Sunday 17 August 2014

Black Rock Lodge, Belize - Days 1 and 2

We left Lamanai Outpost  Lodge the same way we arrived, via an exhilarating speedboat ride, lasting about an hour. We then had an hour's drive (bus minibus) to Belize International airport. Here we were met by a representative from Black Rock Lodge (Carlos), swapped vehicles and began the 2.5 hour transfer.

After a quick chat with Carlos, I soon found out that he was one of the lodge's bird guides! Result. I asked him to point out anything he spotted along the way and we chatted birds for the best part of the next 2.5 hours. On route I managed 5 new birds including Yucatan Jay, Fork Tailed Flycatcher (2), Gray Hawk, Bronzed Cowbird, Lesser Swallow Tailed Swift, Least Flycatcher and an impressive Jabiru Stork.                

Jabiru Stork


Gray Hawk 

Least Flycatcher

Black Rock lodge is a high quality rain forest location, with stunning views, great accommodation and good food. The mountain ridge opposite was excellent for raptors, and the gardens and surrounding forest great for a wide variety of birds.    

Banded Backed Wren - a less than impressive picture of an impressive bird - seen only a few times briefly

Green Backed Sparrow

 The view from our cabana  
 An early morning (6am) find. I was waiting in the early morning light for a guide to take me out birding for a couple of hours, when this large raptor unexpectedly drifted over. I grabbed my camera, and rattled off a few shots, but all I could get was a silhouette.  There was some debate among the guides, but eventually they settled on Ornate Hawk-Eagle.    

After  a successful morning walk (bird list post to follow)all four of us, with guide our guide, climbed the mountain opposite the lodge. In humid conditions, it was shard work, but enjoyable seeing quite a few birds, including this Tody Motmot, that we initially only heard, then our guide expertly called back which brought it closer and closer, until there it was sat 40 feet in front of us. A good bird we were advised, not often seen.    

 Tody Motmot

 A big fat hairy turantula
 There at last - a well deserved rest at the top

 Sophie and Jamie - enjoying the view

 White Hawk - one of a pair seen from the summit

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