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The birds of Western Mexico ,
- General Information
- Itinerary (summary)
- Reserves and Sites
- Daily Log
- Systematic List of Birds
- Systematic List of Mammals
This report covers a two-week trip to the western part of Mexico in March 2001.
Having visited the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas in 1999 we decided to visit Western Mexico, an area with a splendid variety of endemics. Vital & Riet van Gorp, Eric Wille and my girlfriend Willemien van Ginneken accompanied me on this trip.
Tourists usually come to Mexico for its wealth of sunny days, beaches, colonial gems and monumental pyramids, but the country offers something even richer - its bird life.
Mexico is noted for its spectacular and varied avifauna and probably nowhere is this variety better represented than in the tiny state of Colima, the surrounding areas of Jalisco and near the coastal fishing village of San Blas in Nayarit. Mexico has a high degree of endemism and many species are of restricted range. It is these specialist species that were of most interest to us.
Our trip concentrated of course on the bird life of Mexico, but we had the chance to savour the magnificent pyramids of Teotihuacán near Mexico City and the monarch butterfly sanctuary at Angangueo in Central Mexico.
Our itinerary was largely based on Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico" with additional information from the many reports available on the Internet
FLIGHT AND VISA
We flew Amsterdam - Mexico City return with KLM costing ¦ 1000,--, a special offer at the time.
No visa is required for EU-citizens.
The unit of currency in Mexico is the peso, divided into 100 centavos (confusingly often written $).
The exchange rate at the time of our visit varied from 9 to 9.50: US$1. All major credit cards are accepted.
There is no shortage of accommodation in Mexico; any reasonably sized town will have a range to suit most tastes. Hotels along the coast and near the major tourist attractions are expensive.
Some prices (double room):
Hotel Don Bruno, Angangueo 550 peso
Hotel Garza Canela, San Blas 702 peso
Hotel Sands, Mazatlán 450 peso
Hotel Sands, Barra de Navidad 394 peso
Hotel Costeño, Colima 368 peso
Hotel Fenix, Zamora 529 peso
Hotel Club Med, Teotihuacán 650 peso
FOOD AND DRINK
Food was generally fine, reasonably varied and of good quality. Drinks can be found anywhere.
No vaccinations are officially required to visit Mexico per se. Immunisation against polio, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis however is recommended, although vaccinations should not be treated as a substitute for careful eating and drinking habits. Malaria is apparently not a problem in the areas we visited, we did not take any anti‑malarial treatment.
Mosquitoes, biting gnats and biting or simply annoying flies can be locally numerous (lower Singayta!), particularly in the lowlands, and especially in the wet season - another reason to visit during the dry season.
Chiggers, one of Mexico's many interesting South American affinities, can be a real pest, and you can pick them up in the field, often when you least expect it. Although there is no complete answer to the problem, as precaution wear long trousers tucked securely into your socks and spray insect repellent liberally on your clothing and boots!
Finally, beware of the sun. Hats and long‑sleeved shirts are essential kit.
Central America has a bad reputation as a high crime area; this reputation is probably not deserved. Mexico is a friendly country and at present a fairly safe place to travel.
The Durango Highway had received some bad publicity following at least one highway robbery years ago, but this can happen anywhere in the world. We travelled for two weeks, had nothing stolen and never felt threatened or even uncomfortable and where in the world is safe these days.
We were not hassled or bothered while birdwatching around the country. Still, in the larger cities you should take precautions against pickpockets and other theft. Lock your car at all times; never leave valuables in open sight.
Mexico is a country were English is not spoken widely (except in major resorts), so at least a rudimentary command of Spanish will be helpful.
The dry season begins in late October. March is reckoned to be the best bet for a rain free trip. March is also spring for many species, which begin to sing and become more conspicuous.
During our trip the weather was pleasant, dry and sunny, and no birding time was lost to rain.
Not everywhere in Mexico it was hot and sunny, although even in the mountains we needed no more than a light jacket for the first few hours of the morning. Daylight hours were generally 05.45 - 19.00.
TRANSPORT AND ROADS
Car rental is the single largest expense of most Mexican birding trips. Rental cars are easily obtainable at the airport of Mexico City. We rented a mini‑van (Chrysler Voyager) at the airport (US$ 1550 for 15 days, unlimited mileage), a very expensive car. Before taking the car it is important to thoroughly check it for damage, defects etc. Point out every scrape, bump, windscreen chip, bit of missing trim etc. They will make a note of it and they're very hot! The car was excellent (virtually brand new) and never gave us any trouble.
Pemex is a government monopoly and the only source for gasoline. We had to pay 5.35 peso per litre.
In comparison to roads in other Latin American countries, Mexican roads are well maintained.
Toll (cuota) roads fan out in all directions from Mexico City and you have to pay approximately 1 peso per km.
Where there is a choice, the free road is signed 'libre", the tolled "cuota".
All dirt roads were passable during the dry season, although the road to Volcán de Fuego near Colima was very rough, but we made it easily.
The ubiquitous "tope" or speed bump is found in almost all-urban areas and many are difficult to see and poorly marked. Some "topes" are of such a size that the bottom of the car is sure to scrape along them.
We did encounter quite a few checkpoints, run by the federales or the military, but we had no problems with them.
They were polite, professional, and did not even check our luggage.
A small tape recorder is quite useful for drawing in birds. The sound recordings "Songs of Mexican Birds" (two tapes) by Ben B. Coffey Jr & Lula C. Coffey are a must for anyone visiting this area. A good torch is a must and a telescope is useful at coastal sites and lakes and very useful for viewing canopy species especially from roadsides.
The birds respond to a tape or whistled imitation of Ferruginous Pygmy‑Owl and to pishing! We got usually some response, sometimes no response, and sometimes wonderful response.
NOMENCLATURE & TAXONOMY
I have decided to follow the English names of James F. Clements (Fifth Edition 2000, Birds of the World, A Check List).
Species in brackets are the English names in "A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America" by Steve N.G. Howell and Sophie Webb, but only mentioned when these differ significantly from the Clements Check List.
