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 Amazon, Orange-fronted Parakeets and another Russet-crowned Motmot interrupting our field breakfast.
|Lilac-crowned Amazon (endemic)|
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.
|Louisiana Waterthrush was a common sighting along the river|
|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.
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.