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A Change of Plans

MEXICO | Tuesday, 17 August 2021 | Views [35]

Singing Quail, Sumidero Canyon

Singing Quail, Sumidero Canyon

THIS MORNING CALLED FOR AN EARLY START birding in deciduous forests of Sumidero Canyon in the mountains above San Cristobal. Eric had earmarked the entire morning to finding our target birds—potentially some of the hardest sightings of the trip— and spending the night in Tuxtla Gutierrez, leaving an eleven-hour drive to Ixpujil in Campeche for Wednesday. That’s right—11 HOURS! 


              San Cristobal de Casas from Sumidero Canyon National Park

As it turns out the national park is closed to vehicles on Tuesdays but Eric “knows a guy”—actually a woman—who gave us special permission to enter. And today’s target birds were very cooperative. A few hundred meters down from the El Roblar trailhead amid it’s favorite seeding bamboo, Eric spotted the Maroon-chested Ground Dove. We all got several good looks but no “keeper” photos as it hopped from branch to branch above our heads. The Blue Seedeater was much more obliging. 


                     Blue Seedeater

Back on the park road we heard the unmistakable call of the Singing Quail and watched as it dashed across the road. After five minutes of replaying its own call it reappeared and posed for a few photos. Quite the suprise sighting.


            Hotel Museo Xibalba, Palenque

With our “work” out of the way by 9:30 Eric suggested an alternate plan. He cancelled our reservations in Tuxtla Gutierrez and we drove instead to Palenque, halving the time we would have to drive to Ixpujil on Wednesday. Connie and I enjoyed our time at the archeological site in Palenque back in 2007 and although we wouldn’t be able to visit again this time, we were totally on board. Hotel Museo Xibalba, situated under towering epiphyte-covered trees is everything one could ask for, not to mention the wonderful restaurant just across the lane. Ceviche and Cerveza!



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