28 de diciembre de 2019

Overlap of ranges of Anaxyrus fowleri and Anaxyrus woodhousii in Missouri

Anaxyrus fowleri and Anaxyrus woodhousii are difficult to distinguish by photographic evidence where their ranges overlap. I have compiled the ranges of Anaxyrus fowleri and Anaxyrus woodhousii as represented by the Missouri Herpetological Atlas Project (https://atlas.moherp.org/species/) and the Missouri Fish and Wildlife Information System (https://mdc12.mdc.mo.gov/applications/mofwis/Mofwis_Search1.aspx), and depicted the range overlap of the two species. This compilation includes all the counties where either of the two sources show the presence of one or the other species, and highlights the counties where the species' ranges overlap.

anaxyrus_fowleri_woodhousii_overlap

Ingresado el 28 de diciembre de 2019 por lfelliott lfelliott | 1 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de septiembre de 2018

Hyla versicolor/chrysoscelis in Missouri

There are numerous images of Hyla species posted for Missouri, and H. versicolor cannot be distinguished from H. chrysoscelis based on images alone. Auditory evidence (or DNA evidence) is required to confirm the species. A good discussion of call differences can be found at http://frogcalls.blogspot.com/2016/03/gray-treefrogs-hyla-versicolor-vs-hyla_29.html

I am aware of two sources available on the web providing information about the distribution of the two species, Missouri Fish and Wildlife Information System (http://mdc7.mdc.mo.gov/applications/mofwis/mofwis_search1.aspx) and the Missouri Herpetological Atlas Project (atlas.moherp.org, which appears to be down at the time of this writing 9/23/2018). I have attempted to compile the information into a single graphic.
hyla_distributions

I do not have any direct knowledge of the validity of either assessment of the distributions. Distributions generated from observations on iNaturalist are suspect, since observations confirmed by identification from images are suspect (in my opinion).

There is an option to ID these observations as "Complex Hyla versicolor - Gray Tree Frog Complex". Start typing Hyla versicolor to suggest an ID and select the option with "Complex Gray Tree Frog Complex" as the common name. The scientific name will appear to be Hyla versicolor until you select the complex and the ID field will return the complex.

Any information clarifying the distributions of the two species in Missouri would be appreciated. Also, if anyone detects errors in the maps provided in this post, based on your knowledge of the two sources, I would be happy to correct them. I will not, however, attempt to correct the maps outside of possible transcription errors that I have introduced in producing the maps.

Ingresado el 23 de septiembre de 2018 por lfelliott lfelliott | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de agosto de 2016

Venezuela observations

To any who may be angry at me for flooding their desktop with observations lacking evidence and dated from 30 years ago, I apologize. I'm trying to use iNaturalist as a repository for an old guy's field notes. Maybe someday someone will want to know if there were capybaras in the llanos in 1983. I don't know ;?

Ingresado el 01 de agosto de 2016 por lfelliott lfelliott | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de julio de 2015

Using range to identify species

While knowledge of the ranges of various species is no doubt a useful aid in identification, I worry some that using it too much might lead to reduced knowledge of the true ranges of species. If we say "this is such-and-such species because it is the most common species in this area," we produce a self fulfilling prophecy. The most common species becomes even more common (at least according to our identifications). This reduces the likelihood that we gain knowledge about the ranges of similar looking (at least from photographs) species. Yes, I am also guilty of using this crutch. And, I know contributors of observations prefer knowing what species they've observed, even if the identification is tentative and based primarily on range. It's one thing to use range to identify observations of species that have widely non-overlapping ranges, say a species common to the montane west, versus a species of the Appalachians. Or highly local endemics, for instance salamanders endemic to specific caves. I'm more concerned about "the most likely of a few similar species in an area" identifications.

I don't have any good resolution to this dilemma (at least, I see it as a dilemma). Especially since contributors are free to use their best judgement when offering identifications. I certainly don't want to stifle use of the site, through over-thinking this thing.

Has this bugged anybody else, or it just me?

Ingresado el 14 de julio de 2015 por lfelliott lfelliott | 8 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de septiembre de 2014

Dragonflies Eating Ant Gasters

On 20 Sep 2014 at about 2 pm I noticed a large aggregation of Anax junius in the yard. There were at least 30 individuals apparently foraging between 1.5 and 20 m above the ground. They were circling around above the driveway and the adjacent yard. There is no aquatic habitat in the vicinity and I took this to be a migratory event and reported it as such to http://www.migratorydragonflypartnership.org. I still think this may be the case. An hour later I noticed winged ants crawling up the edge of the garage, but most of them lacked a gaster. I saw at least 40 individuals and all but a few lacked a gaster. I posted a photo to bugguide (http://bugguide.net/node/view/998944) and almost immediately got a response from John and Jane Balaban that they had seen a similar event. At the same time, I posted the photo to the Hymenopterist's Forum on Facebook and got a response from Bolívar Rafael Garcete Barrett that he had also witnessed such an event (dragonflies eating the gaster of emerging alate ants). Though I didn't witness a predation event directly, I now feel fairly certain that this is what happened. I think a large number of migrating Anax junius found an ant emergence and proceeded to gastrate many of the emerging alates. I haven't identified the ant species yet, but I'm working on it. According to Brendon E. Boudinot at Bugguide (http://bugguide.net/node/view/998944), the ants belong to the genus Crematogaster.

Ingresado el 21 de septiembre de 2014 por lfelliott lfelliott | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de enero de 2010

Belize vacation, December 2009

Saturday (5 December) - Left Columbia to arrive at airport around 8am to catch a 10:40 flight. It was cold and we tried not to pack any winter clothes, so the trip from the economy parking to the airport was brisk. The flight left Kansas City about an hour late due to snow in Houston. We arrived in Houston with just enough time to change terminals and catch the flight to Belize City, which arrived there on time at about 3:30 pm. We were met at the airport by Miquel (Iko?) “Mike”. Who drove us back to Pook’s Hill Lodge. We took a route that went on the Northern Highway to the turn towards Burrell Boom and then south to Hattieville where we continued west on the Western Highway past Belmopan to the village of Teakettle where we turned off the highway to reach Pook’s Hill, a few miles off the Western Highway. The trip on the highway took us through mainly open, second growth. The few trees I recognized were Cecropia obtusifolia (cecropia), the palm Acoelorrhaphe wrightii (palmetto), and Pinus caribaea (Carribean pine). Hyparrhenia (possibly rufa, but maybe bracteata) was a common grass observed along the highway. Acoelorrhaphe wrightii apparently does well with frequent fire, as we saw several areas where the sparse overstory was dominated by this palm and previous burns were evident from the charred bases of the vegetation. As we approached the lodge, the vegetation became very dense and it began to rain. When we arrived, we were met by Cat and David who are managing the lodge for Vicki Snaddon, who was having a birthday party (her birthday was actually the next day). We were treated to Belikin beers and fantastic home-made tortilla chips before being shown to our room (Cat had upgraded us to one of the Bird Walk cabanas). Nancy immediately found a rather large wolf spider that was traversing the inside of the thatch roof. After settling in a bit, we returned to have a nice dinner in the communal dining room. Aaron and Ashley (2 friends of David’s) were visiting. They were involved with community farming and were very passionate about the subject.

