Forest Bay Pond
Located on the south-central coast, Forest Bay Pond IBA consists of two basins connected by a sand bar. During the rainy season, these basins appear as one body. During the dry season, only the northern basin maintains water.
This 6-acre brackish pond is home to a variety of plant life including White, Black and Red Mangrove. Buttonwood is plentiful around the pond and attracts a wide variety of terrestrial species.
Piles of desiccating trees throughout the pond are grim reminders of the toll taken on this site by recent hurricanes including Irma in September of 2017.
Sea Grape trees that formed a dense border between the bay and the access road prior to Hurricane Irma, now reveal a wide expanse of beach as the plants struggle to regain their foothold.
The aquatic plant, Wigeon Grass grows in the pond and attracts waterfowl.
For those with an interest in history, a stand of cotton plants can be found at the western end of the pond close to the road. They serve as a reminder of Anguilla’s long and storied past.
Forest Bay Pond IBA is perhaps best known as the place to find waterfowl, herons and egrets. Great and Snowy Egrets are present year-round while Great Blue, Tricolored and Little Blue Herons visit from October to April. Green Herons are quite active at this site and are known to nest here.
The IBA trigger species for this site include four of Anguilla’s Lesser Antilles Restricted Range Species: Green-throated Carib Hummingbird, Caribbean Elaenia, Pearly-eyed Thrasher and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch. All are easily viewed on the access road along with Bananaquits, Black-faced Grassquits, Gray Kingbirds, Zenaida Doves, Common Ground Doves and White-winged Doves.
Forest Bay Pond is an excellent place to view Anguilla’s raptor species including the American Kestrel and the elusive Merlin. Beginning in October, keep an eye out for Osprey as they perch on the electric poles lining the pond. They fish on Forest Bay among Brown Pelicans and Royal Terns on a regular basis.
Breeding residents of the pond include: White-cheeked Pintails, Common Gallinules, and American Coots. In the Fall and Winter months, keep an eye out for large flocks of Blue-winged Teal as well as small numbers of visiting Northern Pintail and Lesser Scaup.
Black-necked Stilts are seen on this pond all year and breed from March through July. Migratory species such as Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Stilt Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, and Least Sandpipers are known to overwinter. Keep an eye out in the fall for small numbers of Short-billed Dowitchers feeding close to the shallow edge.
If you are looking for a birdwatching spot that is off the beaten path, Forest Bay Pond is a great choice.
Head northwest toward The Valley Road and enter the roundabout. Exit the roundabout onto The Valley Road for 900 m. Turn left onto Jeremiah Gumbs Hwy for 400 m. Turn left onto Long Ground Rd for 1.3 km. Continue onto Corito Road for 200 m. Turn left onto Forest Rd 550 m. Turn right and Forest Bay Pond will be on the right. This is basically a sand spit that separates Forest Bay from Forest Bay Pond. There is no parking area. However, you can pull off onto the beach side at various openings along the road.