Tuesday, July 28, 2015

El Ocote Chiapas, July 14, 2015. Descent into Darkness

Ok, I am being a bit dramatic with the blog title, but it was, physically, a pretty miserable day. This post will be pretty short, as between my sprints into the woods and my slight fever, I don't remember a lot of the birding, and believe me, you don't want to know about how I felt!

I actually got to sleep in, as our van didn't leave until 615AM. Martin had an earlier start, so I was lolling around the room, when I was hit by sudden stomach cramps. As I said, I won't share the details. I wasn't nauseated, so I thought maybe it was a fluke. I felt pretty well so I decided to go on the trip. I was delighted to see Eric was our guide again. I really liked him. The drive to our first stop was fairly short, but we did take a rest room break. It did not go well, but I was still not feeling sick.

We arrived at our first stop, a road that was easy walking. Eric very quickly found our first target, a Long-tailed Sabrewing, a type of hummingbird. A new hummingbird is always a great prize! We moved farther along the road and found a number of birds, including one of my favorites, a Royal Flycatcher. This bird has the craziest crest ever, but it is never raised. It is multi-colored and spreads sideways, like a Napoleonic hat. Eric got it in the scope and said that the crest was puffed up! Unfortunately, by the time it was my turn at the scope, the bird had flown. That is one of the disadvantages of birding in a group. Everybody can't be first, and that is fine.

We moved on a bit and and Eric found another of our target birds, Nava's Wren. He got the bird in the scope briefly and I was very happy! We picked up several other birds on the road, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Yellow-winged Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper, and White-winged Tanager, among other birds. I wasn't the only one disappearing for brief times into the woods. I started to feel very tired and kind of feverish at this point. We got back on the van to go to the next stop and I snoozed a bit.

We ate lunch at a spectacular sink hole where dozens, if not hundreds of Green Parakeets roost. The hole is ancient and has some pictographs on the walls. It is massive and quite deep. it is dry at the bottom and has large trees. The noise from the parakeets circling up, calling, when they flew out was really impressive. A pair of Bat Falcons sat near the rim; I witnessed one taking a swipe at one of the parakeets. It looked like they were making a good living. Eric called us out to the parking lot, where he had a black-faced form of Bobwhite calling. It was quite hot and my fever wasn't helping, so I decided not to walk around the rim of the sink hole with some of the other group members. I really wish I had felt better, as it was a very impressive spot.

This was our final trip with the GBNA group. The following day we were breaking off into a smaller private group to head to Oaxaca. Despite my physical condition, which seemed to be worsening, I was really excited. We bid goodbye to our new friends and the ones we had made at the meeting in Beaumont. We had a fairly early start and I was hoping going to bed early would take care of my problems.

I took the worst photos ever on this day!

Birds we saw:
FAMILY          NAME                             
Cracidae        Plain Chachalaca                 
Odontophoridae  Northern Bobwhite                
Ardeidae        Cattle Egret                     
Cathartidae     Black Vulture                    
Cathartidae     Turkey Vulture                   
Accipitridae    Short-tailed Hawk                
Columbidae      White-winged Dove                
Columbidae      Inca Dove                        
Cuculidae       Squirrel Cuckoo                  
Trochilidae     Long-tailed Sabrewing            
Momotidae       Blue-crowned Motmot              
Picidae         Golden-fronted Woodpecker        
Picidae         Golden-olive Woodpecker          
Falconidae      Bat Falcon                       
Psittacidae     Green Parakeet                   
Furnariidae     Tawny-winged Woodcreeper         
Furnariidae     Ivory-billed Woodcreeper         
Tyrannidae      Greenish Elaenia                 
Tyrannidae      Yellow-olive Flycatcher          
Tyrannidae      Royal Flycatcher                 
Tyrannidae      Western Wood-Pewee               
Tyrannidae      Vermilion Flycatcher             
Tyrannidae      Dusky-capped Flycatcher          
Tyrannidae      Great Kiskadee                   
Tyrannidae      Tropical Kingbird                
Corvidae        Brown Jay                        
Hirundinidae    Northern Rough-winged Swallow    
Troglodytidae   Nava's Wren                      
Troglodytidae   Band-backed Wren                 
Troglodytidae   Spot-breasted Wren               
Troglodytidae   White-bellied Wren               
Troglodytidae   Gray-breasted Wood-Wren          
Turdidae        Slate-colored Solitaire          
Turdidae        Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush 
Turdidae        White-throated Thrush            
Parulidae       Golden-crowned Warbler           
Thraupidae      Yellow-winged Tanager            
Thraupidae      Red-legged Honeycreeper          
Thraupidae      Blue-black Grassquit             
Thraupidae      Variable Seedeater               
Thraupidae      White-collared Seedeater         
Emberizidae     Common Chlorospingus             
Cardinalidae    White-winged Tanager             
Cardinalidae    Red-crowned Ant-Tanager          
Icteridae       Altamira Oriole                  
Fringillidae    Scrub Euphonia                   
Fringillidae    Yellow-throated Euphonia         
Fringillidae    Olive-backed Euphonia       

No comments: