Thursday, February 7, 2008

Belize - February 7, 2008

Day 7 began with the usual early start. But it was our last full day so there was a bit of sadness as we headed back down towards the bridge and looped back the other way along the Sac Be trail. Boy, we sure know why Chan Chich attracts so many birders. During this hour hike we saw Tanagers, Manakins, Kingfishers, Tinamou, Woodpeckers, Motmots, Trogons, and our favorite little Purple Crowned Fairy.

Summer Tanager

White Collared Manakin

Blue Crowned Motmot

Back at the lodge, I decided to take a closeup of the Oscillated Turkey feathers. They are quite pretty:
Oscillated Turkey

After Breakfast we headed out again. By this point in the trip, I was wearing out. There is no time to set up gear in the rainforest because everything moves too quickly. So, the whole week I have been hiking with the Nikon D300 and 300mm lens around my neck supported by one hand, a fully extented carbon tripod in my other hand, and a photo backpack on my back (extra lenses, lens cloths, filters, and lots of water). I don't want to kid you...I hurt. But, the adreneline caused by the spirit of adventure (and a few advil) helped a lot. The other factor was that we walked all day and never napped like others did in the heat of the day. We may rethink that approach on future rainforest trips.

Anyway, we set off again with the usual gear in tow and we hiked around until lunch time. The rainforest was alive as usual:

Purple Crowned Fairy

Red Hibiscus

Black Headed Trogon


Huge Ant

One of the great thing about the rain forest is that action happens on 3 levels. The ground litter is filled with interesting insects, amphibians, fungi, and ground mammals. The middle level is filled with song birds, butterflies, and flowers. The canopy level is filled with tree mammals, exotic birds, and many things you can't see. Action is everywhere. As mentioned before, the key is to walk, stop, look around and repeat.

Back at our cabana, I decided to go out and take some pictures of the tree full of nesting Oropendolas. This bird is really interesting because it creates hanging nests that resemble sacks and they like to swing upside down when they call. And it has quite a distinct call. And a very distinct sound when it flies.

Montezuma Oropendola

Montezuma Oropendola

Montezuma Oropendola

Today was turning into a really hot day, so after lunch we just got a guide to drive us around looking for wild cats. We saw turkey, Curasow, some crododiles and assorted birds, but no cats.

We hung pretty close to the lodge the rest of the day and took pictures close to our cabana.

Chan Chich Trail Map:
Trail Map

More jungle flowers:


Our night walk was pretty uneventful. We heard multiple Tree Frogs calling, but we could not locate them. However, the outside of our cabana was full of life when we returned. If you don't like critters, don't go to the rainforest:

Sleeping Butterfly

Unknown Moth

Wolf Spider

House Gecko

Sleeping Lizard

Big Striped Basilisk

We reluctantly went to sleep knowing that this was our last night in the jungle.

No comments: