REPORT NO. 24 OF THE LUTMAN'S TROPICS 2000 TRIP. THIS IS THE LAST REPORT, NOT COUNTING THE "AWARDS" REPORT.
Because of the Escarpment Plan, we sleep in for an extra hour and more. Up at 6:15 am, breakfast at 7. DeeDee tries to get confirmation on what she firmly believes is a Mourning Warbler near their cabana, but no one else can get on it, as it stays a jump ahead of everybody.
Josie comes over and asks which vehicle we want to use. She says there's no rush to decide, and would we please let her know in the next five minutes so they can have the vehicle prepared.
There will be seven birders, plus Jose, plus Gilberto, so nine total. I ask for the Asia bus, but the last time it went to the Escarpment, they punctured the gas tank, so that one's out. [Sharon got this additional information from Josie, which I missed because I was taking the poll: The gas tank still has a very slow leak. Every night, they put a pan under it to collect the drips. Next morning, they pour it back into the gas tank. Your ultimate recycling plan.] Anyway, the other choices are the huge van, which will just seat 9 exactly (gear in our hands or under our seats), or the open truck, which we used for our night ride.
We vote and it's the open truck. It will be bouncy, but we won't have to keep piling into and out of the van each time we spot a bird. Plus we'll spot more birds. At 8:00 am we take off.
Right away, Gilberto assumes his right hand, first finger up position. Ruddy Quail-dove zips in front of us. Then a perfect Roadside Hawk beside the road, where else? Carol asks him how he knows it's a Roadside. "Yellow feet," Gilberto says. Every hawk I can think of has yellow feet. There must be some that don't. Oh, Gil-berttt-o.
"RUFOUS PIHA* calling," says Gilberto, and we can hear it too. No chance for a sighting I guess. An Ocellated Turkey beside the road, and Carol says, "Dinner." We see the usual White-tailed Deer around. At 8:20, we get a nice Black-shouldered (now called White-tailed in the U.S.) Kite, with three Turkey Vultures.
At 8:30, a female Currasow flies across the road, and she's stunning. "Wow," we all wow. We stop and get several Brown Jays and a single Rufous-tailed Jacamar. Fifteen minutes later we get several Olive-throated Parakeets, and I get the scope on them, though it's hard to use in the truck. I can't spread the feet out. A Crested Guan flies out and over the trees.
Then we get a nice Masked Tityra, a couple of Lineated Woodpeckers, with their non-joining white vertical lines on the back (the Pale-billed's are joined, or connected at the bottom). We also get a Black-cheeked Woodpecker in there with the Lineated.
Next we get a great visual upgrade of White-crowned Parrots, then a better look at a King Vulture. What a beautiful bird, unlike the drab brown-black of our Turkey Vultures. The King Vulture shows mostly white, on the back of the bird, and on the front of the wings, with the rear of the wings and the wingtips black. Formal dress to nature's daily morning, rising-current air show.
9:15 am, and Gilberto raises a finger to a RUFOUS MOURNER* call on our left. A Dusky-capped Flycatcher calls, and it's beginning to feel cooler as we slowly climb. Another Crested Guan flies over.
9:36 am and we drive up and over the final access road, to the top of the escarpment, and the entire land below comes up on our real-life video screen. What a view. We quickly can see White Hawks and King Vultures sailing on the morning thermals. Jose said the hot action is between 9 and 10 am, and he called it right.
Then two Swallow-tailed Kites begin to sail, off to our left, and are spectacular with the sun being from just the right direction as they wheel and bank, soar and dive. Derek and Jude are blown away (I'm just sayin'), and I can't blame them. This is the best view we've had also, since those first ones in Florida about a month ago. Seems like a year ago.
Gilberto hears a Squirrel Cuckoo calling, but it won't come any closer. Sharon is doing great on the scope.
10:50 am, and Jose yells out, "SHORT-TAILED HAWK* -- dark phase." And sure enough, we tried and tried for this bird in Florida without success. This is much more satisfying, getting it here. And, son of a gun, 25 minutes later, it's Jose again, "Short-tailed Hawk -- light phase." The same shape, but this one is white on the body, whereas the dark phase one was dark brown. Amazing.
We get one more King Vulture, then Sharon dumps some of the water that was brought along for the trip, on her head. Ahhhh. It's warming up nicely. We head for home about 11:45.
