This morning we got going earlier than normal (for us) and fought a stiff breeze to bike up north to Grand Belizean Estates for some birding.  Barry had such good luck seeing so many birds last Sunday while I was sick that I was hoping for a repeat performance, but for some reason, the birds were not quite as plentiful this week.  Perhaps it was simply too breezy for them to be out and about.  We had to be patient and look harder than usual, but we did end up seeing a couple different types of herons, several egrets, cormorants, plovers, a Greater Yellowlegs, Killdeers, Common Black-Hawks, Tropical Kingbirds, mockingbirds, grackles, and a couple of ducks (possibly American Coots, but too far away to identify).  Most interesting was a pair of parrots that chattered loudly as they flew overhead, then into the dense roadside foliage, allowing us only a quick glimpse of their green backs, so no hope of making an identification this time.  Perhaps we will get a chance to see them again one day.
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Grand Belizean Estates
Just outside GBE, Barry spotted this small fellow, which we later identified as a White-Collared Seedeater, on a weedy shrub by the sandy road.  A new bird for our life lists!  
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White-Collared Seedeater
On our way back, we stopped at Aji for a delicious Mediterranean omelet breakfast.  Chef Hugo served us himself, and we had a delightful breeze through the trees in this perfect tropical setting.  We could make a habit of this, and may!
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Beautiful setting at Aji
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Mediterranean Omelet with fruit and potatoes -- seriously yummy
I've been noticing the large leaves on these trees turning color here and there and find it very interesting.  I always assumed no leaves turned in the tropics, but apparently there are exceptions.  I don't know what tree this is -- perhaps a reader can enlighten me?
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I really enjoyed seeing some "fall color" in January!
As we got back to Chico Caribe, we noticed this medley of herons amidst the copious seagrass that has floated towards shore this morning.  Unfortunately, it is filled with plastic trash -- the scourge of Belize.   Belize is a study in contrasts -- the beautiful right alongside the ugly.
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Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, seagrass, and trash
 


Comments

Denise
01/08/2012 16:02

Hi Emily

I've enjoyed reading about your adventures in San Pedro. I spent 1 very exciting year there. I miss it so much. I was there when they were building Grand Caribe.

The leaves that change color might be on the Noni Tree. Is it along the beachside bike path just north of White Sands?

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BeBelize Emily
01/08/2012 17:53

Hi Denise - Glad you're enjoying the blog. The photo of the tree was taken at Aji, but there are also a bunch of them beside Grand Caribe along the little path to the Lazy Croc (closed...sniff). There may well be some at White Sands also, but this is where I've noticed them closer to home. I didn't see any noni fruits on these trees earlier in the season, but I could've missed 'em.

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Denise
01/09/2012 15:06

The locals usually pluck the noni fruit from the trees as soon as they ripen. If you do see some, be warned, when they get ripe they smell awful and the stench lingers.

:-)

01/09/2012 17:08

Great images!

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BeBelize Emily
01/09/2012 21:13

Thanks aj! And Denise, thanks for the warning. I saw some noni fruit at the fruit market, but it didn't smell -- perhaps it wasn't ripe yet? It was white.

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