It was nice to wake up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore just 30 metres from our hotel rooms and American Oystercatchers calling away.
|A pretty cool place to wake up to right....|
After a huge breakfast we birded our way back to the highway some 40kms away and began with a pair of West Mexican Chachalacas beside the track leading away from the hotel, followed by the first of many Orange-breasted Buntings, Nutting’s Flycatcher, Thick-billed Kingbird and a Northern Beardless Tyrannulet all coming in to our owlet impersonation. And it was really cool to see this fly past us...
|Northern Crested Caracara|
|A few Orange-breasted Buntings from this morning (endemic)|
A short way further along the road and more birds came in to our owlet tape including our first Ruby-throated Hummingbird and a showy White-bellied Wren amongst lots of commoner species.
The next stop was great as so many birds appeared in the trees around us, but this time we saw quite a few Lucy’s Warblers, along with a young male Citreoline Trogon, a Yellow-breasted Chat scolded away from a brush pile in the field behind us, a Black-and-white Warbler clambered around the branches of a bare tree right next to us and a Willow Flycatcher called from its perch nearby.
|Western Willow Flycatcher|
As we drove a few more kilometres we noticed a small pool had lots of birds and my vehicle stopped to scan the area and resulted in 5 species of bunting coming in and pride of place went to the two male Painted Buntings, but there was also Blue, Orange-breasted, Lazuli and Indigo as well. Meanwhile the front van had cripplingly close views of a Red-breasted Chat. Once everyone had seen the buntings, and it was a shame we couldn’t get on to the calling Purplish-backed Jays we returned to see the Red-breasted Chat and this time a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl flew in.
Further on a Bat Falcon was spotted by Julie, before a Grey Hawk and 2 Hook-billed Kites flew over, and a Green-crowned Emerald appeared.
Oh and we had a cracking male Citreoline Trogon posing right in front of us as well.
|Citreoline Trogon (endemic)|
Our final stop of the morning, and by now it was almost 11am, finally scored with a female Black-capped Vireo appearing amidst a flurry of other agitated birds including Bell’s Vireo and Rufous-capped Warbler.
Then we drove through Puerto Vallarta and further north towards San Blas, seeing Roadside Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, our first Sinaloa Crow, brief Black-throated Magpie-Jays and a flyover Western Osprey.
|Sinaloa Crow (endemic)|
Once at San Blas we checked out some pools and enjoyed an hour’s worth of easy birding, seeing Roseate Spoonbills, American Avocets, Short-billed Dowitchers, Stilt Sandpipers, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Least Sandpiper, lots of Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, and lots of American Alligators.
It was a nice surprise to arrive at such a delightful hotel in the old town.