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Showing posts from February, 2016

Mexico...la conclusión.

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First Mexican views from the plane

This is it, the last post from Mexico.   I already blogged about almost everywhere we went and everything we saw, but of course there are numbers to be discussed and a bloopers reel and all that.  There is also Peso Island, which I completely forgot to blog about.

Let's talk numbers first. 

Total species seen in Mexico*:  340
Total lifers:  138
Quesadillas consumed:  20+
Cookies consumed:  80+ (probably way more)
Bottles of el Jimador consumed by the group:  8??

 *This is my list, not the group list.  I missed many birds.

This means roughly 40% of the birds I saw were life birds.  Many more were birds I had only seen once or twice.

Now for Peso Island...

This fellow got us there

We visited this island off San Blas to see Purplish-backed Jays.  We saw them and they were rad and then they disappeared.  I offer you piglets instead, which are abundant on this island.


Royal and Common Tern pals

A Common Black Hawk was standing in the sand on the beac…

Gilliam County.

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This will probably be my last Gilly post for a long time as I finished up my winter raptor surveys this week.  It's a beautiful county and I can only imagine how amazing it would be if it wasn't all private land. 

Run pronghorn run

I ran the north part of the raptor route a couple weeks ago, stopping at an open structure where there is always a Barn Owl.  One might call it reliable.  But if I have learned anything about reliable birds, it is that they are not reliable. 

This is not a Barn Owl. 

My route took me past a couple approachable Prairie Falcons...


Shortly after seeing the above bird I turned onto Bunker Hill Road and noticed a large pale hawk on an irrigation device. 


I got the scope out and I was 99% sure I was looking at a Ferruginous Hawk, a fine bird for winter in Gilliam County.  So fine that eBird scoffed and I doubted myself and sent a bad photo to Seagull for verification. 




These long drives are super boring for the dogs and we have to get out to stretch our legs…

Edmonds, mostly.

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Yesterday I planned to finally make the trek up to Seattle to hunt down a life bird, Common Redpoll, as a flock of 40+ birds had been making the rounds of Green Lake Park.  They had been seen daily for over a month and I believe I referred to them as "reliable" when I convinced Audrey to join the chase. Our first stop of the day was at a hotspot called Weyerhauser Pond for a weirdly large flock of Redheads. 


It was freezing and foggy but the birds were there, a lifer for Audrey. 

From there we drove straight to the redpoll spot located along a ridiculously busy multi-use trail that circumvents Green Lake in a residential neighborhood.  So busy that Audrey said "it's like a parade" which was totally accurate.  We spent an hour and a half walking the dogs up and down the trail in the area the birds are known to frequent, staring at birches hoping they would come to life with redpolls.  They did not.

 Luckily we had more places to visit and things to see, and we …

Mexico...Volcán Nevado de Colima y Playa del Oro.

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January 15th was arguably the best day of birding we had in Mexico.  We drove up Volcán Nevado de Colima into the area designated as a national park and birded the hell out of it.  If you want to see a ridiculous eBird checklist, look at ours here.  


Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo.  Smoky-brown Woodpecker.  Transvolcanic Jay.  Fucking Slaty fucking Vireo.  Long-tailed Wood-Partridges calling.  Crested Guans flushing from trees.  There was a lot going on and I don't have any bird photos at all from it.  

Nerds in front of fake-looking scenery (Volcán de Fuego aka Volcán de Colima)

Anyone know what this is?  


It was a very long, very awesome day that did not end like a normal day.  No.  We had been admiring the view of Volcán de Fuego all day but when we were getting ready to turn around someone noticed it was getting active.  This took us all by surprise.



The car was probably a mile away so we eventually decided to just not worry about it.  

Steve picking out hawks through the volcano ash …