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Tobago Birdwatching Hotspots

One of Tobago's visitor attractions is birding. The small size of the island means that it is very easy to include birdwatching as an outdoor recreation activity while on vacation in Tobago. Below are some of the birdwatching hotspots in Tobago.


Grafton Bird Sanctuary, Tobago

This is a former cocoa and coconut estate that was destroyed by Hurricane Flora in 1963 and as a result was converted into a wildlife sanctuary. It is approximately 200 acres in size and is covered in secondary forest. It is located along Grafton Road on the southern side of the road. There is a small weathered sign indicating the entrance to the sanctuary and a short uphill secondary road that leads to the reserve. Even before one reaches the reserve, along the entrance road there is good birding. A restaurant was previously operated on the site but is now closed, however the restaurant building still exists with tables and benches and can be used for resting during the day. There are toilets in the building that are maintained. There are three main forest trails. As you enter, the first trail on the right leads downhill and is relatively short. The second trail on the left also gradually leads downhill and then eventually climbs uphill. The main trail, which is directly facing the entrance, leads uphill and winds past several abandoned estate buildings and stables.


Bon Accord Wetlands, Tobago
The wetlands lie just north of Milford road and adjacent to Pigeon Point. They offered a range of habitats from mangroves fringing the Bon Accord lagoon, to freshwater marsh, drainage channels and four large ponds in the water treatment works. It is an excellent site for waterbirds and waders especially. At the water treatment ponds can usually be seen Great Egrets, Anhingas, Black-crowned Night-herons, Tricoloured Herons,   Green Herons, Snowy Egret, Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, White-cheeked Pintails, Least Grebe, Eared Doves.


Pigeon Point Roadway

The road leading into Pigeon Point is bordered on one side by the sea and by a mangrove swamp on the other side. This swamp is actually a continuation of the Bon Accord wetlands. The birdlife that is visible from along this roadway is not as prolific as would be seen by visiting the Bon Accord area. One species however that is almost always found along this road is the Brown-crested Flycatcher while on the seaside can be seen Laughing Gulls and Brown Pelicans.


Kilgwyn Swamp

The road into Kilgwyn Swamp lies at the eastern end of Store Bay Local Road. Store Bay Local Road can be accessed from its western end at the intersection just outside the Crown Point Airport or by heading south on any of the roads leading off from Milford Road up to Real Valu Supermarket. The road into the swamp often has a metal barrier placed across to prevent vehicle access but pedestrians can easily walk under the barrier. The road through the swamp leads to a beautiful beach so that in addition to seeing swamp species such as herons, egrets, jacanas, flycatchers and hummingbirds, you can also see a variety of shore line birds such as martins, sanderlings, sandpipers, plovers and terns.


Adventure Farm, Tobago

The Adventure Farm & Eco Reserve is just outside the village of Plymouth on the Arnos Vale Road. The farm is planted with a variety of fruit trees but parts of the farm have been left with the natural tropical vegetation. There is one main trail that winds through the property. A variety of birds can be seen on the Farm including Tropical Mockingbirds, Blue-crowned Motmot, White-tipped Dove, Eared Dove, White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Bared-eyed Thrush, White-lined Tanagers, Blue-Gray Tanagers, Blue-black Grassquit, Bananaquit, Pale-vented Pigeon and Woodcreepers.

The owners of the Farm live on the property and there is an entrance fee of TT $20. An interesting feature of the farm is that visitors can place fruit and seeds in the feeders, then ring a brass bell. Within minutes of ringing the bell various species come to the feeders. Along the side of the main house are hummingbird feeders with the hummingbirds ever-present.


Arnos Vale Hotel, Tobago

The grounds of the Arnos Vale Hotel and the beach front are a good site for easy birding. For even easier bird watching you can take part in their daily afternoon tea at 4pm when the hotel staff fill the bird feeders and numerous species flock to the verandah. Among the birds you will likely see at Arnos Vale are:

Brown Pelican; Brown Booby; Magnificent Frigatebird; Great Egret Little Blue Heron;
Green Heron; Yellow-crowned Night-Heron; Merlin; Rufous-vented Chachalaca ("Cocrico."); Whimbrel; Least and Spotted Sandpipers; Ruddy Turnstone; Laughing Gull; Common and Royal Terns; Eared and White-tipped Doves; Ruddy Ground-Dove;
Pale-vented Pigeon .


Little Tobago Island

Little Tobago Island is a bird sanctuary located off of Speyside village. To visit the sanctuary you must take a tour with tours usually departing at 10am and 2pm each day. The highlight of a visit to this island is the sight of the red-billed tropicbirds. Between October and June these birds visit this island to breed. In between the red-billed you can also see white-tailed tropic birds. Little Tobago island also offers the opportunity to see a number of other seabirds, including three species of booby (blue-faced or masked, brown and red-footed).

Some other notable birding spots in Tobago include:

bulletMain Ridge Forest Reserve
bulletGilpin Trace
bulletThe northern section of Great Courland Bay
bulletThe area around the Castara Waterfall
bulletAnse Bateau
bulletCanoe Bay


For more information on birdwatching in Trinidad and Tobago, visit the Discovering the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago web site.


To learn more about Tobago, visit our other Tobago Pages:

bulletAn Introduction to Tobago
bulletTobago Kayaking
bulletTobago Places of Interest
bulletTobago Other Attractions
bulletCastara Baking
bulletBacolet Beach
bulletFort King George
bulletTobago Waterfalls
bulletTobago Snorkelling
bulletTobago Beaches
bulletTobago Camping
bulletTurtle watching in Tobago
bulletTobago Surfing




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Free Tobago Travel Brochures


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Last modified: April 15, 2009