Cabo Rojo and Pedernales
At Cabo Rojo there is a small lagoon across from a small shipping port which attracts a fair number of waterfowl and shorebirds of all kinds. These birds include the regional endemic White-cheeked Pintail, White Ibis, occasional Roseate Spoonbill, and wintering ducks and shorebirds. The mangroves here harbor good numbers of Yellow Warblers, an endemic subspecies, and many other non-breeding warblers, especially Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush. During migration the Blackpoll Warbler moves through in impressive numbers. Nearby Pedernales offers a good base for day trips, as well as opportunities for seeing a variety of common woodland birds.
The wetlands at Cabo Rojo may be accessed directly from the road. Scan the lagoon and adjoining wetlands and mangroves for shorebirds, waders and waterfowl. The wetlands can also be accessed by walking or driving further south to the first left hand turn. Cross the mine road and climb over a small dirt pile to reach the dike road. From the main Alcoa road, continue south another few hundred meters, and on the right hand side the road skirts the bay. Submerged posts attract perching terns and pelicans.
In Pedernales, try birdwatching first near the beach landing. Common woodland birds may be seen here like the Black-crowned Palm-Tanager and Hispaniolan Woodpecker. Another area is found along a small canal. Return to the road and head north out of town. After several kilometers take the lane which goes along the canal edge. Look here for warblers, Common Ground-Dove, Smooth-billed Ani, Gray Kingbird, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Greater Antillean Bullfinch, Village Weaver, and Nutmeg Manakin.
Target species include Northern Shoveler, Brown Pelican, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black- bellied Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Short- billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s Snipe, Antillean Mango, Vervain Hummingbird, Stolid Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Village Weaver, Nutmeg Manakin
Cabo Rojo and Pedernales are about two hours west of Barahona, with a good paved road all the way. About half an hour west of Oviedo, just past the signs for Bahía de las Aguilas, you will rise on a bridge overpass. The turn for the Alcoa road is a small dirt connector and the first right turn immediately after the bridge. This improvised connector loops around to the paved Alcoa road; turn right to reach Cabo Rojo. After several kilometers you will pass an airstrip, and soon after see the wetlands on your left. To reach Pedernales, return north on the Alcoa road, hook left through the improvised connector road, and then turn right on the main road. In 10-minutes you will arrive at the outskirts of the town. The road to the waterfront birding area is the third paved road on the left.