Bird Watching

22 Nov

A few days ago I got to go on a bird watching trip with a really professional guide at a beautiful river lodge right on the Belize border.  As with much of the incredible experiences I’ve had here, it was a mixture of pure luck and tenacity on my part, and it was definitely something I’ll never forget.  I usually write off “birders,” as they call themselves, as being a bit crazy, and I have to admit that I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of going “birding” for two days in the jungle.  And yet, after my first real sighting of a rare species through my binoculars, I was hooked.

Not that I’m going to become a birder, or anything drastic, but I have to admit that these guys have found a pretty cool hobby.  Unfortunately, birding means a lot of waiting and watching for only a few seconds of action, but I actually found that I enjoyed listening to the sounds of the jungle or gliding across the lagoon in silence as much as I did watching the hauntingly brief wing beats of a bird that suddenly appeared.

We stayed at Eco Albuerge Rio Sarstun, a jungle lodge run by FUNDAECO, a cool NGO that helps manage nationally protected areas in Guatemala.  The setting was perfect for watching birds and just enjoying the natural beauty of Guatemala, and when we set off the next morning for a tour of the mangrove by boat just as the sun was rising, the way the sunrise and the jungle reflected in the water was breathtaking.

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