Tuesday, 14 March 2017

San Blas Magic....

We connected with the calling Mottled Owl in the car park this morning as we loaded the luggage before dawn. Then we drove up into the hills, checking a roadside site that held 3 brief Purplish-backed Jays, San Blas Jay and a Russet-crowned Motmot

Russet-crowned Motmot (near endemic only found in Mexico & Guatemala)

Then we drove higher and went to one of Kim’s secret sites where we played with a group of stunning Elegant Quails that took some effort but it was worthwhile, as eventually everyone got very good views. 

Elegant Quail (endemic)

At this spot we also enjoyed fantastic looks at a gang of noisy Black-throated Magpie-Jays in a large tree right overhead our picnic table. 

Black-throated Magpie-Jay (endemic)

There was also close Boat-billed Flycatcher, Lilac-crowned AmazonOrange-fronted Parakeets and another Russet-crowned Motmot interrupting our field breakfast. 

Boat-billed Flycatcher

Lilac-crowned Amazon (endemic)
Orange-fronted Parakeet
Russet-crowned Motmot

Moving up the cobbled track a group of 5 Swainson’s Hawks were seen migrating north, but with time pressing we drove to another area to search for Five-striped Sparrow. This drew a blank but a Blue Mockingbird showed well, as did MacGillivray’s Warbler, Varied Bunting and others.

Lunch was taken at a beachside restaurant complete with Vaux’s Swifts flying overhead in San Blas and then we had a short siesta before we drove to the small quay for our late afternoon boat trip. 

Definitely not endemics! Photo courtesy of Lynne Rackstraw

This time we went along the main river, getting close and I mean very close to common herons and egrets perched on some rocks before heading into a narrow channel. 

Boat-billed Herons
Great Kiskadee
Green Kingfisher
Louisiana Waterthrush was a common sighting along the river

Red-billed Pigeons 
Who doesn't love Western Osprey?

We again enjoyed nice close views of lots of birds and it was a shame that a calling Spotted Rail never showed. But our main purpose for doing this boat trip would have to wait until our boatman took us to a day roosting Northern Potoo and this incredible bird was much larger than we expected with the cryptic plumage being a sight to behold. 

Northern Potoo

After dark we spotlighted at least 2 different Northern Potoos, Common Pauraque and lots of Lesser Nighthawks before returning to the quay. It had been a fantastic experience.

Northern Potoo

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