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Introduction

Cancun

Coba

Felipe

Chichen Itza

Rio Logartos

Species list

Text only


List of species seen

Least Grebe

Only one bird seen, about 20 metres from the Club Med shoreline at Coba

Pied-billed Grebe

The only site these were seen was at Coba, with most of the 12 birds in one large group

American White Pelican

Two groups of 5 and 8 birds were seen flying to roost over the mangroves of San Felipe on the evening of 17th, with a line if 20 over the mangroves and 6 off Rio Logartos on 18th

Brown Pelican

Cancun lagoon (3 on 13th), San Felipe (4 on 17th, 20 on 18th), Puerto Morelos (3 on 19th)

Double-crested Cormorant

Cancun lagoon (3), Coba lagoon (3), San Felipe (5 on sea), Rio Logartos (20 on sea), Puerto Morelos (1 over sea)

Neotropic Cormorant

5 landed on the lagoon at Coba, 1 over San Felipe mangroves, 40 on the sea off Rio Logartos

Anhinga

5 birds flew in singles over the mangroves of San Felipe

Magnificent Frigatebird

200+ flew over Cancun lagoon on the first day, 40 were hawking fishing boats at San Felipe seafront, 3 perched on a boat off Rio Logartos, 2 off Los Colorados beach

Great Blue Heron

3 on Coba lagoon, and singles at San Felipe on both days

Green Heron

1 perched on a tree on the edge of Cancun golf course, 1 at Rio Logartos, 2 on the exposed tidal mud at San Felipe, 1 on the marshes south of Cancun

Cattle Egret

Groups of 12 (journey - 14th) and 50 (journey - 17th), and singles on Vigia Chico road and Chichen Itza

Great White Egret

Lots of birds seen at the end of the week at the north of the peninsular - 100+ past San Felipe on the first evening, around 40 off Rio Logartos on the sea, 70 on a pool next to the Los Colorados road, and 2 on marsh south of Cancun

Little Blue Heron

Highest concentration was 10 on a pool next to the Los Colorados road, with 1 next to Cancun golf course, a white phase bird in the reeds of Coba lagoon, 1 in a lagoon north of Tizimin, 2 at San Felipe

Reddish Egret

The only birds seen were about 10 amongst the hundreds of herons and egrets flying to roost from the hotel balcony at San Felipe

Snowy Egret

About 40 were flying past San Felipe, 10 to roost over San Felipe mangroves, and around 30 on the pool next to Los Colorados road

Tricoloured Heron

The most common heron in the San Felipe flypast - among the 250+ birds were large groups, one with about 100 birds. An extra 10 were on the pool next to Los Colorados road, and a single bird on the marshy lagoon east of Puerto Morelos

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

6 birds were seen in the half light of dawn on the tidal mud in front of the hotel at San Felipe

Bare-throated Tiger Heron

A juvenile bird was on a small pool between San Felipe and the crossroads just south of Rio Logartos, and a second juvenile bird was in front of the mangroves of Rio Logartos

Wood Stork

Around 15 birds were on the pool beside the Los Colorados road

White Ibis

On the first evening at the San Felipe mangroves, 12 birds flew overhead. 40 were seen in the Rio Logartos to Los Colorados area on the 18th, with 8 on a hotel pitch and putt course in Cancun on 19th

Greater Flamingo

A group of 7 birds flew over the Vigia Chico road on 16th

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

An impressive collection of around 100 birds on one of the shallow lagoons next to the Los Colorados road, with some birds presumably displaying to each other

Blue-winged Teal

Three groups of bird were seen - 8 in a small pool next to the Tizimin to Rio Logartos road, 3 in the shallow lagoon on the opposite side of the Los Colorados road to the Whistling Ducks, and 6 birds on a pool in the mangroves east of Puerto Morelos

Turkey Vulture

Very common - seen on most days in good numbers

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture

The only birds seen were in the Rio Logartos area. From a distance, they are very similar to Turkey Vultures, with an almost identical wing pattern and jizz. Only closer views show the yellow, instead of pink, skin around the face. Because of the difficulty in identifying each bird, not much attention was paid to subsequent birds, but at least 10, and probably many more, were seen throughout the 18th

Black Vulture

Very common - seen on most days in good numbers

King Vulture

Perhaps the surprise of the trip - an unexpected and rare bird. The first was seen soaring over the Vigia Chico road while searching through the common vultures (a couple of Great Black Hawks had already been seen amongst them). A further 2 birds were seen in the same thermals above one of the orchards off the road. They are impressive not only because of their rarity value, but also the distinctive shape and wing patterns next to their mundane mainly black cousins

Hook-billed Kite

A pair of birds were seen briefly flying away on the journey to Rio Logartos, not too many miles south of the town. They were identified mainly on their distinctive pinched in wing shape. A single bird was seen the next day over the San Felipe to Rio Logartos road - the long hooked bill could also be seen clearly on this individual

Crane Hawk

A bird over the San Felipe - Rio Logartos road was initially thought to be another Hook-billed Kite (it was shortly after the last of those seen), but closer views showed the shorter bill and orange legs. A second bird was perched on a dead tree next to a pool just east of the Rio Logartos crossroads, and the orange legs could again be clearly seen

Common Black Hawk

Surprisingly, only 2 were seen. The first was amongst soaring Vultures shortly after leaving Cancun for the toll road on the 13th. The second was above the Vigia Chicao road on the 15th

Great Black Hawk

2 birds were seen within a short time of each other amongst vultures over the orchard off the Vigia Chico road, and another 2 singles were over the Los Colorados road

White-tailed Hawk

Up to 4 separate birds were seen over the Rio Logartos road. All adults, the single black tail band is striking against the white underparts

Short-tailed Hawk

1 flew in to the Vultures over the orchard off the Vigia Chico road, and a second flew over the Los Colorados road

Red-tailed Hawk

The Peterson field guide states that this species is absent in the Yucatan peninsular, so the appearance of 5 individuals, 4 of which were adults, was a surprise. 4 were on the road from Tizimin to Rio Logartos, with one devouring an Iguana, the 5th bird being seen circling over the Los Colorados road

Roadside Hawk

The first bird was perched in dead trees next to the Vigia Chico road on 15th, staying put as we passed it and allowing close approach using the car as a hide. A second bird was perched in an open tree next to the pool containing the Tiger Heron on the San Felipe to Rio Logartos road. It was stopping for this bird that found the pool and the variety of birds surrounding it

Grey Hawk

2 birds were along the Vigia Chico road. A further 3 birds were seen in the Vigia Chico road area the next morning, and 1 bird was seen on the journey from Tizimin to San Felipe (again perched near the roadside)

Osprey

2 over the Cancun lagoon, 4 on the journey to and around San Felipe on 17th, and 1 bird over San Felipe on the 18th

Crested Caracara

A single bird was seen briefly in flight on the journey from Tizimin to San Felipe on 17th, and a further 4 birds were much more obliging next to the Los Colorados road, with 3 perched close in dead trees

Laughing Falcon

A single bird was perched briefly on a small dead tree next to the rubbish dump at the Rio Logartos crossroads, before flying off. The supposed buff underparts and crown were very much whiter than expected, as was the large size

Merlin

A female was perched in a tree in the centre of the Cancun golf course on the first morning

Peregrine

A single bird was perched next to the mudflats of the San Felipe mangroves

Bat Falcon

The first decent bird of the trip, surprisingly seen perched on the airport buildings as we entered the arrivals lounge. A second bird was perched at the very top of the mast on the Club Med Hotel at Coba early morning, and 2 separate birds were on dead trees in the vicinity of an otherwise quiet pool from the Vigia Chico road

American Kestrel

2 separate females were seen on the road from Tizimin to Rio Logartos

Plain Chachalaca

4 birds were found in bushes next to the airport while waiting for the bus to leave for the hotels. We thought this would be the first sighting of many, but the only subsequent bird was in a tree near San Felipe on the last full day of the trip

Yucatan Bobwhite

The first probable group was no more than a blur of wings as they flew off into the scrub near the Vigia Chico road on 17th. The first discernable birds were seen behind the rubbish dump at the Rio Logartos crossroads late the next afternoon. The first mixed group of males and females was quite approachable, with a final total of around 80 birds, most of which were running away under cover of the low scrub

Limpkin

3 birds were on Coba lagoon - 2 together at the western (reedy) end, and a single bird flying along the edge of the opposite shore