We used the Hallwag road map of Mexico. The scale (1:2 600 000) is small but adequate.
The following list of birds we saw frequently and if you spend any sort of time in the right habitats you will too:
Brown Pelican, Neotropic Cormorant, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Black & Turkey Vulture, Gray Hawk, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Black‑necked Stilt, American Avocet, White‑winged Dove, Common Ground‑Dove, Golden‑cheeked Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Thick‑billed Kingbird, Barn Swallow, Blue‑gray Gnatcatcher, Black‑throated Magpie‑Jay, Sinaloa Crow, House Sparrow, Warbling Vireo, House Finch, Nashville Warbler, Yellow‑rumped Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canyon Towhee, Black‑headed Grosbeak, Great‑tailed Grackle, Streak‑backed Oriole, Yellow‑winged Cacique.
Special thanks are due to John van der Woude and Mark van Beirs for their valuable advice in planning this trip and to Don Lewis for his report with the improved driving directions to the volcanoes of Colima.
A big thanks also to Eric Wille who did all the driving during the trip.
¨ James F.
of the World. A Check List, Fifth Edition.
¨ National Geographic Society. Field guide to the birds of North America.
¨ Steve N.G. Howell. Where to watch birds in Mexico.
¨ Steve N.G. Howell and Sophie Webb. A guide to the birds of Mexico and Northern Central America.
¨ Rosalind Novick & Lan Sing Wu. Where to find Birds in San Blas, Nayarit.
¨ Lonely Planet. Mexico.
Clearly "A guide to the birds of Mexico and Northern Central America" (Howell & Webb) is a must. You also need the North American field guide as well, as many of the northern migrants are not illustrated in Howell & Webb.
Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico", the sine qua non for anyone birding in Mexico, proved to be invaluable.
James F. Clements and Bill Principe. Bird Records from Sinaloa, Jalisco and
Guerro, Mexico, May 2-16, 1992
¨ Jon Curson. Birding Mexico, a guide to selected sites, 1991.
¨ Stephen J. Dinsmore. Mexico - Colima and Jalisco, 2 -12 March 2000.
¨ David R. Ferry. Mexico - Colima: Volcano Road Information April 2000.
¨ Brian Gee. Mexico & Guatemala, winter 95/96.
¨ Chris Harrison. Mexico - Durango: Safety of the Durango - Mazatlán Highway, March 2000.
¨ Mark Sutton. North West and Central Mexico 28/11 to 13/12/97.
¨ Tim Wright. Central & Southern Mexico. 4th to 20th April 1996.
¨ John van der Woude. West Mexico 21 November to 3 December 1999.
¨ Winging It, August 1996. Birding Volcán de Fuego, Colima.
BIRDBASE & BIRDAREA
Since 1996 I use this software to keep track of the birds I have seen and to make lists of any country, labelling endemics and birds previously seen in that country, outside it, or both.
BirdArea can produce checklists of the birds of any country of Clements' world birds.
March 19 Chaam - Amsterdam - Mexico
March 20 Mexico City - Zitácuaro - Angangueo
March 21 Angangueo (Mariposa Reserve) - Guadalajara - San Blas
March 22 San Blas (Lower Singayta
& La Bajada)
March 23 San Blas (Cerro de San Juan & Mangroves Boat Trip)
March 24 San Blas (Lower Singayta) - Mazatlán
March 25 Mazatlán - Barranca Rancho
Liebre - Mazatlán (La Noria Road)
March 26 Mazatlán (La Noria Road) - Barra de Navidad
COLIMA & JALISCO
March 27 Barra de Navidad (Barranca
El Choncho & Manzanillo Airport Marshes)
March 28 Barra de Navidad (Playa de Oro Road) - Colima (Piscilla)
March 29 Colima (Volcán de Nieve & Microondas La Cumbre)
March 30 Colima (Colima Ciudad - La Maria Road & Piscilla)
March 31 Colima - Volcán de Fuego - Zamora
April 1 Zamora - Morelia - Lago
Cuitzeo - Mexico City - Teotihuacán
April 2/3 Teotihuacán - Mexico City - Amsterdam - Chaam
RESERVES AND SITES
These notes are only information supplementary to Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico", the excellent and essential guide to most of the bird sites we visited.
For a detailed report of species and numbers please refer to the systematic list at the end of this report.
ANGANGUEO AREA (MARIPOSA RESERVE)
Accommodation: Hotel Don Bruno in Angangueo
Angangueo is four hours away from Mexico City.
Every autumn millions of black‑and‑orange monarch butterflies fly some 3,600 kilometres from southern Canada and the northern United States to a tiny niche of mountains in the central Mexican states of Michoacan and Mexico. Once there, the butterflies roost in the high cool trees of the fir forest to spend in the winter months before heading north again in the spring. Most monarch wintering areas are federally protected, but one of these, near Angangueo, is open to tourists and makes an unforgettable day trip.
The best months to see are February and early March, but any time from late November through March is fine.
You can either carefully drive your own car up the dirt road to the Mariposa reserve or pay a local pickup truck a small fee (300 peso) for a ride.
This reserve (entrance fee 15 peso p.p.) offers access with a guide to the fir forest via a well-maintained trail.
While visiting the monarch butterfly sanctuary quite a few birds can be seen at the reserve and in the mountains near Angangueo.
Birds seen during our visit:
Red-tailed Hawk, White‑eared Hummingbird, , Blue‑throated Hummingbird, Amethyst‑throated Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Tufted Flycatcher, Buff‑breasted Flycatcher, Western Wood‑Pewee, Cassin's Kingbird, Northern Rough‑winged, Cliff & Barn Swallow, Golden‑crowned & Ruby‑crowned Kinglet, House (Brown‑throated) Wren, Eastern & Western Bluebird, Russet Nightingale‑Thrush, Rufous‑backed Robin, American Robin, Mexican Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Bell's Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Golden Vireo, House Finch, Pine Siskin, Lesser Goldfinch, Yellow & Yellow‑rumped Warbler, Red Warbler, Golden‑browed Warbler, Spotted & Canyon Towhee, Yellow‑eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrow, Striped Sparrow, Stripe‑headed, Black‑chinned, Rufous‑crowned & Song Sparrow, Great‑tailed Grackle, Black‑headed Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, Black‑backed Oriole.
