Part 1 of my Mexican holiday blog left you with some of the birds seen in the grounds of our hotel in Nuevo Vallarta, The Hummingbird only blog was; well on the Hummingbirds seen on all of our limited travels and now part 2 will tell you about a couple of other places we went while on holiday and the birds we encountered.
We had an all day tour in a mini-bus that was to take us to old villages deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains, this trip took us to Mascota first, where we witnessed 'cock fighting' in the street, it was soon stopped when we all got off the bus nearby, this is still legal in Mexico and apparently big money can be made from it.
A walk around the village followed with a view opening into the mountains on our right and here a group of 40 odd Black Vultures were riding the thermals.
When walking around Mascota we were taken to a ruined church and here I saw what I think are a pair of Aplomado or Bat Falcon's - please correct me if i am wrong in the heavily cropped and grainy images below.
We moved onto San Sebastian a village even higher in the mountain range and here along with the local history, all very interesting mind, I sneaked off when the party was taken to see a 'silver factory' (man in a shed) so armed with my Canon IXUS 240 HS only (no 7D & 400mm lens on this day trip) I got images, albeit grainy ones, of what I think are, Canyon Wren, Audubon's Warbler and Zone Tailed Hawk, photo's below.
On one day I went on a 2 hour mangrove bird watching in Nuevo Vallarta tour all on my own and saw few more lifers in this time, the tour took me on some of the canals I could see from my hotel from our 'jungle' facing room. Below a selection of the birds I saw and managed to get decent images of.
Belted Kingfisher - couple of birds were seen
Blue Heron - seemed pretty common along the banks of the mangroves
Common Nighthawk - tour boat skipper 'Captain Tony' went mad when he spotted this beaut - took me 2 minutes before I got on it!
Great Blue Heron - few seen they perched high in trees along with Brown Pelicans in the marina.
Great Egret - 2 birds seen
Green Heron - saw 3 birds in total, this 1 was too close at first and 'Captain Tony' had to reverse the boat so I was able to focus on it.
Snowy Egret - subtle difference compared to Little Egret
Monks Parakeet - a pair seen briefly in tree tops before the flew deeper into the mangrove vegetation
Neotropical Cormorant - think this species ID'ed correctly - 1 or 2 seen in water and the air during our holiday
Social Flycatcher - only saw these close to water from the boat or bridges when walking
Tri-Coloured Heron - only saw this bird
White Ibis - this bird was foraging near a crocodile measuring about 8 feet long, also saw odd bird in flight at end of day
Yellow Crowned Night Heron - most common species I saw on this 2 hour tour, many adult and young birds were seen
When we went for a day out to the Vallarta Botanical gardens the best place we saw the most species clearly was around the main feeding station near the restaurant / shop. Other Mexican birders / photographers were there too enjoying the close views of the birds shown below.
Green Jay - this bird appeared for no longer than 30 seconds then went never to be seen again, sadly!
San Blas Jay - stunning bird that seemed very nervy wherever we saw it - they preferred quick forays onto the feeding station then retired into the bushes to eat
Yellow Winged Cacique, these birds were very noisy and confident taking over the feeding station when they wanted
A pair of West Mexican Chachalaca also showed up on the second occasion we looked at this spot in the gardens.
Orange Fronted Parakeets were flitting about the trees close to the main building only managed a couple of pics though
Masked Tityra - this lone bird was seen on a couple of occasions mixing in with the Yellow Winged Caciques
Just as a footnote to make you smile sometimes you don't always get the shot you want even when it's a lifer like the delightful Green Kingfisher seen on the mangrove boat tour "Captain Tony' did his best to manoeuvre the boat for me to get the 'perfect' photo but all I ended up with was the one below, shame really as the bird was a stunner - next time eh? :)
All in all a great holiday with something like 80+ lifers seen in the 90 species seen, sadly not al were photographed and not all species seen have been featured in my 3 blogs but most of those photographed will eventually be on my website here >> http://www.stevenesbitt.co.uk/northamericanbirds - there are 9 galleries in this section to date with more to come soon.