TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Belize & Tikal

13 - 27 FEBRUARY 1999


Leaders:
Graham Hearl, RSPB/GOB Representative, Mallorca
Edward Allen, Belize

TRIP DIARY

Saturday 13th February. - Travel to Houston, Texas

We all met up at Heathrow for our flight to Houston, Texas by Continental Airways which left more or less on time and was a very smooth and well ordered flight. On arrival at Houston we had to wait about an hour for our transport to the overnight hotel which turned out to be a six-seater, so some of us had to wait another half hour to be transported to the hotel. This did not really matter as this was a transit day and we were not missing any birding.

We dined out at a bar opposite the hotel and we all turned in early anticipating the coming two weeks.

Sunday 14th February. - Travel to Belize

Avi was off on an earlier flight to Belize but we did have some time for some birding around the hotel, which produced Blue Jay, Greater Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, a pair of Cardinal, two species of woodpecker, a Yellow-rumped Warbler plus other species including Turkey Vultures overhead.

We departed for the airport again more or less on time but at the airport things started to happen. We were told the flight was overbooked and we were on stand-by - I was NOT happy!!! We were then told to go to the gate where we would be issued boarding cards - the gate was changed - the flight delayed - we WERE issued boarding cards due to the offer for other passengers of a free flight later on. The flight was slightly delayed but worst of all we saw most of our luggage being left on the tarmac as we taxied away - the pilot was informed through the chief steward but he just carried on regardless. At Belize we made the appropriate noises and hoped that our luggage would arrive the next day but it was here that we found that Frances had lost her return tickets, so trying to get over this problem slightly delayed our arrival at the Fiesta Inn until about dusk.

However the Fiesta turned out to be a splendid hotel right on the coast and the evening meal was very good indeed so we all went to bed in a much happier frame of mind.

At the airport we had met up with our guide for the fortnight and we actually got in some good birding, seeing amongst others a Bat Falcon. Our guide, Edward Allen, was extremely friendly and helpful and we were certainly looking forward to the following days getting to grips with the Belize birds and Mayan sites.

Monday 15th February. - Shrimp Farm and Crooked Tree Sanctuary

Up at dawn and some managed some excellent birding before our early breakfast at 6-30ish but we were all ready by 7-30 am and Edward picked us up just before 8-00 am. Our first stop was at a private shrimp farm which started off our serious birding for the whole group in a splendid way seeing waders such as Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted, Least and Semi-palmated Sandpipers and superb Black-necked Stilts and Mangrove Swallows. The vultures also kept us occupied sorting out Black, Turkey and Yellow-headed. The star bird here was a White-tailed Hawk which even had Edward excited.

We then moved on to Crooked Tree Sanctuary looking at Belted and Ringed Kingfishers on the way, where we had a super lunch in a very nice rustic bar in the village before birding around the area in the afternoon.

Roseate Spoonbills, Limpkins, Red-winged Blackbirds, various orioles and some superb iguanas both green and spiny-tailed kept us enthralled for the afternoon.

We returned, very happy, back to the Fiesta Inn only to find that our luggage had not been delivered! Some major panic ensued only to be dissipated when MOST of the luggage appeared, delivered by taxi - the ONE missing piece happened to be Mavis's - we certainly had to try and sort that in the morning.

The log showed that we had been looking at over 90 species in the day, most giving superb views - what was the morrow going to bring?

Tuesday 16th February - Boat trip to Swallow Cay and Northern Lagoon

A somewhat late start due to having to go into Belize City to try to solve the luggage and ticket problem. Therefore after breakfast we met up in the hotel and got straight on to a fast boat right outside on the hotel's own quay.

We travelled out to one of the offshore cays called Swallow Cay which is the home of Manatees - we were fairly lucky here with views of heads, tails and bits in-between. The birds were also good with excellent views of diving Brown Pelicans, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls. We then proceeded back towards the shore and took a small channel cut-through behind Belize City on the Burdon Canal where we immediately contacted Prothonotary Warbler giving fantastic views - always a difficult species to see in the States.

In this same narrow cut-through we also saw Pygmy Kingfisher - what a stunner and what a mover ! Some had good views and some had brief views initially but a few minutes later most of us managed to get really good sightings of another 'difficult to get to' bird. Edward then gave us the option of trying for Boat-billed Heron before or after lunch - guess what we chose?

He flashed our boat like a rocket down more, slightly wider channels and out into Northern Lagoon and beached it on a small islet and just under the mangroves. Above us was THE most splendid sight of Boat-billed Herons at their nests, displaying, contesting, breaking twigs and branches for nest material, showing their enormous crests and generally giving us a most wonderful display - again what a sight of yet another 'very difficult to even see' species - Edward was really pulling out the stops for us.

Lunch - well that was another story - we again broke out of a narrow channel to be met with a wonderful vista of distant mountains and pristine scenery. Travelling at great speed across the lagoon we soon docked at another small islet or in this case promontory in the middle of Northern Lagoon, Gales Point, and partook of yet another superb lunch (the coconut tart especially was superb) - it was paradise.

We all wanted to stay and lotus-eat, but being British we HAD to finish the day's itinerary, which involved beaching the boat on the west side of the lagoon and taking a short walk across the savannah to the near hills to visit Ben Lomax cave. We entered the cave and were enthralled by the small bats roosting in this cave (aided I might add by Brian's brand new torch which is just perfect for cave viewing, and, we hoped, the possible night viewing to come). Our day virtually ended, so we thought, we had to travel back the way we had come through the mangrove channels.

Starting off at great speed we ran out of petrol nearing Belize City - our idea of being remote and separated from the world was shattered when Edward got out his mobile phone and whistled up reinforcements in the way of another boat bringing spare petrol cans to get us back to base - all rather nice really as we did not fancy spending the night in the mangroves poling our way back home!

On arrival back at base we discovered that Mavis's luggage was now in Belize - hooray!! but NOT yet at the hotel - yet another night for her without clothes!!! which meant we had to travel to the airport the following day.

