I'm Evie Miller and I have always had a passion for Wildlife, in particular, Birds; bird watching is one of my hobbies which I enjoy very much.I also am training to ring Birds - which is very fun and interesting, as I am able to learn more and more about our Bird species and their needs. I am also keen to work to save the natural world. In the future I hope to have a career in Conservation and Nature, particularly the ornithological field.
Monday, 13 October 2014
This August, my family and I went on a jam-packed,
adventure wildlife holiday lead by Nick Baker to Belize, to see a wide variety
of flora and fauna. Belize is a small country the size of Wales, located in Central
America, largely covered in rainforest and has a Caribbean feel to it. We
explored the Rainforest for the first week, in search of snakes, gigantic trees
and plants and magnificent, brightly coloured birds. For the second week we
took an exciting trip on a speed boat to a Caribbean Sea island, a picturesque
place, rich in marine life and a good variety of birds.
Central American Whiptail
Our excursions involved walks through the rainforest; each
walk was different and brought new and interesting species. Everywhere you
looked you would see wildlife. We met thousands of Leaf Cutter ant trails;
these were extraordinary, hundreds of ants in a line to-ing and fro-ing from the
canopy of the rainforest to their nests carrying leaves, weighing more than
their own weight.
There was nectar feeders placed around the lodge which
attracted beautiful and vibrantly coloured hummingbirds during the day and bats
during the night. I was fascinated by the mesmeric, beating of the wings on
these small creatures.
One of the highlights of our morning walk was crossing paths
with a beautiful, but deadly Coral snake silently, slithering through the
grass. It soon began to flee away from our group, as although it is considered
dangerous, it is not an aggressive species.
After dark lots of moths, crickets, grasshoppers and wasps,
were attracted to a moth trap (a white sheet which was illuminated by a very bright light), so we
could examine them closely to learn about the insects from Nick. Also
scorpions, tarantulas and geckos could be seen.
We were lucky enough to spot a Kinkajou high up in a tree on
a night walk, a small, secretive mammal, rarely seen, that mainly feeds on
fruit. Also a Snapping Turtle sat in the small stream, as well as a Cane Toad. We
also found a Cat snake hiding in a crevice, protecting itself from any
predators (seen on a night walk, as it is nocturnal.)
We saw many other creatures on the night walk (too many to
list!) but it was fascinating and so much fun!
We saw a wide variety of birds on the morning walks including
Woodpeckers, Trogons, Honeycreepers and Hummingbirds. We even got to see a
Keel-billed Toucan! This is Belize’s national bird.
The Island, South Water Caye:
We then travelled on to the tranquil island of South Water Caye. After a windswept
trip on the boat to the island we went straight into a refreshing snorkelling tour. We did snorkelling every day and even a night snorkel. As soon as we
entered the water on our night snorkel thousands of tiny fish
would swim around your body and peck at you, it was a marvellous thing to experience. It felt
like once I had entered that water I was in a completely different world, full
of strange life forms.
On our numerous snorkels we saw seahorses, a Loggerhead
turtle and a Hawksbill Turtle swimming past us, a Nurse Shark, Spotted Eagle
rays, Stingrays and Sand rays, a Porcupine fish, a bat fish, octopuses, and many
different species of fish. The coral was in excellent condition and very
On the first day we got a wonderful view of an Osprey soaring
over the sea and off into the distance. It soon returned and it became a daily
sighting, which was lovely to see. We saw Turnstones, Magnificent Frigatebirds,
Brown booby’s, Brown pelicans, Neo-tropic Cormorants, Grackles and Yellow
Crowned Night Herons. At night lots of Hermit crabs, small and large, would
wander around and leave amazing footprints in the sand. The younger children in
our group would race the crabs. It was great to see them getting so close to
wildlife and having fun.
Nick setting a camera trap up
Overall, I would say I had the most fantastic trip and
experience. I have gained a lot of knowledge from the trip. Nick's
knowledge was outstanding and he also brought a lot of fun to the experience. It also
made me realise how much I love wildlife, and not just UK species, but anywhere
in the world. It also taught me even more how precious the habitats are; the
rainforests and coral reef, which are very special places that we need to care for.
We need to support conservation in these areas as much as possible and Eco-tourism has an important contribution to make.