Sora

Surprisingly, the only crake seen was a male Sora, feeding along the edge of the larger pool by the side of the Tizimin to Rio Logartos road

Moorhen

One of the last new species to be seen on the trip - at least 10 birds were on the shallow lagoons to the south of Cancun

American Coot

The greatest numbers (in the hundreds) were on the shallow lagoons to the south of Cancun, with an additional 6 on a shallow lagoon beside the Los Colorados road, and a (first) single bird close in on Coba lagoon

Northern Jacana

The only bird seen was a juvenile feeding close in for a short time on the Hotel shore of Coba lagoon

American Oystercatcher

2 birds were together on one of the exposed sandbars in the Rio Logartos channel

Grey Plover

Greatest numbers were on the San Felipe mangroves, where there were probably in the order of 100 birds. The only other sighting was of a single bird on the shore of the Cancun lagoon

Snowy Plover

About 10 birds were amongst a mixed flock of waders (together) on some exposed mud in the salt pond complex east of Los Colorados

Semipalmated Plover

About 25 birds were in the above mixed flock at the salt ponds

Killdeer

3 birds were together and a single at two pools next to the Vigia Chico road

Wilson’s Plover

4 birds were resting in the mixed wader flock at the Los Colorados salt ponds

Long-billed Curlew

1 bird was seen - on the outside of a mixed gull and tern flock on some exposed mud in the channel at Rio Logartos. The length of the bill on this bird has to be seen to be believed!

Lesser Yellowlegs

About 10 birds were seen on the first day at the San Felipe mangroves. They were probably also there on the second day, but not looked for. A further 10 birds were on the shallow lagoon next to Los Colorados

Spotted Sandpiper

This species was seen intermittently, with all birds in non-breeding plumage. 1 was on the shore of Cancun lagoon, 2 in the San Felipe area on the 17th, and 5 separate birds were at various points along the Los Colorados road on the 18th

Greater Yellowlegs

About 20 birds were near the road on the mangroves of San Felipe on 17th, As with the Lesser Yellowlegs, they were not specifically looked for on the following day

Solitary Sandpiper

1 bird was on the lagoon next to the Tizimin to Rio Logartos road, with a further 4 birds on lagoons along the Los Colorados road

Willet

Most of the 50 or so birds present on the 17th and 18th at San Felipe mangroves were close in

Turnstone

Up to 20 birds were at the Rio Logartos seafront, with a lot of the birds perched in and around the fishing boats. About 40 birds were on the seafront at Los Colorados

Short-billed Dowitcher

8 birds were roosting on the exposed mud of the mangroves at San Felipe on the 17th, and a further 5 were on lagoons next to the Los Colorados road on the 18th

Sanderling

The only place where these were seen for definite was in the Los Colorados area, where about 100 were on the salt ponds in one large group, and further small parties were with Turnstones on the seafront

Knot

About 35 birds were on the seafront at Los Colorados

Western Sandpiper

Those most common stint, with 30 or so birds on the exposed mud at San Felipe mangroves, and larger numbers at the salt ponds (about 50) and shallow lagoon (about 100) near Los Colorados

Least Sandpiper

5 birds were feeding in the scum on the edge of the Los Colorados salt ponds, and about 100 were on the shallow lagoon to the west of the village

Stilt Sandpiper

Another of those long-awaited species. A pool to the west of Los Colorados seemed to have plenty of waders. Closer inspection found a single winter plumaged Stilt Sandpiper feeding with a small group of Dowitchers and a couple of hundred mixed Stints

Black-necked Stilt

A common bird in the Rio Logartos area, with about 100 birds on the San Felipe mangroves, and a further 70 on the egret infested lagoon 8km east of the crossroads. The only other birds seen were 3 on the lagoon next to the Tizimin to Rio Logartos road

American Herring Gull

2 birds were on the Rio Logartos seafront with large numbers of Laughing Gulls, and about 15 on the Los Colorados seafront

Laughing Gull

After a lone bird perched on a post in the lagoon at Cancun, up to 250 were in the Rio Logartos to Los Colorados area