However, WHAT an eventful but very satisfying day despite the odd problems for some of us.

Wednesday 17th February - To Lamanai

Mavis's luggage sorted - YES ! So after breakfast we stopped off at the airport and collected the missing piece with no problems. Off then by road heading north to the New River where we embarked on another river adventure whilst our luggage and coach headed on by track to Lamanai Lodge.

Our river trip was as good as the first - we had really good views of Sungrebe and Black-collared Hawk - both rare to see on the river. The star of this morning trip up to Lamanai however must be the Jabiru Stork sitting on its nest, seen just before we arrived at Lamanai. We lunched at the Mayan site and birdwatched the area after lunch getting to grips with extremely good views of Violaceous and Slaty-tailed Trogons plus excellent views of Howler Monkeys, a pair of Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Red-lored Parrots. I nearly forgot to mention that we also inspected the Mayan pyramids, plazas, excellent artefacts and worked stones in this well known archaeological site.

We then headed the short distance, in the bus, down a rutted track to our new base for two nights, the Lamanai Outpost Lodge - an idyllic setting on the banks of the Lamanai lagoon.

Thursday 18th February - Chan Chich

Our day at Chan Chich, we left at about 8-30 am and birded on the way stopping of for all sorts of species including finding another Jabiru's nest this time complete with the pair standing over their nest and much closer - a really good find, especially for Edward, thanks yet again to Mavis's incredible eye.

We arrived therefore somewhat late at Chan Chich - just in time for lunch in fact which was typical American fare. Most of us thought that the place was rather too prissy for the Travelling Naturalist with Lamanai much more to our taste. Nevertheless Chan Chich is situated in superb pristine rain forest and therefore difficult to bird especially in the heat of the day, nevertheless, walking the 'River Track' we did see some very good species including White-necked Jacobin, Lineated Woodpecker, Tawny-crowned Greenlet and a female White-collared Manakin. I particularly liked the Ocellated Turkeys near the centre- a most colourful and confiding species.

On the way out at about 3-30 pm we encountered many White-tailed Deer, a couple of White-nosed Coatis, a Fox and a party of nine adults and two very appealing young White-collared Peccaries - for me the star birds of the day - nearly.

We travelled back in somewhat quicker order but not without the occasional stop - one ordered by Sue who had spotted a Keel-billed Toucan - we all got good views but just a short distance further on we spotted a pair near, I think, their nest hole plus two very confiding White-fronted Parrots.

All in all another superb day despite the length of time in the coach and our tardy arrival at Chan Chich.

Friday 19th February - Transfer to San Ignacio

Early am birdwatching - our first opportunity to actually go out on site at Lamanai being right on the doorstep of the forest and river. However it was very misty but we still got to grips with some good birds including White-whiskered Puffbird. Irene had connected with four very close Collared Aracaris near the lodge so we were all a bit gripped off and Margaret had missed the Blue-crowned Motmot again.

After a late breakfast we journeyed back to the main north/south highway back through Belize City and headed west. We stopped for an excellent lunch just past the Belize Zoo, our destination for the afternoon, at JB's Bar, a bar obviously used by the British and other forces looking at the motifs and jargon on the walls. During lunch we were able to do some good birding looking at a pair of White-tailed Hawks flying over the valley.

After lunch we visited the zoo which had obviously been aided by Gerald Durrell - and it showed. The zoo was well set out with reasonable enclosures with most inmates showing well apart from a few animals showing cage confinement traits. As it was a naturally set out zoo we were able to see some good birds here including Catbirds, Wood Thrush, a White-collared Manakin and a Green-backed Sparrow seen by Avi and Sue.

After our zoo visit we continued west towards Guatemala where we stopped at Casa Maya, our base for two nights - rather basic but in a superb pristine birding area and really rather more of what I expected in Belize.

Saturday 20th February - Mountain Pine Ridge

A day in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. The pre-breakfast walk was carried out in a gloomy mist but nonetheless good birds were seen and even identified!!!

After breakfast we went by our coach up onto the Mountain Pine Ridge where our first stop produced Golden-hooded Ant-tanager, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Black-faced Siskin, a Swallow-tailed Kite and lots of black biting midges.

On to the 1000 ft. waterfalls which, of course, were spectacular, but the birds were even better - Rusty Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Grace's Warbler and a Rufous-capped Warbler seen by Sue and Irene.

On to lunch at the Five Sisters Lodge set in a wonderful area of wood overlooking a steep valley with a river and waterfalls at the base. The setting was so enticing that Mavis and Mary decided to spend the afternoon there.

The rest of us headed out to the Rio Frio cave where Avi found a Red-legged Honeycreeper, rather high in the canopy but nevertheless a super bird that she definitely wanted to see. We also visited the Rio Frio river for maybe a swim but decided against it on time and the colour of the water although Brian and I found our only Couch's Kingbird at this site.

We headed back to pick up Mavis and Mary and on the way stopped for probably the sighting of the day - ten Swallow-tailed Kites in the air together and indulging in display. We successfully connected with the two ladies and headed back to base.

All in all yet another successful day carried out in totally different habitats.

By the way we probably ignored a Solitary Eagle whilst looking at Swallow-tailed Kites which came and went rather quickly from view.

Sunday 21st February - Travel to Tikal

Early morning birding again at Casa Maya with an excellent breakfast and then a short journey down the road by coach to Xunantunich. Xunantunich is another Mayan site and to get there we had to take a short ferry ride across the river Mopan and walk the mile to the Mayan plazas. It was nice to get a good walk in after the coach travel of the previous days - the birding was good and the Mayan ruins very good. On the walk back we saw amongst other things a small flock of Vaux's Swift.

We then returned a short distance to Clarissa Falls for lunch - really excellent and probably the best food so far, all home cooked.

