08 Feb 04 Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Ram reported it wasn't safe to leave a car unattended along the coastal roads, so we took a taxi to the road to Ventamilla, along the lagoons 25 miles east of Puerto Escondido, not too far from Barra Santa Elena. We birded the dirt road down to the coast, the resacas towards the end of the road and the beach.
At one point, about half way in, we found a mixed flock of Indigo, Painted and Orange-bellied Buntings, all in breeding plumage. Our Snow Buntings are nice birds, but these guys dazzle the eyes.
It was consistently good and interesting birding on the walk in. Lots of spectacular White-throated Magpie-jays, Orange-fronted Parakeets, Yellow-winged Caciques and a variety of orioles. Maybe the best raptors of the trip so far, including Short-tailed Hawk, Grey Hawk, Common Blackhawk, Peregrine Falcon and Osprey. It was fairly warm by the time we reached the beach itself, but we cooled of with orange sodas in the shade.
It seemed silly not to wade in the Pacific, so I pulled off my boots and socks and walked down the sand to the waves. The sand was so hot that I raised burn blisters on my feet. They were sore but not painful. In the heat, the beach itself was pretty quiet, with only Neotropic Cormorants, Brown Pelicans and Magnificant Frigatebirds in the sky.
The walk out was furnace-like, at least to Alaskans, and Nancy and I both overheated. We spent the rest of the day cooling off in the hotel pool, napping in the air-conditioned room and being more traditional tourists. Ram and Kerry did well that evening at the mouth of a river, but we just didn't have the energy.
Nancy, Kerry and Ram birding the coastal roads
Near Ventanilla, Oaxaca
|A sadly common view along the roads of Oaxaca: good birding in the hills, but road-dumped trash everywhere.
The Ventanilla area had less trash than most coastal roads. The community has posted signs and it seems to have made a difference.
Ram, Kerry and Nancy
Posada Real, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
|Working through the bird lists at the hotel. Kerry Wilcox, in the middle, is a volunteer/intern working with Ram's mist-netting program in Oaxaca.
HERONS, EGRETS AND BITTERNS
Little Blue Heron
NEW WORLD VULTURES
HAWKS, EAGLES AND KITES
FALCONS AND CARACARAS
PIGEONS AND DOVES
TROGONS AND QUETZALS
CROWS AND JAYS
VIREOS AND ALLIES
OLD WORLD SPARROWS
BUNTINGS, SPARROWS, TANAGERS, ALLIES
BLACKBIRDS, GRACKLES, ORIOLES