Sunday (6 December) – It had rained during the night and I woke up early to explore around the immediate vicinity of the cabana. Immediately I saw a blue-crowned motmot in the cecropia tree just outside the cabana. Numerous other birds were observed, including a keel-billed toucan and a crimson-collared tanager and black-headed saltators. We enjoyed a great breakfast before starting off on our first trip with our guide, Miguel. Miguel drove us, and two of Vicki’s guests from the previous evening’s festivities, to San Ignacio. On the way down to Teakettle, Miguel pointed out a tree nursery where the owner had planted Sweitenia macrophylla (mahogany), Tectona sp. (teak), and a few Ceiba pentandra (ceiba). We passed a large purplish blooming tree in Teakettle that Miguel called may flower (Tabebuia sp.). We dropped off the guests, found a restroom, and saw a collared aracari in the parking lot. We met a person (Tony?) with a canoe at the Macal River bridge (the low bridge). At the put in point, we immediately saw a northern jacana, Amazon kingfisher, and mangrove swallows on the river. We paddled upstream for a little more than an hour and saw numerous (mostly male) Iguana iguana (iguanas) in the trees along the river. The vegetation was verdant along the river and composed of numerous trees, none of which were recognizable to me. Miguel pointed out a thicket of spiny bamboo (I believe this to be Guadua longifolia). He also pointed out the thorny palm, Chrysophila argentea (give-and-take palm) and an epiphytic cactus, that he called guts (devil's gut, perhaps an Epiphyllum or Selenicereus?) that hung down from high in the trees. We also saw several Basiliscus vittatus (basilisk) lizards along the river. On one limestone outcrop along the river, we saw a small group of Rhynchonycteris naso (proboscis bats) roosting. We paddled up river to an area with yellow-crowned night-herons roosting in the river side trees and saw a sungrebe on the way. We returned to the take-out, where we saw a blue-gray tanager, as well as a yellow-bellied elaenia. We then went to eat lunch and saw a melodius blackbird in the courtyard. After lunch, we went to the Xunantunich archeological site at the western edge of Belize off the Western Highway. We crossed the river on a hand-wench operated ferry. As we arrived at the other side of the river, we saw a Ctenosaura similis (black iguana) on a rocky outcrop along the road. We arrived at the parking lot, where Miguel signed us in at the visitor desk. On the way to the site, he pointed out several species, including Orbigyna cohune (cohune palm). He indicated the importance of all the parts of this plant. He also pointed out Pimenta dioica (allspice), Bursera simaruba (gumbo limbo), Ficus crassiuscula (strangler fig), Manilkara zapota (chicle or sapodilla) and Tabernaemontana arborea (cojones). He indicated that Manilkara is often scarred by earlier chicle collectors and that the wood is very strong and is resistant to rot (probably used in the structural elements of the dining room at the lodge). Perched in the understory on the walk to the site was a roadside hawk. Miguel then took us to the archaeological site, showing us the various architectural and cultural aspects of the site. Upon leaving the site, we ran into a small troop of Alouatta pigra (howler monkeys) of which we only got a few glimpses. Nancy purchased a small shawl from a local woman vending just outside of the site. We then returned to Pook’s Hill. On the road from San Ignacio to Teakettle, we saw a gray hawk and Miguel pointed out a large Enterlobium cyclocarpum (Guanacaste) on the side of the road. Belikin at the lodge, and a great dinner was provided. We discovered that David is from Bailey’s Harbor! That evening, army ants came into the cabana and explored the bathroom, but had moved on by the time we returned to the cabana after dinner.

Monday (7 December) – Today we decided to stay around Pook’s Hill. Miguel took us on a walk in the upper part of the lodge property including the Guan Trail where we saw an emerald toucanet (which Miguel called “the rare”). Miguel showed us the ant acacia, Acacia cookii, and the ants that protect it. Cecropia obtusifolia also has symbiotic ant colonies (probably a species of Azteca). We saw leaf-cutter ants frequently throughout our trip. We also found an army ant column that was being followed by numerous birds, including the red-throated ant-tanager, yellow-billed cacique, tawny-winged woodcreeper, ruddy woodcreeper, and wedge-billed woodcreeper. We spent a bit too long in the area and received some stings from the ants. We left the ants and flushed a mottled owl as we walked up the trail. We marveled at the diversity, particularly the plants. We found small, yellow stingless bees (Meliponinae, possibly Tetragonisca angustula) that made small tube nests on tree trunks. Nancy came upon a large (~ 3cm long) metallic wood-boring beetle. It was a beautiful yellow color and posed for us to photograph, but the light was not conducive to good images. I believe it was a Euchroma gigantea, a giant ceiba borer. We also found slaty-tailed and black-headed trogons. Miguel heard a masked tityra, but we never saw it. As we were returning, Miguel found the emerald toucanet, as well as collared aracari. A small flock of olive-throated parakeets flew over, and we saw red-lored parrots (though I wasn’t able to identify them as such but was told by Miguel the identity). Miguel also pointed out the call of a short-billed pigeon, though we never saw them. In addition, we saw lineated and pale-billed woodpecker, dot-winged antwren, and ochre-bellied flycatcher among many other birds. We returned for lunch. The hummingbird feeders had been removed for service, and the rufous-tailed hummingbirds were quite emphatic that something needed to be done. The little black bees (also Meliponinae, I think) that also visited the feeders were quite upset. In the afternoon, Nancy and I took a walk on the lower trails. These trails cross an opening referred to as the “meadow” and then follow along the Roaring River, approaching the river at several points. We observed and photographed an Eleutherodactylus chac (Maya rainfrog) along the trail in the forest. At first we were going to bypass the meadow, but decided to walk around in it and found it to have quite a few butterflies including Anartia fatima and Catonephele mexicana. The openings provided habitat somewhat different from what we had thus far encountered. We observed band-backed wrens, which reminded me vividly of the stripe-backed wrens that I had studied in Venezuela. We also observed a black-faced antthrush, white-breasted wood-wren, yellow-throated euphonia, and a blue-black grosbeak. Nancy took a brief dip in the Roaring River at the “red cliff”, and I waded in the river to cool my feet. The mosquitoes were pretty bad under the closed canopy along the river, but that didn’t stop us from stopping a few more times, once to wonder over the beauty of a Caligo telamonius (owl butterfly) that continued to flit around the buttress roots of one of the trees along the trail. That evening Vicky put up a sheet with a mecury-vapor light to attract insects. Cat rescued a tarantula (perhaps Brachypelma vagrans, it had a red rump didn't it) from one of the cabanas and released it for everyone to observe. It decided to crawl up Nancy’s leg which was mildly disconcerting. While we ate dinner, the light attracted a few moths, a proboscis laden fulgorid, several large katydids, and a couple of female rhinoceros beetles.

