Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mexico 2010

Elegant Trogon
Finally I am able to write a little bit about my birding trip (along with my best friend John) to Mexico in 2010. Literally, I could write small book about our week if I wanted to but for the sake of valuable time, I am going to summarize the trip in just a few short paragraphs.
We birded three primary areas during or week in Mexico - El Tuito (south of Puerto Vallarta), Mountains East of Puerto Vallarta, and San Pancho/ Sayulita in the state of Nayarit. Each of the areas were great in their own right. Even for being July, the birding was very good, if you can tolerate heat that is. I am not going to lie - it was HOT!
We birded the El Tuito and Puerto Vallarta area with Alejandro of "Birding Mexico". Alejandro was a great birder and we enjoyed are time with him.

Rancho Primavera... El Tuito, MX. This ranch is a fairly common birding destination these days and rightfully so. The owners Bonnie and Pat are very courteous to birders and will make you feel very welcome. Do you like Mango's? Well, if so, the ranch is full of Mango trees and you are welcome to eat at will!
The grounds of Rancho Primavera provide some very good birding. Some of our highlights from the property include: Blue Mockingbird, Green Kingfisher, and Vermillion Flycatcher. The accommodations are very nice and well kept. You will encounter some vicious looking insects but most are harmless. I am still dreaming about the Short-tailed Whip Scorpion in the closet!
The town of El Tuito is nice but very small so don't expect too much excitement. Since we weren't looking for any so it worked out well for us. As far as the birding around the town and in the mountains... there is much to be excited about. Highlights include Berylline Hummingbird, Grace's Warbler, Golden Vireo, Acorn Woodpecker, Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, and Hepatic Tanager.

West Mexican Chachalaca
We briefly birded the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens. It rained most of the time but we had some great birds on a very beautiful property. Some of these birds were Mexican Hermit, San Blas Jay, Stripe-headed Sparrow, and Black Pheobe.
Other parts of Puerto Vallarta included birds such as the absolutely gorgeous Military Macaw, Yellow-winged Cacique, Gray Hawk, Golden-crowned Emerald, Citreoline Trogon, and Rosy-thrush Tanager.
Military Macaws
Our last area of birding were Sayulita and San Pancho. We met up with a great birder by the name of Luis with "Birding San Pancho". We had a good time birding the area with Luis! We first birded the San Pancho area and then headed north to Sayulita. Although the day was hot and the heat felt as if it were cooking me to my certain death, we had some great birds including Black-throated Magpie Jay, Military Macaw, Rose-throated Becard, Lineated Woodpecker, Crested Caracara, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Zone-tailed Hawk, Magnificant Frigatebird, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Sinaloa Wren, Happy Wren, and Blue Bunting.

Broad-billed Hummingbird


We stayed at a place called Roberto's Bungalow's in San Pancho. What a great place! Small, clean, and very cozy. We each got our own Bungalow both complete with an outdoor kitchen and sitting area. The enclosed "backyard" was completely hidden from the outside world allowing for compete relaxation after a long day of birding. The owners and son were great hosts and made you feel very much at home. I would highly recommend you staying at Roberto's if you are ever in the area. I would definitely go back.

In all, I saw 95 species of birds on the trip. Not as many as I would have like but a good number nonetheless. I am very excited to report that I got 46 life birds while on the trip bring my total life list to 496! Four more to go this year, just four more to go!


Great Kiskadee/ Luis Morales said...

Awesome pictures Chad! I`m glad you enjoyed your trip, it was my pleasure taking you and John birding.... if it makes you feel better it`s got hotter after you come, we have tons of rainfall so now it is hot, humid and sticky around here... we can´t wait for the fall to came with all the migratory species coming from the north...


Luis Morales

Kelly said...

Oh my cool!!! Your life list is through the roof with only 4 to go to hit 500. I hope you get them this year. One of these days I'll venture south to see these amazing birds. The little Broad-billed Hummingbird is beautiful.

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Northern Cardinal