29 February - 23 March 2024

by Mark Van Beirs

With the sad closure of the famous El Triunfo reserve since the covid pandemic, we changed our classic Southern Mexico itinerary, which now includes the Yucatan Peninsula instead of the state of Chiapas. We were a bit unlucky weatherwise this year, as most of Central Mexico had been suffering from a serious drought for an extended period already. This meant that birdsong was not what it usually was and that hummingbird numbers were at a real low. But, in the end, we did quite well and eventually found most of the specialities this marvellous area has to offer. There were many highlights, but the magnificent Ornate Hawk-Eagle, which we could admire both perched and while hunting a Northern Ringtail was the favourite. The incomparable Nava’s Wren led us on a merry dance at first and then performed ever so well at very close range. We had a fantastic encounter with a male and a female Bumblebee Hummingbird and the gorgeous Rose-bellied (or Rosita’s) and Orange-breasted Buntings really showed off. The favourites on the Yucatan extension included gems like Ruddy Crake, a cracking male Grey-throated Chat, Orange Oriole and Mexican Sheartail A fun pelagic trip from Puerto Angel produced good numbers of Red Phalaropes, a splendid Pomarine Jaeger, lots of Black and Least Storm Petrels, Pink-footed and Townsend’s Shearwaters, Brown and Nazca Boobies and playful Spinner and Common Bottlenose Dolphins. We were lucky enough to be able to watch some impressive raptor migration involving thousands of Swainson’s Hawks and Turkey Vultures. Many other goodies were observed, including Mexican Duck, Plain, West Mexican and White-bellied Chachalacas, Highland Guan, Yucatan Bobwhite, Buff-collared Nightjar, Mexican Whip-poor-will, Northern Potoo, Black-crested Coquette, Slender Sheartail, Dusky Hummingbird, Long-tailed Sabrewing, the smart Oaxaca Hummingbird, Pheasant Cuckoo (cracking looks), Clark’s Grebe, Double-striped Thick-knee, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Boat-billed heron, American White Pelican, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-collared Hawk, Colima Pygmy and Fulvous Owls, Citreoline and Mountain Trogons, Russet-crowned and Turquoise-browed Motmots, Wagler’s Toucanet, the magnificent Keel-billed Toucan, Grey-breasted, Yucatan, Grey-crowned and Strickland’s Woodpeckers, Collared Forest Falcon, Orange-chinned, Green and Pacific Parakeets, Yucatan Amazon, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Pine, Yellowish and Buff-breasted Flycatchers, Couch’s and Thick-billed Kingbirds, Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Cozumel, Yucatan and Dwarf Vireos, Dwarf and Yucatan Jays, Grey Silky-flycatcher, Grey-barred, Giant, Boucard’s, Happy, Spot-breasted, Banded, White-bellied and Sumichrast’s Wrens, Yucatan Gnatcatcher, Blue Mockingbird, Brown-backed and Slate-coloured Solitaires, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Olive Warbler, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Cinnamon-tailed, Bridled, Sierra Madre and Oaxaca Sparrows, White-throated and Collared Towhees, Audubon’s, Altamira, Black-vented and Yellow-tailed Orioles, Crescent-chested, Golden-browed and Red Warblers, Black-polled Yellowthroat, Painted Whitestart, Red-breasted Chat and Crimson-collared Tanager. Mammals are not very obvious in Mexico, but we did note interesting species like Tayra, White-nosed Coati, Northern Ringtail, Northern Raccoon and Collared Peccary. The archaeological wonders of Chichen Itza and Monte Alban added a cultural dimension to our journey, where echoes of ancient civilizations mingled with the calls of modern-day birds.

The tour started on the island of Cozumel, situated off the northeastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula. Just at dawn we were exploring a scrubby forest edge on the inland plateau, where we soon had brilliant views of Green-breasted Mango, Vaux’s Swift, Caribbean Dove, Yucatan Woodpecker, Caribbean Elaenia, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Bright-rumped Attila, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Yucatan Vireo, the lovely Cozumel Vireo, Black Catbird, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Black-and-white, Magnolia, American Yellow, Palm, Black-throated Green Warblers, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Rose-throated Tanager, Bananaquit and Yellow-faced Grassquit. Later we birded a more open area with some flowering bushes where a female Cozumel Emerald showed well. We also picked up White-eyed Vireo and House Wren (Cozumel race) here. Just before midday a patch of well-developed forest gave us a cracking White-crowned Pigeon. After a break in the heat of the day we visited the north of the island where at a marsh we found several very well-behaved Ruddy Crakes. A glorious male Cozumel Emerald gave exquisite views. Sora, Northern Jacana, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, American White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy and Great Egrets, Velasquez’s Woodpecker, a dashing Merlin, Olive-throated Parakeets, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat and Mangrove, Myrtle and beautiful Yellow-throated Warblers also showed well. A young Collared Peccary attracted quite a bit of attention.

Next morning, we enjoyed a tasty sit-down breakfast at the hotel before taking the ferry back to the mainland. At the parking lot where we had to wait for the ferry a White-nosed Coati showed itself nicely. Only flying fish (lots and lots) and a few Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls escorted us on the sea crossing. The drive to Rio Lagartos, situated in the extreme north of the Yucatan peninsula, was swift and uneventful. Upon arrival we checked into the hotel and observed the activity along the waterfront, where we found Ruddy Turnstone, Caspian and Cabot’s Terns, lots of Magnificent Frigatebirds, Anhinga, Double-crested Cormorant, lots of Brown Pelicans and Osprey. Soon after we were admiring several males and females of the very localized, endemic Mexican Sheartail at close range… exquisite little birds. We also observed Cinnamon and Ruby-throated Hummingbird here. Later we birded a stretch of scrubby woodland where we soon connected with the endemic, localized Yucatan Wren. We also encountered Common and Ruddy Ground Doves, Zenaida Dove, Grey-crowned Yellowthroat, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting and Blue-black Grassquit here. A nearby saltwater pond gave us Blue-winged Teal, Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Yellow-crowned Night Heron and Little Blue and Tricoloured Herons. On the walk to the restaurant a Common Raccoon showed well.

The following day started with a very enjoyable boat trip in the estuary at Rio Lagartos. We floated past mudflats, explored mangrove edges and seashore and checked the nearby salinas. Waterbirds were all over the place… a real birder’s paradise. Waders, gulls, terns, herons and pelicans made the morning. Some of the more interesting species included Rufous-necked Wood Rail (a bit distant, but nice), Red-breasted Merganser (rare this far south), Clapper Rail, Great White Heron (an interesting colour morph of Great Blue Heron) and lots of impressive American White Pelicans. More widespread species included American Flamingo (small numbers only), American Oystercatcher, Grey and Wilson’s Plovers, Marbled Godwit, (Eastern) Willet, Least Sandpiper, Black Skimmer, Lesser Black-backed and American Herring Gulls, Wood Stork, Neotropic Cormorant, Reddish Egret, Great Blue Heron, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, a female Northern Harrier, Common Black Hawk, Belted Kingfisher and Mangrove Swallow. After a break in the heat of the day we explored the edges of the extensive saltworks where hundreds of brightly coloured American Flamingos were making a living. Several groups were showing off their amazing display. We also found Hudsonian Whimbrel, Gull-billed and Forster’s Terns amongst the many other waders and terns.

On our second morning at Rio Lagartos, we walked a wide track through scrubby woodland where we connected with several much-wanted species like Yucatan Bobwhite, Orange Oriole, Yucatan Flycatcher and Mangrove Vireo. Here we also observed Canivet’s Emerald, Russet-naped Wood Rail, Wilson’s Snipe, White-tailed Hawk, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Least Flycatcher, Purple Martin, Spot-breasted and White-bellied Wrens and Painted Bunting (male and female). After an early lunch we drove west through the flat Yucatan countryside. The first vehicle was lucky enough to spot a remarkable Tayra crossing the road. In mid-afternoon we birded a stretch of scrub where we found the localized Yucatan Gnatcatcher. Yucatan Jay and Altamira Oriole also showed well, as did Ferruginous Pygmy Owl and Green Jay. Afterwards we made our way to the bustling town of Valladolid.

Chichen Itza is probably the most famous archaeological site in Mexico and it sure didn’t disappoint We wandered amongst the century old temples and pyramids and in between gazing at these impressive Mayan structures, we also observed goodies like Turquoise-browed Motmot, Lineated Woodpecker, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Masked Tityra, Rose-throated Becard, Brown Jay, Spot-breasted Wren, Clay-coloured Thrush, Scrub and Yellow-throated Euphonias, Orchard Oriole, Melodious Blackbird, Cinnamon-bellied and Black-headed Saltators, Blue-grey and Yellow-winged Tanagers and Yucatan Squirrel. In late morning we started driving south along little used roads and in mid-afternoon arrived at Felipe Carrillo Puerto, our base for the next two nights. Our visit to the Sian Ka’an reserve was not very pleasant, as, in stead of being able to bird along a quiet track through forest, authorities had decided to develop this area, so there were roadworks everywhere and no birds. We did find a quieter spot where we located Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Black-headed Trogon, Keel-billed Toucan and a cracking Hooded Warbler. We waited till dusk and not too long after had fair looks at a Northern Potoo and fabulous scope views of a calling Mottled Owl. Great stuff!
An unobtrusive track through excellent scrubby forest kept us busy throughout the next morning. Highlights included a beautifully performing male Grey-throated Chat and a couple of circling Black Hawk-Eagles. We also observed Canivet’s Emerald, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, White-bellied Emerald, Gartered Trogon, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Barred Antshrike, Greenish Elaenia, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Lesser Greenlet, Yellow-throated Vireo, Trilling Gnatwren, Yellow-billed Cacique, Green-backed Sparrow and Red-throated Ant Tanager. Pheasant Cuckoo, Mayan Antthrush and Northern Bentbill were distinctly heard, but didn’t want to show. In the afternoon we returned to the same area and added Plain Chachalaca, Red-billed Pigeon, White-fronted Amazon, White-browed (Tropical) Gnatcatcher and Morelet’s Seedeater to the tally.

The following day was a travelling day. We first drove north to the seaside holiday city of Cancun and then we took a flight to Mexico City. Upon arrival there we were taken to a hotel at the other side of this huge conurbation, where we met the two new participants.

The special bunch grass habitat and open pine and evergreen forest at over 3,000 m altitude to the south of the city holds some really special birds. Soon after dawn we were already observing a rather skittish Sierra Madre Sparrow that was playing hide and seek in the tall grasses. We obtained excellent views of this very rare and localized endemic. A few minutes later another endemic sparrow showed very well, the pot-bellied Striped Sparrow. In the open pine forest, we encountered a cooperative Strickland’s Woodpecker and a nice male Olive Warbler was foraging above our heads. Other goodies included Red-tailed Hawk, Acorn Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Greater Pewee, Pine Flycatcher, the beautiful Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Mexican Chickadee, Violet-green Swallow, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches, Brown Creeper, Curve-billed Thrasher, Western Bluebird, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, American Robin, House Finch, Elegant Euphonia, Lark, Chipping and Lincoln’s Sparrows, Yellow-eyed Junco, Canyon Towhee, Audubon’s Warbler and Mexican Cottontail. After this successful visit we drove to the famous Lerma marshes where it took a while to connect with the attractive, endemic Black-polled Yellowthroat in the extensive reedbeds. A male eventually showed very well. Terrific! There were quite a few ducks about, including Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mexican Duck, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal and Ruddy Duck. Other new birds included Pied-billed and spectacular Clark’s Grebes, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s Snipe, White-faced Ibis, Northern Harrier, Cooper’s Hawk, Mourning Dove, Vermillion Flycatcher, Cassin’s Kingbird, Black Phoebe, Buff-bellied Pipit, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird (Bicoloured form), Bronzed and Brown-headed Cowbirds and Wilson’s Warbler.

An early morning visit to a beautiful patch of scrubby forest at the edge of the city gave us a splendidly behaving Blue Mockingbird next to Rivoli’s Hummingbird, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Cassin’s Vireo, American Bushtit, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Rufous-backed Thrush, Black-headed Siskin, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Black-throated Grey and Black-throated Green Warblers, Western Tanager and Black-headed Grosbeak. Sadly, we only heard the Hooded Yellowthroat briefly in the distance. In late morning we packed up and drove along a fine highway to the well-known town of Oaxaca. A couple of Northern Raven were the only birds of note.

The thorny scrubby forest on the dry hill slopes in the Oaxaca valley gave us localized specialities like Dusky Hummingbird, Dwarf Vireo, a lovely Grey Silky-flycatcher, Boucard’s Wren, White-throated Towhee, the smart-looking Bridled Sparrow and Audubon’s Oriole. Other interesting species included West Mexican Chachalaca, White-collared Swift, Broad-billed Hummingbird, lots of Northern Crested Caracaras, Thick-billed Kingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bewick’s Wren, Lesser Goldfinch, Black-vented Oriole, Rufous-capped Warbler, the exquisite Painted Whitestart and Hepatic Tanager. A pond with muddy shores held a nice selection of new waterbirds like Redhead, Ring-necked Duck and Least and Black-necked Grebes. A white morph Reddish Egret was a nice surprise! In the afternoon we visited the Yagul archaeological area, where dense, attractive stands of organ pipe and prickly pear cacti held our interest. Several endemic Grey-breasted Woodpeckers gave good looks.

