Saturday, June 1, 2019

Rio Lagartos (17-18Apr2019)

Our drive to Rio Lagartos on the north coast was uneventful except for some uncomfortable mild Montezuma's Revenge experienced by both Melissa and I.  We got in to our hotel right on the waterfront in this sleepy fishing village by 2-3 pm so we had plenty of time to explore.  A quick walk around the hotel and I found some active hummingbird feeders with the endemic Mexican Sheartail showing nicely.

Mexican Sheartail male

Sheartail female

Cinnamon Hummingbird

For some reason the Sheartails reminded me of Gonzo the muppet.  I guess it was the droopy bill.

I managed to find a local guide that was amenable to bringing me out into the mangroves at night with his boat.  He also told me about a good spot to get the endemic Yucatan Wren.

The spot ended up being too hot and the bird activity was minimal.  These Olive-throated Parakeets were about the only birds around.

The Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures also seemed not to mind the heat.

A quick fly over from a big black hawk was too quick for a decent ID.

We kept driving east to randomly explore and ended up at a really cool town called Las Coloradas.

Mangrove Swallows were everywhere in this town.

Note the white rump patch on the bird to the right.

Las Coloradas is a town surrounded by salt works.  The coolest thing about it is the pink water in the salt pans.  The evaporating ponds are full of brine shrimp which make the water pink.

Las Coloradas

It was getting late enough that bird activity was probably picking up so we went back to the spot for the wren.

My family was not loving the spot but it did not take long to find my quarry.

Yucatan Wren

Our dinner on the waterfront was modest but delicious fresh seafood.

That evening a guide took me out on his boat deep into the mangrove rivers.  It was a magical experience with a full moon which probably did not work in our favor for finding birds.  However, we did ok and it was really nice motoring around the mangroves.

Boat-billed Heron

We did finally hear a couple Yucatan Nightjars but were not super successful in photographing them.

Yucatan Nightjar eyeshine in a really poor photo taking from a moving boat.  I did make a couple sound recordings.

The next morning, our same guide (I wish I remembered his name) brought us out into the mangroves again to go look for Flamingos and take a nice leisurely boat ride.  The guide was super cool and stopped a couple places to get me some birds.

Mangrove Vireo

White-fronted Parrot

Magnificent Frigatebirds were everywhere.

Brown Pelican

The Mangrove race of Yellow Warbler

American Flamingo - our guide told us that a number of years ago all the flamingos left after a hurricane and moved to Cuba for several years.  They only recently came back and are now present in large numbers.

It's breeding season for Flamingos.

White morph of the Great Blue Heron. Super rare in the US but apparently not so rare in the Yucatan.

Back at the hotel while Melissa packed up I said goodbye to the Sheartails.  This was a young male.  The trip to Rio Lagartos was totally worth it and it took off the sting of not being able to visit Calakmul which is still on my bucket list.  Next stop was one of the seven wonders of the world (depending on which list you go by) - Chichen Itza!!

No comments:

Post a Comment