After lunch we headed for the border with Guatemala, passed through with very little trouble, thanks to Edward and travelled straight to Tikal with just a short retail therapy stop on the way.

Our first short sojourn at Tikal was splendid if suspended for a short time by a sharp rain shower. After it had stopped the few of us that had braved it were rewarded with fantastic views of Bare-throated Tiger Heron, in fact there were two. We also got to grips with a pair of Mealy Parrot and spotted an Agouti as well as a Fox. I forgot to mention the superb display by a male Ocellated Turkey, totally ignored by the females - I can't understand why.

At the log our total was approaching the magic 200 - we were certainly looking forward to seeing the Mayan ruins and more birds the following day.

Monday 22nd February - Tikal

All day at Tikal and what a day!!!!

Our early start before breakfast got us the pair of Bare-throated Tiger Heron again and a Kentucky Warbler. After breakfast we were joined by our guide for the day, Miguel, who turned out to be a bit of an expert on the birds of Tikal - something we were not expecting as we thought we were only going to have an archaeological guide - what a bonus. We saw so many new and special bird species this day that you will have to read the systematic synopsis to get the real gist. We had a marvellous tour around this vast site visiting the various plazas and monuments - what a fantastic place. we were also being thoroughly entertained as well by White-nosed Coatis, Agoutis, Spider Monkeys and Howler Monkeys as well as, of course the spectacular birds.

We returned for an excellent lunch and repeated the morning but by visiting different sites in this enormous complex - at its height the population was 60,000 plus another 30,000 round the perimeter and the whole of the Petén district held some 2.5 million. Tikal must be one of the highlights of any traveller's goals plus, for us, the added bonus of the birds which are just superb.

Our total for the holiday was now in the region of 220 plus a couple of heards only.

Tuesday 23rd February - Tikal am and transfer to Camino Real

We joined Miguel for an early morning walk and saw, as to be expected with him, good birds including excellent views of four Grey-necked Wood-rails, White-crowned Parrots and heard Slaty-breasted Tinamou.

After breakfast most of us returned with Miguel into the Tikal site for another look and for more photos as the light was much better today. We saw new species such as a long flight view of King Vulture and eventually got to grips with Ovenbird. We returned at about 11-30 am for a look at the museum and lunched at about 12-30 am. Brian continued to do more birding and succeeded in seeing Royal Flycatcher, but not with its crest up.

We left at about 1-30 pm and travelled the short distance to the hotel Camino Real set right on the edge of the Petén-Itzà lake - a spectacular location and a superb hotel.

We arrived at 2-30 pm and arranged a birding outing for 3-00 pm but everybody rebelled and decided to chill out with a stroll around the grounds and a swim in the lovely warm pool - I certainly concurred although some very good birds were seen in the grounds including another fly-over of King Vulture, Green-throated Mango and many more.

This evening we dined in real style overlooking the lake from the terrace with wine being consumed with gay abandon.

Wednesday 24th February - Transfer day to Ambergris Cay

After an early morning with independent birdwatching and a super buffet breakfast we reluctantly let the very classy hotel Camino Real with it's fantastic selection of birds and headed for the airport with Amazon Kingfisher seen en route.

At the small airport at Flores, where we saw Killdeer and Purple Martin, we flew in two small string and elastic planes to Belize International Airport. On again to San Pedro, Ambergris Cay where we arrived for lunch at the Belize Yacht Club situated right on the beach - not quite the Camino Real but we all liked it for its very laid back Caribbean attitude.

A few of us went on a birding expedition heading south down the cay but development is now encroaching on the wild mangrove type environment. Nevertheless we saw some species of birds not seen elsewhere in Belize as Ambergris Cay is the southernmost point of the Yucatan peninsula - we saw White-winged Doves, Yucatan Vireo, Cinnamon Hummingbird, the Yucatan ssp of Golden-backed Woodpecker and we were also back to coastal birds such as Tropical Mockingbird, Plain-breasted and Common Ground Dove.

We ate out at the El Patio restaurant consuming a superb fish dish.

Thursday 25th February - Boat trip to the barrier reef

Brian and Margaret went on a long hike before breakfast down to the newly constructed marina area where the mangroves are still fairly pristine, they collected a good range of species including Reddish Egrets, Mangrove Cuckoo, Mangrove Warbler, Roseate Spoonbill and White Ibis. After this they decided to try north of San Pedro town and succeeded with more specialities such as Yucatan Woodpecker.

Avi decided to chill out completely - cool as a cucumber as the locals say.

The rest of us embarked on a boat trip to SWIM WITH SHARKS!!!!

What an experience - we travelled out to the edge of the barrier reef ( the second longest in the world) and snorkelled over the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. We were all enchanted and thrilled with the spectacle of the underwater life and when you swim with sharks up to ten feet and sting rays up to four feet across - WELL!!!

After a nice lunch right on the shore we relaxed early pm and went for a short birding walk afterwards when we saw a very nice Northern Parula as well as the stunning Hooded Orioles.

We dined out at Elvie's Restaurant and what an experience - the food was absolutely delicious and the live music just right for the occasion.

On the way back near our hotel more live music was advertised but only Sue and myself indulged - it was good but not quite the ethnic music we had hoped for.

Friday 26th February - Travel day

Travelling home day but we did have the morning to birdwatch and spend money in the town of San Pedro. Only Brian and myself went down to the mangroves where we saw Reddish Egret, Mangrove Warbler, eight Caspian Terns, various other herons and a most surprising Cedar Waxwing having a bathe in a mangrove pool - obviously on migration.

The birding in the hotel grounds was very good whilst we were packing; two pairs of displaying Hooded Orioles gave us a fine send-off.

The list for the trip totalled just over 260 species,which is a fair number to get to grips with - a steep learning curve for most of us.

We departed for the very close-by San Pedro airport at about midday and made the short 18 minute transfer to Belize International Airport in a nine seater Islander looking down and over the clear blue Caribbean sea, cays and reefs.

