NYC Audubon

    
SOFO

    
Brooklyn Bird Club

    
BBG

     Long Pond Greenbelt
Date:  February 22-28, 2017

Location: Belize

Report by: Joe Giunta

Our group consisted of Joe, Edith, Jeff, Bobby, Colleen, Isabel, Nicki, Chee, Laura, Bebe, Nancy and Debbie. We visited two different habitats, the lowlands, staying at Bird’s Eye View Lodge in Crooked Tree, and the highlands, staying at Crystal Paradise Lodge. It was the third time that Happy Warblers LLC had sponsored a trip to Belize. We had two vans and two guides, Eric and Everald. They were with us at all times. It was a highly successful trip with 214 species seen by most members of our group.

Chee has made for us a pictorial history of our trip and it can be found at:
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AoyYqvh0v7-P23Ck-5Cd1bzushjC
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AoyYqvh0v7-P23FnZb6ZaaHo9hRN
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AoyYqvh0v7-P23IMkjPAmLFjYMgz
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AoyYqvh0v7-P23SY62QzVxWRRCDJ
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AoyYqvh0v7-P23UaxxKpiTucNbWv


Jeff has also shared his photos with us and can be found at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/87451099@N02/albums/72157679381839381

Feb. 22: Our United flight out of LaGuardia left on time and after transferring planes in Houston our Belize flight took off and also arrived right on time. Our guides Eric and Everald met us at the airport and we started birding immediately. The first bird seen was a Yellow-throated Warbler. During our trip we would see many North American warblers, 18 species in all. In a way they made us feel right at home and also told us that in not too long a time they would be with us again in Central Park.

Next came the tropical birds led by the beautiful Vermillion Flycatcher quickly followed by the Tropical Kingbird, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher and a nicely spotted Yellow-headed Vulture. We traveled for about an hour heading towards our first venue, the Bird’s Eye View Lodge in Crooked Tree. Dinner was waiting for us and then we went out birding. Best bird of the night were three very cooperative Pauraques. We traveled some roads looking for owls and other nightjars but they were no shows.

Feb. 23: Breakfast was at 6am and we were in the vans and ready for our day of birding at 6:30am. This would be the usual routine for our entire trip. Today we birded the grounds of Crookled Tree, lunched and then walked into a pine savannah. Birds seen on the grounds included all the usual egrets and herons, namely: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret and Green Heron. Highlight was a very well spotted Pinnated Bittern, a lifer for almost everyone. We also had many views of Limpkins.

Orioles were well represented with good looks at: Baltimore, Orchard, Black-cowled, and Hooded. Another well seen and beautiful bird was the Yucatan Jay. We encountered a flock of about 15 of them on the trail. A somewhat elusive bird but seen by about half of us was the Black Catbird. A lifer for everyone except Eric our guide. Lunch and dinner were both at the lodge. After dinner we would do the “list” as that was part of our routine. Conditions for sleeping were excellent with a nice cooling breeze coming off of the lagoon.

Feb. 24: We were up a little bit earlier as today we would have a three hour boat ride on the lagoon. For most of us the boat ride was the highlight of the entire trip. We had coffee and fruit first, then the boat ride, then a late breakfast. Water conditions were excellent. We saw four kingfisher species, namely: Belted, Green, Ringed and Pygmy. We saw egrets and herons including fantastic looks at three Jabirus. People who wanted to see Wood Storks stopped looking at the storks to concentrate on the Jabirus. For some the Jabirus were the best birds of the trip. Mixed in with the herons and egrets were sandpipers and ducks. We recorded a Muscovy Duck, but not the best view. We also concentrated on two hawks. We had excellent looks at the Black-collared Hawk and equally good looks at a Snail Kite, eating a snail. A few Black-necked Stilts and Roseate Spoonbills also made for nice viewing. The water level was somewhat lower than last year and made for a great concentration of birds, so much so that one did not know where to look first. After the boat ride and our brunch we headed towards our next lodge, the Crystal Paradise.

On the way we stopped at the Belize Zoo. The rule was if the bird is in a cage we can’t count it but if it was flying around the grounds it was OK for our list. In the cages were Harpy Eagle, Spectacled Owl and King Vulture. A funny thing happened while we were looking at the caged King Vulture, a real King Vulture, in the wild, flew right over us. A “lifer” for almost everyone. We left the zoo and headed towards our next lodge and dinner. It was a great day of birding.

Feb. 25: We were at our new lodge, the Crystal Paradise. Today we headed towards the Mountain Pine Ridge area. This venue was a different type of habitat and we saw different types of birds. After breakfast we were in our vans and heading out. We made two stops along the way looking for special birds. We were after the Blue Bunting in a spot where we had seen it in the past. This year we had no luck. We made another roadside stop in favorable habitat but we had to settle for Indigo Bunting. We also added good views of Yellow-faced Grassquit, Blue-black Grassquit and White-collared Seedeaters. Now for the Pine Ridge where we hoped to find a real rarity, the Orange-breasted Falcon. As soon as we got to the spot where it had been seen recently we got the bird. It was a very nice find and took a lot of pressure off of Eric, our guide. He wanted to get us all the special birds of Belize and this one was at the top of the list. Other birds seen at this spot were: Gray Hawk (3), Roadside Hawk, Osprey, Plumbeous Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, and King Vultures (3).

