Started the day at sunrise on the slopes of Volcan de Nieve, and this time we made it up to around the Km15 marker before stopping. This necessitated a 6am departure from the hotel, with a quick stop to grab some coffee and food for breakfast from a gas station… Literally the first bird of the day was a superb Mexican endemic Russet Nightingale-Thrush posing beside the track and it really didn’t seem to mind being watched and photographed as it remained in the same spot for several minutes. Yes!
|Russet Nightingale-Thrush (endemic)|
But we were on a mission to find some new hummers and with just a few hours to spare before the long drive north towards Puerto Vallarta we set off higher up the volcano to an area that had a lot of flowers. Here we had a ‘hummer fest’ with Mexican Violetear, White-eared, a cracking male and several female Rufous, and several Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.
I was particularly pleased to catch up with a female Amethyst-throated Mountain-gem which I had missed yesterday.
However, the star bird and after a 21 year wait I finally nailed Colima Warbler – after poor views in Big Bend, Texas when I was just a nipper! It appeared right beside the track at head height, feeding quietly in a dense bush and was on view for just a short while but it was close and in the bag. OH YES! There were also plenty of Gray Silky-Flycatchers, a near-endemic as it just hops over the border into Guatemala.
The other goodie of the morning was a fantastic Red Warbler beside the track and apart from a large warbler flock containing all the usual suspects we had reached the end of our time here as it was 11am. When I tell you we finally reached the hotel on the seashore south of Puerto Vallarta at a little before 8pm, you’ll understand how tired I was feeling having driven for 9 hours to get here! We did see a few birds along the road but nothing new and with the prospect of wifi and field notes to type it was a late night for me! Oh but a calling Common Pauraque was too hard to resist and it gave exceptionally close views and flew around a couple of us repeatedly to round off yet another top day.