Accommodation: Hotel Garza Canela, The hotel is situated along the coast and has a swimming pool, a fine restaurant and a staff that accommodates birdwatchers.
The coastal fishing village of San Blas, Nayarit, has long been famous among North-American birdwatchers.
From San Blas you can explore the nearby palm and thorn forests, coffee fincas, oak woods, mangroves, coastal lagoons and inshore waters.
Most of the birds can be seen from land, but a boat trip in the mangroves is recommended for getting close‑up views of Boat‑billed Heron, Northern Potoo, Rufous‑necked Wood‑Rail and a variety of waterbirds typical of the mangroves. A boatman can be contacted via the reception at Hotel Garza Canela. Ask for Chencho, a friendly and capable man. We had to pay 650 peso (5 persons) for a trip from 15.00 - 20.30 hours.
We visited sites 6.1d (riverboat trip), 6.1h (Lower Singayta), 6.2 (La Bajada) and 6.4 (Cerro de San Juan) as mentioned in Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico".
Birds seen during our visit:
Least Grebe, American White & Brown Pelican, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Blue Heron, Great, Snowy & Cattle Egret, Tricoloured Heron, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, Black‑crowned & Yellow‑billed Night‑Heron, Boat‑billed Heron, Bare‑throated Tiger‑Heron, Wood Stork, White & White‑faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black‑bellied Whistling‑Duck, Muscovy Duck, Gadwall, Green‑winged Teal, Mallard, Blue‑winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Black & Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Sharp‑shinned Hawk, Common & Great Black‑Hawk, Gray, Broad‑winged, Short‑tailed & Zone‑tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, Laughing Falcon, Collared Forest‑Falcon, American Kestrel, Rufous‑bellied Chachalaca, Rufous‑necked Wood‑Rail, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Black‑necked Stilt, American Avocet, Long‑billed Dowitcher, Whimbrel, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Wandering Tattler, Willet, Least Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Caspian Tern, Black Skimmer, Red‑billed Pigeon, Common & Ruddy Ground‑Dove, Inca Dove, White‑tipped Dove, Orange‑fronted Parakeet, Mexican Parrotlet, White‑fronted Parrot, Squirrel Cuckoo, Groove‑billed Ani, Ferruginous Pygmy‑Owl, Northern Potoo, Lesser Nighthawk, Pauraque, White‑naped Swift, Mexican Woodnymph, White‑eared Hummingbird, Cinnamon &Violet‑crowned Hummingbird, Berylline Hummingbird, Lucifer Hummingbird, Bumblebee Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, CitreolineTrogon, Elegant Trogon, Belted & Green Kingfisher, Russet‑crowned Motmot, Golden‑cheeked Woodpecker, Lineated & Pale‑billed Woodpecker, White‑striped Woodcreeper, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Tufted Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Willow, White‑throated, Least, Hammond's & Pacific‑slope Flycatcher, Dusky‑capped & Brown‑crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Boat‑billed & Social Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Thick‑billed Kingbird, Gray‑collared Becard, Rose‑throated Becard, Masked Tityra, Mangrove, Northern Rough‑winged & Barn Swallow, Gray Silky‑Flycatcher, Spotted Wren, Happy Wren, Sinaloa Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird, Orange‑billed Nightingale‑Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, White‑throated Thrush, Rufous‑backed Robin, Blue‑gray Gnatcatcher, Black‑throated Magpie‑Jay, Sinaloa Crow, Bell's, Plumbeous & Warbling Vireo, House Finch, Pine Siskin, Black‑headed Siskin, Nashville Warbler, Tropical Parula, Yellow, Mangrove, Yellow‑rumped, Black‑throated Gray, Townsend's & Hermit Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, MacGillavry's & Wilson's Warbler, Slate‑throated Redstart, Fan‑tailed Warbler, Rufous‑capped Warbler, Summer Tanager, Flame‑coloured Tanager, Red‑headed Tanager, Ruddy‑breasted Seedeater, Rusty‑crowned Ground‑Sparrow, Stripe‑headed Sparrow, Rusty Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grayish Saltator, Black‑headed Grosbeak, Varied Bunting, Painted Bunting, Great‑tailed Grackle, Brown‑headed Cowbird, Streak‑backed Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Yellow‑winged Cacique.
BARRANCA RANCHO LIEBRE
Accommodation: hotels along the Durango Highway (Villa Blanca Hotel at km 233). Mazatlán has a wide range of hotels. We stayed at Hotel Sands along Avenida del Mar.
Site 5.6 in Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico". The restaurant does not exist anymore and the Barranca is not situated at kilometre post 200.5, but at 201.5.
A barranca is a steep sided, forested canyon. Because Barrancas are so steep and inaccessible, they have been left relatively undisturbed. Barranca Rancho Liebre is the celebrated site for the extremely localised Tufted Jay.
Birds seen during our visit:
Zone‑tailed Hawk, Red‑tailed Hawk, White‑throated Swift, Mountain Trogon, EARED TROGON, Acorn Woodpecker, Arizona Woodpecker, Tufted Flycatcher, Pine Flycatcher, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Ruby‑crowned Kinglet, House Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Brown‑backed Solitaire, Russet Nightingale‑Thrush, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Brown Creeper, Steller's Jay, TUFTED JAY, Common Raven, Orange‑crowned Warbler, Crescent‑chested Warbler, Yellow‑rumped warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Black‑and‑white Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Rufous‑capped Brush‑Finch, Spotted Towhee, Yellow‑eyed Junco, Slate‑throated Redstart, Hutton's Vireo.
LA NORIA ROAD
Accommodation: nearby Mazatlán has a wide range of hotels. We stayed at Hotel Sands along Avenida del Mar.
Site 5.3 in Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico". While birding along the road is possible, traffic is often fast and heavy. Taking any of the side roads is safer and more pleasant.
