Most of the southern half of Toledo has a wide, approximately fifteen mile, band of lowland broadleaf forest that extends from the water’s edge up to the foothills of the Maya mountains to the west. The littoral edge with large black mangroves is home to Mangrove Warblers, Osprey, Magnificent Frigatebirds and Brown Pelicans. The Port Honduras Marine Reserve includes many hundreds of uninhabited mangrove cayes.
The sea is warm and shallow for thirty miles out to the Sapodilla Cayes that lie at the southern tip of the Belize Barrier Reef. Lime Caye is a great place to see birds resting and refuelling during their migration. During the months of September, October and November many migrating species will land to rest and feed before their onward journey. This means that most species observed at this time will be outside their normal summer or winter habitat. Their state of exhaustion makes them often oblivious to humans and they will walk around at the feet of visitors when they would normally be far more secretive. More than eighty “exotic” species have been observed in a couple of days during the migration including Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Ovenbird, Gray Catbird, Painted Bunting and many warblers. Local residents include the Reddish Egret and White-crowned Pigeon.
Birding along the coast near Punta Gorda town one can see the Green Heron, Little Blue and Great Blue Herons, Yellow-crowned Night Heron. The Brown Pelican fishes in the mornings in synchronized pairs. Yellow-crowned Night Herons roost in the mangroves close to Garbutt’s fishing Lodge. As the fishermen clean their catch on the water’s edge below the fish market on Front Street Brown Pelicans, Frigatebirds, Black Vultures and Great Egrets hang around to prounce on scraps tossed into the water.