Tuesday (8 December) – We woke and had breakfast early in order to leave to head for the Maya Mountains and the pine savannas of higher elevations and underlain by granite and Paleozoic sediments. Miguel was waiting for us, but we were momentarily distracted by a Bufo campbelli (rainforest toad) that was hopping in the yard in front of the office at the lodge. We left and headed west again. This time we left the Western Highway and headed south at Georgeville. As we started up the dirt road, we saw a large Boa constrictor dead on the road. Pinus caribaea slowly began appearing in the canopy, even though broad-leaved species dominated the still closed canopy. As we reached higher elevations, the pines began to dominate and the canopy began to thin. There were often areas with a relatively sparse overstory of Pinus caribaea (a 3-needled pine) with numerous other species of woody plants and a dense herbaceous layer, sometimes graminoid, sometimes made up of ferns (perhaps Dicranopteris flexuosa). One showy species was an Hypericaceae, perhaps Hypericum terrae-firmae, with showy yellow flowers. Many of the pine trees were dead, apparently as a result of a severe infestation by the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) around the turn of the century. Also present in some areas was Pinus tecunumanii (=P. patula or P. oocarpa), an apparently 5-needled pine. A Quercus sp. was also observed and photographed. Grasses and sedges were a significant contributor to the fairly dense herbaceous cover in the savanna. We went to the overlook at 1000 Ft. Falls where Miguel heard an orange-barred falcon, but I neither heard nor saw it. Moister slopes visible from the overlook appeared to be composed of broadleaf tropical forest, while drier ridges retained the pine cover. Birds we saw in this habitat included yellow-rumped warblers, yellow-throated warblers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and hepatic tanagers. We also saw a golden-hooded tanager, a gray-crowned yellowthroat, acorn woodpeckers, and dusky-capped flycatchers. We then proceeded to a lunch spot at Rio on Pools where the river flowed over the granitic bedrock and several butterflies flitted among the shrubby habitat between the picnic area and a rocky spot that overlooked the river. After lunch, we continued on to visit the Rio Frio cave. Here we had to wait a bit to have armed guards follow us to the cave. We parked in the vicinity of the nearby research station, where locals had hung oropendula nests in a tree. The nests were low enough that Nancy could examine them carefully. The cave appeared to be in limestone that must be perched atop the granitic rock below. A short walk carried us through the cave to the opening on the other side. Within the cave, pools were visible where cave formations formed when water seeped through the cave walls and deposited material as it flowed. Several of the trees in this area were labeled, but I remember none of them. It was a broadleaf forest, but lacking the thick understory characteristic of similar forests in the lowlands. We observed a lizard that Miguel called a rainbow ameiva (Ameiva undulata). After leaving the cave, we returned to Rio on Pools for a swim. I was able to photograph a few butterflies that were visiting a lantana blooming at the edge of the pool. We then drove back down the mountain and found a Spilotes pullatus (tropical rat snake) dead on the road. We returned for dinner, but I was not feeling well. Perhaps I was a bit dehydrated? We went to bed early.