Birds seen during our visit:
Sharp‑shinned Hawk, Gray & Short‑tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Rufous‑bellied Chachalaca, Elegant Quail, Black‑necked Stilt, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Mourning Dove, White‑winged Dove, Common Ground‑Dove, Inca Dove, Lesser Roadrunner, Golden‑crowned Emerald, Golden‑cheeked Woodpecker, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder‑backed Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Thick‑billed Kingbird, Northern Mockingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Rufous‑backed Robin, Blue‑gray Gnatcatcher, Black‑capped Gnatcatcher, Black‑throated Magpie‑Jay, Purplish‑backed Jay, Sinaloa Crow, Bell's Vireo, Orange‑crowned Warbler, Black‑throated Gray Warbler, Lesser Goldfinch, Green‑tailed Towhee, Botteri's Sparrow, Summer Tanager, Pyrrhuloxia, Yellow Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Varied Bunting, Black‑headed Grosbeak, Streak‑backed Oriole, Yellow‑winged Cacique.
BARRA DE NAVIDAD AREA
Accommodation: hotels are plentiful in Barra de Navidad. We stayed at Hotel Sands.
CHONCHO EL BARRANCA
Site 7.4 in Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico".
This barranca is a canyon with tropical semi‑deciduous forest and thorn forest.
Birds seen during our visit:
Gray Hawk, Red‑tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, West
Mexican Chachalaca, Red‑billed Pigeon, White‑winged Dove, Common
Ground‑Dove, Inca Dove, White‑tipped Dove, Lilac‑crowned
Parrot, Mexican Hermit, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Amethyst‑throated
Hummingbird, Black‑chinned Hummingbird, Citreoline Trogon,
Pale‑billed Woodpecker, Ivory‑billed Woodcreeper, Northern Beardless
Tyrannulet, Greater Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Bright‑rumped Attila, Nutting's
Flycatcher, Flammulated Flycatcher, Happy Wren,
Sinaloa Wren, White‑throated Thrush, Blue‑gray Gnatcatcher,
San Blas Jay, Warbling Vireo, Golden Vireo,
Orange‑crowned & Nashville Warbler, Tropical Parula, Black‑and‑white
& Wilson's Warbler, Red‑breasted Chat, Varied
Bunting, Black‑vented Oriole, Yellow‑winged
MAZANILLO AIRPORT MARSHES
Site 7.1 in Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico".
This area of grassy wetlands is very convenient and easy to bird, but watch out for chiggers and biting ants in the thick grass and Acacia scrub. This area can be birded as a good late‑afternoon trip after a morning birding at Playa de Playa de Oro Road or Barranca el Choncho.
Birds seen during our visit:
Great Blue Heron, Great, Snowy & Cattle Egret, Tricoloured
Heron, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, Black‑crowned & Yellow‑billed
Night‑Heron, Wood Stork, White & White‑faced Ibis, Mexican Duck,
Blue‑winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Cooper's Hawk, Black
& Turkey Vulture, Common Black‑Hawk, Gray Hawk, American Kestrel,
Limpkin, Purple Gallinule, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Northern Jacana, Black‑necked
Stilt, Killdeer, Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Willet,
Ring‑billed Gull, Groove‑billed Ani, Belted & Green Kingfisher,
Gray‑breasted Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern Waterthrush, Yellow‑breasted
Chat, Ruddy‑breasted Seedeater, Dickcissel, Red‑winged Blackbird,
Great‑tailed Grackle, Bullock's Oriole, Scott's Oriole, Yellow‑winged
PLAYA DE ORO ROAD
Site 7.2 in Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico". Probably the best single spot was between the two short trails (roads) which back off to the right as you go seaward (4 - 5 km from highway).
Birds seen during our visit:
Brown Pelican, Neotropic Cormorant, Black Vulture, Crested Caracara, Laughing Falcon, Whimbrel, Elegant Tern, Royal Tern, Common Ground‑Dove, White‑winged Dove, Common Ground‑Dove, Inca Dove, Lilac‑crowned Parrot, Squirrel Cuckoo, Ferruginous Pygmy‑Owl, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Golden‑cheeked Woodpecker, Pacific‑slope Flycatcher, Bright‑rumped Attila, Nutting's Flycatcher, Dusky‑capped Flycatcher, Flammulated Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Rose‑throated Becard, Northern Rough‑winged Swallow, Happy Wren, White‑bellied Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Blue‑gray Gnatcatcher, Black‑capped Gnatcatcher, White‑throated Magpie‑Jay, San Blas Jay, Bell's Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Stripe‑headed Sparrow, Olive Sparrow, Grayish Saltator, Blue Grosbeak, Blue Bunting, Varied Bunting, Orange‑breasted Bunting, Streak‑backed Oriole, Yellow‑winged Cacique.
VOLCANES DE COLIMA
Accommodation: hotels are plentiful in Ciudad Colima or Ciudad Guzman.
The often-recommended Motel Los Candiles in Ciudad Colima is well-located for a quick morning getaway to the Volcanoes as the Hotel Costeño in Ciudad Colima, where we stayed.
The charming small city of Colima is a great location to rest, shop, restock with supplies and take a break from birding.
The rain‑trapping heights of the spectacular volcanoes support lush verdant montane forests containing equally spectacular avian inhabitants. The steep slopes of Volcán de Fuego and Volcán de Nieve are clad in oak and pine forests, which harbour a very exciting array of birds. These volcanoes are the best location in Mexico for the elusive Long‑tailed Wood‑Partridge and the classy Chestnut‑sided Shrike‑Vireo.
VOLCÁN DE FUEGO
Site 7.8 in Steve Howell's "Where
to watch birds in Mexico" .The article "Birding Volcán de Fuego (Volcano
of Fire), Colima, Mexico" in Winging It, volume 8, Number 8 - August 1996 is
The coastal‑facing slopes of the perfectly conical Volcán de Fuego intercepts moisture‑laden winds and support lush forests whose valleys echo with the rollicking choruses of Long‑tailed Wood‑Partridges and cascading melodies of Brown‑backed Solitaires. Numerous mixed‑species flocks hold such gems as Red Warbler, Chestnut‑sided Shrike‑Vireo, Gray‑collared Becard and Dwarf Vireo.
