At first light we headed back down the footpath towards the gravel road – the morning chorus was dominated by Yucatan Jays and the screeches of Olive-throated Parakeets and White-fronted Parrots overhead. Vigia Chico Road was by far one of the best areas we visited. We spent the entire day birding along the road and various paths leading into milpas and prime forests.
|Track off Vigia Chico Road|
I don’t even know where to begin on describing all of the highlights. With roughly 90 species, there’s just not enough time to type everything out! For those interested, you can find our counts for the day on eBird here (http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12366328). Some of the highlights include: Keel-billed Toucans, Long-billed Gnatwrens, Rose-throated Tanagers, Gray-throated Chats, and five species of orioles. Of course, there were all of the peninsular endemics such as Yucatan Woodpecker, Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Vireo, Yucatan Jays (everywhere) and without a doubt – the best bird of the trip, Yucatan Poorwill (SEEN!).
Stumbling upon a Yucatan Poorwill was out of pure chance. Behind our camp, we heard this odd noise…perhaps a frog or insect. I was creeping around very slowly in thick vegetation trying to track down the culprit. Just before turning around and giving up, I noticed two eyes staring at me – Yucatan Poorwill! I could care less what that thing was making that noise, it led me straight to the poorwill! Not many birders get a good view of one in the middle of the day…let alone, get a photo.
After a successful day, we laid down in our tents and listened to Thicket Tinamous and a Collared Forest-Falcon calling not too far away. In the morning we’d bird the road back into town and head into Belize.
I also wanted to apologize for the lack of photos. My camera isn’t that great and since the others had good camera equipment, I decided to focus on audio recording instead.