Hardwar Gap

The Hardwar Gap road is a 5 mile stretch of road from New Castle to Section. Most of the area is part of the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park and 24 of the endemic birds can be found in this area.

Photo by Lyndon Johnson

Hardwar Gap (Photo by Lyndon Johnson)

The birding at Hardwar Gap is quite good, just over an hour drive from Kingston you will be able to bird on the south side of the island and also the north side. Hardwar Gap sits on the border of two parishes, St. Andrew on the South and Portland on the North. This area is approximately 4000 ft above sea level and sits in part of the Blue Mountains, which has a high point of 7402 ft. The area for birding is along the road, which most of the time is not busy.

Photo by Lyndon Johnson

Hardwar Gap (Photo by Lyndon Johnson)

At Hardwar Gap there is a recreational park called Hollywell, which costs $5USD to enter. Hollywell also has cabins and gazebos for guests to use, which can be booked through Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust. The park also has a few trails to bird and in general is a good lunch spot if you carry a packed lunch. If you require a restaurant you can try the Gap Cafe which is close to Hollywell. Some of the most sought-after birds in this location are the Jamaican Black Bird, The Crested Quail Dove, Rufous Throated Solitaire, Chestnut Billed Cuckoo and the Greater Antillean Elaenia.

The Birds
All of the Jamaican endemics except Jamaican Crow, Yellow Billed Parrot, Black Billed Parrot, Black Billed Streamertail. Other birds that nest in the area include Greater Antillean Elaenia, Rufous-throated Solitaire, Vervain Hummingbird, and Black-whiskered Vireo.

Getting There
To reach Hardwar Gap from Kingston, first head to Papine. At Papine square keep left after passing the Gas Station where you will travel along the Gordon Town Road. After crossing the bridge approximately 1 1/2 mile above Papine turn second left on the New Castle Road. Travel along road way till you reach New Castle which is an Army Camp. The road way is across the parade grounds. Drive for another half mile and you can start your birding.

Photo by Lyndon Johnson

Hardwar Gap (Photo by Lyndon Johnson)

Guides

If you would like a guide, we recommend Lyndon Johnson: rangerlyndonjohnson@yahoo.com, +1-876-4606096; Roger Thompson of Heavenly Bliss Tours, heavenlyblisstours@yahoo.com; or Arrowhead Birding Tours, www.arrowheadbirding.com.

Photo by Lyndon Johnson

The Cottage (Photo by Lyndon Johnson)


Birds of Jamaica

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