BELIZE ALBUM

 

 

March 2016

 

Here are some photos taken on our second tour in 2016 by tour member, Bob Martin.

Golden-hooded Tanagers were a garden bird at some places.

 

This Orange-breasted Falcon gave great views at Hidden Valley.

We had incredible views of these Ocellated Turkeys. In some places they are surprisingly tame.

 

Green Jays were in the garden at Hidden Valley.

 

 

 

This Black Hawk-Eagle was just perched above a track at Chan Chich.

Black-cowled Oriole. A lovely composition by Bob!

 

Bird's Eye View Lodge at Crooked Tree. A great location with superb food!

 

Altamira Oriole. We did very well for orioles on this trip.

 

Acorn Woodpecker storing acorns!

 

 

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This March our Belize trip was oversubscribed, so we ran two trips, back to back. The first has recently finished, and here are a few photographs, kindly given to us by Sue Bailey.

 

A Collared Aracari tucks into a Custard Apple fruit at La Milpa, near Chan Chich.

 

This Purple-crowned Fairy visited the garden at Chich Chich briefly one lunch time, just long enough for Sue to capture it in all its glory.

 

Several Yellow-throated Euphonias were were attracted to the same Custard Apple tree

 

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have obviously been visiting this tree for some time!

 

Tapping noises coming from a dead tree quickly alerted us to the fact that this Lineated Woodpecker was excavating het nest hole.

 

A pair of Slaty-tailed Trogons were almost ever present by the dining room at Chan Chich. A ready supply of palm fruit was the attraction.

 

A group of Royal Terns gattered on the jetty at the Pelican Beach Hotel.

 

A rare Orange-breasted Falcon. Once again, we got amazing views of a pair at Hidden Valley.

 

A King Vulture at Chan Chich.

 

This beautiful adult Grey-headed Kite was a nice find by the boat launch to Lamanai.

 

The localised Black-collared Hawk is reliably found at Crooked Tree

 

Where they are protected, Ocellated Turkeys are remarkably approachable.

 

Central American Spider Monkey

 

We saw several Lesser Nighthawks roosting during the day.

 

The Keel-billed Toucan is Belize's national bird.

 

Sue spent a long time trying to get a shot of a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird away from the sugar feeders/

 

A Spiny-tailed Iguana in the car park of Cancun Airport.

 

The Wedge-tailed Sabrewing is one of 15 species of hummingbirds we saw.

 

Boat-billed Herons were seen well on two of our boat trips.

 

This Bare-throated Tiger-heron was spotted at a tiny marsh in the centre of busy Dangriga. It was so used to people it completely ignored a group of 12 excited birdwatchers as they jumped out of the coach!

 

Magnificent Frigatebirds breed on Man-o-war Caye, alongside smaller numbers of Brown Boobies.

 

 

Vermilion Flycatchers are one of many species seemingly unconcerned at being watched by us.

 

An adult Brown Booby at Man-o-war Caye.

 

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We visited South Water Caye on our last full day. It was a stunningly beautiful day, and a great way to finish the trip. Some people snorkelled over the coral reef, some swam in the sea, and some simply relaxed. But easterly winds and rain the previous night meant that a few migrants had made landfall here. Lyn Ebbs went for a walk around the island and found this tame little bird. One look at the back of her camera revealed a Black-whiskered Vireo, a remarkable find, with just six previous published records for the country. Well done Lyn!

 

 

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The March 2014 tour turned up some wonderful birds - including the well-named Lovely Cotinga.

Here are a few of Roger Gee's many photographs:

A handsome Yucatan Jay, one of a flock of 15 seen at Crooked Tree

 

from the top: Caracol, Laughing Falcon, White-collared Seedeater, Bare-throated Tiger-heron, Green Iguana, Vermilion Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

 

and here, from the same 2014 trip, are some of Cliff & Jacky Buckton's photographs which they also have generously shared:

Northern Tamandua

Magnificent Frigatebird nestbuilding, Green-throated Mango on the nest, Basalisck Lizard, and displaying Greater Kiskadee

Green Jay, Crimson Patch - type Butterfly, White-bellied Spider Monkey, Lesser Nighthawk roosting,

 

 

 

Green Kingfisher, Yellow-throated Warbler and Caracol panorama

 

 

A few shots by Chris Brookings from our wonderful 2013 Belize tour

 

 

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In March 2012, Paul lead our first trip to Belize. We received a warm welcome, the lodges were superb, the weather was perfect, and the birding was first class. Here are a few of his photographs from this tour.

 

Ornate Hawk-eagle was one of the 'birds of the trip'.

