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San Juan Batista del Valle

MEXICO | Monday, 2 August 2021 | Views [60]

Dusky Hummingbird

Dusky Hummingbird

ON SUNDAY WE MADE A FEW STOPS at “birdy-sounding” places on our way to Parque Ecotouristico La Cumbre Ixtepeji. Long pants and polar fleece were much appreciated today at 10,000 feet. The scenery was spectacular and the birding, though chilly, wasn’t too shabby either. Connie added another eight to her Life List including the endemic Dusky Hummingbird. 


     Great scenery, good birding—Parque Ecotouristico La Cumbre Ixtepeji

We were awakened by fireworks at 4:45 this morning—today is the fiesta of Our Lady of the Angels in Oaxaca—so we were packed up and ready when bellman came to help with our gear. We followed yesterday’s trip up Route 175 up and over the Continental Divide, stopping in the misty cloud forest wherever Eric knew certain species to be or whenever he heard something interesting. His knowledge and persistence paid off and we had checked-off our morning targets by nine o’clock—Uni-colored Jay, Slaty Vireo and Rusty-crowned Ground Sparrow. 


       Uni-Colored Jay


                                          Slaty Vireo


                                                     Rusty-crowned Ground Sparrow

Connie and I were hopeful we could complete the five-hour drive quickly and arrive in Tuxtupec early so we could catch up on the photos, journals and maybe squeeze in a nap. I was especially concerned about the effect yesterday’s chilis rellenos were having on me. I should have been worried about the “no-see-ums” that chewed up my bare legs. But one bird we didn’t mind stopping for was the Bumblebee Hummingbird, second-smallest only to Cuba’s Bee Hummingbird.


                  Bumblebee Hummingbird—not the tiniest, but almost

There were so many likely-looking places along the road that we didn’t arrive in San Juan Batista del Valle until six. Don Gustavo, Eric’s honorary uncle, was waiting for us at his Hotel Valle Real. The rooms are simple, the wifi and air-con work and the water is hot. Don Gustavo even arranged to serve us a nice dinner of soup, salad and tilapia. Covid has forced the closure of other restaurants in town.


 Emerald-chinned Hummingbird



                         Stripe-tailed Hummingbird


                                     Violet-crowned Hummingbird


                                                    White-bellied Emerald 

It had been another long day but we really cleaned up on birds, especially hummers.. We even saw several species that were on the schedule for tomorrow and Wednesday—guess the birds didn’t get the memo. I won’t bore you with all of the species but will share some of the better photos.


       Rose-throated Becard


                         Black-headed Nightengale Thrush


                                                      Grey-collared Becard


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