Our arrival at Belize airport was in total contrast, absolute chaos - getting our luggage, getting our seats and getting Frances sorted with her missing ticket.

However all was accomplished and we paid our farewells to Edward who had looked after us superbly well throughout the trip.

The flight from Belize to Houston was absolutely full and we were a bit worried about our luggage transfer. However we need not have worried - the transfer for the main flight to London was very smooth and efficiently handled and the flight was very smooth with plenty of room to move around as it was only a third full. We even arrived at Gatwick slightly early. ALL our luggage arrived on the carousel in short order, we said our goodbyes and departed our separate ways.

The holiday had been a fantastic experience for all, encompassing Mayan remains and Belize birds in a variety of habitats including specialities of the Yucatan peninsula at the extreme southern end of Ambergris Cay. The highlight must be the wonderful experience of Guatemala, especially Tikal with its fantastic Mayan pyramids, plazas and temples, together with the superb selection of Central American birds and Howler and Spider Monkeys.

However for those that enjoy the water, the experience of snorkelling with Nurse Sharks up to ten feet and Stingrays up to four feet across was a fantastic experience in itself. I for one was just enchanted with the whole spectacle of the underwater world of the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere.

Acknowledgements

To all the party for taking a full part in all the experiences and especially to Avi and Brian for working so hard on the difficult-to-identify brown jobs - flycatchers and winter warblers/vireos etc. Finally to Edward who managed the tour so well for us.

Graham Hearl, RSPB/GOB Representative, Mallorca

The Travelling Naturalist

Tour to Belize and Tikal 13th to 27th February 1999

Bird List

Slaty-breasted Tinamou Crypturellus boucardi

Heard at Tikal on 22nd and three heard on 23rd

Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus

One seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Two seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, one on the New River at Lamanai on 17th and one on Laguna Petén-Itzà on 23rd

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis

Up to ten seen on the coast near Belize City on 15th, 16th, 17th and 19th and again at Ambergris Cay on 24th, 25th and 26th

Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus

Seen on all days except from 20th to 22nd

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus

One probable seen off the coast on 16th

Anhinga Anhinga anhinga

Only seen in coastal mangroves up to six on 15th, 16th, 17th and 19th at Lamanai

Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens

Recorded on all days spent at or near the coast

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma mexicanum

Two glimpsed on 16th on Burdon Canal near Belize City and a pair seen very well at Tikal on 21st, 22nd and 23rd

Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens

Two seen Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

Recorded on all days except from 20th to 22nd with more than ten seen from the boat trip to Northern Lagoon on 16th

Great Egret Ardea alba

Again seen on all days except from 20th to 22nd. Most recorded around Belize City area and Northern Lagoon and canals

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Seen around Crooked Tree Sanctuary, Northern Lagoon and canals, Lamanai and Ambergris Cay with the odd sighting on 21st near Xunantunich.

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea

Recorded on all days with most around the Shrimp Farm and Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th

Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor

Seen at the Shrimp Farm, Crooked Tree Sanctuary, Northern Lagoon and Burdon Canals and Ambergris Cay

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Recorded on all days except 22nd and on Ambergris Cay

Green Heron Butorides virescens

Recorded on all days except 20th and on Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Nyctanassa violacea

Seen from 15th to 18th with many seen on 16th and 20 plus in a roost on a pond near a Mennonite settlement on the track to Chan Chich on 18th. Also seen on Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius

A colony of 20 plus birds was seen on a small islet in Northern Lagoon on

16th

White Ibis Eudocimus albus

Many recorded from 15th to 17th and a few on Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Roseate Spoonbill Ajaia ajaja

Four seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, two on a pond near a Mennonite settlement on the track to Chan Chich on 18th and two on Ambergris Cay on 25th

Jabiru Jabiru mycteria

One was seen sitting on a nest near Lamanai on 17th and a pair was seen on a nest near San Felipe on 18th on the way to Chan Chich

Wood Stork Mycteria americana

One seen on 15th at the Shrimp Farm, three on 17th at Lamanai and six on 18th on the way to Chan Chich

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis

Five in flight at the Shrimp Farm on 15th was the only sighting

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

Over 30 at the Shrimp Farm on 15th, one on the pond near the Mennonite Farm on 19th and two at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis

Five were seen at the Shrimp Farm on 15th

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

The most common vulture and recorded on all days except 25th

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Recorded on all days except 25th but in lesser numbers than the above species although many were seen on 15th and 16th

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus

Two were seen on 15th, one on 16th and three on 17th. Difficult to distinguish from the above species except given a close view of the head

King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa

This splendid bird was seen in flight at Tikal and again at Camino Real on 23rd

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Six were seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, four at Northern Lagoon on 16th, two on the New River near Lamanai on 17th and daily at Ambergris Cay from 24th to 26th

Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus

Two and a magnificent flock of ten were seen over Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th. Two were seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus

One was seen at the Shrimp Farm on 15th and another at Lamanai on 19th

Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis

Over ten were seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, also recorded on 16th, 17th and 19th

Common Black-Hawk Buteogallus anthracinus

Recorded on all days except from 20th to 22nd and 24th

Great Black-Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga

Two were seen over the Shrimp Farm on 15th and one at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis

Splendid views of one from the boat on the New River, Lamanai

Gray Hawk Buteo nitidus

Up to three recorded on most days except 16th, 21st. 22nd and 25th

Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris

Recorded on most days as you would expect from the roadside, with up to 20 seen on 18th. None seen on Ambergris Cay or on our boat trip on 16th

Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus

One seen on 16th from the boat

Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni

One seen at Chan Chich on 18th

White-tailed Hawk Buteo albicaudatus

A very good view of one at the Shrimp Farm on 15th and two from JB's Bar at the lunch stop near Belize Zoo on 19th

Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans

Two seen en route to San Ignacio on 19th

American Kestrel Falco sparverius

One seen perched at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

Merlin Falco columbarius

One seen on 16th on the boat trip

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis

Singles seen on 16th at Crooked Tree Sanctuary, on the New River on 17th, on the track to Chan Chich on 18th, on the road to San Ignacio on 19th, a pair at Tikal on 22nd and one on Ambergris Cay on 25th

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

One at the Shrimp Farm on 15th

Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula

Recorded from 17th to 21st at Lamanai, Chan Chich, Casa Maya, Tikal and at Camino Real on 23rd and 24th

Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens

A pair at Chan Chich on 18th and singles at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Great Curassow Crax rubra

Two females seen in flight at Chan Chich on 18th

Ocellated Turkey Agricoharis ocellata

Our first view was at Chan Chich on 18th with lots at Tikal from 21st to 23rd

Gray-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea

One seen on 18th near Chan Chich and up to four seen at Tikal from 21st to 23rd

Purple Gallinule Porphyrula martinica

One seen on the New River on 17th and one seen at Tikal on 21st, 22nd and 23rd

American Coot Fulica americana

Seen at the Shrimp Farm on 15th, on the pond on the track to Chan Chich and en route to San Ignacio on 19th

Sungrebe Heliornis fulica

A splendid example of this 'hard to see' bird was seen on the New River on 17th

Limpkin Aramus guarauna

Very good views at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, eight on the New River on 17th and three en route to Chan Chich on 18th

Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa

Recorded on 15th, from 17th to 19th and from 21st to 23rd

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

Seen at Flores Airport on 24th and at Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola

One seen at the Shrimp Farm on 15th and at Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus

Eight seen on Ambergris Cay on 25th

Wilson's Plover Charadrius wilsonia

Three seen on Ambergris Cay on 25th

Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

Seen at the Shrimp Farm on 15th, eight on the pond en route to Chan Chich on 18th also seen on 19th and at Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Three at the Shrimp Farm on 15th, five on the pond en route to Chan Chich on 18th and four at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

Over 20 at the Shrimp Farm on 15th and three at the pond en route to Chan Chich on 18th

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia

Most recorded near the coast on 15th and 16th with a few on the New River on 17th, 18th on the pond en route to Chan Chich and at Camino Real on 24th and Ambergris Cay on 25th

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

A flock of nine seen from the boat and in the mangroves at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Short-billed Dowitcher Limodroma griseus

Seen on the pond en route to Chan Chich on 18th and at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Western Sandpiper Calidris mauri

Over 20 at the Shrimp Farm on 15th

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Over 30 at the Shrimp Farm on 15th and a few at Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Ring-billed Gull Larus delarwarensis

A probable at Fiesta Inn on 15th

American Herring Gull Larus argentatus smithsonianus

Five on the boat trip on 16th

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla

The most numerous gull seen in all coastal locations and at Laguna Petén-Itzà

Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica

Seen off Swallow Cay on 16th

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia

Four seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th and over eight on 26th

Royal Tern Sterna maxima

Seen at all coastal locations at Belize City and Ambergris Cay

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis

Three seen near Fiesta Inn and two seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Rock Dove/Feral Dove Columba livia

Recorded near Belize City and Ambergris Cay

Red-billed Pigeon Columba flavirostris

Seen en route to Belize Zoo and San Ignacio

Short-billed Pigeon Columba nigrirostris

Two seen en route to Chan Chich near Lamanai on 18th, again at Lamanai on 19th and two at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica

Only seen at Ambergris Cay from 24th to 26th

Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura

Only seen near the coast and at Lamanai from 15th to 18th and at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Common Ground-dove Columbina passerina

Again only seen at Ambergis Cay from 24th to 26th

Plain-breasted Ground-dove Columbina minuta

A couple seen at Ambergris Cay on 24th

Ruddy Ground-dove Columbina talpacoti

The most common Ground-dove recorded on most days but only seen once at Ambergris Cay on 24th

Blue Ground-dove Claravis pretiosa

This very smart dove seen in pairs near Lamanai on the way to Chan Chich on 18th and on the way out of Lamanai on 19th

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi

Seen at Chan Chich on 18th, Casa Maya on 21st and three at Tikal on 23rd

Gray-chested Dove Leptotila cassini

Seen at Belize Zoo on 19th, two at Camino Real on 23rd and 24th

Olive-throated (Aztec) Parakeet Aratinga nana astec

The most numerous parrot recorded on most days except 16th on the boat trip and 24th and 26th at Ambergris Cay

Brown-hooded Parrot Pionopsitta haematotis

A Few seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, over 50 at Lamanai on 17th and a few at Tikal on 22nd

White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis

Two seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons

Many seen at Lamanai on 18th, a few at San Ignacio on 20th and Tikal on 21st

Red-lored Parrot Amazona autumnalis

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, lots at Lamanai from 17th to 19th, at San Ignacio on 21st, lots at Tikal from 21st to 24th

Mealy Parrot Amazona farinosa

A pair seen at Tikal on 21st, 22nd and 23rd

Mangrove Cuckoo Coccyzus minor

One seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana

Singles recorded on 15th, from 17th to 19th, 22nd and 23rd

Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris

Recorded on most days except 16th, 17th, 22nd and 26th

Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis

One was seen roosting in a tree on the New River on 17th

Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi

Eight were seen over Xunantunich on 21st

Little Hermit Phaethornis longuemareus

Only seen at Tikal from 21st to 23rd

Wedge-tailed Sabrewing Campylopterus curvipennis

One seen on the boat trip on 16th

White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora

Two or three seen at Chan Chich on 18th

Green-breasted Mango Anthracothorax prevostii

Two seen at Camino Real on 23rd, a male there on 24th and another male at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Fork-tailed Emerald Chlorostibon caniveti

