June 27, 2012

Go twitching crazy in Anse Chastanet, St Lucia

June 2012... Some small residents are causing quite a stir at Anse Chastanet! The luxury resort in St Lucia has recently announced a series of events that are sure to please Britain’s 3 million “Twitchers”. Guests staying at Anse Chastanet between 1st – 15th September will have the opportunity to partake in special bird watching events hosted by Martyn Kenefick, a Caribbean based ornithologist and bird book author, as he takes up residence at the resort.

Whilst Anse Chastanet offers bird watching year round, a specialist programme has been created for avid bird watchers, including one full day and two half day island excursions to bird watching sites off the resort property, and a half day whale watching trip, in addition to personally guided 2-3 hour-long bird watching estate tours and daily talks led by Mr Kenefick.

Anse Chastanet resort sits in an idyllic spot on St Lucia’s south western coast and encompasses 600 lush tropical acres including the historical French Colonial plantation of Anse Mamin with excellent, easily accessible bird watching opportunities right on the resort property. In addition, there are bird watching 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.

St Lucia is blessed with five rare species of bird, three of which can be found within the grounds of Anse Chastanet, with the others living not too far away. Regularly sighted birds include: the St Lucia Pewee, found along the entrance track to the resort, and the St Lucia Warbler, which is wide-spread throughout the grounds. Not quite as numerous, but just as dramatic and boldly coloured, 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 since been a considerable recovery and two pairs can be found at Anse Mamin. Finally, there is "Jacquot", the national bird, officially known as the St Lucia Parrot. There is a flourishing population of perhaps 1,000 birds, normally found in rainforests of higher elevation, an hour's drive away.

Martyn Kenefick is a self-described, "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 programme can be added to any reservation of 7 nights or more at Anse Chastanet. The programme will run from Monday – Friday. The full event package is offered at US $450 per person.

Nightly rates at Anse Chastanet start from US $330 per night in a Standard Room based on two sharing.

MOTMOT Travel 01327 830918 http://www.motmottravel.com is offering 7 nights accommodation at Anse Chastanet with breakfast and dinner, roundtrip airport transfers and a birdwatching package with Martyn Kenefick between 1st – 15th September 2012 from £1,855 per person if booked before 30th June 2012. Return flights to St Lucia will be operated by Virgin Atlantic or British Airways. If booked after 30th June, the St Lucia Birdwatching holiday package at Anse Chastanet starts from £1,959 per person.

For information and reservations contact Anse Chastanet Resort on 0800 894 057 or visit http://www.ansechastanet.com. Anse Chastanet can also be booked through a variety of leading UK tour operators.