Showing posts from January, 2016

Mexico...La Bajada y Cerro San Juan.

The morning of January 5th found us birding the area known as La Bajada, southeast of San Blas, where I lifered hard yet again.  It was not a good day for photos of birds, but I will share what is worth sharing.

This is where we first encountered Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrows.  The badass-ness of this bird will hopefully make up for this terrible photo:

Butterflies and things were a bit more accessible for photos...

We came upon a fruiting tree here.  A miracle tree.

I think we noticed the White-throated Thrushes and Tufted Flycatchers first but there was so much more.  We strained our necks trying to pick out all the warblers and flycatchers and orioles and trogons.  We lied down, propping our heads on our bags, and stared into that tree for a long time.   Trying to get an accurate count of Citreoline Trogons proved challenging, which says something. 

Somehow the only bird photo I have from this tree is this Boat-billed Flycatcher:

On the 6th we went out to Cerro San Juan for the da…

Mexico...Granja de Camarón y Chacalilla

On the outskirts of San Blas there are shrimp ponds and where there are shrimp ponds there are birds.  White birds.

This one pond in particular was filled with Wood Storks, White Ibises, American White Pelicans, Great and Snowy Egrets.  Even the Short-tailed Hawk that flew over was a light morph.

There were many little roads and pulloffs to explore in this area and we birded many of them over several afternoons and evenings.  Collared Plovers do not exist here, despite what you may have heard.

Gull-billed Tern

White-collared Seedeater

Common Black Hawk

One road was filled with puppies. 

Are you dead? 


This was fun until their mom came out and tried to kill Dan.  It all worked out in the end.

Good momma.

Down this same road we found a dead frigatebird that had likely collided with the powerlines running along the ponds.

And a couple more birds from the road past the shrimp ponds that leads to Chacalilla:

Orchard Oriole

Lesser Nighthawk

As Seagull Steve mentioned in his recent Mexi-r…

Mexico...Rio la Tovara.

It is known that to find the potoos near San Blas one must first find Chencho.  It took us a couple days to track him down, but track him down we did and a boat ride into the mangroves was scheduled.  Of course we all thought we were in a different time zone which should have complicated things but somehow it did not.  Mexican miracles combined with Frank's excellent luck make for magical potoo outings.

The boat

Anhinga y Chencho

We set off with Chencho in the afternoon of January 7th under sunny frigatebird-filled skies, full of hope for our target birds.  We had Chencho so we knew we would be fine.  Within fifteen minutes Dan was calling out Rufous-necked Wood-Rails creeping in the shadows of the mangrove roots, occasionally blinding us with their brilliance.  No photos.  A Magnificent Frigatebird instead:

We cruised around the main river, checking out birds and sleeping crocodile children.

We took a turn into the dense mangroves following the twisty-turny waterway, sometimes duck…