England and Belize (two Birdfilled Weeks)

Yeah, so I realize that I haven’t posted for a while and I have an explanation, I have spent the last mon either busy with an animal behavior program at the zoo or birding out of the country. I also realize that I promised a blog post when I returned from England, it’s two weeks since then. So, I have decided to just write a post now with details of my adventures in England and Belize.
So, every three years or so, my family goes to England because that is where my Dad is from. We go to a different area every time. This time it was Summerset. While most people in my family are looking forward to the quaint countryside, the nice people, and the good food, I always look forward to the birds. This trip was no exception and I spent the two weeks we were there birding the area around the farm we were staying in.

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The bird above is a pied wagtail. These charming little birds were everywhere on the farm. Anyway, the first few days I just birded around the farm itself picking up birds like green woodpecker, robin, European blackbird, wood dove, great tit, blue tit, and others. Easy birds for those of you living in the UK. Other days yielded more birds like rook, jackdaw, long-tailed tit, chiffchaff, and great spotted woodpecker.

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shot of a wood dove with rim lighting

I spent the rest of the time picking up easy to get birds like those and a few harder to get ones. The real excitement came during two outings.

One of these outings was to a canal with many locks. In the drainage pool for the locks I was able to find many birds such as Eurasian coot, mute swan (good to see in native habitat), tufted duck, and even a kingfisher. The other outing was too Weston Super-Mare. Me and my Dad, sister, and Mom went down to the seashore and walked along one of the cliffs there. Birds seen there were, curlew and shelduck. More photos from the England trip will appear in a later post.

The next week after returning from England, I went to Belize with my school. It was technically a marine biology trip but I managed to fit in some birding. We were staying at a marine research facility in San Pedro, a town on Ambergris Caye (an island offshore of Belize City)

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A Map of Ambergris Caye

However, let me backtrack. I woke up at 3:30 Friday morning to head with my friend to the airport. After, a long stressful two flights, we landed in Belize City. From there, we took a short flight in a tiny plane to the island. The views from the plane were amazing! You could see all the islands, the reefs, and the turtle grass!

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View from Plane
The first thing I noticed on arrival was the large numbers of magnificent frigate birds around. My heart almost stopped. The one bird I have wanted to see my whole life is a frigate bird!

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Frigate bird on Beach
We then took a taxi to the research center. There I was treated with great kiskadees, tropical kingbirds, white winged doves, and common ground-doves.

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White-Winged Dove
Most of the rest of the time I wasn’t able to spend birding but one day we did take a trip to the mainland. Allowing for close up views of plain chacalacas, brown jays, and vermillion flycatcher.

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Plain Chacalaca
All in all it was an epic trip.
Now, I am back in the US and the birding is going at a much slower pace. So while I struggle through a heat wave to increase my year list I encourage you to keep cool and go birding.
Till Next Time

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