11 December, 2021

It's the Sennis for Dennis

We went on a little day trip for Dennis's birthday in November and took our friend Melanie along for the boat ride.  We hired our friend Jason Williams, a tour guide from Monkey River Village for the day.  Dennis opted for a trip off the beaten path to explore up the Sennis River and Indian Hills Lagooon.  As always, we started off at our place and we headed up to Placencia to pick up Melanie.   

Passing by the sea side of our place.  You can just see a bit of red roof near the center.

A quick 25 minute trip today to get Melanie, because the weather was so fine and the sea was mirror flat.  Then we backtracked south a few miles to get to the mouth of the Sennis River.  The Sennis is not a long river and the mouth opens into mangrove islands, so it is easy to miss.  Jason, however, grew up these parts and knows his way around.

Along the bank of the river near the sea are the remains of the dock at a defunct shrimp farm.  A dirt track dead ends near the dock.  It goes the Monkey River Road.

Near its mouth, the river is quite broad.

It has 2 branches, each of which narrow pretty quickly.

It was jellyfish season.  I didn't know there was such a thing, but near the mouth where the river is still tidal, the water was chock full of jellyfish.

A small fresh water spring was dripping out of  that blueish layer of clay along the bank.
We saw so many birds and signs of wildlife.   A group of at least 12 fork-tailed flycatchers put on an aerial show for us.  We came across several clusters of immature yellow-crowned night herons that took off in a panic as the boat went past them.  Bare-throated tiger herons led us upstream until the boat could pass no further.  We heard chachalakas, brown jays, various unidentified small warblers.  I saw a crocodile just before it silently and slowly sank below the surface of the water up ahead of us.  A magical, mostly undisturbed, river.

On we went to Indian Hills Lagoon.  Manatees are known to feed there, so we were on the lookout for them in the shallow water.  We never did did get a good look at a manatee, but could see where they had been by the stirred up mud as they moved away from us.  we did see bat-nosed sting rays and southern stingrays and lots of little fish.
Dennis and Melanie.  Jason was standing on the steering console so he could scout for manatees while steering with his feet as we idled along the lagoon.

The day was so calm with barely a hint of breeze to disturb the water.
Instead of hugging the coast on the way back to our place (for pear and almond tart with a scoop of tamarind ice cream), Jason went out to deeper waters where the dolphins love to play with boats when conditions are right.  I managed to get a couple of videos.  This was the highlight of the day, and completely unexpected.

It was a fine day.


  1. What a life! And, oh, the color of the sea.

    1. We are making an effort to get out do more things now that we are vaxxed and boosted. What's the point of living in paradise if you don't out into it?

  2. What a lovely trip with glorious weather and scenery.

    1. It was a perfect day. The water is not that beautiful and clear all the time and it is rarely that calm. Dennis picked a great day for his outing.

  3. The birds you see all around you must be amazing.

    The birds you encounter there must be amazing. Even those you see in your own garden must be so exceptional compared to what we have at our feeder in central Texas. I'm sure I'd have binoculars hanging round my neck all the time 'just in case.' Perhaps you'll treat us to some photos.

    1. The birds are amazing, Sheila. We have binoculars stashed in strategic locations around the verandas. I don't get many bird photos, although sometimes I get lucky. Are you familiar with the Merlin phone app? It now has bird sound ID! I love it. It doesn't have all the Belize birds, but it does have quite a few.

      Where are you in central Texas. I go to Dallas for my healthcare.

    2. Kerrville Texas, about 75 miles west of Austin and an equal distance north of San Antonio, known as the Hill Country. We're in the north-south migration flyway of birds going to and returning from Central America in the western US. We get to see a good variety of birds particularly in the Spring. Will check out Merlin.


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