Friday, 3 March 2017

West Mexico: Volcan de Fuego - La Cumbre

A great day began with a drive along some dry forest and fields and this resulted eventually in a good sighting of the endemic Black-chested Sparrow singing from a perch on the grassy slope above us, after a bit if a runaround. They aren't the best photos in the world but the views were pretty decent and thats what matters...

Black-chested Sparrow - another Mexican endemic

I was amazed at the number of Orange-breasted Buntings here too and we also saw Stripe-headed Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, and along the river Yellow-crowned Night-Herons, Neotropic Cormorant and a Ringed Kingfisher

Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire)

Then we drove up to the recently and apparently continuously erupting Volcan de Fuego where along the lower slopes (the upper roads were closed) we thoroughly enjoyed our crippling views of a group of Spotted Wrens

Spotted Wren - Mexican endemic

Moving up and we discovered a fruiting tree with several Brown-backed Solitaires and Gray Silky-Flycatchers feeding. 

Brown-backed Solitaire

We also saw Cassin’s Kingbird, Cooper’s Hawk, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and a showy Canyon Wren. A side road really produced the goods with some confiding and stunning Vermillion Flycatchers we spent some time with, and a flowering tree held loads of common warblers as well as our first Slate-throated Whitestart and further up a few West Mexican Chachalacas as well. But I cannot tell you the exhilaration when, after some searching, Bill exclaimed “roadrunner, roadrunner, roadrunner…”. Holy Cow it was a Lesser Roadrunner sitting on a rock some 30 metres away calling back at my ipod. We lapped up the views, fired off a few photos and high-fived.! Perfect! 

Lesser Roadrunner - oh yes...!

After a lengthy lunch with live music and pretty girl singers we explored the lowlands and found a pair of Rufous-naped Wrens and a Laughing Falcon along with Hammond’s Flycatcher and Cassin’s Vireo

We ended the day watching the sunset at La Cumbre before calling in a Balsas Screech Owl that showed very well for a minute before flying off. And we were off too…!

The Mexican endemic Balsas Screech-Owl

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