Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Road to Recovery (and Oaxaca) July 15, 2015

The next posts will deal with the second part of our trip to Oaxaca which Michael Retter put together for us.  Besides Martin and me, there were Geoff and Christine from Chicago, Jennifer and Peggy from Half Moon Bay, Gary from San Francisco and Michael, who lives in Fort Worth. We also had a fabulous driver, Eddie, who did an amazing job. I only knew Michael and Jennifer and Peggy, so I had a little nervousness about being in such close quarters with people I didn't know, but we all got along beautifully.

We left early in the morning and I was still very much under the weather. Everyone graciously yielded the back seat to me so I could sleep between birding intervals.  Michael decided to take a detour so we could pick up some new birds. We arrived at our first stop around dawn. This was the spot of one of my most wanted birds, Rosita's Bunting. (Aka Rose-bellied Bunting, but I like Rosita's better.) This is a stunning bird, as you can see from the photo, which makes our Painted Bunting look cheap and tawdry. I was thrilled when a male popped up and sat in full view. I felt a bit weak, not sure if it was swooning from the bird or the stomach bug, so i returned to the van.

We moved further down the highway, but when the van stopped, I stayed inside. Martin quickly came and got me, as they had found a Sumichrast Sparrow. I jumped out, saw the bird. There was also a White-throated Magpie Jay. Again, I got back in the van pretty quickly. When everyone came back, Gary asked me if I was taking Cipro. I said I was not, and he strongly suggested I get some. He gave me one of his and we decided to stop at a pharmacy as soon as possible to get more. This was excellent advice. My most distressing symptom quit pretty quickly after starting. Martin had to visit two pharmacies before he was able to get more, and I was more than grateful!

Our next birding stop was for another very wanted species, Giant Wren. Matt Hale, Michael's partner, who was not able to come, had jazzed me up to see it. It is one of his favorite birds. I could see why! It's a huge wren! It makes a crazy whack-a-whack-a-whack-a call! It was absolutely fabulous! Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos. Videos would have been even better. There were also two Bare-throated Tiger-herons. I picked up Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, but it is hard to get excited over most seedeaters. I do have to say, this one is more attractive than some. There were some other egrets and herons and some Northern Jacanas. We drove a couple of back roads looking for a spot where Matt had found Lesser Ground-Cuckoo during the GBNA meeting. We came across a couple of Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures, a bird we expect to find in Texas some day. We finally found the spot, but the ground-cuckoo didn't show. We could hear him, but he was playing hard to get. As we were driving back to the main road we saw a Limpkin, always a nice find.

We finally crossed the border to the state of Oaxaca. We had a long drive ahead to our destination, the town of Huatulco which is on the coast. We made a productive stop at a pond along the road, picking up Snail Kite, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Common Gallinule and Green Heron. I was already feeling better in my gut, though I still felt absolutely exhausted. We arrived in Huatulco and checked into our wonderful hotel Mision del Arcos. The staff was wonderful. There were Gray-breasted Martins on the power lines, the air conditioning was ice cold and the room was lovely. Everyone decided to eat in the hotel restaurant, but I still had no appetite, so I stayed in. Despite this, I was definitely on the mend.

I only took three photos this day and I have added them here. 

Here is my species list for the day:AMILY             NAME                         
Anatidae           Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 
Cracidae           West Mexican Chachalaca      
Ciconiidae         Wood Stork                   
Fregatidae         Magnificent Frigatebird      
Phalacrocoracidae  Neotropic Cormorant          
Ardeidae           Bare-throated Tiger-Heron    
Ardeidae           Great Egret                  
Ardeidae           Snowy Egret                  
Ardeidae           Little Blue Heron            
Ardeidae           Tricolored Heron             
Ardeidae           Reddish Egret                
Ardeidae           Cattle Egret                 
Ardeidae           Green Heron                  
Threskiornithidae  White Ibis                   
Threskiornithidae  White-faced Ibis             
Cathartidae        Black Vulture                
Cathartidae        Turkey Vulture               
Cathartidae        Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture 
Accipitridae       Snail Kite                   
Accipitridae       White-tailed Hawk            
Rallidae           Common Gallinule             
Aramidae           Limpkin                      
Recurvirostridae   Black-necked Stilt           
Jacanidae          Northern Jacana              
Columbidae         Red-billed Pigeon            
Columbidae         White-winged Dove            
Columbidae         Mourning Dove                
Columbidae         Inca Dove                    
Columbidae         Ruddy Ground-Dove            
Cuculidae          Lesser Ground-Cuckoo         
Cuculidae          Groove-billed Ani            
Apodidae           White-collared Swift         
Trochilidae        Plain-capped Starthroat      
Trochilidae        Canivet's Emerald            
Trogonidae         Citreoline Trogon            
Momotidae          Russet-crowned Motmot        
Picidae            Golden-fronted Woodpecker    
Falconidae         Crested Caracara             
Psittacidae        Pacific Parakeet             
Psittacidae        Lilac-crowned Parrot         
Psittacidae        White-fronted Parrot         
Tyrannidae         Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Tyrannidae         Nutting's Flycatcher         
Tyrannidae         Boat-billed Flycatcher       
Tyrannidae         Social Flycatcher            
Tyrannidae         Tropical Kingbird            
Vireonidae         Yellow-green Vireo           
Corvidae           White-throated Magpie-Jay    
Hirundinidae       Gray-breasted Martin         
Hirundinidae       Mangrove Swallow             
Hirundinidae       Barn Swallow                 
Troglodytidae      Giant Wren                   
Turdidae           Clay-colored Thrush          
Thraupidae         White-collared Seedeater     
Thraupidae         Ruddy-breasted Seedeater     
Emberizidae        Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow      
Cardinalidae       Rose-bellied Bunting         
Icteridae          Red-winged Blackbird         
Icteridae          Eastern Meadowlark           
Icteridae          Great-tailed Grackle         
Icteridae          Bronzed Cowbird              
Icteridae          Streak-backed Oriole         

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