Friday, 10 March 2017

West Mexico: Volcan de Nieve

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

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird 

I was particularly pleased to catch up with a female Amethyst-throated Mountain-gem which I had missed yesterday. 

Amethyst-throated Mountain-Gem

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. 

Gray Silky-Flycatcher

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.

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