We made tacos for lunch while looking at the 1000-foot waterfalls. It is indeed a very beautiful place. On the way back to the lodge we located, in a secret spot, a Stygian Owl. A “lifer” for everyone except Eric. The Mountain Pine Ridge was not very birdy but the birds we saw were very special.

Feb. 26: Another day and another venue. Today we birded El Pilar, a Mayan ruin close to the Guatemalan border. There were many temples at this location but few if any have been excavated. The birds here were different from other locations we had visited. The highlights were: White Hawk, Blue-crowned Motmot (now called Lesson’s), White-whiskered Puffbird, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker and Golden-crowned Warbler.

We returned a bit early, took a break and then did some birding on the grounds of the lodge. We saw a good number of N.A. warblers including: Worm-eating, Hooded and Northern Waterthrush. We also had good looks at a Pale-billed Woodpecker. Dinner was at the lodge and we prepared for our last full day of birding.

Feb. 27: The Blue Hole National Park was our destination for the day. The park has two parts, one that leads to Herman’s Cave and the other which has the actual “Blue Hole.” On our first part we walked towards Herman’s Cave. Along the way a beautiful Blue-black Grosbeak was seen very nicely as well as heard nicely as it sang for our group. At the cave itself we spooked an owl, probably a Spectacled Owl but no one got a real good look. We drove about a half mile to the “Blue Hole” part of the park. We saw many N.A. warblers including: Chestnut-sided, Kentucky and Hooded. Probably one of the most common birds seen on our trip was the White-eyed Vireo which was present here and many other places we visited.

Lunch was in a restaurant in the capital of Belize, Belmopan. We headed back to our lodge, look a break and then headed out again for some birding on the grounds. We had excellent looks at male and female Black-headed Trogons. Dinner and the list followed and we prepared for our trip back.

Feb. 28: Before breakfast we did some birding on the grounds picking up the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. We had about 200 species in the “bucket” as they say but we wanted a few more to break last year’s record of 204. We had breakfast and then headed towards Belize City and the airport. We were very lucky and picked up a number of birds right at the shoreline in Belize City. The birds included: Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Laughing Gull, Black Skimmer and Royal Tern among others. It was an excellent trip, we made new friends, we saw great birds and our return flight was right on time.



SPECIES SEEN

Pied-billed Grebe
Brown Pelican
Brown Booby
Double-crested Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Anhinga
Magnificent Frigatebird
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Tricolored Heron
Little Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Agami Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Boat-billed Heron
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
Pinnated Bittern
Wood Stork
Jabiru
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Muscovy Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
King Vulture
Osprey
Swallow-tailed Kite
White-tailed Kite
Snail Kite
Double-toothed Kite
Plumbeous Kite
White Hawk
Great Black-Hawk
Black-collared Hawk
Gray Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Merlin
Orange-breasted Falcon
Plain Chachalaca
Limpkin
Gray-necked Wood-Rail
Purple Gallinule
American Coot
Northern Jacana
Black-necked Stilt
Killdeer
Short-billed Dowitcher
Whimbrel
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Willet
Ruddy Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Sandwich Tern
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Pale-vented Pigeon
Red-billed Pigeon
Short-billed Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Olive-throated Parakeet
White-crowned Parrot
Yellow-lored Parrot
White-fronted Parrot
Red-lored Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Groove-billed Ani
Striped Cuckoo
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Stygian Owl
Pauraque
White-collared Swift
Vaux's Swift
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift
Green-breasted Mango
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Cinnamon Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Black-headed Trogon
Slaty-tailed Trogon
Belted Kingfisher
Ringed Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
American Pygmy Kingfisher
Blue-crowned Motmot
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
White-whiskered Puffbird
Emerald Toucanet
Collared Aracari
Keel-billed Toucan
Acorn Woodpecker
Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Yucatan Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Golden-olive Woodpecker
Chestnut-colored Woodpecker
Pale-billed Woodpecker
Plain Xenops
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
Ivory-billed Woodcreeper
Barred Antshrike
Red-capped Manakin
Greenish Elaenia
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Sepia-capped Flycatcher
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Tropical Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher
Yucatan Flycatcher
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Couch's Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Rose-throated Becard
Masked Tityra
Black-crowned Tityra
Purple Martin
Gray-breasted Martin
Mangrove Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Band-backed Wren
Spot-breasted Wren
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Black Catbird
Tropical Mockingbird
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
Clay-colored Robin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Brown Jay
Yucatan Jay
White-eyed Vireo
Mangrove Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Lesser Greenlet
Blue-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Grace's Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Worm-eating Warbler
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Golden-crowned Warbler
Red-throated Ant-Tanager
Summer Tanager
Crimson-collared Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Yellow-winged Tanager
Scrub Euphonia
Yellow-throated Euphonia
Red-legged Honeycreeper
Blue-black Grassquit
White-collared Seedeater
Yellow-faced Grassquit
Rusty Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Grayish Saltator
Black-headed Saltator
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue-black Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Melodious Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Yellow-tailed Oriole
Hooded Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Black-cowled Oriole
Montezuma Oropendola
Black-headed Siskin



Species seen - 214