The English Creole (spelled Kriol in Belize) is a wonderful English-proximate language, which we tried and failed to get the hang of. We do have bits though: “Dis da fi wi chickin.” This is the chicken for us! A very good, locally-phrased advertisement about chicken grown by the Belizean Menonite companies. They explain it here.
Once in San Ignacio, our first trip was to Xunantunich. Xunantunich (Stone maiden) was a city of the Yucatec Maya. Ceramic pots at Xunantunich start at 1200 BCE. Xunantunich held about 10,000 people at its height. It is special because unlike other ancient Mayan cities in the region, it survived the decline of the Maya in the central lowlands, even including Tikal the largest Ancient Mayan city site in central America. The main temple is called El Castillo, and looms to 120 ft high.
After San Ignacio, we treated ourselves to two nights at a very fancy jungle resort, name Chaa Creek, during Christmas eve and Christmas day. It did not feel like Christmas, but it sure was a gift. The place was gorgeous, the staff were extremely courteous and hospitable, and the guests, aside from being too wealthy on average for my tastes, nice too. We stayed in the cheaper “camping” part of the resort, and Wow.
Heard mot mot in the morning
Band backed wren
Golden fronted woodpecker
Great tailed grackle
Clay colored thrush
Keel billed toucan x5 – toucans are viscious predators. They eat the eggs of other birds, and they have a great, creaking, cracking squawk.
American red start
Wedge-tailed sabrewing hummingbird
Red throated ant tanager
Boat billed fly catcher
Squirrel cuckoo – Cuckoos are brood parasites. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and when their eggs hatch first. Soon the cuckoo chick pushes the other eggs out of the nest. Finally, it stays and gets all the free food it can often growing larger than the host species. It’s revolting.
Slaty-tailed trogon (one of our favorite groups of birds, now, the trogons)
Yellow throated euphonia
others I wasn’t fast enough to write down.
Collared aracari x3 (check these guys out online, they are rad)
belted Kingfisher blue
Russet-naped wood rail
Keel billed Toucan
Gartered Trogon male and female
Montezuma oropendola – never thought we’d see one of THESE here. What a find!
Masked tityra – the masked tityra female takes over the nest of a woodpecker and modifies them to her liking