Jose and Gilberto have seen a White Hawk about truck-top level, ahead of us in the jungle, and we all get out and approach very quietly, but we can't find it anywhere. Nice try. On the way home, in Silvester Village, Gilberto or Jose points out a Hook-billed Kite on a nest. This one is dark phase, though I didn't know they had more than one phase of this bird till just now.
We bypass the turnoff to Chan Chich in favor of a stop further on, near the Gallon Jug airstrip, so someone (Carol?) can get a good look at Fork-tailed Flycatchers, which we do. We are all panting like dogs, and want to go home soon.
How has our trip in the open truck been? Well done. When we are moving, the breeze is great, but when we stop, it's another story.
At last, we turn around and make it home in time for lunch on the late shift. Just like grandson Sieren, I gotta have three meals a day, no matter when they come (Sharon's son Pete to Sieren, "Time for bed, Sieren." Sieren, "I can't go to bed, Dad, I haven't had dinner." Pete says "You just had dinner at 5 o'clock." Sieren counters with, "That was lunch. We never ate anything at noon.").
We have a rest and a swim, to pass the warm midday hours.
At 4:13 pm, we are back down at the suspension bridge with Darrel and Lorna, from the Seattle area. We have told them the same story that Gilberto told us yesterday, but alas, we don't have the magic. The Cotingas have taken a different flight today.
Sharon and I split off and take the Loggers Trail back. We see the Emerald Toucanet again, in its normal palm tree hole, but not much else is happening.
We clean up and go to the bar. I make inquiries about birding around Belize City, but no one is very hopeful for us. Bartender Norman says that when we get to the Municipal Airport, go across the street and ask for Tom Mangar or Gerald Gillett, for a taxi driver. I record their names on my cassette recorder, but don't write them down.
Derek and Jude give me the name of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in England, the RSPB. They also give us several good places to bird -- Norfolk on the north coast, Titchwell and Cley Marshes, and Minsmeer. Have to look these up in my "Where to find Birds in England" book when I get back home. You see "home" now means San Jose, not Cabana No. 2. That means I'm starting to think about going back to the U.S. Well, had to happen.
Lifers Today: Rufous Mourner, Rufous Piha, Short-tailed Hawk.
Upgrades Today: White-crowned Parrot (PREVIOUS: overhead in tall trees in main plaza w/o scope; NEW: scoped looks), King Vulture (PREVIOUS: far overhead at Gilberto's house; NEW: below and overhead at escarpment, with scope and sun in right angle); Hook-billed Kite (PREVIOUS: flying overhead; NEW: in nest near Silvester Village)
Handsomest Birds: Short-tailed Hawk, White Hawk, King Vulture
Most Difficult Bird: Rufous Mourner and Rufous Piha (only heard these two rust-colored birds)
Most Remarkable Bird: King Vulture, with his black and white patterned wings.
Lifer Totals: Today 3, Belize 89+3= 92, Trip 258+3 = 261.
Upgrades: Today 3, Total 15+3= 18
We mostly packed last night, except for our key birding gear.
We are off this morning at 6:00 am with Luis plus Darrel and Lorna, the couple from Seattle. Luis is the third and last bird guide (for us), and we haven't met him yet. I show Luis my haven't-got-yet bird list, and he suggests the Baja Trail.
It is 2 1/2 miles long, and we haven't been on it yet. But we will only go for 1 3/4 hours, then come back while the other couple and Luis continue on for a bit before they double back.
There was no Howler Monkey concert this morning, and we got a full complement of sleep. Luis points out the pair of main plaza Plumbeous Kites as Darrel and Lorna join us.
We head out and just at the beginning of the Baja, Darrel picks up movement and it is a nice Black-cowled Oriole. While standing at this junction, we also get Lesser Greenlet and Sulfur-bellied Flycatcher. I'm going to miss these early morning bird adventures.
At 6:13 am, Lorna picks up movement, and it's a lifer for us, an EYE-RINGED FLATBILL*. You can probably guess at the two key features of this flycatcher. Love the perfect name.
The last thing we get before heading onto the trail is a Keel-billed Toucan, in his usual habitat -- high in the canopy. In we march, and at 6:31 am, we see a wonderful Emerald Toucanet. Later a plain Xenops, but Luis has also cocked his head. He hears the pffffft of a NORTHERN BENTBILL*. He calls and it responds, but never comes into view. This is also a type of flycatcher (where have I said that line before?).
