny specks in these photos. I did my best to enlarge them below.
Red-necked Parrot (Jaco)
This is an Imperial Parrot (Sisserou) flying through but I messed up the only “flight shot” I had.
No better luck when trying to digiscope the Sisserou. I was able to see him perched but couldn’t manipulate my iPhone to find him.
I barely got the back of his head behind leaves, I had to aim wide angle at the general area so zooming in didn’t produce much.
It was getting close to noon and we had a 5pm flight and uncertain bus transport ahead so we had to be satisfied that at least we saw the birds! We head back towards Portsmouth and Dr Birdy dropped us at a bus stop where we finally did get a bus passing the airport.
It was a great morning and we saw the birds we wanted (even if I couldn’t get a decent shot) and we never would have found the perched parrots without Dr Birdy. He’s a cool guy and one of the top birding guides in the Caribbean so definitely book him if you want the best chances to see the SIsserou! He can be reached by email.