Thursday, February 19, 2009

Belize part 6 - Lamanai ruins

On the afternoon of day 4 we drove to the Lamanai ruins in northern Belize. This remarkable area is one of the larger areas of excavated Mayan ruins. As per our experience at 1000 Foot Falls, the place was deserted by American standards. I also doubt that in America they would let you walk up to the top of the temple. I took the pic below using the timer setting with the camera on the tripod and then sprinting for our position on the temple.
I don't know the name of this flower but it's one I've always associated with the tropics:

Despite the heat of the day some large fruiting tree had attracted an amazing panoply of birds. I just called it the Wonderful Tree. All the rest of the photos were taken of birds in this tree alone.
A sulphur-bellied flycatcher (much more common in Belize than in SE Arizona):

A black-collared (citreoline) trogon:

I think euphonias are now lumped with finches rather than tanagers which is where they were placed when we were there. This, if memory serves, is a yellow-throated euphonia:

Finally a yellow-winged tanager, one of the few birds in nature that I've seen with true lavender.
Easily an entire day could have been spent at Lamanai going through far more of the ruins than we saw. A nice way to have done it would have been to have taken a boat trip from Crooked Tree to Lamanai on the river. There are also a couple lodges at Lamanai though they looked a little on the sketchy side (though this would have been a fun place to be in early morning). As it was we enjoyed our few hours there (where there was another cheeky gray fox and our first howler monkeys (which were indeed roaring from the trees - I had initial hopes for a jaguar but no such luck)).

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