Lesser Black-backed Gull

2 birds were amongst Laughing Gulls on Los Colorados seafront

Bonaparte’s Gull

A single winter plumaged bird amongst the Laughing Gulls on the Rio Logartos seafront was something of a surprise, since it is probably further south than the usual wintering range

Caspian Tern

About 30 birds were with other Gulls and Terns on one of the Los Colorados salt ponds

Forster’s Tern

A group of 6 non-breeding birds were amongst other seabirds on some exposed mud in the Rio Logartos channel

Royal Tern

About 10 birds were in the Rio Logartos seafront area, with a further 30 or so birds in the centre of one of the Los Colorados salt ponds

Sandwich Tern

3 birds were with the mixed seabirds in the Rio Logartos channel, with 1 flying past, and a single bird was perched outside the McDonald’s beside Cancun lagoon

Black Skimmer

2 of the exposed islands of mud in the Rio Logartos channel held groups of Skimmers. Unfortunately, they were a little distant, but the total number was about 50 birds

Red-billed Pigeon

Only 2 distant birds were seen - in the clearing on the road to Punta Laguna

White-winged Dove

This was easily the commonest and most regular of the larger pigeons and doves. 15 were on the golf course at Cancun, 20 in the Rio Logartos to Los Colorados area on the 18th, 8 in the Chichen Itza area, and 5 at San Felipe on the 17th

Zenaida Dove

Only a few birds were present at the north of the Yucatan peninsular - 2 from the San Felipe hotel balcony at dusk, 2 along the Rio Logartos to Los Colorados road, and 2 at the Los Colorados seafront

Common Ground Dove

Ground Doves were easily the most common dove seen. Up to 10 Common Ground Doves were seen on most days, with perhaps up to 100 in the Rio Logartos / Los Colorados area on the 18th

Ruddy Ground Dove

With so many Ground Doves seen, checking each group of birds for species was quickly abandoned. Up to a dozen were seen on the first couple of days, and perhaps around 50 in the Chichen Itza area. However, the numbers for both species after the first part of the trip could almost be regarded as interchangeable

Olive-throated Parakeet

Many sightings of parrots and parakeets were made, but these were easily separated by their long tails. Good views of the birds (including the olive chest) were only actually seen on the last morning, at the mangroves east of Puerto Morelos, when 2 birds landed in a close tree. Others were at Cancun golf course (4), journey to Coba (20), clearing south of Punta Laguna (1), Coba (2), Vigia Chico road (12 on 15th, 5 on 16th), and the Los Colorados road (2)

White-fronted Parrot

Where possible, Parrots were checked to see if they were Yucatan (better separated by the dark ear coverts than the yellow lores or amount of red in the wing). This was made difficult by the fact that a lot of the sightings were fast fly-by. However, we saw nothing to suggest that the Parrots we could identify were anything other than this species. Journey from Cancun to Coba (18), Vigia Chico road (4 on 15th, 5 on 16th), Chichen Itza (2 on 16th, 10 on 17th), Los Colorados road (2)

Squirrel Cuckoo

These birds in the flesh are every bit as impressive as in the books, and were seen in more than reasonable numbers - Coba area (3), Vigia Chico road (2), Botanical Gardens (1). All these birds were in singles

Groove-billed Ani

Both species of Ani are superficially similar until the bills are seen well, but this is probably the only one that occurs in the Yucatan. Nevertheless, all were checked and confirmed as Groove-billed, and all were in groups of at least a pair of birds. Cancun to Punta Laguna (2), Coba lagoon area (6), Vigia Chico road (25), Chichen Itza area (20), Chichen Itza to San Felipe (1), San Felipe (10), Los Colorados road (10), Puerto Morelos (3)

Lesser Roadrunner

The aim of the morning of the 18th was to drive the Los Colorados road early for sunning Roadrunners, but other good birds on the way put this back a while. This was probably not the reason for missing the birds (if there were any to be seen from the car). Mid-afternoon, a local birder put us on to the rubbish dump area, but added that they showed in the morning. After a long search, an individual legged it from its hiding place in a bush (while I was filming Yucatan Wren). A second bird was seen just before dusk (briefly) legging it just as fast and giving briefer views