Our whole day in the splendid pine forest of the Sierra de Juarez started long before dawn, but it started with a real bang. An exquisite Fulvous Owl was taped in and perched in a nearby tree allowing perfect looks. What a magnificent bird!! Soon after we obtained fair looks at a Mexican Whip-poor-will. As soon as there was enough birding light, we walked along a wide track through these well managed pine and evergreen forests. We had two excellent encounters with the localized, endemic Dwarf Jay, as they travelled quietly together with equal-sized Grey-barred Wrens. A gorgeous Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo showed all too briefly and cracking Red Warblers were regularly observed. Other fine species today included Amethyst-throated Mountaingem, White-eared Hummingbird, Mountain Trogon, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Northern Tufted Flycatcher, Hutton’s Vireo, Steller’s Jay, Brown-backed Solitaire, Collared Towhee and Crescent-chested, Townsend’s and gorgeous Golden-browed Warblers.

The archaeological site of Monte Alban is an Unesco World Heritage Site and was the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic centre for nearly a thousand years. Before dawn we were walking along the entrance road to these famous ruins listening to the distinctive song of Buff-collared Nightjars and eventually we got one to respond and show itself. We then visited the site and birded the grounds while admiring the centuries old structures. Sadly, we only heard a distant Ocellated Thrasher. A party of lovely Grey Silky-flycatchers performed beautifully and we also found Inca Dove, American Dusky Flycatcher, Golden Vireo, Rock Wren, lots of White-throated Towhees and Bullock’s Oriole. After an early lunch we drove southwest across the Oaxaca plateau and crossed the Sierra Madre Occidental on our way to the Pacific coast. A perched Swainson’s Hawk enlivened the smooth journey and in late afternoon we arrived at the seaside village of Puerto Angel, where Magnificent Frigatebirds were patrolling the skies.

We spent a delightfully birdy day in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental. We explored dry thorny woodland at lower altitude, evergreen forest higher up and also some pine woods even further up. The localized, attractively patterned Blue-capped (or Oaxaca) Hummingbird showed off and we also located a pair of cute Colima Pygmy Owls, here at the southern edge of their range. A Grey-crowned Woodpecker was lured in for good looks and a White-faced Quail-Dove crossed the road in front of our minibus. We also observed Mexican Hermit, Plain-capped Starthroat, Berylline Hummingbird, Crane Hawk, Wagler’s Toucanet, Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Sulphur-bellied and Dusky-capped Flycatchers, Warbling and Blue-headed Vireos, lots of smart White-throated Magpie-Jays, Happy Wren, White-throated Thrush, Common Chlorospingus, Rusty Sparrow, Mexican Cacique (at the nest), Streak-backed and Baltimore Orioles, Tennessee, MacGillivray’s and Golden-crowned Warblers, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Red-legged Honeycreeper.

Our boat trip at sea off Puerto Angel was a real birdy affair. The sea was rather rougher than usual so the boat was moving about a bit, but the birds sure performed. Both Black and Least Storm Petrels showed at close range in double numbers and Pink-footed and the endemic Townsend’s Shearwaters gave excellent views. Small flocks of Red Phalaropes could be admired flying northwards. A Pomarine Jaeger gave brilliant views as it suddenly appeared next to our boat. Brown Boobies (of the distinctive race brewsteri) were commonly encountered at sea and at their breeding colony on a giant offshore rock. A single Nazca Booby was found on the same white-washed rock. Spinner Dolphins were regularly seen doing their aerobatics and several Common Bottlenose Dolphins were also noted. A few Green Turtles were loafing at the surface and a smart-looking Yellow-bellied Sea Snake was also found. After this successful outing we drove southeast along the coast to the famous Isthmus of Tehuantepec. A couple of stops in thorn forest produced megalooks at a well-behaved, very striking Red-breasted Chat and at several extremely attractive Orange-breasted Buntings. A couple of Citreoline Trogons showed and other new birds included West Mexican Chachalaca, American Avocet, Turquoise-crowned Hummingbird and White-lored Gnatcatcher.

At dawn we were in a nice stretch of thorn forest near Tehuantepec listening to the modest song of a Cinnamon-tailed (or Sumichrast’s) Sparrow. A minute later we already had excellent views of this very localized endemic. Further exploration of this interesting habitat gave us Mourning Dove, Citreoline Trogon, Laughing Falcon, Nutting’s Flycatcher, Sclater’s Wren (ex Rufous-naped Wren) and several gorgeous Orange-breasted Buntings. After a scrumptious brunch we drove further southeast along the Isthmus, where we birded the nearby foothills. The prize here was the exquisite Rose-bellied (or Rosita’s) Bunting, the male of which performed so very, very well at close range. What a magnificent creature! Raptor migration was in full swing as we saw good numbers of Turkey Vultures and Swainson’s Hawks soar over. A cracking Russet-crowned Motmot showed beautifully in the scope. We also found Grey Hawk, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Banded Wren and Stripe-headed Sparrow here.
Puerto Arista is a small seaside resort village with a lot of different habitats surrounding it. Before dawn we were already observing two delightful Pacific Screech Owls in the torch beam. After a quick breakfast we positioned ourselves at a good vantage point at the edge of some evergreen woodland where we soon had excellent views of the two specialities, the raucous White-bellied Chachalaca and the impressive Giant Wren. Both performed very well and in the course of the morning we had several more encounters with these goodies. We also observed Squirrel Cuckoo, a cracking Double-striped Thick-knee, Boat-billed Heron, Orange-chinned and Pacific Parakeets and Clay-coloured Sparrow (here at the extreme southern edge of its wintering range). In the afternoon we left the hot and sticky lowlands and drove up to the large town of Tuxtla Guttierez. A few stops on the way gave us a couple of Green-fronted Hummingbirds and another look at the endearing Rose-bellied and Orange-breasted Buntings. An unobtrusive Yellow-olive Flatbill also showed.

The famous Canyon del Sumidero, situated just outside Tuxtla Gutierrez, is an extraordinary gorge and its flanks are clothed in lichen-rich evergreen woodland. Just after dawn a terrific Pheasant Cuckoo posed uncharacteristically beautifully for us. Wow… Not much later we were admiring a cracking Highland Guan at close range. A pair of charming Slender Sheartails were visiting tiny flowers and allowing excellent scope views. We found an ant swarm with attending Red-throated Ant Tanagers, a Lesson’s Motmot and an Ovenbird, but sadly nothing else. Our explorations of this attractive reserve also produced Thicket Tinamou, Plain Chachalaca, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Gartered Trogon, Emerald Toucanet, Peregrine Falcon, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Cabanis’s Wren, Olive Sparrow, Blue-winged Warbler, Blue Bunting and Yellow Grosbeak.

To the west of Tuxtla Guttierez lies the little known Ocote reserve, a fine stretch of woodland on limestone underground. Here lives the marvellous Nava’s Wren, a Mexican endemic with a tiny area of distribution. This year it took quite a while before we finally connected with this perky species, probably because of the extremely dry conditions – no song! Eventually we had brilliant views of this jewel as it paraded in front of us in a rocky, open area within the wood. What an outstanding bird!! Other goodies recorded on our walks here included Slaty-breasted Tinamou (heard only), Stripe-throated Hermit, Collared Trogon, Keel-billed Toucan, White-crowned Parrot, Green Parakeet, Green Shrike-Vireo (glimpse only), Montezuma Oropendola, Tropical Parula, Black-faced Grosbeak and the smart Crimson-collared Tanager. After this successful visit we drove to the Caribbean side to the town of Catemaco.

Our full day in the famous Sierra de los Tuxtlas started predawn with several Pauraques flying off the road. It was raining quite heavily while we were enjoying our breakfast, so we decided to visit lower altitude woodland which gave us new birds like Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Franklin’s Gull (high overhead), Black-headed Trogon, Bat Falcon, Red-lored Amazon, Eye-ringed Flatbill, Yellowish Flycatcher, Couch’s Kingbird, Band-backed Wren, Giant Cowbird and Morelet’s Seedeater. As soon as we received the news that the rain had stopped, we returned to higher elevations where several Long-tailed (Curve-winged) Sabrewings showed well. With the help of two local experts, we spent a lot of time searching for the ultra elusive Tuxtla Quail-Dove We heard its distinctive song, so we positioned ourselves strategically to tape the bird in, but a calling Ornate Hawk-Eagle made the dove go quiet. In this beautiful forest we also noted Northern Barred and Tawny-winged Woodcreepers, Scaly-throated and Fawn-throated Foliage-gleaners, White-breasted Wood Wren, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Louisiana Waterthrush and Red-crowned Ant Tanager. On the drive down the mountain a Little Tinamou crossed the track in front of our minibus.

Another morning looking for the Tuxtla Quail-Dove didn’t produce the desired bird. We heard it, but it remained a voice in the forest, sadly. The highlight of our morning’s birding was a terrific Ornate Hawk-Eagle that perched for perfect scope views. While admiring this impressive eagle it suddenly became very alert and agitated and then it launched itself spectacularly after a Northern Ringtail (a relative of coatis and raccoons) in the canopy of a nearby tree. It missed and persevered for a while and then the eagle returned to perch on one of the boughs of a forest giant. Magic moments. We also observed Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Slate-coloured Solitaire and Slate-throated Whitestart.

In the afternoon we drove to the bustling town of Tuxtepec. A short stop at a nice lagoon produced some incredible raptor migration, as several enormous kettles of Turkey Vultures and Swainson’s Hawks passed straight over us … what a show! The area also gave us Limpkin, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, 140 American White Pelicans, Black-collared Hawk and Fork-tailed Flycatcher.
Our full day in the forested Valle Nacional turned out to be quite birdy. We birded the tropical and subtropical areas till the pine zone. The highlight of the day was the amazing Bumblebee Hummingbird, a pair of which we were able to observe at close range through the telescope. We truly appreciated these magical moments with this tiny, adorable endemic critter. A female Black-crested Coquette also performed beautifully. A skulking Rufous-breasted Spinetail gave nice views, as did modestly-clad Slate-coloured Solitaires. A busy colony of Montezuma Oropendolas attracted our attention. Other new birds included Chestnut-collared Swift, Blue Ground Dove, Peregrine Falcon, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Piratic Flycatcher, Azure-hooded Jay, Black-cowled Oriole, Flame-coloured and White-winged Tanagers, Buff-throated Saltator, Variable Seedeater, Thick-billed Seed Finch and Golden-hooded Tanager.

Another morning in a nice stretch of lowland forest in the Valle Nacional area produced a heard only Middle American Screech Owl and Central American Pygmy Owl. We tried, but to no avail. A pair of usually skulking Yellow-tailed Orioles and a lovely Hooded Warbler gave exceptional views. In late morning we drove to the busy town of Cordoba. A male Snail Kite was noted from the minibus. Our final birding excursion took us to a limestone hill covered in coffee plantations where the magnificent Sumichrast’s Wren showed in all its splendour. We obtained mega looks at close range of this wonderful endemic. We also found Long-billed Starthroat and Curve-winged Sabrewing. More guacamole anyone?

 

SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED DURING THE TOUR

Species marked with the diamond symbol (◊) are either endemic to the country or local region or considered ‘special’ birds for some other reason (e.g., it is only seen on one or two Birdquest tours; it is difficult to see across all or most of its range; the local form is endemic or restricted-range and may in future be treated as a full species).

The species names and taxonomy used in the bird list follows Gill, F., Donsker, D., & Rasmussen, P.(Eds). 2024. IOC World Bird List (v14.1) (this was the current version when the checklist for the tour report was created).

Where the subspecies seen is/are known, these are often given in parentheses at the end of the species comment.

The symbol (Y) denotes that the species was only seen on the Yucatan Peninsula Extension.

 

BIRDS

Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui One was seen in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Thicket Tinamou ◊ Crypturellus cinnamomeus Heard and briefly seen.

Slaty-breasted Tinamou Crypturellus boucardi

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis

Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata

Gadwall Mareca strepera

American Wigeon Mareca americana

Mexican Duck ◊ Anas diazi Regular at the Almoloya marshes.

Northern Pintail Anas acuta

Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis

Redhead Aythya americana

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator (Y) Two were noted at Rio Lagartos.

Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis

Plain Chachalaca ◊ Ortalis vetula Regular observations.

West Mexican Chachalaca ◊ Ortalis poliocephala Good looks at Laguna Colorada.

White-bellied Chachalaca ◊ Ortalis leucogastra Excellent at Puerto Arista.

Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens (H)

Highland Guan ◊ Penelopina nigra A superb sighting in the Sumidero Canyon.

Long-tailed Wood Partridge ◊ Dendrortyx macroura (H)

Yucatan Bobwhite ◊ Colinus nigrogularis (Y) Nice looks at Rio Lagartos.

Singing Quail ◊ Dactylortyx thoracicus (H)

Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis (Y)

Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis

Buff-collared Nightjar ◊ Antrostomus ridgwayi Seen well near Oaxaca.

Mexican Whip-poor-will ◊ Antrostomus arizonae One showed well in the Sierra de Juarez.

Northern Potoo Nyctibius jamaicensis (Y) Good looks near Felipe Carillo Puerto.

Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutila

White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris

Vaux’s Swift Chaetura vauxi

Stripe-throated Hermit Phaethornis striigularis Showed well at the Ocote Reserve.

Mexican Hermit ◊ Phaethornis mexicanus Nice looks above Puerto Angel.

Green-breasted Mango ◊ Anthracothorax prevostii (Y) Regular on Cozumel.

Black-crested Coquette ◊ Lophornis helenae A female showed beautifully at Valle Nacional.

Rivoli’s Hummingbird ◊ Eugenes fulgens

Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris

Plain-capped Starthroat ◊ Heliomaster constantii

Amethyst-throated Mountaingem ◊ (A-t Hummingbird) Lampornis amethystinus

Slender Sheartail ◊ Doricha enicura Cracking looks at the Sumidero Canyon.

Mexican Sheartail ◊ Doricha eliza (Y) Fantastic encounters at Rio Lagartos.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris

Bumblebee Hummingbird ◊ Selasphorus heloisa Magnificent views at Valle Nacional.

Dusky Hummingbird ◊ Phaeoptila sordida Regular near Oaxaca.

Broad-billed Hummingbird Cynanthus latirostris

Turquoise-crowned Hummingbird ◊ Cynanthus doubledayi

Cozumel Emerald ◊ Cynanthus forficatus (Y) Fairly common on Cozumel.

Canivet’s Emerald ◊ (Fork-tailed E) Cynanthus canivetii Regular sightings.

White-eared Hummingbird ◊ Basilinna leucotis

Curve-winged Sabrewing ◊ Pampa curvipennis Nice views near Cordoba.

Curve-winged Sabrewing ◊ (Long-tailed S) Pampa [curvipennis] excellens This taxon showed well in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Wedge-tailed Sabrewing ◊ Pampa pampa (Y)

Oaxaca Hummingbird ◊ (Blue-capped H) Eupherusa cyanophrys Excellent views above Puerto Angel. A real cracker.

Green-fronted Hummingbird ◊ Ramosomyia viridifrons

Azure-crowned Hummingbird ◊ Saucerottia cyanocephala

Berylline Hummingbird ◊ Saucerottia beryllina

Cinnamon Hummingbird ◊ Amazilia rutila

Buff-bellied Hummingbird ◊ Amazilia yucatanensis

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl

White-bellied Emerald ◊ Chlorestes candida

Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris

Pheasant Cuckoo Dromococcyx phasianellus Perfect views at the Sumidero Canyon.

Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana

Rock Dove (introduced) Columba livia

White-crowned Pigeon ◊ Patagioenas leucocephala (Y) Nice looks on Cozumel.

Scaled Pigeon Patagioenas speciosa (H)

Red-billed Pigeon Patagioenas flavirostris

Eurasian Collared Dove (introduced) Streptopelia decaocto

Inca Dove Columbina inca

Common Ground Dove Columbina passerina

Ruddy Ground Dove Columbina talpacoti

Blue Ground Dove Claravis pretiosa

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi

Grey-headed Dove ◊ Leptotila plumbeiceps (H)

Caribbean Dove ◊ Leptotila jamaicensis (Y) Good looks on Cozumel.

Tuxtla Quail-Dove ◊ Zentrygon carrikeri (H) We sure tried, but it remained a voice.

White-faced Quail-Dove ◊ Zentrygon albifacies

Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura

Zenaida Dove ◊ Zenaida aurita (Y)

White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica

Rufous-necked Wood Rail ◊ Aramides axillaris (Y) Fair views at Rio Lagartos.

Russet-naped Wood Rail ◊ Aramides albiventris (Y)

Clapper Rail Rallus crepitans (Y)

Virginia Rail Rallus limicola (H)

Sora Porzana carolina Very nice encounters on Cozumel.

Common Gallinule (Laughing G) Gallinula galeata

American Coot Fulica americana

Ruddy Crake ◊ Laterallus ruber (Y) Perfect scope views on Cozumel.

Limpkin Aramus guarauna

Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Black-necked Grebe (Eared G) Podiceps nigricollis

Clark’s Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii Excellent looks at Almoloya.

American Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber (Y) Many showed well at Rio Lagartos.

Double-striped Thick-knee Hesperoburhinus bistriatus A single bird was at Puerto Arista.

American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus (Y)

Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

American Avocet Recurvirostra americana

Grey Plover (Black-bellied P) Pluvialis squatarola (Y)

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

Wilson’s Plover (Thick-billed P) Anarhynchus wilsonia (Y)

Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa

Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus

Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa (Y)

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus

Wilson’s Snipe Gallinago delicata

Red Phalarope (Grey P) Phalaropus fulicarius 200+ on our pelagic off Puerto Angel.

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius

Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

Willet (Western W) Tringa [semipalmata] inornata

Willet (Y) (Eastern W) Tringa [semipalmata] semipalmata (Y)

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (Y)

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla

Black Skimmer Rynchops niger (Y) A very nice flock at Rio Lagartos.

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica (Y)

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia (Y)

Forster’s Tern Sterna forsteri (Y)

Cabot’s Tern Thalasseus acuflavidus (Y)

Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus

Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla

Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus (Y)

American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus (Y)

Pomarine Jaeger (P Skua) Stercorarius pomarinus  A splendid sighting at sea off Puerto Angel.

Black Storm Petrel ◊ Hydrobates melania Regular at sea off Puerto Angel.

Least Storm Petrel ◊ Hydrobates microsoma Common at sea off Puerto Angel.

Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus

Townsend’s Shearwater ◊ Puffinus auricularis Several showed well off Puerto Angel.

Wood Stork Mycteria americana

Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster

Nazca Booby ◊ Sula granti A single at Puerto Angel.

Anhinga Anhinga anhinga

Neotropic Cormorant Nannopterum brasilianum

Double-crested Cormorant Nannopterum auritum (Y)

American White Ibis Eudocimus albus

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (Y)

White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi

Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja

Bare-throated Tiger Heron Tigrisoma mexicanum A single was noted near Tuxtepec.

Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius Several showed quite well at Puerto Arista.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violacea

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea

Tricolored Heron (Louisiana H) Egretta tricolor

Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Green Heron Butorides virescens

Western Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

Great Egret (American G E) Ardea [alba] egretta

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos  Several excellent encounters with this impressive species.

Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Savanna V) Cathartes burrovianus

Osprey Pandion haliaetus 19 observations.

Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus (Y) Very nice sightings near Felipe Carillo Puerto.

Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus The BIRD of the TRIP. Fantastic views in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii

Northern Harrier Circus hudsonius

Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis A single bird showed quite well near Tuxtepec.

Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis

Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens

Common Black Hawk Buteogallus anthracinus (Y)

Roadside Hawk Rupornis magnirostris

White-tailed Hawk Geranoaetus albicaudatus

Grey Hawk Buteo plagiatus

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus

Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus

Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni Some amazing migration was witnessed.

Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus (Y)

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Mountain Pygmy Owl ◊ Glaucidium gnoma (H)

Colima Pygmy Owl ◊ Glaucidium palmarum Perfect scope views above Puerto Angel.

Central American Pygmy Owl ◊ Glaucidium griseiceps (H)

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl Glaucidium brasilianum

Pacific Screech Owl ◊ Megascops cooperi Great looks at Puerto Arista.

Middle American Screech Owl ◊ (Guatemalan S O) Megascops guatemalae (H)

Fulvous Owl Strix fulvescens Fantastic looks near Oaxaca!

Mottled Owl Strix virgata (Y)

Black-headed Trogon ◊ Trogon melanocephalus

Citreoline Trogon ◊ Trogon citreolus  This west Mexican endemic showed well on several occasions.

Gartered Trogon (Northern Violaceous T) Trogon caligatus

Mountain Trogon ◊ Trogon mexicanus Good looks at this near endemic.

Collared Trogon Trogon collaris

Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona (NL)

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana (NL)

Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata

Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon

Russet-crowned Motmot ◊ Momotus mexicanus Excellent views of this near endemic in the Isthmus area.

Lesson’s Motmot ◊ (Blue-diademed M) Momotus lessonii

Turquoise-browed Motmot ◊ Eumomota superciliosa (Y) A good showing at Chichen Itza.

Wagler’s Toucanet ◊ Aulacorhynchus wagleri

Emerald Toucanet ◊ Aulacorhynchus prasinus

Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus

Golden-cheeked Woodpecker ◊ Melanerpes chrysogenys

Grey-breasted Woodpecker ◊ Melanerpes hypopolius  Excellent looks on the cacti near Oaxaca.

Yucatan Woodpecker ◊ Melanerpes pygmaeus (Y) Perfect views on Cozumel.

Velasquez’s Woodpecker ◊ Melanerpes santacruzi

Ladder-backed Woodpecker Dryobates scalaris

Strickland’s Woodpecker ◊ Leuconotopicus stricklandi  This endemic performed very well near Mexico City.

Golden-olive Woodpecker Colaptes rubiginosus (H)

Grey-crowned Woodpecker ◊ Colaptes auricularis Nice views of this endemic above Puerto Angel.

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus

Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus

Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis (Y) Very nice near Puerto Carillo Puerto.

Crested Caracara (Northern C C) Caracara [plancus] cheriway

Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans Scope views at Tehuantepec.

Collared Forest Falcon Micrastur semitorquatus Amazing looks near Felipe Carillo Puerto.

American Kestrel Falco sparverius

Merlin Falco columbarius (Y) Two nice encounters on the Yucatan peninsula.

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis

Peregrine Falcon (Peregrine) Falco peregrinus

Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis Perched scope views at Puerto Arista.

White-crowned Parrot ◊ Pionus senilis

White-fronted Amazon ◊ (W-f Parrot) Amazona albifrons

Red-lored Amazon (R-l Parrot) Amazona autumnalis

Yucatan Amazon ◊ (Y Parrot) Amazona xantholora (Y) Several nice encounters.

Olive-throated Parakeet ◊ (Aztec P) Eupsittula nana

Orange-fronted Parakeet ◊ Eupsittula canicularis

Green Parakeet ◊ Psittacara holochlorus

Pacific Parakeet ◊ Psittacara strenuus

Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus

Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla anabatina

Northern Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae  Great looks at an army arm swarm in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper ◊ Xiphorhynchus flavigaster

Spot-crowned Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes affinis

Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia variegaticeps

Ruddy Foliage-gleaner Clibanornis rubiginosus (H)

Fawn-throated Foliage-gleaner Automolus cervinigularis

Rufous-breasted Spinetail ◊ Synallaxis erythrothorax Great looks in the Valle Nacional area.

Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus

Mayan Antthrush ◊ (Mexican A) Formicarius moniliger

Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata

Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster

Caribbean Elaenia ◊ Elaenia martinica (Y)

Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet Ornithion semiflavum (H)

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma imberbe

Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus Good looks in the Valle Nacional area.

Northern Bentbill ◊ Oncostoma cinereigulare (H)

Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyclus brevirostris Nice views in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Yellow-olive Flatbill (Y-o Flycatcher) Tolmomyias sulphurescens

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans

Northern Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus

Greater Pewee Contopus pertinax

Wood Pewee (W Pewee) Contopus sp

Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus The most commonly identified Empidonax.

Hammond’s Flycatcher Empidonax hammondii

American Dusky Flycatcher Empidonax oberholseri

American Grey Flycatcher Empidonax wrightii

Pine Flycatcher ◊ Empidonax affinis Very nice looks near Mexico City.

Yellowish Flycatcher ◊ Empidonax flavescens Nice encounters in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Buff-breasted Flycatcher ◊ Empidonax fulvifrons This smart-looking Empidonax showed well near Mexico City.

Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus obscurus

Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius

Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher Myiodynastes luteiventris

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus

Couch’s Kingbird ◊ Tyrannus couchii Nice views in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Cassin’s Kingbird Tyrannus vociferans

Thick-billed Kingbird ◊ Tyrannus crassirostris It showed well near Oaxaca.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus

Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana

Yucatan Flycatcher ◊ Myiarchus yucatanensis (Y)

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer

Ash-throated Flycatcher Myiarchus cinerascens

Nutting’s Flycatcher ◊ Myiarchus nuttingi Regular on the Pacific slope.

Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus (H)

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus

Bright-rumped Attila (Flammulated A) Attila [spadiceus] flammulatus

Long-tailed Manakin ◊ Chiroxiphia linearis (NL)

Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata

Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae Regular encounters.

Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis

Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo ◊ Vireolanius melitophrys This beauty showed well near Oaxaca.

Green Shrike-Vireo ◊ Vireolanius pulchellus Glimpses only at the Ocote Reserve.

Lesser Greenlet Pachysylvia decurtata

Golden Vireo ◊ Vireo hypochryseus

Yucatan Vireo ◊ Vireo magister (Y) Regular and showy on Cozumel.

Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus

Hutton’s Vireo Vireo huttoni

Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons Regular encounters with this attractive species.

Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius

Cassin’s Vireo Vireo cassinii

Mangrove Vireo ◊ Vireo pallens (Y)

Cozumel Vireo ◊ Vireo bairdi (Y) Several excellent sightings on Cozumel.

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus

Dwarf Vireo ◊ Vireo nelson Perfect views near Oaxaca.

Azure-hooded Jay ◊ Cyanolyca cucullata

Dwarf Jay ◊ Cyanolyca nanus A very nice showing near Oaxaca.

White-throated Jay ◊ Cyanolyca mirabilis (H)

Yucatan Jay ◊ Cyanocorax yucatanicus (Y) Several nice encounters on the Yucatan peninsula.

Green Jay Cyanocorax luxuosus

Brown Jay Psilorhinus morio

White-throated Magpie-Jay ◊ Calocitta formosa Many excellent sightings on the Pacific slope.

Steller’s Jay  Cyanocitta stelleri

Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay ◊ Aphelocoma woodhouseii

Northern Raven (Common R) Corvus corax

Grey Silky-flycatcher ◊ (G Silky) Ptiliogonys cinereus  Best looks were at the Monte Alban archaeological site.

Mexican Chickadee ◊ Poecile sclateri

Sand Martin (Bank Swallow) Riparia riparia

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor

Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea (Y)

Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina

Purple Martin Progne subis (Y)

Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Northern Rough-winged Swallow ◊ (Ridgway’s R-w S) Stelgidopteryx [serripennis] ridgwayi

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

American Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus

Ruby-crowned Kinglet Corthylio calendula

Band-backed Wren Campylorhynchus zonatus

Grey-barred Wren ◊ Campylorhynchus megalopterus Together with Dwarf Jays near Oaxaca.

Giant Wren ◊ Campylorhynchus chiapensis  Great looks at this very localized species at Puerto Arista.

Sclater’s Wren ◊ Campylorhynchus humilis

Boucard’s Wren ◊ Campylorhynchus jocosus Good looks in the Oaxaca scrub.

Yucatan Wren ◊ Campylorhynchus yucatanicus (Y) Great encounters in the Rio Lagartos area.

Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus

Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus (H)

Sumichrast’s Wren ◊ (Slender-billed W) Hylorchilus sumichrasti Fantastic looks at this endemic near Cordoba.

Nava’s Wren ◊ Hylorchilus navai Perfect views at the Ocote Reserve, eventually.

Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris (NL)

Bewick’s Wren Thryomanes bewickii

Happy Wren ◊ Pheugopedius felix Fair looks in the hills above Puerto Angel.

Spot-breasted Wren Pheugopedius maculipectus

Banded Wren ◊ Thryophilus pleurostictus

Cabanis’s Wren ◊ Cantorchilus modestus

House Wren (Northern H W) Troglodytes [aedon] aedon

House Wren ◊ (Y) (Cozumel W) Troglodytes [aedon] beani (Y)

House Wren (Southern H W) Troglodytes [aedon] musculus

White-bellied Wren ◊ Uropsila leucogastra A nice performance near Rio Lagartos.

White-breasted Wood Wren Henicorhina leucosticta

Trilling Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus (Y)

Yucatan Gnatcatcher Polioptila albiventris (Y)  Great looks at this localized endemic west of Rio Lagartos.

White-browed Gnatcatcher Polioptila bilineata (Y)

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea

White-lored Gnatcatcher ◊ Polioptila albiloris

White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis

Pygmy Nuthatch Sitta pygmaea Nice looks near Mexico City.

Brown Creeper (B Treecreeper) Certhia americana

Grey Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

Black Catbird ◊ Melanoptila glabrirostris (Y) Perfect looks on Cozumel and also at Felipe Carillo Puerto.

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus

Ocellated Thrasher ◊ Toxostoma ocellatum (H)

Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre

Blue Mockingbird ◊ Melanotis caerulescens A nice showing near Mexico City.

Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana

Brown-backed Solitaire ◊ Myadestes occidentalis

Slate-colored Solitaire ◊ Myadestes unicolor Scope views in the Valle Nacional area.

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush ◊ Catharus mexicanus Regular, excellent looks in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus

Russet Nightingale-Thrush ◊ Catharus occidentalis  Great looks at this endemic near Mexico city

American Robin Turdus migratorius

Black Thrush ◊ (B Robin) Turdus infuscatus

White-throated Thrush (W-t Robin) Turdus assimilis

Rufous-backed Thrush ◊ Turdus rufopalliatus

Clay-colored Thrush (C-c Robin) Turdus grayi

House Sparrow (introduced) Passer domesticus

Olive Warbler ◊ Peucedramus taeniatus Very nice views of this unique species. In its own family!

Buff-bellied Pipit (American P) Anthus rubescens

House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus

Red Crossbill (Common C) Loxia curvirostra (H)

Lesser Goldfinch (Dark-backed G) Spinus psaltria

Black-headed Siskin ◊ Spinus notatus

Elegant Euphonia (Blue-hooded E) Chlorophonia elegantissima Regular encounters.

Blue-crowned Chlorophonia ◊ Chlorophonia occipitalis  Scope views of this beauty in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Scrub Euphonia Euphonia affinis

Yellow-throated Euphonia ◊ Euphonia hirundinacea

Common Chlorospingus Chlorospingus flavopectus Regular sightings.

Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow Peucaea sumichrasti Perfect looks at this endemic in the Tehuantepec area.

Stripe-headed Sparrow ◊ Peucaea ruficauda

Bridled Sparrow ◊ Peucaea mystacalis This very attractive endemic showed well near Oaxaca.

Olive Sparrow ◊ Arremonops rufivirgatus

Green-backed Sparrow Arremonops chloronotus

Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus

Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina

Clay-colored Sparrow Spizella pallida Two showed well at Puerto Arista. Unusual this far south.

Yellow-eyed Junco ◊ Junco phaeonotus

Striped Sparrow ◊ Oriturus superciliosus Regular around Mexico City.

Sierra Madre Sparrow ◊ Xenospiza baileyi  Scope views of this localized endemic near Mexico City.

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii

Canyon Towhee ◊ Melozone fusca

White-throated Towhee ◊ Melozone albicollis Regular in the Oaxaca area.

Rusty Sparrow ◊ Aimophila rufescens

Oaxaca Sparrow ◊ Aimophila notosticta All too brief looks near Oaxaca.

Collared Towhee ◊ Pipilo ocai Excellent views of this endemic near Oaxaca.

Rufous-capped Brushfinch ◊ Atlapetes pileatus

Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna

Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus (Y)

Mexican Cacique ◊ (Yellow-winged C) Cassiculus melanicterus Regular sightings, also at the nest.

Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius montezuma

Audubon’s Oriole ◊ Icterus graduacauda

Orange Oriole ◊ (Y) Icterus auratus (Y) Several excellent encounters of this Yucatan speciality.

Altamira Oriole ◊ Icterus gularis

Bullock’s Oriole Icterus bullockii

Streak-backed Oriole ◊ Icterus pustulatus

Black-backed Oriole Icterus abeillei A single bird was noted at Monte Alban.

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula

Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas  Great looks at this usually skulking species near Tuxtepec.

Spot-breasted Oriole ◊ Icterus pectoralis

Black-vented Oriole ◊ Icterus wagleri Regular sightings.

Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus (Y)

Black-cowled Oriole ◊ Icterus prosthemelas

Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus (Y)

Red-winged Blackbird ◊ (Bicoloured B) Agelaius [phoeniceus] gubernator  A few were seen at the Almoloya marshes.

Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus

Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus

Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater

Melodious Blackbird Dives dives

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus

Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla

Louisiana Waterthrush Parkesia motacilla Great looks at one in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis

Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora cyanoptera

Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia

Crescent-chested Warbler ◊ Oreothlypis superciliosa Perfect looks near Oaxaca.

Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina

Orange-crowned Warbler Leiothlypis celata

Nashville Warbler Leiothlypis ruficapilla

Grey-crowned Yellowthroat Geothlypis poliocephala (Y)

MacGillivray’s Warbler Geothlypis tolmiei

Black-polled Yellowthroat ◊ Geothlypis speciosa A very nice showing of this endemic at the Almoloya marshes.

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas

Hooded Yellowthroat ◊ Geothlypis nelson (H)

Hooded Warbler Setophaga citrina Two very nice observations. Always a joy to see this jewel.

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla

Northern Parula Setophaga americana

Tropical Parula Setophaga pitiayumi

Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia

American Yellow Warbler (Yellow W) Setophaga aestiva

Mangrove Warbler Setophaga petechia (Y) Good looks in the Rio Lagartos mangroves.

Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum (Y)

Myrtle Warbler Setophaga coronata

Audubon’s Warbler Setophaga auduboni

Yellow-throated Warbler Setophaga dominica (Y) Very nice looks on Cozumel.

Black-throated Grey Warbler Setophaga nigrescens

Townsend’s Warbler Setophaga townsendi

Black-throated Green Warbler Setophaga virens

Rufous-capped Warbler ◊ Basileuterus rufifrons

Golden-browed Warbler ◊ Basileuterus belli This gorgeous speciality showed very well on several occasions.

Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus

Wilson’s Warbler Cardellina pusilla

Red Warbler ◊ Cardellina rubra Good looks in the Oaxaca pinewoods.

Painted Whitestart ◊ (P Redstart) Myioborus pictus Great encounters in the Oaxaca area.

Slate-throated Whitestart (S-t Redstart) Myioborus miniatus

Flame-colored Tanager ◊ Piranga bidentata

Hepatic Tanager (Northern H T) Piranga hepatica

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra

Rose-throated Tanager ◊ Piranga roseogularis (Y) Two females were noted on Cozumel.

Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana

White-winged Tanager Piranga leucoptera

Red-crowned Ant Tanager Habia rubica

Red-throated Ant Tanager ◊ Habia fuscicauda Nice looks at an antswarm in the Sumidero canyon.

Yellow Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysopeplus

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus

Black-headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus

Red-breasted Chat ◊ Granatellus venustus Perfect looks at a male south of Puerto Angel.

Grey-throated Chat ◊ Granatellus sallaei (Y) Cracking views of a male near Felipe Carillo Puerto.

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

Black-faced Grosbeak ◊ Caryothraustes poliogaster

Blue Bunting ◊ Cyanocompsa parellina

Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea

Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea

Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena Three of these migrants showed well at Monte Alban.

Painted Bunting ◊ Passerina ciris Nice encounters at Rio Lagartos and at Valle Nacional.

Rose-bellied Bunting ◊ Passerina rositae This jewel showed ever so well near Arriaga.

Orange-breasted Bunting ◊ Passerina leclancherii  Regular encounters with this beauty along the Pacific coast.

Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus

Cinnamon-bellied Saltator Saltator grandis

Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus

Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps Noisy and showy.

Bananaquit Coereba flaveola

Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivaceus (Y)

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina

Crimson-collared Tanager ◊ Ramphocelus sanguinolentus  Excellent looks on the Caribbean side.

Morelet’s Seedeater Sporophila morelleti

Variable Seedeater Sporophila corvina

Thick-billed Seed Finch (Lesser S F) Sporophila funerea

Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus

Yellow-winged Tanager ◊ Thraupis abbas

Golden-hooded Tanager ◊ Stilpnia larvata

 

MAMMALS

Ringtail (Southern Ringtail) Bassariscus astutus One was being chased by the Ornate Hawk-Eagle in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

White-nosed Coati Nasua narica

Northern Raccoon Procyon lotor (Y) Several showed well at Rio Lagartos, even in the village.

Tayra Eira barbara (Y) One crossed the highway near Valladolid.

Collared Peccary (Javelina) Pecari tajacu (Y) A youngster showed very well on Cozumel.

Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris  Continuous spectacle on the pelagic trip off Puerto Angel.

Common Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus

Central American Black Howler Alouatta pigra (H)

Mexican Cottontail Sylvilagus cunicularius

Red-bellied Squirrel (Red-bellied S) Sciurus aureogaster

Yucatan Squirrel Sciurus yucatanensis (Y)

 

REPTILES

Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas Several were nicely seen on our pelagic off Puerto Angel.

Yellow-bellied Sea Snake Hydrophis platurus This intriguing animal showed well on our pelagic off Puerto Angel.

Black Spiny-tailed Iguana Ctenosaura similis

Green Iguana Iguana iguana

Common Basilisk Basiliscus basiliscus A nice sighting in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.