Wednesday (9 December) – Our last morning at Pook’s Hill. I awoke early, and feeling better, I took a short walk before breakfast. After breakfast, I decided to take another walk down by the river while Nancy opted to rest and enjoy the cabana and vicinity. Not 50 m from the cabana, along the Butterfly Walk, I heard a rustling in the canopy about 5 meters above my head and to the right. I finally got a glimpse of a Tamandua mexicana (northern tamandua), lumbering along in the canopy and moving from tree to tree. I tried to bring Nancy back to the spot, but the anteater had apparently moved on. Nancy returned to the cabana to avoid getting more mosquito bites which had attacked her legs fiercely at some point in the trip. As I walked on the trail, I heard a noisy group of groove-billed anis and noticed several grey-headed tanagers perched on the low vegetation along the trail. I quickly realized that there must be an army ant column moving across the trail. So I stood and watched as several other species, including the red-throated ant-tanager arrived and perched alongside the grey-headed tanagers. Activity began to wane at that spot, so I tried to project where the column might be crossing the trail again. I found them again, and this time heard and saw a great antshrike working the edge of the trail where the ants crossed. After spending several minutes watching the phenomenon, I decided I needed to move on so as to return to the lodge by lunch time in order to catch a ride with Miguel back to Belize City. I was lucky to find an Ameiva undulata (rainbow ameiva) working the vegetation along the trail and got some photographs. I walked down to the river to find an Amazon kingfisher perched along the water. I ran into Miguel as I left the river, but couldn’t spend any time exploring with him, as my time was quickly running out. We had lunch, said good-bye to our new found friends, and started back to Belize City. Along the way we did see some interesting birds, including soaring jabirus, a common black-hawk, and a short-tailed hawk. We began to see Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) along the ditches beside the road as we approached Belize City. Miguel dropped us at the water taxi in town, Nancy dropped some cards in the mail across the street from the water taxi and we caught the boat to Caye Caulker. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the island, we caught one of the golf cart taxis to our hotel (Barefoot Beach), put our stuff up, and walked back into town. The island is small and is easily walked from the “Split” (where the island is broken by a small channel) in the north, to the south part of town where the small landing strip is. The magnificent frigatebirds flocked just above the beach and the brown pelicans were plentiful. We found some Belikin and a light dinner of rice and beans and returned to our room. We took showers (with the “on-demand” heated water) and slept.

Thursday (10 December) – We woke up early and walked south from the hotel to find a small nature sanctuary south of town (just north of the airstrip). This area had several woody plants labeled with hand-painted signs. The only ones I remember were Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), Avicennia germinans (black mangrove), Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove), Conocarpus erectus (button mangrove), Bursera simaruba (gumbo limbo), Metopium brownei (black poisonwood), Cordia sebestena (island ziricote), Thrinax radiata,Chrysobalanus icaco (cocoplum), Coccoloba uvifera (sea grape), and a Sideroxylon sp. There were numerous animals calling from the vegetation in the early morning, but I was unable to discover what they were (I did make some recordings). We saw several young Ctenosaurus similis (black iguanas), which were lovely. The abundant anole, Norops sagrei, was also present and quite aggressive with their push-ups and aggressive dewlap displays. Nancy was able to show me some Cassiopoeia jellyfish in the shallow water around the roots of the mangroves. We saw and heard several mangrove warblers foraging in the forest as we walked back to town. We had breakfast at the “Happy Lobster” and searched for a kayak to rent. Nancy suggested that I should try out the mask and snorkel before we were out on the reef, which turned out to be a good idea. We had seen a place to rent kayaks the evening before, but that establishment was unwilling to rent us a boat because the proprietor was “out on a tour.” So we found a canoe for rent. The canoe weighed about 200 lbs. and the only paddles that were available were about 6 in. wide and 2 feet long, but we didn’t have far to go and were not in a big hurry, so we took it. We paddled around the “Split” and into the mangroves on the backside of the island. When we tried to snorkel, I found that my mask leaked pretty badly and my nose kept filling with salt water, which was very irritating. Eventually (in the coming days), I figured out how to cope with the leaking mask, but it was frustrating at the time. The northern part of the island is relatively uninhabited with a few houses and docks along the west side of the island (leeward) where we decided to paddle. The mangrove roots were very interesting and we did find numerous fish to watch while I practiced with my mask and fins. We also swam around in the turtle grass. We landed and I attempted to walk back into the mangrove forest, but the muck was very deep and the biting flies in the forest were intense, so I retreated to find a land crab in my sandal that I had left in the canoe. It had somehow found its way into the canoe and decided to hide in my sandal. I accused Nancy of putting it there, but she claimed to have some trepidation in handling such a well-armed creature. So we photographed it and let it go on the island. We spent more than 3 hours on the water and were beginning to get a little sun-burned, so decided to return. We made reservations for a local snorkel trip to the reefs for the next morning and had dinner of broiled snapper (I think it was a restaurant called the Herbal Tribe) before heading back to Barefoot Beach to sit out on the dock, rest in the hammocks, and eventually go to bed.

