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Birdwatching in Paradise

Known for beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, and sunny skies, Anguilla is an island gem. Naturally, many popular activities include the natural world—like snorkeling and scuba diving—where you will run into marine and wildlife. On the beach, you may even see goats roaming around. 

But another must-watch species on the island? Birds.

Birdwatching and bird tours are also popular activities for naturists, locals, and tourists alike. The Caribbean coast has species of birds from flamingos, bridled tern, cuckoos, and more. There’s said to be over 40 different species! Where can they be found? Well, all over the island, but Cove Pond is a good start.

Cove Pond is one of the largest salt ponds in Anguilla. Here you will find plovers and lapwings generally found around rivers, shorelines, and islands. Lapwings have large, broad wings, while plovers have spurs on their wings. Both come from the same family but are a bit different in appearance and other characteristics. They are one of the most noted on the island.

Tourists will find Sooty Terns, Brown Boobies, and Brown Noddies on Dog Island. Popular for scuba diving and other water activities, Dog Island has many animals, included endangered species. Sooty Terns are true sea birds and can fly for over eight weeks straight! Brown Boobies, found around tropical oceans, are surprisingly clumsy during landing and take-off! Brown Noddies are the largest of the Noddy family.

Scrub Island is a beautiful beach full of birds. Here you’ll find Laughing Gulls. (Yes, they do laugh!). Their laughing calls are the most memorable sound along the coast. Laughing Gulls are omnivores and known to live along the coast of North America, South American, and the Caribbean.

Other popular locations like Prickly Pear Cays, Long Pond, and Sombrero, are other popular sites for birdwatching. One thing is for sure, these flying creatures are an exceptional addition to Anguilla.

Extra-Special Amenities

There’s no question that vacations are meant to be relaxing. Unplug from your inbox, sleep in, take a hammock nap, or stay in the infinity pool all day. 

At The Grand Outlook, you can’t help but be in vacation mode, but you can also keep up with your regular routine—or add some special extras to it.


The Grand Outlook offers top-notch amenities during your stay. All guests enjoy a free full membership at Styler’s Fitness Center during your visit. As one of the top gyms on the island, you’re free to get your fitness in! The gym offers yoga classes, bicycles, ellipticals, weights, and more.


Ready for some vinyasa? Spread out your yoga mat right on the pool deck. With local yogis like Sammi Green, who are available for private classes, you can find your flow without leaving the Grand Outlook


Enjoy some spa treatments in the privacy of your Grand Outlook villa, too, thanks to local professionals and massage therapists—like you’ll find at the Malakh Day Spa—who will come directly to the villa. Or take a quick ride to their stunning beachfront location.


The large kitchen is the perfect place for cooking together and making memories with your family. There are never too many cooks in our kitchen! Refrigerators, stovetops, microwaves, cookware, dishes, and utensils are all provided.

You can also find gourmet private chefs on this island that boasts loads of award-winning chefs and culinary artists, including Chef Hodge of Hodges Catering Services. He’ll come straight to the villa to craft the perfect blend of a relaxing and indulgent evening! 

Keep Calm and Hammock On:

Perhaps one of our most-loved amenities is a simple one—the hammocks on each patio. Relax and swing your stress away on your hammock. Enjoy the view of the ocean waves on your personal balcony.

To Infinity and Beyond:

Relaxation is an art form that we’ve perfected here at The Grand Outlook. Perhaps one of our most popular amenities includes our calm and peaceful infinity pool. Guaranteed to be one of the best views of Anguilla.

No need to worry about a thing, because we have everything you need here at The Grand Outlook. Book your trip to paradise here.

Get to Know the Owner of the Grand Outlook

Question: Mike, we’re thrilled to be sitting down with you. Welcome to Anguilla! Tell me a little about yourself.

Answer: I’m Mike Downing, married to my beautiful, wonderful wife Denise (whom I’ve known since kindergarten). We have two boys, a 14-year-old son, Danny “Fuller,” and Patrick, who is 16. As a family, we’re on the road constantly with both of our boys who play hockey. And when I’m not with the family, I’m behind my grill. We have a little carriage house in Cleveland, an outdoor house that’s my mancave. I used to host a show called Garage Cookin’ online, and it’s known for the backdrop… filled with beer cans I’ve been collecting since 1976. I’ve had a love of all things BBQ since cooking with my dad, and traveled the south learning variations of my sauce and recipes, until perfecting my own.

Question: You’re from Cleveland, Ohio. What brought you to the Caribbean?

Answer: Traveling is in my soul. Whenever I could get away or save enough, I was always up for the adventure. All through my 20s and 30s, I traveled the world. Europe, North America, UK, Scandinavia, Africa, throughout the Caribbean and remember thinking, it’s a place I wanted to hang my hat one day.

Question: Tell us more about your career.

Answer: In my late teens, the only thing I knew how to do was build. I started small, really tough work, and have probably hung and taped millions of sheets of drywall and millions of miles of walls. I plowed snow for 25 years and in that time, got my real estate development license, using my construction knowledge, and then would lease out the buildings I built.

Question: So, how does a carpenter get into the luxury vacation rental business?

Answer: Denise and I sold a few properties and needed to do some planning for the future to generate income, and decided to invest in Anguilla.

We were looking at the Caribbean and our criteria were pretty simple—is it safe, is the weather good, are the beaches nice, what’s the potential for rentals? What’s there to do? And when we found Anguilla, the choice practically made itself. We loved the island because it’s unlike any place we’ve ever been. You feel secluded, safe, and simply peaceful. But it’s the people that really sold us, they are incredible.

And the Grand Outlook simply felt like home to us; it’s at the second-highest point on the island. Wait until you’re here! With outdoor balconies extending from every bedroom, every Anguillan sunrise and sunset can (and should!) be watched.

Question: What made you buy the house?

Answer: The previous owners of the Grand Outlook built and designed it beautifully. They did everything right—they positioned it in the right spot, all the bedrooms have an amazing view, every bedroom has a private veranda. As someone in construction, I couldn’t have done it any better. My hat is off to them and the vision that they had—in my mind it’s absolutely perfect.

The first time I sat and looked at the pool, into the ocean, I remember thinking I’ve never seen a shade of blue like this. You can’t imagine this shade of blue until you’ve been there. It’s just blue squared.

Question: Okay, so you’re headed back soon. What are you most excited about?

Answer: I’m having a Jeep shipped over, and can’t wait to explore the island. We’re going to explore every nook, to see the island… but really to check out all the food. I have a goal to eat at every restaurant!