|Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga|
|Roosting Proboscis Bats Rhynchonycteris naso|
|Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius|
Before we have even boarded the boat, Moez has picked up a couple of Wilson's Snipe Gallinago delicata drilling into the mud in the marsh next to our lodge. With the boat trip under way, we quickly find many of the lagoon's emblematic species: Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma mexicanum, Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis, Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga, Gull-billed Gelochelidon nilotica and Caspian Terns Hydroprogne caspia, Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinicus. There are plenty of Ospreys Pandion haliaetus, all of them wintering birds of the North American breeding subspecies carolinensis, in contrast to those on Ambergris which are largely resident ridgwayi. Then, surprisingly with this level of water, an Agami Heron trying to keep well out of sight along a weed-choked channel. On the large area of open water beyond, we see some 80 Fulvous Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor and a dozen Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris, birds only seen here occasionally. In Spanish Creek, a roost of Boat-billed Herons Cochlearius cochlearius numbers over 20 birds. We have been on the water for almost three hours, so must get back quickly for lunch and our long drive to Chan Chich. On the way, a distant Sterna tern catches my attention: Forster's Tern S. forsteri! Not common here, it is the only new bird for Belize that I will see during the trip. Michael tells us he has never seen one – can he be right? Since it is flying fast in the direction of the lodge, we speed after it to get a photograph. An exciting end to a really good boat trip.
|Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri|