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SOUTHERN MEXICO

Sunday 26th February - Sunday 19th March 2017

Mark Van Beirs

The incomparable Horned Guan (Nigel Redman)

The incomparable Horned Guan (Nigel Redman)

On our 11th Southern Mexico tour we assembled a mouth-watering list of endemics and specialities on our wanderings through the varied habitats of this scenic, very birdy and sadly much maligned country. Our travels took us first to the pristine evergreen and cloud forests of the magnificent El Triunfo Reserve where the fabled Horned Guan showed so very well, next to marvels like Highland Guan, White-faced Quail-Dove, Fulvous Owl, Blue-throated Motmot, Sparkling-tailed Woodstar, Wine-throated and Emerald-chinned Hummingbirds, Resplendent Quetzal, Black-throated Jay, Spotted and Russet Nightingale Thrushes and Prevost’s and White-eared Ground Sparrows. The main tour took us from the forests and scrubby hills of the deep southern state of Chiapas, through the coastal habitats, pine-oak forests and dry inter-montane valleys of Oaxaca, via the limestone hills of Veracruz to the high altitude pine forests and marshes near Mexico City. The Birds of the Trip were without a doubt the striking Horned Guan that performed so very, very well at El Triunfo and the uniquely coloured Pink-headed Warbler that stole our hearts near San Cristobal. The cracking Bumblebee Hummingbird, the magnificent Fulvous Owl, the exquisite Orange-breasted and Rose-bellied Buntings, the rare Golden-cheeked and the exquisite Red Warblers and the unique Ocellated Thrasher were also very much appreciated. Other interesting species that showed well included Singing Quail, Pink-footed, Townsend’s and Galapagos Shearwaters, Clark’s Grebe, Boat-billed Heron, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, White-breasted Hawk, Pomarine Jaeger, Pheasant Cuckoo, Pacific Screech Owl, Mountain Pygmy Owl, Oaxaca and Garnet-throated Hummingbirds, Citreoline Trogon, Russet-crowned Motmot, Grey-breasted and Strickland’s Woodpeckers, Collared Forest Falcon, Rufous-breasted Spinetail,, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Chestnut-sided and Green Shrike-Vireos, Golden Vireo, Dwarf Jay, Grey Silky-flycatcher, Black-capped Swallow, Giant, Sumichrast’s, Nava’s, Happy and Rufous-browed Wrens, Blue and Blue-and-white Mockingbirds, Brown-backed and Slate-coloured Solitaires, the special Olive Warbler, Crescent-chested, Fan-tailed and Golden-browed Warblers, Black-polled and Hooded Yellowthroats, Spot-breasted and Bar-winged Orioles and Sierra Madre, Bridled, Striped and Cinnamon-tailed Sparrows. Mammals were not very obvious, but a Tamandua was found at Puerto Arista and a pod of playful Common Bottle-nosed Dolphins enlivened our exciting boat trip off Puerto Angel.

Olive Warbler (Nigel Redman)

Olive Warbler (Nigel Redman)