Trip Report to Mexico

To: birding birding-aus <>
Subject: Trip Report to Mexico
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 00:27:24 +1100
Phil Hansbro sent this message a few days ago. It seems that some people didn't receive it, so Phil asked if it could be re-posted:

If you'd like to ask him about anything in the report, his address is;


HI All
Just back from a great and highly successful trip to the states of
Oaxaca and Chiapas in Mexico.

Spent the first 4 days on pelagics and had a great time. Saw huge
flocks of up to 20,000+ Galapagos Shearwaters and 30-50,000 American
Black Terns with Boobies (Red-footed, Blue-footed, Brown), Gulls
(Franklin's, Laughing, Sabine's) and a smattering of other Shearwaters
(Black-vented, Wedge-tailed, Sooty) mixed in. Saw 2 Manx (first state
records) and 1 Townsend's Shearwaters, the latter was the major
target. Also stacks of Dolphin's Whales and turtles. This was an
awesome spectacle caused by the presence of huge shoals of baitfish
and tuna.

Then headed off for a land birding trip. Stopped at Tuantepec where we
got West Mexican Chachalaca, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, White-throated
Magpie-Jay, Grey-fronted Woodpecker, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Red-
breasted Chat, endemic and restricted range Sumichrast's Sparrow,
Orange-breasted Bunting and Altimara Oriole. Nightbirding produced
Pacific Screech-Owl, Colima Pygmy-Owl and Buff-collared Nightjar.
Further west we had Rose-bellied Bunting, Green-fronted Hummingbird
and Russet-crowned Jacamar.

Went to a new rainforest site for the restricted range and endemic
Nava's Wren where we scored. Also saw Barred Forest-Falcon, Grey-
headed Dove, Mexican and Boucard's Hermit, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird,
White-bellied Emerald, Collared Trogon, Keel-billed Toucan, Slate-
headed Tody-Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Ridgeway's Rough-winged
Swallow, Spot-breasted Wren, White-breasted Wood-Wren, Clay-coloured
Robin, Green Jay, Scrub & Elegant Euphonias, Red-throated Ant-,
Crimson-collared, Yellow-winged & Golden-hooded Tanagers, Yellow-faced
Grassquit, Black-headed Saltator, Blue & Varied Buntings & Montezuma's
Oropendola. Nightbirding produced Mottled Owl.

At El Sumidero canyon near Tuxtla Guttierez we saw Lesser Roadrunner,
Canivet's Emerald, Buff-bellied, Azure-crowned & Berylline
Hummingbirds, the restricted range and endemic Belted & Flammulated
Flycatchers, Couch's Kingbird, Grey Silky-Flycatcher, Blue-and-white
Mockingbird, Brown Jay, Black-capped & Yellow-green Vireos, Golden-
cheeked & Rufous-capped Warbler, Olive Sparrow, Yellow-backed, Streak-
backed & Black-vented Orioles. On route Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,
White-collared Seedeater & Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiecer.

A major highlight was after we walked to El Triunfo and camped in the
high elevation rain forest on the Guatemala border. We did very well
here. Major Highlights were 4 Horned Guan as well as Highland Guan,
stunning male Resplendent Quetzal, Scaled Antpitta, Solitary Eagle,
Azure-rumped Tanager and Fulvous Owl. Other birds were White-breasted
Hawk, White-faced Quail-Dove, Emerald-chinned, Amethyst, Sparkling-
tailed & Wine-throated Hummingbird, Black-crested Coquette, Green-
throated Mountain-Gem, Mountain Trogon, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Blue-
throated Motmot, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Stub-tailed Spadebill,
Tufted & Yellowish Flycatchers, Rufous-and-white, Rufous-browed & Grey-
breasted Wood-Wrens, Brown-backed Solitaire, Spotted Nightingale-,
Mountain, Clay-coloured, White-throated & Rufous-collared Thrushes,
Black-throated & Unicoloured Jays, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Hooded
Grosbeak, Crescent-chested & Golden-browed Warbler, Dusky-headed Bush-
& Northern Hepatic Tanagers & Melodious Blackbird. We also saw tracks
and smelled the scent markings of of Jaguar, Puma, Tapir and Pacari.

We also saw all of the localised endemics of Oaxaca including Oaxaca &
Bridled Sparrows, Dwarf Jay (briefly), Oscellated Thrasher, Slaty,
Golden, Dwarf & Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireos, Olive Warbler, Other
birds were Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Green Violetear, Blue-capped,
Dusky, White-eared,  Cinnamon-sided, Blue-throated, Magnificent &
Bumblebee Hummingbirds, Coppery-tailed Trogon, Grey-breasted
Woodpecker, Pileated & Pine Flycatcher, Grey-barred, Boucard's, Happy,
Banded & Brown-throated House-Wren, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush,
Mexican Chickadee, Red, Red-faced & Fan-tailed Warblers, Painted
Redstart, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Rufous-capped Brush-Finch, Collared
& White-throated Towhees, Mexican Junco & Black-backed Oriole.

In total we saw 374 taxa including 31 species of Hummingbirds, 16
Wrens, 8 Jays and 36 warbler.

A fantastic trip.

Phil. ===============================

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