We can hear a Spot-breasted Wren, and Sharon and I can recognize the call now. A Yucatan squirrel makes noise up in a tree. At 8:07 a Northern Waterthrush bobs his tail up and down as if to say, "Time to go. Time to go." For him and for us.
Suddenly a hummer zippppppps by and makes an unusual call. Luis yells, in his understated way, "WEDGE-TAILED SABERWING*." Sharon gets a better look than I, but neither look is very long before the little hummer moves on through. At 7:28 we get a pair of Golden-crowned Warblers working on a nest in a low palm bush, very close to the ground. They are busy, busy. We also gets lots of commotion upstairs, and we pick up 3-5 Red-eyed Vireos and a Dusky-capped Flycatcher.
We pass a 16-inch hole near the edge of the trail, about 4 feet deep. It's ancient and it's called a "chultun." It was for storing things in the jungle that the Mayans wanted to keep cool. Like water or food.
Sharon and I are finally finished on the Baja and must turn around. The other three say goodbye and continue on [Later we learn that five or ten minutes after we split, they pick up a great Puffbird (Dohp!), either a White-whiskered or a White-necked, I don't remember now. Nice one, guys].
At breakfast, I trade emails with Darrel and Lorna (Smith) of Seattle and with Derek and Jude Hitchcox of England. We also get Carol's address, from Guatemala. She tries to coax us into going to Costa Rica with her next year, but we are already planning for England. We'll keep in touch and as sure as we saw that Lovely Cotinga together, we'll meet for a birding trip somewhere, sometime.
We say goodbye to our friends, as they head out on the Asia bus, for Laguna Seca.
I try to pay our bill, but Patty says, "Give us a minute please. Then come back." Uh-oh. We have fun talking with Josie as we hear the clackety-clack of the adding machine printout. Sharon had learned earlier in the week that Josie is a nurse also. Very handy when all of us clients need so much HELP all the time.
The clackety-clack seems to go for half-an-hour. We didn't spend THAT much, did we? At last it's done, and it's a bit less than I was expecting. We leave a nice tip in the "Tips for the Staff" jar, and Jose loads up our five bags into the same silver van he brought us in seven days ago. Josie gives us a hug and tells us that we did ok, and we're not black-listed, so if we want to come back, it's ok.
Darn, I failed at my task.
Actually, I already want to come back. Sharon wants some non-full-body-sweat days, but she'll be ready in a few years too, I'm guessing. Because I chose the dry season for us, there are lots of North American and South American migrants that are not here. Some November would be good to try for them also.
At last the time has come, and we arrive at Gallon Jug two minutes before our pilot, Israel brings in the same plane that brought us. I haven't taken any motion sickness medication, but somehow I am extremely confident I won't need any. Truth is, I just forgot.
As we are doing our forty minutes to the Belize Municipal Airport, Sharon turns from her position on the right (I'm on the left and two of our bags are on the right, in the back seat), she yells that she is getting wonderful looks at a King Vulture, right below us.
"We HATE the people on the right [side of the airplane]" - Spoken by "the people on the left," as related by comedian Paula Poundstone.
We pass over the international airport, and land at the Municipal, which is tiny. Sharon spots a Magnificent Frigatebird dive bombing something on the open field not thirty feet away from us. Once she sees it with something in its mouth. As it is in the climb back up from the dive, she sees it kind of toss the thing up, then gulp it down. We believe there is a nest, and the Frigatebird is trying to scare the parent off so it can take the nestlings.
I don't have time to play my cassette recorder back, so we just take the first taxi driver who asks if he can take us to our hotel. "OK," I say, and together we load our five bags into his old station wagon. He lowers the left rear window (already open a crack), by putting his flat palms on the top of the glass and pushing down with a moderate amount of force. He does the same thing to the right front window. That will be our air conditioning in Belize City on this warm day.
We have great fun with him because he is listening to the national Spelling Bee competition for 11 and 12-year-old students, according to him. "Recidivism," the moderator says. Gulp. But the student gets it right. On and on. Only one person misses a word, and he is given three tries at it. Sharon asks for the driver's name, and it's Gerald Gillett, one of the two guys recommended by Chan Chich bartender (and Josie's big brother, by the way), Norman.
