We spent the first couple of hours looking for Five-striped Sparrow without any joy, but picked up our only Yellow Grosbeak of the tour along with plenty of other previously seen species including more Military Macaws and Mexican Parrotlets. By mid-morning it was time to set out on the drive south towards Tepic and we made pretty good time arriving around 2pm.
After a long siesta we headed up into the hills shortly after sunset where one of the major highlights of the tour appeared within just a few short minutes of our arrival. Surrounded by large oak and pine trees the huge shadow of a Mexican Barred (Cinereous) Owl flew over us and we tracked it down to an overhanging branch where this monster stared balefully at us from its perch. What a view we had and for once there wasn’t a branch or a leaf across the bird in question!
|Cinereous or Mexican Barred Owl (endemic)|
At the same spot a Mexican Whip-poor-will called repeatedly but we couldn’t locate that sucker as it remained high in the canopy around us. But just a short distance away we were surprised to hear an Eared Poorwill calling and after a little judicious tape playback it landed on a nearby branch where we enjoyed nailing this much-wanted species.
|Eared Poorwill (endemic)|
And we ended a really excellent spot of night-birding with a Mexican Whip-poor-will flying down the road in front of our vehicle.