Friday (11 December) – Early we walked down to the sanctuary to see what was going on before packing up to leave Caye Caulker. We had to check out of the room by 10:00 am which was when our snorkel trip left, so we packed up and left our bags in the office and set off for the trip. We took our snorkeling gear to the EZ Boy dock for a trip to the local reefs (a 3 hr. tour). I ended up using their mask and snorkel, which fit much better. It was about a 5 min. boat ride out to the reef. We had a guide with us while we explored the reefs off of the Caye, he pointed out many wonderful fish, including a nurse shark, my first while in the water. We saw stoplight parrotfish among many others. My first experience on the reef, and it was fantastic! The reef was very shallow and required no deep excursions to see most of the life on the reef. After about 45 minutes on the reef, we got back in the boat and went to a place where fishermen had traditionally cleaned fish. There were numerous southern rays in the area, and the guide held one of them gently and we could touch it. After about 30 minutes at this site, we moved on to the area called the “swash” where a break in the coral reef allows the tide to flow in. Here we were allowed to explore on our own and were admonished not to stand or disrupt the coral in any way. It was fantastic. We returned to the dock at about 1:30, had some nachos and a beer before retrieving our bags and taking the water taxi on to Caye Ambergris. As we were loading onto the ferry, we met Cat, David, Aaron, and Ashley who were coming to Caulker for a holiday. It was about a 20 minute ride up to San Pedro. San Pedro is a sizeable town, and made Caye Caulker seem quite laid-back. We took a taxi up to our hotel, The Tides, which was very nice with a swimming pool and a small bar and a dive shop on the water. There was also a local cat which became very fond of Nancy. It is a family run place with the matriarch Sabrina seeming to run things generally, while the patriarch Patojo (real name Elmer) seemed to be in charge of the dive operations. The hotel office is out on the dock, next to the dive shop. We found a nice place to eat (“Wumbuga’s “ or something, can’t remember the name) that was just right. I had a shrimp burrito and Nancy had fish tacos. We set up a snorkel trip for the next morning and went to bed.

Saturday (12 December) – Morning came and I walked down to Ruby’s place to get us some coffee. We had planned to go snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve at 9 am. A few minor squalls blew through, so we waited at the dive center and met Mike, Victor, and Sasha, a man and his two sons from Spokane, WA. I used supplied mask and snorkel and Nancy got about 4 pounds of weights to help her dive. On our way to Hol Chan (typically about a 15 min. boat ride), one of the engines began to miss and it began to rain and got a little chilly. Patojo asked if we wanted to cancel the trip. Most of us wanted to go on, but a couple who wanted to scuba dive decided to wait for a better time. We picked up 2 men and a 5 yr. old girl at another spot and headed for the reserve. We arrived at the reserve as the rain ended and got a brief introduction to the reef and were lead out to the reef by a capable guide trailing a life-jacket for anyone who got in trouble. He was able to show us a moray eel almost immediately, and a Christmas tree worm. But the number of fish we saw at Hol Chan was remarkable. The spotted eagle rays and tarpon were perhaps the most charismatic. After spending more than an hour at Hol Chan we went to Shark Ray Alley where we saw houndfish, nurse sharks, and southern rays. Nancy and I got to hug a nurse shark, it was quite spectacular. We returned in a separate boat, as the boat we arrived in was quite hampered. We were planning to do the dive trip again the next morning, but the ill boat made this seem unlikely. We decided to forfeit our room in Belize City for the night after the upcoming one in order to stay in San Pedro one more night. By this time we were comfortable with knowledge that the water taxi could get us back to Belize City in plenty of time to make our flight. We had a couple of Belikin at the bar (manned by Said), and went to have dinner at The Patio. We each had broiled grouper, which was quite good. Patojo and his crew worked well into the night trying to get the boat fixed for the next morning, but were unsuccessful.

Sunday (13 December) – I woke and went to Ruby’s to get our morning coffee. By the time I got back Patojo told us that he had set up an alternative trip for us in the morning, but we decided to postpone the trip until the afternoon, since we had decided to stay an extra night. So we had breakfast at Lily’s restaurant, a short walk from the hotel and then went for a long walk to the southern part of the island in search of a lake that was said to have crocodiles. We didn’t find crocodiles, but we did find the lake and got some great pictures of a lineated woodpecker and black iguanas. We returned to the hotel in time to relax a bit before taking off in an alternate boat (and alternate tour guides) and with a few people doing a scuba trip to the same place (including Sasha, Mike’s older son). It was a great trip again, and this time we were able to watch green turtles eating the turtle grass and a host of other fish which I hope Nancy can remember. We returned late in the afternoon and went for dinner (was Fido’s, I can’t remember). Then to bed and not particularly looking forward to having to leave the next day.

Monday (14 December) – Today we have to leave. We checked out, Nancy confirmed our flight, and we took a taxi to the water taxi. We arrived about an hour early (due to my paranoia), but caught the taxi, and in an hour and a half we were back at Belize City. When we stopped to pick up passengers at Caye Caulker, Cat and David got on, but we didn’t talk to them. We got our bags from the water taxi, and after a minor altercation between taxi drivers, we loaded up our gear in the taxi and headed for the airport. By this time, it had started raining fairly heavily. Our taxi driver regaled us with a very intricate story about his past. As a young boy he lost his father, was fairly subjugated by his older brother, was involved in the finding a large amount of cocaine which translated into a monetary windfall. Without any passport (but with the newfound wealth), he made his way to California and eventually to the east coast, where he worked in a trucking business and made enough money to send back to his family. Now all of his family is back in the States, and he returned to Belize to drive a taxi. It was an enjoyable story which took up most of the drive from the water taxi to the airport. We arrived at the airport a few hours early, but eventually got on the plane (along with a few folks that we had shared dinner with at Pook’s Hill Lodge, Nancy, Leo, Jill, and her mother). The flight went smoothly, including a nice view of Arrecife Reef off of Yucatan. Our arrival in Houston was somewhat stressful, trying to make it through customs in order to make our flight to Kansas City. Leaving Houston, we sat on the tarmac for about an hour, due to some delay in departing flights but finally took off, and arrived in Kansas City with 12 degree weather. We bundled up with all the clothes we had and made our way to the car, which we found. We decided to drive home, and arrived home at about 3 am Tuesday morning. Exhausted but happy.

Bird List (R = Highway, M = Macal River, X = Xunantunich, P = Pook's Hill, H = Higher elevation pine savanna, C = Caye Caulker, S = San Pedro)

