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Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:01 pm
by Steve Wooler
We had lunch today with Newton George, Tobago’s leading specialist bird watching guide. He mentioned that he is increasingly ending his rainforest and other birding tours with a visit to the Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve on the Arnos Vale Road at Plymouth.

We are staying at Arnos Vale currently and know how outstanding the bird watching has always been here. Of course in years gone by afternoon tea at the Arnos Vale Hotel was one of those ‘musts’ that every visitor automatically did. The tea was always pretty awful, but the birds were a different story. In recent years, with the virtual demise of the hotel, they have not been looked after in the manner they would expect and both the tea and the birds are now a rather sad experience.

Ean Mackay, the owner of Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve has always been passionate about ecology and bird life and has turned his 12-acre organic fruit farm over to a full reserve. In recent years he has concentrated hard on providing the right environment and feeding for the birds – and hummingbirds in particular – and now offers a truly wonderful spectacle throughout the day. An increasing number of birding guides are ending tours there, but it is the one place where visitors are guaranteed to see example of a wide range of birds.

Returning to our villa, we decided to call in. Wow! In the 20 minutes we were there we saw four of the six species of hummer that live on Tobago. I was told that five of the species live there. Ean was particularly excited because a Red Legged Honeycreeper had been visiting for a few days. They are not normally found on Tobago. Sure enough, out he came when Ean started putting out additional titbits. More than 50 species of bird are known to live on the farm.

The display of hummers and other birds was truly extraordinary. There must have been 30-40 different hummingbirds feeding from eight or nine feeders just a couple of metres in front of us, and a host of other species little more than that distance again. Truly magic!

So, the US$5 admission fee is truly a bargain for an exhibition like this. I really recommend the place to visitors. You will find the Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve just half a mile before the Arnos Vale Hotel on the road around Plymouth. It will be on your right. Don’t be put off by the narrow bumpy road up to the house.

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:28 am
by Roger D.
Sounds Great Steve ! Post some Pics!

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:09 pm
by GillMathews
Hi Steve, :D ,
Thanks for this review.Sounds like an opportunity to give my new camera a go. Will definately incorporate the Adventure farm into a day trip whilst I am there this year.
Hope your holiday has had the desired effect and that you can face our wonerfull spring weather :roll: :!: :shock:
Gill xx

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:38 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hi Roger

I wish I could. Yesterday was our last full day of the trip and we were rushing about like maniacs doing those last minute things. Time was running out rather too quickly. It was a spur of the moment thing. With Newton saying we should recommend it to our readers (typical of the man rather than keeping it to himself for his tours) we just decided to call in as we had to drive past it returning to our villa. No camera! You'll have no idea how much I wanted to shoot down to th house and grab some gear - but time was against us. Not to worry. Ean has got a good photographer who has apparently taken some stunning shots there recently and will be retuning in two weeks. He is going to see if he will let us use some of his work. So, fingers crossed.

Gill - although it has been a lot of work, I must confess that I am totally relaxed and looking forward to getting back to normal life, not to mention our dogs and family (is that the right order?). To be honest, it is so damn hot here at the moment that a bit of English spring weather might (I'm trying to convince myself) be a welcome relief.

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:45 pm
by David Watkins
I do have some photos taken the year they opened unfortunately they are to big for me to load down.Any hints Steve
David(cold and miserable :( )

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:00 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hi David

Yes, can be a problem with modern multi-megapixel cameras. What you need is an image resizer. Most photo-editing programs include this facility - and most digital cameras come with software that will do the trick.

One free solution can be found at

Just one important tip: Always take a copy of your original photo and only resize that - NOT the original. Most of these utilities will allow you to save the resized version under a new name, but just in case and to avoid accidents, work on the copy then there's no chance of you losing your original high-quality shot.

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:27 pm
by Ali
I definitely would try visit here in December :D

thanks for the review Steve

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:40 pm
by Joanne Green
Where is the Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve? We've only driven as far as the hotel entrance (from the north). Is it on that same road. Is there a good sign? We'd like to check it out when we return in February.


Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:47 pm
by Patrick Dankou
Hi Joanne,
Ean asked me to post for him as he had trouble to get online:

Greetings from Tobago Joanne.
We are on the Arnos Vale road and we have very good signage.
We would be delighted to have you visit our Adventure Farm and Nature Reserve when you next visit Tobago in February.
Kind regards,
Ean Mackay

Re: Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve - a birding 'must'

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:16 am
by Ronald

You can also us myTobagoinfo´s maps, they are very good. On the main page for myTobaoinfo, there you have acess to information if you want to see where it is.
Choose: Tobago/Maps & Regions of Tobago
Choose: Sattelite/Hybrid

Scroll the map downwards until you see Plymoth on the left corner, the Arnos Vale road start before Plymoth, going to the right. The Adventure Farm is marked with a "green bag".