Great Bird Island: Small island with great potential for discovery.

28th January 2021

Even if it has “Great” in its name, the uninhabited island is rather small at 20 hectares. But there is a lot to discover. Even the skipper won't get bored 😉.

We kayak from our anchorage to the island. Every time we come to the entrance of the bay I admire the beautiful cactus garden that Mother Nature has created here.

The Beaches.
South Beach is located in the well-protected bay. There we pull the kayak onto the beach and go on tour.

South Beach is really a picturesque piece of earth, especially if you have it all to yourself ...

... or meet up with friends ...

... to celebrate the sunset.

In just 5 minutes you have crossed the island once in the middle and come to the wild and romantic North Beach.

At the top, if you climb a short distance from the landing site on South Beach, you will reach the highest point on the island. The all-round view is beautiful. You can see over the whole island and the surrounding bay. The many small islands lie like a painting in the turquoise blue water.

In order to enjoy this view from different perspectives, we hike along the height.

The prevailing wind direction can be seen from the vegetation.

Here you can see South Beach from above ...

... and a little further on to North Beach.

The lower the sun is, the more beautiful the view becomes. I always find it hard to tear myself away when we're up here. Every time we land down with our kayak, I force the skipper to go up again briefly.

In the jungle.
On the other side of the island there is a small path that leads through the thicket. We also have a lot of fun on this short hike. The density and diversity of the plants is impressive. I especially like the huge cacti.

The Wildlife.
As a nature reserve, Great Bird Island is home to a wide variety of local animal species. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the species of snake that lives here. But we see a lot of birds and again the white butterflies that we have been able to admire so often in Antigua. Sometimes they even get lost as far as our boat.

Here I see tropical birds for the first time, which attract attention with their extremely elongated tail feathers. Admittedly, I have never heard of this bird species before, but thanks to Ralf from SY Flora I now know what is flying over our heads.

While we drink our sundowner on the beach, we watch this little guy doing some push-ups.

Islands all around.
The many small surrounding islands that we saw from above are ideal for exploring them by kayak.

The discovery of slowness.
We stay at our anchorage off Great Bird Island for a whole week. What a difference to last year! At the turn of the year before we visited 6 islands in 5 days . Due to the pandemic and the associated travel restrictions, something like this is no longer possible. But I have to admit I like it better that way. In the past, we would never have seen all facets of an island as small as Great Bird Island. After one, maximum two nights. we would have moved on. I always have the feeling that I am not doing justice to the place I have visited, because so little attention is paid to it. Of course, 50% of the crew see it completely differently, but they are currently slowed down 😉.

The trip to Great Bird Island can also be made by non-sailors. There are several small excursion boats that offer tours from the main island to Great Bird Island.


After we started the New Year on Great Bird Island, we'd like to stay a while longer.

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The Antigua & Barbuda Marine Guide © 2021 by Lightwave Publications Ltd.

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