On this day at the Muyil Archeologic site I lifered multiple times, but this bird was my last and best. I ended up seeing many more, but the first time is usually the most memorable. Not only is this species especially conspicuous in coloration, it has a crazy sounding call and draws attention by swaying its tail like a pendulum.
Monday, August 31, 2020
Woodcreepers are curious species as many of them are quite large and you would think conspicuous considering they crawl along tree trunks. However, in my experience they are actually difficult to spot and usually are not found until you see them flying from one truck to the next. This Tawny-winged Woodcreeper was photographed at the Muyil Archeologic site near Tulum in the Yucatan, MX.
This particular bird gave me some trouble with ID at the time but after seeing another later in my trip and hearing its song, I was able to confirm. The trouble originated by my tendency to ID birds based on my photos and comparing against field guides after the sighting is over. The trouble with this photo was the leaf superimposed on the shoulder gave it a greenish hue. Later I realized that the bird was not greenish at all and it was simply a photo artifact. This photo was taken at Muyil. This site only has a few possible wrens without spots including an interesting subspecies of Carolina Wren, but I didn't see that.
This was yet another lifer from my trip to the Yucatan. Although it is somewhat unassuming, I was grateful that it provided me with such good looks and it made up for its lack of flashiness with curiosity and character. This particular bird seen at the archeological site of Muyil was collecting nesting material. Many birds in this region breed out of typical northern hemisphere time frames, but this resident was right in synch with the migrants.
One of the few birds singing this particular morning in the forest south of Tulum, it took a while for me to actually locate it. It's always frustrating looking for an incessantly singing bird that sounds close but remains hidden, until it is found of course which makes it all the more satisfying. This particular site (Muyil) was extra fun because there were archeological structures blending in with the jungle mixed in with birds. Most of the archeological sites we visited were crawling with tourists and the manicured grounds stole the authenticity of the places. Muyil was covered in vines and built in the jungle so it felt very real and that a Mayan would jump out from behind something at any moment.
Friday, August 28, 2020
This beauty was found only in the last couple hours on Cozumel and I was freaking out as it was the last endemic I needed and could not find it anywhere. I knew roughly where on the island they were, but I did not research enough and was in a panic as I ran out of road and the wife and kids were about done with my search. As I passed an opulent hotel with flowers adorning the entrance, I knew it was my last chance and luckily it happened.
Elaenias can be tricky but luckily Cozumel doesn't get too many so its fairly easy to differentiate them. This Yellow-bellied Elaenia stayed hidden under the canopy which made it difficult to get a true feeling for color, but other field marks including the raised crest gave it away.