Through the Toledo Ecotourism Association, we hooked up with Sylvano Sho, an expert Mopan Maya naturalist and authority on local medicinal plants, for a couple days of birding and research in Blue Creek, a small village about an hour from Big Falls. We were able to get dozens of Mopan and Q'eqchi' bird names and some great stories from Sylvano, and enjoyed staying with and dining with his family.
Besides being extremely beautiful, Blue Creek was also full of birds. Nice forests come right down to the village along the creek, and open rice fields in the village host hundreds of ducks, herons, and storks. We got great looks at two Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures perched near the road, as well as Muscovy, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Limpkin, Northern Jacana, Ruddy Crake, and Wood Storks.
After sweating buckets for several days, it was nice to take a dip in the creek. Even with the strong current, it was pretty bumpy floating over the rapids without an inner tube. I got pretty banged up, but it was worth it!