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THE YUCATAN PENINSULA

Wednesday 21st February - Sunday 4th March 2018

Mark Van Beirs

Ocellated Turkey (Mark Van Beirs)

Ocellated Turkey (Mark Van Beirs)

A very well-behaved Lesser Roadrunner posing for scope views in a derelict meadow near Rio Lagartos became the Bird of the Tour on our 2018 Yucatan trip. Our explorations of the different habitats of the Yucatan Peninsula produced many more splendid observations. The very touristy island of Cozumel yielded cute Ruddy Crakes, White-crowned Pigeon, Mangrove Cuckoo, Cozumel Emerald, Yucatan Woodpecker, Yucatan Amazon, Cozumel and Yucatan Vireos, Black Catbird and Western Spindalis. The astounding waterbird spectacle at the lagoons and mangrove-lined creeks of Rio Lagartos, situated near the northernmost tip of Yucatan is always great fun. Highlights included glorious, endemic Mexican Sheartails, Yucatan Bobwhite, Bare-throated Tiger and Boat-billed Herons, American White Pelican, Clapper Rail, Rufous-necked and Rufous-naped Wood Rails, Kelp Gull, Yucatan Nightjar, Yucatan Wren and Orange Oriole. The dry woodland of the Sian Ka’an reserve held Middle American Screech Owl, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Couch’s Kingbird, Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Jay, Green-backed Sparrow, Rose-throated Tanager and Blue Bunting. Fabulous Grey-throated Chats gave excellent views in the semi-humid forests of the magnificent Mayan archaeological site of Calakmul, where we also found impressive Great Curassows, gaudy Ocellated Turkeys, Bicoloured Hawk, Yucatan Poorwill, Lesson’s Motmot, White-bellied Wren and interesting mammals like Grey Fox and Yucatan Black Howler and Geoffroy’s Spider Monkeys. An excellent selection of migratory North American warblers greatly added to the birding experience of this holiday, where good food, nice accommodation, smooth roads and very enjoyable birding conditions are the norm.

Middle American Screech Owl (Mark Van Beirs)

Middle American Screech Owl (Mark Van Beirs)