 

The rare Orange-breasted Falcon is perhaps more reliable in Belize than anywhere else. What we were not expecting, however, was for one to be sat on a dead tree right next to where we parked the van!

 

A pair of Black-cheeked Woodpeckers regularly fed on palm fruits right next to the dining area.

 

The Stygian owl is always a difficult bird to find, so we were thrilled when our guide at Hidden Valley Inn took us to a roosting bird.

 

Yucatan Woodpecker was one of a number of Yucatan endemics that we saw.

 

Again, local help was invaluable in seeing this Striped Owl. Quite how many tourists walk past this bird at Lamanai, oblivious to its presence, is anyone's guess.

Yucatan Howler Monkey seen from the top of the main temple at Lamanai.

 

Two Willets on the beach at Dandriga.

 

Striped Basilisk

Snail Kite

The near-endemic Rusty Sparrow was seen easily in Mountain Pine Ridge.

 

A male Ocellated Turkey

 

These wonderful Military Crickets gain protection by looking like ants.

 

Laughing Falcons and snakes play an important part in Mayan mythology. Here one was seen bringing a vine snake to its mate, by the main temple at Lamanai.

 

Green Jay

 

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

 

Collared Trogon male

 

Collared Aracari

 

Two huge ceiba trees at Caracol

 

The Caana ('sky palace') structure at Caracol is still the biggest building in Belize over 1000 years after it was built.

 

Black-headed Trogons (male above, female below)

 

Azure-crowned Hummingbird

 

 

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Paul has just returned from a recce in Belize. No less than 44% of the country is protected by way of national parks and reserves; the greatest proportion of any country on Earth. Huge tracts of forest are still intact and the wildlife is correspondingly rich and varied. The Mayan ruins are awesome and the internationally renowned lodges and hotels are second to none. All adding up to a superb birdwatching holiday.

Yucatan Nightjars are common at the Mayan sites of Chan Chich and Lamanai

 

No need to set your alarm clock at Lamanai; the Yucatan Howler Monkeys will wake you !

 

This Yellow-throated Warbler was attracted to crumbs at the breakfast table at Crooked Tree.

 

Yellow-crowned Night-heron

White-whiskered Puffbird

Whilst spotlighting at Chan Chich we found plenty of Jaguar-food but no Jaguars

  

Male and female Vermilion Flycatchers

Belize is one of the best places in the world to see the diminutive Tody Motmot

Slaty-tailed Trogon is common and rather approachable

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird is the most common hummer

Roadside Hawk is one of the best-named birds we know!

Pale-billed Woodpecker

Ornate Hawk-eagles are reliable at Chan Chich

 

Where protected, Ocellated Turkeys are rather fearless of humans

 

Northern Violaceous Trogon is one of four species that are likely to be seen.

Northern Barred Woodcreeper (below with a grasshopper at an army ant swarm)

 

The superbly named Montezuma Oropendola

Belize boasts the second largest coral reef in the world. Magnificent Frigatebirds at Man-o-war Caye.

 

Ospreys too nest on the cayes

Brown pelicans and Brown Boobies can also be seen on the cayes.

Luxury at Lamanai

The view from one of the rooms at dawn.

The ruins at Lamanai are breathtaking. Unlike in other places, the Mayan sites in Belize are not over-run with tourists.

We had Lamanai and Caracol virtually to ourselves!

 

The climb to the top of Caracol just requires strong legs, but to get to the top of Lamanai (above) requires a good head for heights too!

 

We had Lamanai to ourselves

 

immature King Vulture

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

This Automeris zozine - an Emperor moth of the Saturniidae family - was attracted to the colourful decor in the doorway of our hotel!

 

Common Vampire Bat inside a Mayan building at Chan Chich !

 

Habitats at Chan Chich are rich and varied.

The rooms of this first class lodge are nested tastefully amongst ancient Mayan ruins.

 

Caracol is Belize's most impressive Mayan site. Appearing out of the early morning mist, the largest structure, Caana is still the biggest building in the country.

 

 

 

 

A boat trip at Crooked Tree, where we saw Jabiru, Agami Heron, Boat-billed Heron (below) and a multitude of other waterbirds.

 

Bare-throated Tiger-heron

Black-collared Hawk is locally common at Crooked Tree

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Black-cowled Oriole feeding on necter from banana flowers

Bat Falcon

 

 

 

 

Please note: The above photographs were taken on previous trips. Itineraries change from time to time and therefore you cannot rely on these photographs as being an exact representation of what can be expected on a future tour. For details of the each tour, you should refer to the brochure write-up.

 

click here for details of our next tour to this destination

 

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