A male at Ambergris Cay on 25th

White-bellied Emerald Amazilia candida

One at Tikal on 23rd

Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila

Only recorded at Ambergris Cay on 24th, 25th and 26th

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl

The most common hummingbird seen on most days except 18th, 22nd, 25th and 26th

Purple-crowned Fairy Heliothryx barroti

One seen at Tikal on 22nd

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris

A sub-adult male seen at Tikal on 23rd

Black-headed Trogon Trogon melanocephalus

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 16th, a male at Chan Chich on 18th, one at Casa Maya on 20th and one at Tikal on 22nd

Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus

Three females and one male at Lamanai on 17th, a female at Chan Chich on 18th, another female at Casa Maya on 19th and 20th and at Tikal on 21st, 22nd and 23rd

Slaty-tailed Trogon Trogon massena

Three at Lamanai on 17th, one at Lamanai on 19th and one at Tikal on 23rd

Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota

One at Lamanai on 17th and 18th, heard at Tikal on 22nd and two seen at Camino Real on 24th

Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata

Five examples of this large handsome bird were seen at the Shrimp Farm and Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, on the Burdon canals on 16th, up to five on the New River on 17th, at Lamanai on 19th and at Tikal on 23rd

Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon

Over ten were seen at the Shrimp Farm and Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, lots on the boat trip to Northern Lagoon on 16th, also seen from 17th to 19th and on Ambergris Cay on 25th

Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona

Only seen on Laguna Petén-Itzà on 23rd and 24th

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana

One at the Shrimp Farm on 15th, 20 plus on the boat trip to Northern Lagoon on 16th, two on 17th and seen on 19th and 21st

American Pygmy Kingfisher Chloroceryle aenea

Three examples of this stunning little kingfisher were seen on the cut-through canal at the rear of Belize City on 16th

White-whiskered Puffbird Malacoptila panamensis

One as seen at Lamanai on 19th

Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda

A pair were seen at a probable nest site on 17th at Lamanai

Emerald Toucanet Aulacorhynchus prasinus

Flight views only at Tikal on 22nd

Collared Araçari Pteroglossus torquatus

Four were seen at Lamanai and again at Tikal from 22nd to 24th and at Camino Real on 24th

Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus

Three were seen at Chan Chich and at Tikal from 21st to 24th and at Camino Real on 24th

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus

Three were seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th and singles at Chan Chich on 18th, Lamanai on 19th and Casa Maya on 20th

Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons

Recorded on all days except 19th. On Ambergris Cay the Yucatan ssp. dubius was seen

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius

Examples seen on 15th and 16th at Fiesta Inn and again at Ambergris Cay on 24th

Smoky-brown Woodpecker Veniliornis fumigatus

One was seen at Tikal on 23rd

Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus

One was seen at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus

Examples seen on 18th, 19th and 20th at Lamanai, Chan Chich and Mountain Pine Ridge and at Tikal on 21st and 23rd

Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis

Two seen in Tikal on 22nd

Yucatan Woodpecker Centurus pygmaeus

One seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Plain Xenops Xenops minutus

One seen at Lamanai on 19th and at Tikal on 23rd

Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla anabatina

Seen at Chan Chich on 18th and at Tikal on 21st and 22nd

Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes certhia

Seen at Tikal on 22nd

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus flavigaster

Seen at Lamanai and Tikal on 17th and 18th and at Tikal from 22nd to 24th

Dot-winged Antwren Microrhopias quixensis

Examples seen at Lamanai on 19th and at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata

Three seen at Tikal on 22nd

Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica remota

One seen on 24th and two seen on 26th at Ambergris Cay

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus

Seen at Lamanai on 17th and Tikal on 23rd

Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus

Seen at Tikal on 22nd

Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyclus brevirostris

One seen at Tikal on 23rd

Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Stub-tailed Spadebill Platyrinchus cancrominus

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Royal Flycatcher Onychorhynchus coronatus

At Tikal heard on 22nd and seen on 23rd

Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Terenotriccus erythrurus fulvigularis

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus

One seen at Lamanai on 17th (very difficult to distinguish between this species and Eastern Wood Pewee except on call - the latter is a passage migrant)

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus

Seen at Tikal on 21st and 23rd

Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus

This spectacular flycatcher was seen daily from 15th to 19th with over 20 on the first day

Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus

One seen at Tikal on 22nd

Rufous Mourner Rhytipterna holerythra

Three seen at Lamanai on 19th and again at Tikal on 22nd

Yucatan Flycatcher Myiarchus yucatanensis

Seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer

Two seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th

Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus

Seen at Tikal from 21st to 23rd

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus

Recorded on all days except 22nd and 23rd at Tikal

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua

Seen on 17th and 19th at Lamanai and at Camino Real on 23rd and 24th

Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis

Recorded on all days except 16th

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus

Recorded daily except on 20th and 22nd

Couch's Kingbird Tyrannus couchii

Seen at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana

These spectacular birds were seen at the Shrimp Farm and Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th and in the savanna areas between Lamanai and Chan Chich on 17th, 18th and 19th

Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae

Examples seen at Casa Maya on 21st and at Camino Real on 24th

Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata

Seen at Lamanai from 17th to 19th and at Tikal from 21st to 23rd

Rufous Piha Lipaugus unirufus

One seen at Tikal on 22nd

White-collared Manakin Manacus candei

A female seen at Chan Chich on 18th, another on 19th at Lamanai and at Casa Maya on 20th and at Tikal on 23rd

Red-capped Manakin Pipra mentalis

This spectacular flying strawberry (says Brian) was seen at Tikal on 21st, 22nd and 23rd

Purple Martin Progne subis

A few seen at Flores airport near Camino Real on 24th

Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea

Seen at Lamanai on 17th and 18th and at Tikal on 22nd

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor

Ten plus seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea

Recorded on most days except 20th, 22nd and 25th

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Seen at Lamanai on 17th and 19th

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Brown Jay Cyanocorax morio

Recorded on all days in numbers except 17th, and on Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Spot-breasted Wren Thryothorus maculipectus

Seen at Lamanai on 19th and at Tikal on 21st and 23rd (heard on 22nd)

House Wren Troglodytes aedon musculus

Three seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th and at Lamanai on 17th