The driver takes us through a very shabby-looking district, and Sharon is juberous (Dad's word for dubious) of the hotel I've chosen. But we pull into the courtyard, and she is relieved at the shiny colonial-look of the Radisson. Very polite, British-feeling and efficient. We check in, and Lyndon B. Johnson, dressed in hot-weather British all-whites, carts our luggage to our room and explains the functions. Wow, civilization again. Part of me wants the jungle back.
We head downstairs to the garden area, where I'm fully expecting the Cinnamon Hummingbird to be feeding on the flowers, just like the internet report I read (though it wasn't at this hotel). No Cinnamon. Only grackles and Social Flycatchers.
Sharon smells out the souvenir shop and up we load. For lunch I have a BLT and Sharon has a fruit salad. I top off my french fries with ice cream for dessert.
I set up my computer, pick up some email, and fire off four reports. This will be the single most expensive telephone time I do, but it's great, being connected again.
Later, we have dinner and listen to the disc jockey down by the pool, singing to the beat of Belize. The pool is overflowing because drinks are half-priced during Friday night's happy hour.
Then it's time for some serious TV. We have finally decided on the Belize Zoo for tomorrow's activity, while we wait for our 2:30 pm flight to Miami, where we will spend tomorrow night. Not too surprisingly to us, zoos are great (wild) bird places and this one is supposed to be no exception.
I dream of the Cinnamon Hummer some more as I drift off.
Lifers Today: Eye-ringed Flatbill (flycatcher), Northern Bentbill (heard only), Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (fleeting view).
Upgrades Today: Golden-crowned Warbler
Handsomest Birds: Golden-crowned Warbler
Most Difficult Bird: Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (beautiful bird, but I only saw it in silhouette).
Most Remarkable Bird: Northern Bentbill (how does he bend that bill?)
Lifer Totals: Today 3, Belize 92+3= 95, Trip 261+3 = 264.
Upgrades: Today 1, Total 18+1= 19
I awaken at 6, wakeup call is for 7, but I'm excited because we're going back to Miami today and I want to be prepared before we go out birding.
I pack everything I can, and Sharon gets up a little before 7. At 7, we are ready to go for breakfast. They have a nice buffet, Sharon has the fruit plate, and I have the continental breakfast. Very civilized, you know. The staff here is SO friendly.
Then we go to the lobby and notice that there is a girl working at the Tour Desk. We talk to her, and find her name is Clare, and she has this great British accent, which may well be a Belize accent as far as we know. Anyway, we ask her what a taxi to the zoo should be (desk clerk yesterday said $150 US if they wait for us there for two hours), and she says about $80, but we pay the entrance fee. Then she said they have a tour for $109, including tax and entrance fee for two. We jump on that because a) the guide is knowledgelable about the animals at the zoo as well as Belize history and goings-on, b) he's known to the hotel, and c) it's way better than some random connection with some random taxi driver. Also, I figure, he probably has air conditioning.
At the last moment, a good-natured fellow named Sid, a tug boat owner and operator up here on vacation from Panama, joins us.
It's about a 40 minute drive, the station wagon is air conditioned (not every taxi is, in fact I'd say most aren't), and Daniel is an affable guy.
By 8:50 am we're birding the zoo! Daniel takes it upon himself to give us all three the zoo tour. But Sharon and I keep lagging as he explains about the Howler and Spider monkeys. Sharon finally tells him to just leave us, and we'll meet at the entrance about quarter till eleven. And he's ok with that. Off he goes after Sid, to narrate some more.
Two of the caged birds we came to see closeups of are the Ornate Hawk-eagle (spectacular) and the King Vulture (spectacular also).
8:55 am and I get video of a singing bird. I can imitate his song, and every time I start, he chimes right in as does a companion. At first we think it's a Yellow-green Vireo, but later we decide on GREEN-BACKED SPARROW*, still a lifer! A lifer at the zoo, how zoologistic.
We also see some sort of flycatcher, up against the sky, and it has a crest like a peewee or elaenia. But we can't ID it.
Then we get a pair of very handsome little birds which Sharon at first IDs as Bananaquits, but there's something not right about that. I go searching through the book, then it hits me. There are three pages of flycatchers, and the last one has very small and especially interesting ones. I know that our bird is there, and I remember its name.
I show it to Sharon and she agrees 100%. It's a pair of beautiful yellow-and-black COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHERS*, singing away. It's 9:22 and we are only a quarter done with our time here.
Now some people here are looking at mammals. Go figure. But cool mammals are here, make no mistake. I sort of note them in my subconscious as we go by. A tapir, the national animal. This one is famous for some reason I can't recall, and is named April. "Don't get too close to the fence," a zoo staff member warns a couple, "April will urinate on you." No wonder about the famous part.
A few minutes later, we get a black finch of some kind, maybe a grosbeak or seedeater, plus we get a nice pair of White-collared Seedeaters. What IS that lone black finch guy? We just can't get a good look. Move on, the clock is running.
At 9:40 am we get a woodpecker, ladderbacked, red-orange on belly, flicker size and shape, base of bill is red, red on crown and totally down back of neck. Clear tan face, with red at base of the bill. Sharon thinks it's a Red-bellied Woodpecker, but I don't have that type listed anywhere as being in Belize.
Later, I carefully check all the books and the ONLY bird it can be is the Red-bellied Woodpecker. We are excited, and ask a couple of zoo workers, but none are birders. Put it in the books.
At 10:00 (halfway done with our time), we get a Red-eyed Vireo. It seems that they are all over the tropics.
Daniel has finished, or rather, Sid has finished and Daniel has come looking for us. He decides to stick with us, point out the animals as we go past them, and even help us bird. He has a good eye, and knows almost all the birds here, it turns out.
A couple of minutes later and he spots an oriole. It just passes through the bars of a monkey's cage, and son-of-a-gun, it's a beautiful YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE*, one of two I was hoping for here. Dan the Man. Dannito. The Danimator. DANNN. The great part is one of our rules is that the bird can't be in a cage! The fun part about rules is knowing when it's ok to break them. Like now.
We come upon our flycatcher again, and it plops right down onto a nest that is well-hidden in the fork of a branch. Daniel says it is a PILEATED FLYCATCHER*, and we look it up. One of the characteristics Sharon reads is that its crest seems to be up almost all the time, and this one sure is.
Suddenly Daniel yells, "Hummingbird!" We follow his finger pointer but it's in the shade, with the sun behind. Can only get the outline and size. The Cinnamon Hummingbird is the largest one in Belize, and this one is big. The bill shape is right. It turns and we can see shiny rust-color on one wing. Could be. But it takes off, and we can't be sure. I know it wasn't a hermit-type hummer, but there are too many other possibilities.
For his next trick, Daniel gets us a Kiskadee and a Yellow-winged Tanager. Then another little warbler up above. He says its local name is Pine Warbler, but this doesn't seem to be the Pine Warbler we are familiar with. I see white underparts with black streaks. It's black or dark above, with a sort of light panel or what I call headlight (like the Least Tern or the Sooty and Bridle Terns) up there. We can't ID it right now, and in fact, as I'm writing this, I still haven't found it anywhere.
Daniel points out a Jabiru stork (captured) and a Chachalaca (wild).
It's a bit after 10:30 am, and we tell Daniel to take us to the entrance, where we need to nail down the ID of that black finch we first saw. We have almost completed the entire loop, and we don't have far to go.
The black finch is gone, but there is a nice brown one eating seeds in a low bush. We work through all the possibilities, and finally we decide that we must see her fly to be sure. Sharon nudges the bush with her crooked stick, and the little THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH* shows us the white patch on the front of the wings to confirm her ID. The book says that the black male has the same patch, but it's often hard to see. The shape of the female's bill has played a significant part in the ID also. Continuous curve from the forehead to the beginning of the bill.
It would be our last lifer for the trip. And if I've done the math right, we just hit the century mark for Belize!
Wonderfully satisfied, we tell Daniel we're done, ask where we can buy a coke, and out of the zoo we go. I buy a large Fanta orange for me and a Coke for Sharon. She loves me because she only drank half, and gave the rest to me. I am SO thirsty.
On the way back, we ask Daniel how much to wait for us at the hotel while we get our luggage and pay our bill, then take us to the airport, and he says $15 U.S. What a bargain. "Can you take us?" we ask. "OK," he says.
We arrive at the hotel, say goodbye to Sid, who has told us some cool Panama Canal stories (his grandfather helped build it, and he is the third generation tugboat pilot to work there). He was born there.
We go upstairs to pack our birding gear, and Lyndon Johnson picks up our luggage for us, takes it down to Daniel, who loads it into his station wagon. Meantime, I pay the bill and see the phone charges. They were worth sending off those four emails, no matter what they cost. Well, maybe only to me, of all the people in the world.
