Somewhere in Belize, an Agami Heron preens itself. A Montezuma Oropendula gurgles and bows deeply to its mate. The haunting call of a Great Tinamou sounds from deep within the jungle of the Rio Bravo.
I leave early tomorrow morning. Here is what my week will be like:
Sat. 2/9: After landing at the Belize Airport, we will drive to Mama Noots Backabush Jungle Resort in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Lots of birds here, including the Speckled Owl, and with luck, a Keel-billed Motmot. The last time some of the group was here the cabanas leaked rain and mosquitoes, but I am promised the food is good (for whom, I wonder….)
Sun. 2/10: Search for the Motmot, then breakfast. Then off to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary for the day. We will have a choice of birding or river tubing. Since I can go tubing in the States any time, I think I will be on the trail that day.
Mon. 2/11: 615am birdwalk before breakfast, then more birding or swimming at the waterfalls. After lunch, we will be off for the next three nights at Jungle by the Sea in Hopkins, a short drive away. They say their cabanas are “rustic.” Hmmmm.
Tue. 2/12: Off to Red Bank Village, the Scarlet Macaw Capital of Belize. We are advised to bring walking sticks to maneuver the steep climb at Red Bank to see these magnificent birds in the wild.
Wed. 2/13: Tobacco Cay for snorkeling (with my new black shorts). Hope to also pick up the Brown Boobie (yes, that is a bird, you non-birder types) and the Magnificent Frigatebird (yes, that is a bird too).
Thur. 2/14: Off to the Village of Crooked Tree and Bird’s Eye View Lodge, http://www.birdseyeviewbelize.com/home.htm, where I stayed before with members of this group in 2004. We will stop at the Blue Hole on the Hummingbird Highway for a swim and, you guessed it, more birding. We are hoping for Orange-billed Sparrow, Black Hawk Eagle, Golden-hooded Tanager, Buff-throated Saltator and White Hawk. In the evening, we will sculk around for Common Pauraques.
Fri. 2/15: At 6am, we will board the Jungle Queen (sans Humphrey Bogart) for birding on the lagoon: Boat-billed Heron, Black-collared Hawk, Green, Belted and Pygmy Kingfisher are all here. In the afternoon, it’s the Pine Savanna for the Yucatan Jay and the Yellow-headed and Yellow-lored Parrots. Don’t you just love this?
Sat. 1/16: We will squeeze in an “Hour on the Tower,” which means we bird within a prescribed circle for 60 minutes and call out whatever flies our way. We do as much laughing as birding during these games. Then…off to the airport, and home.
See ya here next Sunday, Feb. 17.