1. Brown Pelican (C)
2. Neotropic Cormorant (M)
3. Double-crested Cormorant (C,S)
4. Anhinga (S)
5. Magnificent Frigatebird (C,S)
6. Great Blue Heron (C)
7. Great Egret (R,S)
8. Snowy Egret (R)
9. Little Blue Heron (M,P)
10. Cattle Egret (R)
11. Green Heron (C)
12. Yellow-crowned Night-heron (M,C)
13. Jabiru (R)
14. Wood Stork (R)
15. Black Vulture
16. Turkey Vulture
17. Osprey (M,C,S)
18. Gray Hawk (R)
19. Common Black-hawk (R)
20. Roadside Hawk (X)
21. Short-tailed Hawk (R)
22. Plain Chachalaca (R)
23. Sungrebe (M)
24. Killdeer (S)
25. Northern Jacana (M)
26. Willet (S)
27. Spotted Sandpiper (M,C)
28. Ruddy Turnstone (C)
29. Sanderling (C)
30. Laughing Gull (C,S)
31. Royal Tern (C,S)
32. Rock Dove (R,S)
33. Short-billed Pigeon (heard, P)
34. White-winged Dove (C,S)
35. White-tipped Dove (P)
36. Olive-throated Parakeet (P)
37. Red-lored Parrot (never really seen well enough to identify, P)
38. Squirrel Cuckoo (P)
39. Groove-billed Ani (P,M,X)
40. Mottled Owl (P)
41. Pauraque (P)
42. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (P)
43. Black-headed Trogon (P)
44. Slaty-tailed Trogon (P)
45. Blue-crowned Motmot (P)
46. Amazon Kingfisher (M,P)
47. White-whiskered Puffbird (P)
48. Rufous-tailed Jacamar (brief glimpse as it darted past, P)
49. Emerald Toucanet (P)
50. Collared Aracari (P)
51. Keel-billed Toucan (P)
52. Acorn Woodpecker (H)
53. Golden-fronted Woodpecker (P)
54. Lineated Woodpecker (P,S)
55. Pale-billed Woodpecker (P)
56. Tawny-winged Woodcreeper (P)
57. Ruddy Woodcreeper (P)
58. Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (P)
59. Great Antshrike (P)
60. Barred Antshrike (heard and identified by Miguel, never seen, P)
61. Dot-winged Antwren (P)
62. Black-faced Antthrush (P)
63. Yellow-bellied Elaenia (M)
64. Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (P)
65. Black Phoebe (M)
66. Vermillion Flycatcher (R)
67. Dusky-capped Flycatcher (H)
68. Great Kiskadee (M,R)
69. Social Flycatcher (M)
70. Tropical Kingbird
71. Masked Tityra (heard and identified by Miguel, never seen, M)
72. White-eyed Vireo (P)
73. Brown Jay (M, R)
74. Mangrove Swallow (M)
75. Band-backed Wren (P)
76. White-breasted Wood-wren (P)
77. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (P,H)
78. Wood Thrush (P)
79. Gray Catbird (P)
80. Tropical Mockingbird (R,C,S)
81. Blue-winged Warbler (P)
82. Golden-winged Warbler (P)
83. Northern Parula (S)
84. Mangrove Warbler (C,S)
85. Chestnut-sided Warbler (P)
86. Magnolia Warbler (P)
87. Yellow-rumped Warbler (H)
88. Black-throated Green Warbler (H)
89. Yellow-throated Warbler (H)
90. Black-and-white Warbler (P)
91. American Redstart (P)
92. Ovenbird (P)
93. Louisiana Waterthrush (P)
94. Common Yellowthroat (P)
95. Gray-crowned Yellowthroat (H)
96. Hooded Warbler (P)
97. Wilson's Warbler (P)
98. Gray-headed Tanager (P)
99. Red-throated Ant-tanager (P)
100. Hepatic Tanager (H)
101. Summer Tanager (M,P)
102. Crimson-collared Tanager (P)
103. Blue-gray Tanager (M,H)
104. Yellow-throated Euphonia (P)
105. Golden-hooded Tanager (H)
106. Yellow-faced Grassquit (P)
107. Orange-billed Sparrow (P)
108. Green-backed Sparrow (P)
109. White-collared Seedeater
110. Black-headed Saltator (P)
111. Black-faced Grosbeak (P)
112. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (P)
113. Blue-black Grosbeak (P)
114. Melodious Blackbird (R)
115. Great-tailed Grackle (R,C,S)
116. Bronzed Cowbird (P)
117. Hooded Oriole (S)
118. Baltimore Oriole (P)
119. Yellow-billed Cacique (P)
120. Montezuma Oropendula (H)

Fish List

1. Sergeant Major
2. Blue Tang
3. Spotted Eagle Ray
4. Squirrelfish
5. Silverside
6. Porkfish
7. Queen Triggerfish
8. Nurse Shark
9. Black Margate
10. Spanish Hogfish
11. Horse-eyed Jack
12. Four-eye Butteflyfish
13. Banded Butterflyfish
14. Southern Stingray
15. Porcupinefish
16. Jewfish
17. Grouper (what kind?)
18. Cottonwick
19. Blue-striped Grunt
20. Green Moray
21. Wrasse sp.
22. Ballyhoo
23. Hogfish
24. Scrawled Cowfish
25. Snapper, Gray?
26. Yellowtail Damselfish (juvenile)
27. Gray Angelfish
28. Blue Parrotfish?
29. Stoplight Parrotfish
30. Yellow Stingray
31. Great Barracuda
32. Houndfish
33. Tarpon

Reptile and Amphibian List:

1. Eleuthrodactylus chac
2. Bufo campbelli, rainforest toad
3. Ameiva undulata, Rainbow Ameiva
4. Sceloporus variabilis, rosebelly lizard
5. Iguana iguana, green iguana
6. Ctenosaurus similis, black iguana
7. Basiliscus vittatus, striped basilisk
8. Boa constrictor, boa constrictor (DOR)
9. Spilotes pullatus, tropical rat snake (DOR)
10. Chelonia mydas, green turtle
11. Hemidactylus frenatus, house gecko
12. Gecko
13. Norops sagrei, brown anole

Mammal List:

1. Tamandua mexicana, northern tamandua
2. Rhynchonycteris naso, proboscis bat
3. Alouatta pigra, black howler-monkey
4. Sciurus deppei, Deppe's squirrel
5. Procyon lotor, northern racoon

Ingresado el 03 de enero de 2010 por lfelliott lfelliott | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario