Mass Audubon Tour: Birding in Belize
2/27-3/9/2011

 

After leaving the Goldson International Airport, our first stop was just
off the Northern Highway to view a Jabiru nest.

We birded our way to the La Milpa Field Station (Programme for Belize,
Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area) in Orange Walk District.

Sightings there included:


Black Howler Monkey


Central America Spider Monkey


Crested Guan


a.k.a. Elvis


Purple-crowned Fairy


Roadside Hawk


Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher


White-crowned Parrot


Black Orchid, the national flower of Belize


another orchid


(Possibly) Polymorphic Robber Frog

We headed off from La Milpa to the Lamanai Archeological Site,


because there were temples to climb and


birds to see, like this Black-headed Trogon,


Brown Jay,


Mottled Owl,


Pale-billed Woodpecker,


White-whiskered Puffbird,


and this Mangrove Swallow. Of course, it is not entirely about birds -


there's this Brown Basilisk lizard for instance.

We left the Lamanai area by boat down the New River - to see


Anhinga (male),


Black-collared Hawk,


Boat-billed Heron,


Morelet's Crocodile,


Northern Jacana,


Osprey (migrant ssp.),


Tricolored Heron,


and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.

We boarded our bus again and headed off to Crooked Tree (staying
at the Birds Eye View Lodge) for waterbirds and more.


We saw Bare-throated Tiger-Heron,


Gray-necked Wood-Rail,


Black-necked Stilt,


female Snail Kite carrying an Apple Snail,


Apple Snail eggs,


egrets and Roseate Spoonbills,


lots of 'em,


White Ibis,


Wood Stork,


(possibly the worst-ever photo of an) Agami Heron,


and lots of Neotropic Cormorants. Plus we saw


a young Green Iguana and


a Vermilion Flycatcher.

From Crooked Tree, we headed off to the Cayo District
and DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge. They have great fruit feeders, with


Blue-crowned Motmots (in the very early morning),


(very high ISO photos)


and Brown Jays. Sometimes the light is a bit better


for the Collared Aracari,


Red-throated Ant-Tanager,


and Clay-colored Thrush.

In the evening, there is a family of


Kinkajous that come in to dine.

Of course, there are lots of other sights to see here, including


Band-backed Wren,


White-fronted Parrot,


White-tipped Dove,


bats (maybe Lesser Dog-like Bat),


really weird flowers (Duck Flower?),


and groups of birders....

DuPlooy's is also the home of the Belize Botanical Garden, which is very
nice, good for birding, and well labeled.

We did a day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge, and saw


the 1000-Foot Falls (really 1600') and the resident


Orange-breasted Falcon (second shot digiscoped),


Black Vultures from above,


the Rio Frio Cave,


"Best Bug" larva,


Olive-throated Parakeet,


and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.

Another jaunt in Cayo involved the Xunantunich Archeological Site:

In the surrounding area, we saw


Northern Royal Flycatcher and


Amazon Kingfisher.

Elsewhere in Cayo, we had


Gray-crowned Yellowthroat,


White-tailed Kite, and


the BOSS!

We left the western part of the country and motored down the
Hummingbird Highway toward the mid-coast. Along the way we
stopped and birded at the Blue Hole National Park, where we saw


Tropical Pewee,


White-collared Manakin,


Red-throated Ant-Tanager - male


and female,


Cliff Swallow,


Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female),


and an Orange-billed Sparrow.

We arrived in our next location, Dangriga (Stann Creek District) and
settled into the Pelican Beach Resort. We made a day trip to the
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (Jaguar Preserve)


where we saw:


Double-toothed Kite,


Black-faced Grosbeak,


Boat-billed Herons,


including one tending to the three eggs in this nest,


Yellow-tailed Oriole,


goofy leaders Dave and Nathan,


other nuts like this cashew,


and yes, more Red-throated Ant-Tanagers. Last year, this same sign


had a Gray Catbird on it.

Another morning trip lead us to the small village of Red Bank, in search of


Scarlet Macaws. We also had,


Indigo Buntings,


Blue Grosbeaks,


Blue-black Grassquits, and other birds.

We spent a day offshore, first visiting Man-O-War Caye to see


Brown Boobies,


Magnificent Frigatebirds, which were


nesting (cute, well maybe), and


Double-crested Cormorants. Lots of birds,


not much space. Awesome smell!

We headed off to South Water Caye for snorkeling and a little birding.


Ruddy Turnstones


Brown Pelican


feeding


Osprey (resident ssp.)


Hanging out on a cayelet


Barracuda


Bonefish

Back on the mainland, here are some of the sights in the vicinity
of the Pelican Beach Resort.


Brown Pelicans


American Oystercatcher


Sanderling


and it is banded (but unreadable)


Spotted Sandpiper


Whimbrel


Willet


sunrise


American Redstart


Common Tody Flycatcher


Grayish Saltator


Great Kiskadee


Cinnamon Hummingbird on nest


on twig


Mangrove Vireo


Yellow-bellied Elaenia


Hooded Orioles


Pale-vented Pigeon


Ruddy Ground-Doves


Variegated Squirrel


Collared Peccaries


Horse, Cattle Egret, and commentary



and the famous golden slime mold (or whatever it was).

 

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