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THE YUCATAN PENINSULA

Friday 28th February - Tuesday 11th March 2014

Mark Van Beirs

Ocellated Turkey (Andre D'Penha)

Ocellated Turkey (Andre D'Penha)

Our Yucatan Peninsula tour offers the discerning world birder a great mix of appealing endemics and specialities, a good variety of migrant warblers, waders and waterbirds and a visit to some of the best preserved and inspiring Mayan archaeological sites. On our recent trip we visited the shrubby forests of Cozumel Island, the amazing waterbird spectacle at the lagoons and salinas of Rio Lagartos, the impressive pyramid and temples of Chichen Itza, the extensive deciduous forests of the World Heritage Sian Ka’an Reserve and the magnificent woodlands and temples of the Calakmul archaeological site. The Bird of the Trip was without a doubt the outstanding and rather peculiar Ocellated Turkey. Good numbers of these colourful, rather ungainly gamebirds showed very well at Calakmul. Other highlights included the stately Great Curassow, a pair of cooperative Ruddy Crakes, a cracking and showy Pheasant Cuckoo, several Northern Royal Flycatchers at their nests and the charming Grey-throated Chat. We were also very pleased with our observations of specialities like Yucatan Bobwhite, American Flamingo (lovely display), Boat-billed Heron, Bicolored Hawk, White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Yucatan Parrot, Lesser Roadrunner, Middle American Screech Owl, Yucatan Poorwill, Yucatan Nightjar, Cozumel Emerald, Mexican Sheartail, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Yucatan Woodpecker, Yucatan Flycatcher, Cozumel Vireo, Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Wren, Cozumel Wren, Black Catbird, Orange Oriole, Green-backed Sparrow, Rose-throated Tanager, Blue Bunting and Yucatan Black Howler Monkey. We will never forget the out of this world spectacle of the hundreds of thousands of emerging bats at the Cueva de los Murcielagos near Calakmul with its attendant birds of prey. Our most unusual sighting was a pair of Kelp Gulls at Rio Lagartos.

American Flamingo (Andre D'Penha)

American Flamingo (Andre D'Penha)