Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Guatemala...last day at Guacamayas

While we were flying back from El Mirador the previous day, Nini (the Station owner) had gone fishing with one of the guides and found a very special turtle. One of the rarest in Guatemala in fact, a Central American River Turtle, Dermatemys mawaii!  These large, rare and extremely difficult to observe freshwater turtles were not on our list of expected animals. It is the only representative of its family in existence today, it's closest relatives are only known from fossils. They are entirely aquatic, they don't bask and they only come on land briefly to lay eggs.

Andres with the turtle.

What a face!

I didn't want to get my fingers too close to that mouth.

Three happy herpers (four if you include the dude
behind the camera).

Sadly, these turtles been heavily exploited as food for decades and are now classified as critically endangered. They are only found in southern Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala and it was a new species for Andres, who is a very experienced herper. We were so lucky.

Just to add to the excitement I then discovered the Biological Station's first ever Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a beautiful male that started coming to the feeders!

1st ever Ruby-throated Hummer for Las Guacamayas!
I was chuffed to bits.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Wedge-tailed Saberwing

A bonus Long-billed Hermit to finish.
Our time at Las Guacamayas was over and once again it was time to get all of the equipment packed for travel, the boat loaded and the journey to our next stop underway. It would be a return visit along the dirt road, back to Flores and beyond, about 4 hours in total. By this evening we would be at El Sombrero Ecolodge on the shores of Laguna Yaxha.

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