Saturday 1 July 2023

Yucatan - Day 4 - back to Tulum - Bacalar and the Camino Vigia Chico again

We birded on foot from the hotel at Buenavista before breakfast. We were right on the edge of town, heading out along a track leading to a handful of waterside plots and new developments. No doubt in a few years this will just be a slew of boutique hotels, but for now it was a decent place to go birding. Lesson's Motmot was a decent start in the half light, and we followed this up with a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl and two Black-headed Trogon. A large group of Plain Chachalaca were extremely noisy as they moved through the canopy, and we saw a flock of six Yucatan Jay. A Long-billed Gnatwren that was extremely responsive to pishing was rather a surprise here, and when we pushed through a vacant lot to get to the shore we found Mangrove Swallow and Ringed Kingfisher. After breakfast, as we drove out of the town a Squirrel Cuckoo flew over the car, our first of the trip.


Plans today were fairly flexible, we just needed to be in Tulum by the evening. As such we spent a bit of time around the lagoon at Bacalar. There were no boats going out, but from the public pier and the ecoparque we scanned out and picked up Royal Tern, and on the island, hundreds of Wood Stork. There were probably other Herons there too, but without a scope it was impossible. A Snail Kite hunted along the shore and there were two Lesser Scaup bobbing about right next to us.

Royal Tern

Lesser Scaup

Mangrove Swallow

Heading north we explored some inland water bodies, but these were pretty rubbish in the middle of the day, a few hirundines and Cormorants, but a nice Couch's Kingbird. At 2pm we arrived once again at the start of the Camino Vigia Chico in Felipe Carrillo Puerto. A suboptimal time of day you would think, but actually it was pretty good, and we found quite a few new birds as we drove and walked along. New for the trip were White-bellied Emerald, Lesser Greenlet, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Summer Tanager and Spot-breasted Wren. Mick finally got onto Green-backed Sparrow, a bird I'd seen briefly at Calakmul.

White-bellied Emerald

By the early evening we were at the Playa Mirador in Tulum for sunset, accomanied by loads of feeding Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, some White Ibis and our first Laughing Gulls. The hotel, slightly out of town, and booked as it did food meaning we would not have to go into town, in fact did not offer food, so had to get back in the car and drive to what had probably been our favourite place of the trip again, a roadside taco place just to the north of town. The trip list was now over 150, which I felt was about to be expected.


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