Birds seen during our visit:
White‑tailed Kite, Crested Caracara, American Kestrel,
West Mexican Chachalaca, LONG‑TAILED
WOOD‑PARTRIDGE, Band‑tailed Pigeon, White‑winged
& White‑tipped Dove, Common Ground‑Dove, Inca Dove, Lesser
Roadrunner, White‑throated Swift, Mountain Trogon,
Acorn Woodpecker, Ladder‑backed Woodpecker, White‑striped
Woodcreeper, Greater Pewee, Dusky Flycatcher, Pacific‑slope Flycatcher,
Buff‑breasted Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Gray‑collared
Becard, Violet‑green & Barn Swallow, Happy Wren,
House Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Mockingbird, Eastern Bluebird,
American Robin, Blue‑gray Gnatcatcher, White‑breasted Nuthatch,
Dwarf Vireo, Hutton's Vireo, CHESTNUT‑SIDED SHRIKE‑VIREO,
House Finch, Crescent‑chested Warbler, Nashville,
Yellow‑rumped, Black‑throated Gray, Townsend's, Hermit, Grace's,
Wilson's & Red‑faced Warbler, Slate‑throated Redstart, Fan‑tailed
Warbler, Rufous-capped Warbler, Blue‑black Grassquit,
Green‑striped Brush‑Finch, Rusty‑crowned
Ground‑Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Chipping, Clay‑Coloured
& Lark Sparrow, Yellow‑eyed Junco, Yellow Grosbeak, Blue Bunting,
Blue Grosbeak, Black‑headed Grosbeak. Lazuli Bunting, Varied Bunting,
Painted Bunting, Bronzed & Brown‑headed Cowbird, Streak‑backed
Oriole, Black‑vented Oriole, Audubon's Oriole.
VOLCÁN DE NIEVE
This road is well described by David Ferry. Truly one of the best places for birds we have been during this trip.
On the interior‑facing slopes of the even higher Volcán de Nieve (Volcano of Ice) a drier, more open pine‑oak forest hosts a rather different avifauna than Volcán de Fuego, including Spotted Wren, Olive Warbler, Buff‑breasted Flycatcher and Black‑headed Siskin.
Birds seen during our visit:
Sharp‑shinned Hawk, American Kestrel, Long‑tailed Wood‑Partridge, Common Ground‑Dove, Green Violetear, White‑eared Hummingbird, Berylline Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Acorn Woodpecker, Ladder‑backed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Tufted Flycatcher, Pine Flycatcher, Pacific‑slope Flycatcher, Buff‑breasted Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Cassin's Kingbird, Thick‑billed Kingbird, Ruby‑crowned Kinglet, Gray Silky‑Flycatcher, Gray‑barred Wren, Happy Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Ruddy‑capped Nightingale‑Thrush, Hermit Thrush, White‑throated Thrush, Rufous‑backed Robin, Mexican Chickadee, White‑breasted Nuthatch, Common Raven, Bell's Vireo, Dwarf Vireo, Warbling Vireo, House Finch, Black‑headed Siskin, Lesser Goldfinch, Nashville, Virginia, Yellow‑rumped, Black‑throated Gray, Townsend's, Hermit & Wilson's Warbler, Red Warbler, Slate‑throated Redstart, Golden‑browed Warbler, Rufous-capped Warbler, Gray‑crowned Yellowthroat, Hepatic & Summer Tanager, Cinnamon‑bellied Flowerpiercer, Green‑striped Brush‑Finch, Collared Towhee, Canyon Towhee, Chipping, Clay‑coloured & Lark Sparrow, Yellow‑eyed Junco, Yellow Grosbeak, Black‑headed Grosbeak. Yellow‑headed Blackbird, Bullock's Oriole.
CIUDAD COLIMA - LA MARIA
Accommodation: hotels are plentiful in Ciudad Colima or Ciudad Guzman.
We stayed at Hotel Costeño in Ciudad Colima.
Site 7.9 in Steve Howell's "Where
to watch birds in Mexico". Especially the "El Jacal de San Antonio" area
is very productive!
Birds seen during our visit:
Red‑tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, Laughing Falcon, American Kestrel, West Mexican Chachalaca, Banded Quail, American Coot, Lilac‑crowned Parrot, Groove‑billed Ani, Lesser Roadrunner, Golden‑crowned Emerald, Berylline Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Broad‑billed Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Elegant Trogon, Golden‑cheeked Woodpecker, Ladder‑backed Woodpecker, Arizona Woodpecker, Gray‑crowned Woodpecker, Ivory‑billed Woodcreeper, Tufted Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Buff‑breasted Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Dusky‑capped Flycatcher, Cassin's Kingbird, Gray‑collared Becard, Barn Swallow, Spotted Wren, Happy Wren, Sinaloa Wren, House Wren, Blue Mockingbird, White‑throated Thrush, Loggerhead Shrike, Blue‑gray Gnatcatcher, Dwarf Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Lesser Goldfinch, Nashville, Yellow‑rumped, MacGillavry's & Wilson's Warbler, Fan‑tailed Warbler, Rufous-capped Warbler, Rusty‑crowned Ground‑Sparrow, Grayish Saltator, Stripe‑headed, Lark & Lincoln's Sparrow, Yellow Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Black‑headed Grosbeak. Indigo Bunting, Eastern Meadowlark, Streak‑backed Oriole.
MICROONDAS LA CUMBRE & PISCILLA
Accommodation: hotels are plentiful in Ciudad Colima or Ciudad Guzman.
We stayed at Hotel Costeño in Ciudad Colima.
Site 7.10 in Steve Howell's "Where to watch birds in Mexico". The La Cumbre Road has a closed gate discouraging non‑walkers. We got permission to drive to the top to the statue of the Virgin.
When we returned at 20.30 the gate was locked and the
gatekeeper let us through after he told us that we were too late.
