Birding Belize 2006
Journal 15 Jan 06
|A lazy morning ending in a 45 minute open boat crossing of the lagoon to the outer edge of the reef quite a ways south of Dangriga. Southwater Caye is at the very edge of the reef; the water is reportedly over 1,000 feet deep 200 yards east of our cabin.
The ride over was a bit rough. A couple of times my ribs reminded me they are not yet fully healed. If the weather remains the same, the ride back will be much worse. Right now the wind is blowing at 10-15 miles per hour from the northwest - exactly the direction we will head going back to Dangriga. Only a few birds on the way over: Laughing Gull, Magnificent Frigatebird and a Brown Pelican.
Southwater Caye is small, and the part we can walk to is about half of that. The north end - we are on the southerly tip - is private. On arrival, we walked around a bit. Parts of the shoreline still have the native mangrove thickets, but other parts are concrete or sand. Happily, the seaward side of the Pelican's Pouch Resort are half or more native black and red mangrove.
We are in Heron's Hideaway, apparently the honeymoon cabin. To judge from the stories our fellow guests tell, we should value being in the only single cabin, as opposed to one of the duplexes. The cabin is in the mangrove at the shoreline, with a large covered deck. It has a nice eco-friendly bathroom, and lots of space. The sound of the surf offshore is noisy but not unpleasant. The room is wood below and screen above, and full of the smells of the shore.
There is no electricity here. Oh, there's 12-volt lights and water pumps, run from solar chargers and car batteries. But not AC. We heard a guest demanding his money back because his portable DVD player wouldn't work. That's not necessarily a drawback...
We had a brief snorkel. On a scale of 1 to Galapagos, it was a 5+. Tomorrow we'll try further out. My mask was leaking, but not too badly. The watersocks I brought made up for many of the deficiencies of the rental fins. But afterwards, resting in the beach chairs, we got chewed up again by sand fleas. They seem to be just as bad here as on the mainland.
Good food, though.
Some light late afternoon birding around the island. More species than you would expect.
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