Blas and Northwest
Red Warblers, Yellow Grosbeaks, and Blue-footed Boobies
22 February-3 March 2008 (10
In addition to some of the most breathtaking
scenery Mexico has to offer, our San Blas-Northwest Mexico tour gives
you chances to see over forty Mexican endemics, eleven of which are
found in Northwest Mexico and nowhere else
Day 2: La Noria
to Capilla de Taxte. This morning we will bird the arid
Northwestern thorn-forest. Endemics we'll target include Elegant
Quail, Black-throated Magpie-Jay, Purplish-backed Jay, Lilac-crowned
Parrot, Golden-cheeked Woodpecker, Black-vented Oriole, and
Rufous-bellied Chachalaca. With some luck, we may catch a Mexican
Beaded Lizard crossing the road. We'll spend the night in Capilla
Day 5: To San Blas. We may do some early-morning cleanup birding along the highway, after which we'll head south to San Blas.
Days 6 and 8: San Blas. Famous for decades as Mexico's winter birding hotspot, this small, cozy coastal fishing village offers plenty of birding within a short drive. Habitats are varied, and so are the birds. Some of our targets include Mexican Parrotlet, Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater, Blue Bunting, Godman's Euphonia, Citreoline Trogon, Yellow-winged Cacique, Red-breasted Chat, Fan-tailed Warbler, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, and Rufous-backed Robin. We'll be sure to take a river cruise up into the mangroves to look for Boat-billed Heron, Crane Hawk, Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, Common Potoo, Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Warbler, and Mangrove Cuckoo. Shorebirding around town is often productive and may get us looks at Collared Plover. There's even offshore birding to do, and we may well see two species of booby. These two days will be quite leisurely, and afternoon outings are optional. Nights in San Blas.
Day 7: La Bajada. Not far from San Blas is a nicely-wooded coffee finca offering many new species for our trip, as well as nice flocks of wintering migrants. Some of the more popular migrants seen here include Varied Bunting, Black-capped Vireo, and Flame-colored Tanager. As for resident birds, Crested Guan, Slate-throated Whitestart, Brown-backed Solitaire, and San Blas Jay are all possibilities. The hummingbirds here are a real treat. Mexican Hermit, Mexican Woodnymph, and Sparkling-tailed Woodstar occur here, and the first two are range-restricted Mexican endemics. Though elusive, we'll certainly try to see a Rosy Thrush-Tanager. Night in San Blas.
Day 9: Back to Mazatlán. Before we head back north, we may try to do some cleanup birding around San Blas.
Day 10: Departure. Today you will depart the airport for home.
CLIMATE: Varied. Though it seldom gets too hot, cold, or wet this time of year, it's best to be prepared. It could be chilly at upper elevations in the morning, and warm at lower elevations midday.
DIFFICULTY: Moderately easy. Most of our time will be spent walking on roads, but there is a small, pleasant hike up a trail at Barranca Rancho Liebre.
Quite comfortable. The hotel in Capilla de Taxte is
basic but good; the hotel in San Blas is excellent.
information, contact Michael Retter at mlretter AT yahoo.com