Birds seen during our visit:
Black & Turkey Vulture, Short‑tailed & White‑tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Inca Dove, Broad‑billed Hummingbird, Colima Pygmy‑Owl, Buff‑collared Nightjar, Lesser Ground‑Cuckoo, Boat‑billed Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Rufous‑naped Wren, White‑throated Magpie‑Jay, Orange‑crowned, Yellow & Wilson's Warbler, Stripe‑headed Sparrow, Black‑chested Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Orange‑breasted Bunting, Streak‑backed Oriole,
Monday March 19
Our trip started with a long KLM flight from Amsterdam to Mexico City. The flight touched down in Mexico City at 8.30 p.m. local time (8 hours time difference), considerably later than scheduled. It poured with rain in Mexico City, but as it turned, that was the first and last rain of the whole trip.
Having changed money we left the confines of the airport building and rented a minibus at the Avis-office near the airport and then checked into the very luxurious Marriott Hotel near the airport.
Tuesday March 20
After some much‑needed sleep we were up well before dawn the next morning in order to get out of Mexico City before the early morning rush‑hour. We tried to find the highway to Toluca, but it took us almost two hours before we were out of town, a real nightmare this metropolis.
En route to Angangueo, we made a few stops near Zatácuaro
and found Blue‑throated Hummingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, Curve‑billed
Thrasher, Loggerhead Shrike and Stripe-headed Sparrow.
At noon we arrived in Angangueo and checked into Hotel Don Bruno in the centre of the small town. Dumping our stuff in the hotel we spent the rest of the afternoon in the nearby mountains.
Here, among other species, we found White‑eared Hummingbird, a helicopter‑like Bumblebee Hummingbird, Buff‑breasted Flycatcher, Russet Nightingale‑Thrush, Striped Sparrow, Black‑chinned Sparrow, Golden Vireo, Yellow‑eyed Junco, Black‑backed Oriole and best of all, the beautiful Red Warbler. Not a bad start, and one that set the pace for the rest of the trip.
Wednesday March 21
Our goal was to reach San Blas by dark, so we figured we had a half a day of local birding time before we needed to head west. Early next morning we drove with a hired four‑wheel drive (300 peso including driver) to the Mariposa reserve, a well-known monarch sanctuary in the mountains of central Michoacan. After a 45-minute drive we arrived at the butterfly sanctuary. It was cold when we walked in the company of a guide on the rather steep track into the fir forest.
After a short while we arrived at trees loaded with butterflies and the branches of the firs sometimes sagged under the weight of the butterflies. Birds do not eat the monarchs, because they are poisonous, but nevertheless quite a few Black‑headed Grosbeaks knew which parts of the monarchs could be eaten and were having their breakfast in the top of the trees. After a while the sun warmed the monarchs enough, to flutter about from tree to tree.
The millions of monarchs painted the otherwise green forest landscape a bright orange, an unforgettable sight.
We were treated to a Russet Nightingale Thrush searching for worms on the road just ahead of us.
Amongst the other bird species seen at Mariposa were White‑eared & Amethyst‑throated Hummingbird, Golden‑crowned & Ruby‑crowned Kinglet, Rufous‑backed Robin, Mexican Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Pine Siskin, Red & Golden‑browed Warbler and Spotted Towhee.
Reluctantly we had eventually to head back to Angangueo and at 11.30 we headed to the "cuota autopista" Mexico City - Guadalajara.
En route we had no time to stop at the huge Lago Cuitzeo, but while driving we managed to see large numbers of American White Pelicans, Snowy Egrets and American Avocets.
At 19.00 hours we arrived in the coastal fishing village of San Blas and checked into the well‑known hotel Garza Canela, a hotel with a fine restaurant and a staff that accommodates birdwatchers.
Thursday March 22
Off at 6 a.m. for the nearby village of Singayta. We drove through the village and parked our car off the road.
Braving the mosquitoes we spent all morning on the dirt road and the birding in the remains of this lowland rainforest was good.
A wealth of species here quickly expanded our list and amongst the birds seen were Bare‑throated Tiger‑Heron, Muscovy Duck, Hook‑billed Kite, Mexican Parrotlet, Citreoline & Elegant Trogon, Golden‑cheeked Woodpecker, Thick‑billed Kingbird, Rose‑throated Becard, Happy & Sinaloa Wren, Black‑throated Magpie‑Jay, Fan‑tailed Warbler, Varied Bunting and Rusty‑crowned Ground‑Sparrow.
At midday it was starting to get hot and we headed back to San Blas for a dive in the swimming pool.
En route to San Blas we made a short stop at "El Mirador de las Patas" to check the wader flocks and amongst the birds seen here were White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Cinnamon Teal, Long‑billed Dowitcher, Stilt Sandpiper and a group of White‑naped Swifts.
At 3.00 p.m. we headed to the small village of Bajada to explore the coffee plantations above the village.
We spent the rest of the day on the cobblestone road, the old Camino Real. The plantations with their tall shade trees hosted a variety of species including Gray & Short‑tailed Hawk, Red‑billed Pigeon, Orange‑fronted Parakeet, Mexican Woodnymph, Cinnamon & Berylline Hummingbird, Russet‑crowned Motmot, Pale‑billed Woodpecker, White‑striped Woodcreeper, Dusky‑capped Flycatcher and Yellow‑winged Cacique.
A very productive day followed by a great dinner and well‑earned sleep. In the middle of the night I was awoken by an owl call and had good views of the small Ferruginous Pygmy‑Owl.
Friday March 23
Very early next morning we drove to the cool pine-oak forests of Cerro de San Juan. It was cold and misty when we arrived at the mountain. Slowly we drove higher up, en route making many stops.
The flowers attracted many hummingbirds such as a single Violet‑crowned Hummingbird, a diminutive Bumblebee Hummingbird, a single Lucifer Hummingbird and scores of White‑eared, Berylline and Cinnamon Hummingbirds.
White‑throated Thrush, Flame‑coloured Tanager, Painted Bunting, Spotted Wren and Rusty Sparrow also performed.
Higher up in pine-oak woodland the forest proved excellent. Many birds responded strongly to the tape of Ferruginous Pygmy‑Owl, especially the North‑American warblers, such as Nashville, Virginia, Yellow‑rumped, Black‑throated Gray, Townsend's, Hermit and Wilson's Warbler.
We also had good views of White‑striped Woodcreeper, Gray Silky‑Flycatcher, Black‑headed Siskin, Slate‑throated Redstart and our only seen Red‑headed Tanager of the trip.
We then returned to San Blas, not stopping at El Mirador del Aquila, having seen Military Macaw already many years ago in Venezuela.
After lunchtime we hired a boat and made a trip in the mangrove forests. The trip with this boat was quite an adventure itself! An Osprey, Black Skimmers, Willets and Laughing Gulls sat on the exposed sandbars of Río San Cristóbal. Chencho our boatsman tried to lure in with the tape a Rufous‑necked Wood‑Rail, which finally gave superb views after many frustrating minutes of seeing a shadow in the mangroves.
While we passed through a tunnel of arched mangroves we saw a good variety of birds, amongst them of course close‑up views of Boat‑billed Heron, a bird I had not seen since my trip to Costa Rica in 1990 and Green & Belted Kingfishers, Lineated Woodpecker and Citreoline Trogon.
Anhingas sunning themselves, egrets, ibises and a host of herons were seen "en route" and we also saw an extremely well camouflaged Northern Potoo only three metres away. It took quite a while before Willemien actually did see the bird.
On the way back we spotlighted more than ten Northern Potoos and also enjoyed many Lesser Nighthawks and Pauraques flying overhead.
Saturday March 24
Our pre-breakfast birding at Lower Singayta produced several new species amongst them Laughing Falcon, Rufous‑bellied Chachalaca, Pacific‑slope Flycatcher, Boat‑billed Flycatcher and Blue‑black Grassquit.
Having achieved our objectives we set off for the long trip towards Mazatlán. We only stopped for corona beer and lunch. To do the girls a favour we did not drive to the Durango Highway to find a hotel, but instead headed to Mazatlán. The hotels along the coast were very expensive, but at last we checked in at Hotel Sands.
We left our hotel at the unearthly hour of 4.30 and headed to the Durango Highway. At 6.30 we arrived at Barranca Rancho Liebre, a two‑hour trip from Mazatlán and the first bird we noted was a Steller's Jay.
We birded along the track to the Barranca, but the first hour we hardly saw a sign of life. We followed the small stream and then things improved. We encountered a group of Tufted Jays and birds came thick and fast after that. Amongst the birds seen the next hour were Mountain Trogons decked out in Mexico's national colours, Acorn Woodpecker, Tufted & Pine Flycatcher, Brown‑backed Solitaire, Ruby‑crowned Kinglet, Russet Nightingale‑Thrush, Brown Creeper, Slate‑throated Redstart and Hutton's Vireo.
We spent a while at the clearing, in fact an overgrown orchard, and here we added Blue Mockingbird and Rufous‑capped Brush‑Finch to our trip list.
We enjoyed the spectacular overlook of the Barranca and then slowly walked back to the highway. The bird of the day was actually two birds - a pair of the rare Eared Trogons. I had the bird in my telescope and had splendid views of the birds, even the 'ears' of the trogons could be seen. Eric managed to film the trogons with his video-camera.
Reluctantly we had eventually to leave the barranca and in the late afternoon we arrived in Mazatlán and decided to visit the La Noria Road. We spent most of the little time left exploring the side road at km 2.4.
Our stroll produced a great diversity of species and a high bird list including Elegant Quail, an incredibly fast Lesser Roadrunner, Golden‑crowned Emerald, Gila Woodpecker, Black‑capped Gnatcatcher, Green‑tailed Towhee, Pyrrhuloxia and Blue Grosbeak.
Just out of town the break of dawn found the five of us standing at La Noria Road. The road produced amongst many others our target bird, Purplish‑backed Jay and good views of Rufous‑bellied Chachalaca.
Off at 9 a.m. for Barra de Navidad and with a stop for lunch and a couple of stops along the way we rolled into Barra de Navidad at 18.15 p.m. - all 650 kilometres of it.
The couple of quick stops en route produced amongst others Broad‑billed Hummingbird and Amethyst‑throated Hummingbird and one emergency stop near Estacíon de Biologica Chamela yielded a party of San Blas Jays.
We checked into the Hotel Sands. Our hotel was situated right by the sea and we relished the refreshing breezes that wafted into the hotel in the evening.
Barranca el Choncho was our next morning venue, all of a 20‑minute. We spent a very birdy morning at this canyon, slowly walking up the track in this semi‑deciduous forest with its surrounding thorn forest. The first kilometre was very productive and some of the more notable species here included Lilac‑crowned Parrot, Mexican Hermit, Ivory‑billed Woodcreeper, Greater Pewee, the elusive Flammulated Flycatcher, San Blas Jay and Black‑vented Oriole.
In the more open area we were lucky to discover a beautiful, and most accommodating male Red‑breasted Chat.
At midday when it was rather warm we had an excellent lunch at a restaurant along the scenic shore of the cobalt‑blue Pacific.
Hereafter we headed to the Manzanillo Airport marshes and made a stroll on the dikes at the aquaculture ponds and saw a few Caimans sunning themselves. The marshes were full of birds and our afternoon surrounded by numerous herons, ibis, ducks and waders was even more memorable by vast flocks of Dickcissels and Orchard Orioles.
However we searched in vain for Spot‑breasted Oriole.
We set out the following day to the nearby Playa de Oro Road, where we birded till noon. We made many stops in the dry thorn forest and walked much of the road adding White‑bellied Wren, White‑throated Magpie‑jay, Olive Sparrow, Blue Bunting and many Orange‑breasted Buntings to our trip list.
At the end of the road was a beach, which was relatively birdless, although we added Elegant Tern to our list.
From the coast we drove inland to the city of Colima. As we neared our destination we got our first views of the awesome Volcanes de Colima. In the late afternoon we arrived in the pleasantly tropical city and booked rooms in hotel Costeño.
We ended our day with a visit to Piscilla. Most noteworthy of the birds seen here were White‑tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, White‑throated Magpie‑Jay, Stripe‑headed Sparrow and the brilliantly coloured Orange‑breasted Bunting.
