Monday 23 April 2018

Mexico 7 Bonampark

Mexico Feb 21/18

Story Adrian Leather
Photos by John Gordon

Next on the menu was Bonampak. We stayed in a very cool ecolodge in the Lacanja area, more a village surrounded by rainforest, with scattered homes and cabins, ran by a Mayan family. Each cabin was numbered, then had a name in Mayan, and Spanish. The dining room was like a type of longhouse with sections of tree trunk providing the seating. It was neat to hear the staff speaking in Mayan. They were a friendly bunch, very laid-back, and served some excellent food. The Mayan Chief engaged in quiet conversation. The walls had hanging trinkets, maps, and nature info, and I noticed an article pertaining to a Canadian anthropologist. This place was super-tranquil.

We didn't have much luck with our nocturnal birding. Short-tailed Nighthawk was a no-show. We had a Vermiculated Screech-Owl which didn't want to quit, and a Mottled Owl. We heard this strange, loud sound. Someone asked, "What is THAT!?", to which Eric replied, "THAT is a Jaguar!", which certainly caught our attention. We heard the Jaguar numerous times. It was difficult to get a reading on how far away it was. Cool as anything!
John Hodges, and Eric were operating spotlights from each side of the van, when John said, "WHAT is THAT!?". It turned out to be a Kinkaju. By the way, I ought to mention that many of our birding destinations featured Spider Monkey, and Howler Monkey, which provided a lot of great viewing, and listening.

We never went to the ruins @ Bonampak, as the birding on the entrance road was so good! We saw 3 Blue Ground-Dove fly across the trail. 4 Mealy Parrot was a nice find.

Slatey-tailed Trogon
A Slaty-tailed Trogon (Massena) was impressive, and a Tawny-crowned Greenlet was hanging-out near 2 Lesser Greenlet. Northern Schiffornis, and Plain Xenops were spotted. Other good finds were a Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Northern Bentbill, and 2 Long-billed Gnatwren. 2 Lesson's Motmot were watched, and a Rufous Mourner was heard. Birds kept coming thick and fast! 2 Barred Antshrike, 2 Dusky Antbird, and a Great Antshrike were added. We saw another Royal Flycatcher, and had a brief look at a Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher. Manakins also featured, with 2 White-collared, and 2 Red-capped. We enjoyed a nice mix of warblers, including Worm-eating, Chestnut-sided, Golden-crowned, and a beauty of a male Kentucky!

Kentucky Warbler

3 Green Shrike-Vireo were tallied. Among the grosbeaks were 2 Rose-breasted, and a pair of Blue-black! Breathless birding, and another tough place to depart.
We tried an area of the Parque Nacional Palenque where Spot-tailed Nightjar has been located. No luck with the nightjar, but we did encounter a noisy Limpkin, and a Common Pauraque. Other goodies were Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Canivet's Emerald, and Yellow-breasted Chat, but the biggest surprise was seeing 2 Scarlet Macaw on the very outskirts of the town.
Our final day dawned, and we were back @ the Parque Nacional Palenque, and greeted by the weirdest roaring sound. Was it even a bird? Jerry moved toward the sound, and realized it was coming from 2 Bare-throated Tiger-Heron high in a tree.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

 A Louisiana Waterthrush gave excellent viewing as it bobbed along the shore of a nearby stream. We walked a trail in the park which was a gem of a place. We enjoyed good looks at a Rufous-breasted Spinetail, and a beauty of a Great Antshrike in the trailside scrub. 

Louisiana Waterthrush
Flycatchers included Yellow-bellied, and Acadian. Woodcreepers were Tawny-winged, Wedge-billed, and Ivory-billed. Other goodies included Wood Thrush, and 3 Black-headed Trogon. More than anything, this was a stupendous warbler walk, with fifteen species recorded, including Worm-eating, Hooded, Northern Parula, and with amazing looks @ 2 Blue-winged, a Swainson's, and 2 Kentucky! We joked that we wouldn't need to go to Point Pelee. Another supercharged adrenaline high! No chance of us leaving this trip quietly!

"It's never too late to start birding"
John Gordon
BC Canada

1 comment:

  1. wow what a fantastic trip John and your photos are stunning