Birding Mountain Pine Ridge in Belize

When Steve and I spent two weeks in Belize a couple of years ago (one week on Ambergris Caye scuba diving and the next week at Crystal Paradise Resort in the Cayo district outside San Ignacios), we spent a day at Mountain Pine Ridge.

Eric Tut, our guide, drove us and another couple for about 40 minutes on a gravel road up to the reserve where we were surrounded by pine trees.  I hardly knew I was in a tropic jungle anymore.

It was a bit of a quiet morning, and we were also in a prime location to see the 1000-foot falls.

1000 Foot Falls

And good thing they posted this sign:

While looking out at the 1000 Foot Falls, we also got this awesome view of the Orange-breasted Falcon.

Orange-breasted Falcon

Orange-breasted Falcon

While a “quiet” morning we did see a variety of birds.

Of course, once it hits around noon or so it got really quiet.  And hot.  So Eric took us to the Rio On Pools for a dip in the pools.  I love this kind of birding–bird in the morning and then go for a dip afterward to cool off.  (Remember: Always bring a bathing suit on birding adventures.) On the way back to Crystal Paradise, we stopped at a little store for ice cream cups.  The ice cream is made by local Mennonites and I have to tell you, it is some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had.

Ahhh, the life.

Here’s an “album” of our morning at Pine Ridge (click on any of the photos to enlarge and it will take you to a slide show):