Green Castle has been lucky enough to feature in another world record. Jonathan Rossouw chose Green Castle as part of his quest to see 9,000 world birds ahead of his 50th birthday. Ahead of schedule, Jonathan became the youngest person to have seen 9,000 bird species.
Joining Green Castle with Ignacio Yúfera, wildlife photographer extraordinaire and Malcolm Fair, a fellow birding enthusiast, Jonathan chose Green Castle because of its convenient central location on the island. Situated in a beautiful part of the world, Green Castle’s 1600 acres / 6.5km2 provides a home to many flora and fauna. Birds such as the Jamaican Streamertail can be seen amongst the Green Castle gardens, with more difficult species such as the Jamaican Owl and the Jamaican Mango also a possibility when using one of our expert bird guides. With a relatively short drive to the Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains, birders have the best opportunity to see all 28 endemic birds of Jamaica, and over 100 migratory bird species as well.
Taking in Green Castle’s guided tours to Ecclesdown and Hardwar Gap the following day after their arrival, Jonathan, Malcom and Ignacio quickly began with seeing the last of the 9,000 birds as part of their record attempt. A Red-billed Streamertail, which is the national bird of Jamaica, became the 9,000th bird seen and allowed Jonathan to achieve this impressive record. This glorious hummingbird is known colloquially as the “Doctorbird”, a reference to the forked streamers of its tail, which reminded the population of the coats and tails worn by surgeons during the colonial era. What a fantastic, appropriate bird to mark the occasion!
Within their first day of bird watching at Green Castle, 20 endemic birds of Jamaica had already been seen and photographed. Enjoying a well-earned rest, and maybe 1-2 rum punches that night at the Green Castle Terrace restaurant on site, the team were up early again the next morning to visit Cockpit Country where even more birds were seen taking Jonathan significantly past his 9,000 target.
The following day as part of their trip, the trio headed west towards Montego Bay. Stopping off at Goldeneye, which was Ian Fleming’s former home, and where the James Bond novels were penned. As Jonathan Roussouw identified in his blog he created to commemorate this world record attempt, ‘Few non-birders are aware that Ian Fleming chose to name his Agent 007 after his best friend, the author of The Birds of the West Indies’. A visit to Green Castle gives birders the chance to bird in a tropical paradise and the land of James Bond. Following their visit to Rocklands Reserve, near Montego Bay, one final endemic bird species remained, the elusive Crested Quail Dove. Jonathan openly admitted it was the bird he most wanted to see before he arrived in Jamaica. Taking in a visit to Ecclesdown at dawn, the trio could hear the male Crested Quail Dove, but it had remained elusive. However not to be outdone Jonathan, Malcolm and Ignacio persevered, and were rewarded with a pair of courting quail doves. In seeing the Crested Quail Dove, Jonathan, Malcolm and Ignacio completed their initial aim of seeing all 28 endemic birds of Jamaica during their trip. During the trip Jonathan also completed his record attempt to see 9,000 world birds well in advance of his 50th birthday.
To read more about Jonathan’s world record please click here.