Saturday, February 25, 2006

Guatemala Landing

Saturday, February 25, 2006
2 comments
Our welcome committee in Guatemala included some old friends and some new ones.

We arrived in Guatemala City about an hour later than expected and by the time we said our hellos, got our luggage together, drove to the hotel, showered (a matter of international diplomacy) and got some lunch, we had just an hour left for birding before dark. Still, we made the most of it.

Our actual first birds in Guatemala (a game we always play when landing in a strange land) were black vulture (Julie) and great-tailed grackle (me).

After a late lunch we took a van to Cayala, a city ecological park in a large ravine on the edge of town. Other birds that we managed to find at Cayala in our last hour of daylight included orange-billed nightingale thrush, clay-colored robin, green parakeet, magnificent hummingbird, greater pewee, acorn woodpecker, and bushy-crested jay (an endemic here in Guatemala).

Marco and Julissa pore over a field guide, though Marco hardly needs to use one.

Tomorrow we go up a local mountain called Cerro Alux. I can't wait for a full day of birding. Today was a full day in airports and airplanes (including a movie starring Antonio Banderas and Katherine Zeta Jones, which I watched in Spanish).

Oh and I found this out. When an airline leaves your luggage out on the tarmac in the rain for an hour, EVERYTHING you packed gets wet, except your swimsuit.

Happy to be here in The Soul of the Earth.
If you have ever wondered what the rear view of a clay-colored robin looks like, here it is.

2 comments:

On February 27, 2006 at 10:32 AM Mike said...

Birding in Guatemala...you are one lucky guy!

On March 7, 2006 at 11:56 AM Bill of the Birds said...

yes. I keep expecting to wake from this dream.....thanks Mike!


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