Belize: This Place Is Crazy

Now that everyone has arrived, the main event started up officially this evening with a welcome and a pleasant dinner together here at Birds Eye View. But we early arrivals took full advantage of the day, starting with an early morning walk that took us a good eighth of a mile out the entrance road—the birding was too good for us to cover any more distance.

The highlights were many, including great views of white-fronted and yellow-headed parrots, that latter a seasonal visitor to the immediate area that waits for the cashews to fruit each spring. We also enjoyed a female green-breasted mango feeding young at a nest, rose-throated becards at startlingly close range, nice views of a bat falcon and lineated woodpeckers. . . .

You get the idea.

Entertainment over breakfast was provided by palm and yellow-throated warblers and a ringed kingfisher perched just outside the dining room. It was growing warm by then, but I set out on the nearby Limpkin Trail, a short path through wet woods with ten parulid species, unusually visible spot-breasted wrens, a russet-naped wood rail, barred antshrike, and on and on. With so many birds, I figured I had walked a great distance over those two and a half hours, but when I turned around so as not to miss lunch at the lodge, I found that I was no more than a briskish five minutes out.

The heat and humidity were sensible after lunch, but still bearable. More warblers in the little campground included a northern parula, and Kathy and Robert appeared just as my first lifer of the visit did, a splendid little Yucatan woodpecker. Two different groups of soaring birds continued to provide excitement: black vultures formed and re-formed flocks of up to 80 birds at a time, and gray-breasted martins made us laugh every time as they plunged into the water to bathe and then shook themselves in the air like so many flighted dogs. Always something to enjoy!

And tomorrow should be even finer. We’ll start with another quick walk, then breakfast, then out on the boats to see what we may see.