March 2014

14th-18th March 2014
Crooked Tree Lodge, Belize

Moon-rise at Crooked Tree Lodge

After my stay at La Milpa, I headed back to Crooked Tree. This time I stayed in the north of the sanctuary at Crooked Tree Lodge and explored the surrounding area by foot, boat and kayak.

Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine (Sphiggurus mexicanus)

The highlight of my stay here was a pair of Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupines that were spending the day in the backyard of one of the workmen at the lodge who very generously took me over to his house to see them.

Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine (Sphiggurus mexicanus)

Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine (Sphiggurus mexicanus)

Dotleaf Water-lily (Nymphaea ampla)

The pond at the lodge has a resident crocodile who spends most of the day lurking on a platform in the middle of the water.

Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii)

Around the edges of the pond, Bare-faced Tiger-herons, Grey-necked Wood-rails and shorebirds were regularly seen, especially in the early mornings.

Bare-faced Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

Grey-necked Wood-rail (Aramides cajanea)

Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia)

Ringed Kingfishers were quite quarrelsome here and seemed to spend a considerable amount of time chasing each other around the property.

Ringed Kingfisher (Ceryle torquata)

A muddy pool in a shady area at the base of some trees on the edge of the property was a favoured spot for warblers to come down for a bath and I spent several afternoons just quietly sitting by the pool waiting on the next bird to arrive. On one day I saw a total of 11 species coming down to drink and bathe in the water, the best of which was a beautiful Worm-eating Warbler!

Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus)

Worm-eating Warbler (Basiliscus vittatus)

Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorus)

Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrina)

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)

Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

Lesser Greenlets, a warbler-like member of the vireo family, also occasionally came down to bathe...

Lesser Greenlet (Hylophilus decurtatus)

Common birds regularly seen around the cabanas included House Wren, Tropical Mockingbird and Great-tailed Grackle.

Southern House Wren (Troglodytes musculus)

Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)

female Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Both Striped Basilisk and Black Iguana were also common...

Striped Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus)

Black Iguana (Ctenosaura similis)

Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons)

With absolutely no light pollution, the full moon appeared incredibly bright and easily provided enough light to walk around safely by without the aid of a flashlight.

Reflections on the water from the full moon

Reflections on the water from the full moon

7th-13th March 2014 (part 2) 2014 index 19th-23th March 2014