Sharon spots us a Black-cowled Oriole right outside the glass-enclosed elevator, and we check it carefully to make sure it's not the kind we don't have yet. It's not.
In another example, supporting the 120-people-in-the-world theory, we bump into Luis right on the steps of the hotel. He was the Luis who took us to the Lamanai Mayan ruins. He's holding the door open to a wonderful bus, and he says he's about to take all his passengers on a tour somewhere. I tell him we've just come from the zoo, and we're off to the U.S. I wonder if he drove in from Orange Walk early this morning.
On the way to the airport, we drive past a Dickie's factory. Daniel says it employs about 300 local Belize women who sew the garments, made strictly for export to the U.S. "Then they turn around, and ship some right back here, where they are really expensive," laughs Daniel.
"That's the Belikin Beer factory, across the runway," he points out, and we can see it. "Do you send any to the U.S.?" asks Sharon. "They are building a new, huge factory to do just that," explains Daniel. "More money for Mr. Bowen," I laugh, and he agrees.
"Vermillion Flycatcher!" yells Daniel, as he stops right in the middle of the busy highway, just before it turns left and into the airport. The brown and brilliant red bird sparkles in the sunshine (well, the red does. The brown part just sort of goes along for the ride). The fellow behind us really loves the little bird too, because he honks his horn when we stopped, thanking us for pointing out the bird, I guess.
I start adding up money to give Daniel. Let's see $10 tip for the zoo trip, $5 tip for this trip to the airport, $15 for the trip itself to the airport, $10 for a beat-up bird photo book I've talked him out of. That's $40. We arrive at the airport, and he helps us with our luggage. I give him the $40 and thank him very thoroughly, but he looks grief-stricken. "Bye and thanks," I say, totally not understanding his change of demeanor.
But things have to happen. No, I don't want any help with our luggage, I tell the five porters who ask. I get us inside, and into the American Airlines check-in line. You have to pay your airport departure tax before you ever get to the airline counter. All this happens fairly normally, and we check our two big suitcases, then lug the carry-ons with us.
Suddenly I have a terrible thought, and I say to Sharon, "Did you see whether I gave Daniel $40 U.S. or $40 Belize?" "No," she says, and I can't quite reconstruct my actions, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I gave Daniel $40 Belize, which would be exactly $20 U.S. That could be the reason for the (disappointed) look.
I resolve to check on this and make it up if I did what I now believe I did. We take our full flight from Belize City to Miami, and what do you know, there is a Days Inn International Airport van waiting at the curb after we go through immigration and customs, and out the front door. And we haven't even called him!
We go through the now-familiar routine of riding to the Days Inn, checking in, finding a cart, taking our own luggage upstairs, and settling in (it's our fourth night here, but as Steven Wright said when, as a 7-11 store owner, he was asked while closing the 24-hour store, "Not in a row.")
Dinner and some TV. And some phone calls by Sharon. I set the alarm and it's off to sleep. [The next day, our last day of the trip, was uneventful. We packed up, took our luggage downstairs, had it loaded into the airport van, checked out, went to the airport, checked in, waited for our flight, flew to Dallas, changed planes, flew home to San Jose. Where, by the way, I turned on my windshield wipers when trying to signal for a right turn, the first time I drove Sharon's Volvo].
So there y'are.
Lifers Today: Green-backed Sparrow, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Pileated Flycatcher and last-but-not-least a Thick-billed Seed-Finch
Handsomest Birds: Yellow-tailed Oriole, Common Tody-Flycatcher.
Most Difficult Bird: Thick-billed Seed-Finch.
Most Remarkable Birds: Bending the rules, I have to say the caged King Vulture and Ornate Hawk-eagle. Even through the wire mesh.
Lifer Totals: Today 5, Belize 95+5= 100, Trip 264+5 = 269.
Upgrades: None, Total 19
Postscript Note: I called the Radisson in Belize City and left word to find out how much I tipped Daniel. I was right in my shiftiness, I had given him $40 Belize and not U.S. -- $20 U.S. No wonder he was so disappointed, after he put so much into the tour for us.
I ask Andrea, the tour bureau worker how I can send him some more money. She tells me how, and I send him $30 U.S. more, for a total of $50, to make up for the disappointment on that face.
Sorry Daniel, I was just SAYIN'.
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