This was the day for our assault on Volcán de Nieve, the inactive twin of Volcán de Fuego. We left Colima at 5.30 and headed north-west towards the volcano. At Atenquique flocks of Yellow‑headed Blackbirds blackened the sky.
We found the road to the National Park quite easily. A few stops the first kilometres produced Gray Silky‑Flycatcher, Gray‑barred Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Lesser Goldfinch, Canyon Towhee, Clay-coloured Sparrow, Lark Sparrow and Yellow Grosbeak.
Eric's Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl imitation again worked wonders with the local passerines and hummingbirds, amongst them White‑eared, Berylline and Magnificent Hummingbird.
The habitat zones on our way to the top - oak forest, mixed deciduous/coniferous forest and finally spruce forest - produced a whole new set of birds including Green Violetear, Hairy Woodpecker, Pine Flycatcher, Mexican Chickadee, Cinnamon‑bellied Flowerpiercer, Green‑striped Brush‑Finch and the skulking Collared Towhee. We saw several Dwarf Vireos noting the bird's uncanny resemblance to the more familiar Ruby‑crowned Kinglet. However, the undoubted highlight of the day was a superb Long‑tailed Wood‑Partridge on the edge of the road at 3000 m. The view of Volcán de Fuego from the top at 3350 m was spectacular.
In the late afternoon we headed back to Colima. The last hours of the day we spent at Microondas La Cumbre, the highly visible statue with its attendant microwaves towers of a range of hills just south-west of Colima.
When we walked to the top, we saw and heard virtually nothing along the entire road, although near the top we had good views of a Lesser Ground‑Cuckoo.
At the top we saw a few Rufous‑naped Wrens. As dusk became imminent and the bats left their roost in the statue of the Virgin we heard the rhythmic tooting of the endemic Colima Pygmy‑Owl.
On our way back we had good views of two Buff‑collared Nightjars, but we failed to find the endemic Balsas Screech‑Owl. A little disheartened we returned to Colima.
Next morning we drove to Laguna La Maria. En route to the lagoon we made a few stops. The best stop was in the "El Jacal de San Antonio" area, where we walked along the road and explored the cobbled track up the hillside at km 15.5. This area provided some excellent birding, probably the best area of the whole trip.
The open woodland held West Mexican Chachalaca, Elegant Trogon, Rufous Hummingbird, Golden‑crowned Emerald, Arizona Woodpecker, Gray‑crowned Woodpecker, Spotted Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Dwarf Vireo, Fan‑tailed Warbler, Rufous‑capped Warbler and Rusty‑crowned Ground‑Sparrow to name but a few. We saw 51 species of birds in less than one hour in this area.
Hereafter we headed to Laguna La Maria, a small crater lake. Here we made a walk to the lagoon and here good views were obtained of Lesser Roadrunner, Spotted Wren, White‑throated Thrush, Rusty‑crowned Ground‑Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow. On our way back to Colima we made a stop in the fields and flushed a group of Banded Quails before getting excellent views.
In the late afternoon we again visited Piscilla and had good views of the endemic Black‑chested Sparrow.
We got an early start, leaving Colima by 5.30 a.m. We didn't bird the scrub along the first kilometres of the road to Volcán de Fuego, but instead headed towards the oak forest. Several stops in this habitat produced amongst many others West Mexican Chachalaca, Long‑tailed Wood‑Partridge, White‑Throated Swift, Mountain Trogon, Mexican Jay, Buff‑breasted Flycatcher, Dwarf Vireo, Red‑faced Warbler, Slaty Vireo, Chestnut‑sided Shrike Vireo and Audubon's Oriole to name a few. As we continued our slow ascent, the road got progressively worse and in places it was barely passable. We birded till kilometre 20 and then not expecting to find other birds than at Volcán de Nieve we headed back towards Ciudad Guzman. Hereafter we left the state of Colima and drove westwards.
En route we made a couple of stops noting amongst others Crissal Thrasher and Mexican Jay.
We spent the night in Hotel Fenix in Zamora.
We departed Zamora at 7.00 a.m. Our only stop of the day was at Lago Cuitzeo. We spent a short time along the lake trying to find Black‑polled Yellowthroat. For a split second we saw a Yellowthroat , but we were unable to identify it.
The rest of the day was largely a travelling day as we headed east to Mexico City. At 17.00 hours we arrived in the capital and were unable to find our way out of town, again a real nightmare.
At some point we decided to hire a taxi to get us out of town. Twenty minutes later we were out of town and en route to the pyramids of Teotihuacán.
We booked three rooms at Hotel Club Med, only 400 metres from the entrance of the ruins.
Our final morning was spent at the pyramids of Teotihuacán, but first we made a stroll in the beautiful garden of the hotel. Cedar Waxwing and Bewick's Wren were amongst the additions to our list.
Then we walked to Teotihuacán, Mexico's biggest ancient city and the capital of probably Mexico's largest pre‑Hispanic empire. A good scramble to the top of the Pirámide del Sol (70 m) afforded stunning views of the entire ancient city. One last addition to out birding tally was a Black Phoebe along a small river.
At 2.00 p.m. we returned to our hotel and then headed to Mexico City airport for our KLM flight to Amsterdam. The plane was delayed two hours and the following day we arrived at Schiphol Airport at 3.00 p.m.
The entire trip went very smoothly with excellent weather and no car troubles. It was also a fairly successful trip.
We had good views of most possible endemics and near-endemics.
Our final list included 18 species of hummingbird, 27 flycatchers and 25 warblers with highlights such as Long‑tailed Wood-Partridge, Singing Quail, Eared Trogon and Slaty Vireo. I finished this trip with 61 lifers.
The final total for the two weeks trip was 319 species of birds. My five best birds of the trip? Eared Trogon, Tufted Jay, Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Orange‑breasted Bunting and Red Warbler, lifers all of course.
Chaam 15 May 2001,
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4861 AH Chaam
Telephone: 0161 - 491327
Systematic List of Birds - - - - - - -