Sunday, 7 February 2010

Long-haul birding

From top: Rufous-collared Thrush, Band-backed Wren and Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo.

Inevitably, I'm playing catch-up on this blog with posts delayed by an almost complete lack of internet access for the rest of my time in Guatemala. For the sake of completeness, however, I'll aim to post at least a couple of images per day and summarise highlights (as time permits) to give you a flavour of birding in this fascinating country - clearly a superb destination with great potential, but one which needs to keep working hard to fully establish itself on the map.

It also has the potential to be one of the most physically demanding for birders, as I found out the hard way. In fact, I can testify that, having ascended and then descended almost 3,500 feet up and down Volcan San Pedro in one day, I have experienced the most challenging birding of my life. Having failed to find Horned Guan I could also claim to be gutted - but I'm not. We saw some great birds, from roving parties of Bushy-crested and Black-throated Jays to Rufous-collared Thrush, Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo and the rare Black-capped Siskin. Never before did a beer at dusk taste so good, even if I could barely walk to the bar.

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