White-bellied Wren Uropsila leucogastra

Seen at Tikal/Camino Real on 23rd

Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus

Heard at Tikal on 23rd ( pointed out by our guide)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea

Seen at Tikal on 22nd

Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea

Seen at Casa Maya on 21st

Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina

Seen from 19th to 24th at Lamanai, Chan Chich, Tikal and Camino Real

Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, at Casa Maya on 20th and 21st and at Tikal on 23rd and 24th

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

Seen from 18th to 21st at Lamanai, Chan Chich and Casa Maya and at Tikal on 23rd

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

Seen at Lamanai and Chan Chich on 18th, 19th and 20th and on Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus

Recorded on all days except 21st to 23rd at Tikal

Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum

One seen at Tikal on 22nd, and an amazing view of one drinking from a mangrove puddle on Ambergris Cay on 26th

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus

One seen at Chan Chich on 18th, one at Tikal on 23rd and one at Ambergris Cay on 26th

Mangrove Vireo Vireo pallens

One seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Plumbeous Vireo Vireo pinicolus

Seen on Mountain Pine Ridge and Casa Maya on 20th and 21st

Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons

Seen at Belize Zoo on 19th and at Casa Maya on 21st

Yucatan Vireo Vireo magister

One at Ambergris Cay on 24th

Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris

One seen on 23rd at Tikal

Tawny-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus ochraceiceps

One at Lamanai on 17th and one at Tikal on 22nd

Lesser Greenlet Hylophilus decurtatus

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, at Lamanai on 17th and at Tikal and Camino Real from 21st to 24th

Black-headed Siskin Carduelis notata

A pair seen on Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis

One on Ambergris Cay on 26th

Northern Parula Parula americana

One seen at Casa Maya on 19th and one at Ambergris Cay on 26th

Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia

Recorded on most days except 18th, 20th, 23rd and 25th

Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica

One recorded on 22nd at Tikal

Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia

Recorded from 17th to 24th but not on the coast

Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata

Recorded on the coast from 15th to 17th and again on 21st and 22nd at Casa Maya and Mountain Pine Ridge

Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens

Seen at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th and at Tikal on 23rd

Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, at Lamanai and Chan Chich on 17th and 18th and one at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Grace's Warbler Dendroica graciae

Seen at Lamanai on 19th, at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th, and at Tikal on 21st and 23rd

Prairie Warbler Dendroica discolor

Recorded at Ambergris Cay from 24th to 26th.

Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum

Recorded on the coast on 15th and 16th and at Ambergris Cay from 24th to 26th plus a sighting at Tikal on 22nd

Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia

Singles recorded at Lamanai on 17th and from 19th to 24th at Lamanai through to Camino Real

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla

This stunning bird was recorded on all days with a good scattering of males included

Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea

A couple of birds seen really well from the boat on Burdon Canal on 16th

Mangrove Warbler Dendroica erithachorides

This distinctive warbler seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Swainson's Warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii

One seen by a tour member on 25th at Ambergris Cay

Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus

Two seen at Tikal on 23rd

Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis

Three seen at Chan Chich on 18th, at Tikal on 21st and at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Kentucky Warbler Oporornis formosus

Seen at Tikal with two on 22nd and 23rd

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas

Females seen at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina

One seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th and one at Lamanai on 19th

Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla

One seen at Tikal on 22nd

Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus

One seen at Tikal on 22nd

Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons

One seen by two of the tour members on 20th at 1,000ft falls, Mountain Pine Ridge

Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens

One seen at Tikal on 23rd

Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus

Seen at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th and at Camino Real on 23rd and 24th

Scrub Euphonia Euphonia affinis

Seen on Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th at Casa Maya on 21st and at Tikal on 23rd

Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea

Six seen at Lamanai on 19th, at Casa Maya on 20th, and at Tikal on 21st and 23rd

Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi

Only seen at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Golden-hooded Tanager Tangara larvata

Seen at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, Gales Point on 16th, Lamanai on 19th and at Tikal on 23rd and 24th

Yellow-winged Tanager Thraupis abbas

Seen at Lamanai on 17th and at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Gray-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata

Seven seen together seen at Tikal on 22nd

Red-throated Ant-Tanager Habia fuscicauda

Seen from 19th to 24th at Lamanai, Casa Maya, Tikal and Camino Real

Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava

Two seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th and at Lamanai on 17th

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra

One seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, at Tikal on 21st, 22nd and 23rd and at Ambergris Cay on 25th

White-winged Tanager Piranga leucoptera

One seen at Camino Real on 23rd

Scarlet-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus passerinii

One seen at Fiesta Inn on 16th

Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens

One on 18th at Chan Chich, one on 20th at Casa Maya, one at Camino Real on 23rd and 24th and one at Ambergris Cay on 26th

Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps

One seen at Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th, one at Casa Maya on 21st and one on 23rd and 24th at Camino Real

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

A male seen at the Shrimp Farm on 15th

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus

A female seen on the way to Chan Chich on 18th, one at Casa Maya on 20th, a male and female on 21st at Casa Maya, a female at Camino Real on 24th and another at Ambergris Cay on 26th

Blue-black Grosbeak Cyanocompsa cyanoides

One on the track to Chan Chich on 18th

Blue Grosbeak Guiraca caerulea

One at Camino Real on 24th

Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea

One at Casa Maya on 21st and Camino Real on 23rd

Rusty Sparrow Aimophila rufescens

At least two seen at 1,000ft waterfalls, Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th

Green-backed Sparrow Arremonops chloronotus

Seen at Lamanai on 19th and at Tikal on 22nd and 23rd

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina

Seen on the track to Chan Chich on 18th and at Camino Real on 23rd

Variable Seedeater Sporophila aurita

Seen by the pond on the track to Chan Chich on 18th and Belize Zoo on 19th

White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola

Recorded on most days except 20th and 24th

Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivacea

Seen on Mountain Pine Ridge on 20th, at Tikal on 21st and 23rd and at Camino Real on 24th

Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna

One at the Shrimp Farm on 15th, three on the track to Chan Chich on 18th and one on 19th

Melodious Blackbird Dives dives

Recorded on all days

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

Lots seen and heard at the Shrimp Farm on 15th

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus

Recorded on all days

Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus

Recorded on 15th and 18th to 21st

Giant Cowbird Scaphidura oryzivora

One seen by a tour member on 18th at Chan Chich

Orange Oriole Icterus auratus

Seen on Ambergris Cay on 24th and 26th

Altamira Oriole Icterus gularis

Two seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th and on Ambergris Cay on 24th, 25th and 26th

Black-cowled Oriole Icterus dominicensis

Seen from 16th to 18th at Fiesta Inn, Lamanai and Chan Chich, and on 23rd at Camino Real

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula

One seen at Fiesta Inn on 15th, over five on 20th and two on 21st at Casa Maya, one at Camino Real on 23rd and one at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius

Recorded on most days except 18th, 22nd and on Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus

These spectacular orioles were seen from 15th to 17th and 19th from Fiesta Inn to Lamanai and again at Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Yellow-backed Oriole Icterus chrysater

One seen on 15th at Crooked Tree Sanctuary

Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas

One seen at Lamanai on 17th and Ambergris Cay on 26th

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula

One seen at Fiesta Inn on 15th, Five ( two males, three females) seen at Casa Maya in one tree on 20th and two on 21st, Seen atCamino Real on 23rd and at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus

Seen at Tikal from 21st to 23rd and one at Ambergris Cay on 25th

Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius montezuma

These splendid birds seen at Lamanai and Chan Chich on 17th and 18th and at Tikal from 21st to 23rd

Other Taxa

Mammals

Short-tailed Fruit Bat Carollia perspcillata

Many seen in the Ben Lomax bat cave visited from the boat trip on 16th

Racoon Procyon lotor

Seen on Ambergris Cay on 25th and 26th

Yucatan Black Howler Monkey Alouatta pigra

Seen AND heard at Lamanai and Tikal

Central American Spider Monkey Ateles geoffroyi

Seen at Chan Chich and mostly at Tikal

Deppe's Squirrel Sciurus deppei montanera

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary

Yucatan Squirrel Sciurus yacatanensis

Seen at Tikal on 22nd and Camino Real on 23rd

Central American Agouti Dasyprocta punctata

Seen at Chan Chich and Tikal

Grey Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus

Seen at Chan Chich and Tikal

White-nosed Coati Nasua narica

Seen at Tikal

White-lipped Peccary Tayassi pecari

A nice herd of eleven seen at Chan Chich on 18th

Red Brocket Deer Mazama americana

One seen at Chan Chich on 18th

White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus

Many seen at Chan Chich on 18th

West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus

Glimpses of heads, tails and sometimes a bit in-between at Swallow Cay off Belize City on 16th

Amphibians and Reptiles

Cane Toad Bufo marinus

I think this was the large 'frog' seen at Tikal

Black-backed Frog Leptodactylus melanonotus

Seen near the Ben Lomax bat cave on 16th

Morelet's Crocodile Crocodylus morelesi

Seen on the Burdon Canal and Northern Lagoon on 16th, on the New River on 17th and at Ambergris Cay on 26th

Common Slider/Ornate Terrapin Trachemys scripta

Seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th

Boa Constrictor Boa sp.

A small one seen at Lamanai Lodge on 18th

Mussurana Clelia clelia

A large one ( approx. 5ft) seen on the runway at the airport out of Guatemala

Green Iguana Iguana iguana

Splendid examples seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th

Striped Basilisk Basilisous vittatus

A splendid example seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th, also seen at other sites

Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura similis

Splendid examples seen at Crooked Tree Sanctuary on 15th

Brown Anole Anous sagrei

Seen at various sites

Central American Whiptail Amena festiva

Seen at various sites

Cozumel Whiptail Cnemidophorus cozumelae

Seen at various sites

Two scorpions, one small and one large were found in Sue's bedroom at Casa Maya !

A Tarantula was seen at the same site, Casa Maya. Both species were not identified.

Fish

All the fish were identified on the one boat trip encompassing two, hour long snorkelling excursions out of San Pedro, Ambergris Cay.

When species not posivitely identified a '?' is used

Queen Angel Horocanthus ciliaris

Reef Butterfly Chaetodon sedenatrius

French Angel Pomacanthus paru

Horse-eye Jack Caranx latus

Bar Jack Caranx ruber?

Blue Tang Acanthurus coeruleus

Houndfish Tylosurus crocodilus

Great Barracuda Sphyraena barracuda

Bermuda Chubb Kyphosus sectatrix

White Grunt Haemulon plumieri

Yellowtail Damselfish Microspathodon chysurus

We saw the juveniles with dark blue bodies covered with electric blue spots and a yellow tail

Black Hamlet Hypolectrus nigricans?

Jewfish Epinephelus itajara

Blue Parrotfish Scarus coeruleus

Stoplight Parrotfish Scarus viride

Bluehead Wrasse Thalassoma bifasciatum

Neon Gobi Gobiosoma oceanops

Yellowhead Jawfish Opistognathus aurifrons

Ocean Trggerfish Canthidermis sufflamen

Nurse Shark Ginglymostoma cirratum

Southern Stingray Dasyatis americana

Spotted Eagle Ray Aetobatus narinari

Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber Holothuria mexicana

(how descriptive ! ...Ed.)

There were various other species but were not identified but they were probably young.

There were also various corals seen including

Staghorn Coral Acropora cervicornis

Common Brain Coral Diploria strigosa

Common Sea-fan Gorgonia ventalina

plus many others unidentified

(Editor's note - I think this is the very first fish list on a Travelling Naturalist tour - glad you didn't end up on their list!)


© The Travelling Naturalist 1999