HONDURAS - DAY 9 GUANAJA

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This is Day 9 of the 2018 Hummingbird Quest in Honduras with Beaks and Peaks Adventure Tours.  We awoke early and drove to the airport to board a small propellor plane to the island of Guanaja off of the north coast of Honduras.  Our destination was Roland’s Guest House and we were to be the guests of Klaus and Annette (Roland’s parents) for the day.  They have hummingbird feeders that are frequented by the Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird, a subspecies of the Salvin’s Emerald, and this island is apparently the only place we could see this bird. 

We arrived at the airport in Guanaja and boarded a small boat to take us out to Roland’s.  The island is lush and beautiful and being a Los Angeles city dweller, I started to wonder why I stay in that rat race.  Apparently the island is a scuba diver’s paradise.  I am a certified diver, but I am here to see hummingbirds and not fish.  This trip I will have to keep my eyes above the water line.

We stopped at a small dock and hiked up to Roland’s.  The path leading up to the house was an easy hike and along the way I looked up to see starfruit growing on one of the trees.  Starfruit!  At home I only see these in the specialty markets.  Soon Annette and Klaus greeted us and took us up to their deck to see the hummingbirds that come to the feeders.  Coffee, juice and water were waiting for us.

Roland's Guest House Video

Annette and Klaus with their young boy, Roland, emigrated from Germany to Honduras thirty years ago and never looked back.  They bought land and built their home which now runs on solar power.  They really have everything they need right there with the animals, fruit and vegetables on their property.  They have plenty of company, as they regularly rent out a guest house. They just finished adding a tree house you can rent and stay a while in this little piece of paradise.  

The tree house is a dream.  There is a bedroom and a bathroom open to the view.  Here’s Jenny fully clothed with her camera equipment pretending to take a shower in the bathroom which overlooks the property.

Ah, yes, the hummingbirds.  That’s what we are here to photograph.  The dominant species here are the Canivet’s Emerald and the Green-breasted Mango, and they were both plentiful.  Annette and Klaus have two feeders hanging on the porch and they were visited constantly by both species of bird.  There are also plenty of nectar-rich flowers on the property that the hummingbirds would visit.  

At one point there was a lot of chattering by several hummingbirds in one of the trees.  It turns out that they were all harassing a brown vine snake that was sitting on a branch that was one of their favorite perches.  Jenny and I stood there for a long time taking pictures, as we were unsure whether or not the snake was after one of the hummers.  We really didn’t want one of the hummers to be caught, but if it were to happen we were determined to capture it.  In the end the harassment paid off and the snake slithered off.

Annette and Klaus made us lunch which we ate on the patio with the hummingbirds buzzing around us.  We enjoyed a meal which starred of one of their roosters braised in coconut milk.  The rooster reportedly was a nasty bird that did not play well with others. Sides of rice, potatoes and carrots were also served.  A bowl of fruit included some of that starfruit I had longed to reach up and grab from their trees.

Time to say goodbye to Klaus and Annette and head back to the boat and to the airport.  This is a place where I could easily hang out for a month to decompress from city life. 

After the short flight back to the mainland we arrived back at the Pico Bonito Lodge. The adventure for the day was not over, however, as we reminded William that he was going to take us to try to capture a photo of the elusive Purple-crowned Fairy Hummingbird.  So after a short break we hiked to the observation tower and waited for the hummingbird to appear.  We waited a long time, but the little guy did make an appearance.  But so did a Spider Monkey who was intent on watching us stand there with our cameras.

Here are some examples of pictures I took this day.  Check the photo gallery for more.

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