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

The first of two birds was seen along the track just over 6km along the Vigia Chico road, perched out in the open on a horizontal branch. The second was lured by a tape intended to attract Warblers. Shortly after starting the tape, what seemed like an echo was heard, and the bird actually put in a prolonged appearance after about 10 minutes. A group of Social Flycatchers were more than unhappy at its presence

Vaux’s Swift

Parties of birds were seen every day, with a minimum of 3 and maximum of around 70+. They were all presumed Vaux’s (as opposed to Chimney) mainly due to the distribution patterns. The latter migrate from South to North America via the West Indies, and this usually between April and May

Wedge-tailed Sabrewing

3 separate females were seen along the Vigia Chico road, although one seemed to be in the company of another bird (by call) - presumably a male? 2 were perching birds which allowed close views, showing long sleek body, whitish front, and greenish back

Green-breasted Mango

Separate singles of male and female were on Cancun golf course on the first day. The female at first looked to have a light breast, but the thin dark streak was seen when it turned. The male is very impressive, seeming all dark glossy green with a darker area on the breast

Canivet’s (Fork-tailed) Emerald

The Vigia Chico road was the place to see these birds, with 5 seen over the two days there. Females are quite distinctive, but it is the males that are particularly impressive, showing a very deep forked tail if seen reasonably well

White-bellied Emerald

2 birds were seen, the first at Coba, the second on the last morning at the Botanical Gardens

Cinnamon Hummingbird

Easily the most common Hummingbird seen, and very distinctive with its orange breast even on brief fly pasts. Cancun golf course (4), Coba (1), Vigia Chico road (4), Chichen Itza area (7), Rio Logartos (1), Los Colorados road (2), Puerto Morelos mangroves (1)

Buff-breasted Emerald

Another very distinctive Hummer even when seen briefly - the light coloured belly is very easy to see contrasting with the darker chest. 1 was at Coba and another on the Vigia Chico road

Mexican Sheartail

The place to see these magnificent birds is on the north coast area. After struggling a bit initially on the 18th on the road from San Felipe to the Rio Logartos crossroads, the first positive identification was the unbelievable sight of a female on a single egg, with the tiny nest perched on a cactus leaf (in a clearing opposite the lagoon 8km along the Los Colorados road from the crossroads). A further 7 birds (all female) were seen along the Los Colorados road. Late afternoon, while searching for the Roadrunners behind the rubbish dump, another 2 females were seen, as well as a superb male perched and showing the spectacular shape and colours

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

2 females were seen - either side of the Rio Logartos crossroads while looking for Sheartails. The females look superficially similar to Sheartails, the best distinguishing feature being the straight bill

Black-headed Trogon

Both species of Trogon seen were stunning, as much for the eery way they slowly look around as their colours. The first in the woods at Coba ruins was present on two occasions, with a further 3 on the Vigia Chico road perched out in the open

Violaceous Trogon

Superficially like the Black-headed Trogon, the tail pattern of this species was easy to see as being different to the above, and with a different coloured eye ring. The bird in the forest at Coba ruins had to be worked for, but the second on the Vigia Chico road was perched over the road out in the open

Belted Kingfisher

Kingfishers were expected to be more common than the reality. There was plenty of suitable habitat and perching posts, but it took till the San Felipe mangroves and pool between San Felipe and Rio Logartos crossroads on the last full day to see 2 females

Turquoise-browed Motmot

3 separate birds were seen - 1 at Punta Laguna, 1 in the grounds of the Hotel Hacienda (Chichen Itza), and a 3rd in the ruins area of Chichen Itza. Only 2 of the 3 had full racquets on the tail

Blue-crowned Motmot

2 separate birds were seen in the woods of the Coba ruins. With the black crown over turquoise eyebrows, and black face mask, this species is possibly even more stunning than Turquoise-browed

Collared Aracari

3 birds were feeding on large berries in the grounds of the Club Med Hotel just after dawn on the 17th. A further group of 3 and close single bird were seen shortly after in the horse paddock behind the Hotel Hacienda

Keel-billed Toucan

Although only seen very briefly, the sight of a single bird flying low over the trees of the Vigia Chico road was striking

Lineated Woodpecker

A total of 4 birds were seen along the Vigia Chic road on the 15th, with the last bird dusting itself in the road as dusk approached. A much closer and more obliging bird was in the dead tree at the entrance to the Hotel Hacienda at Chichen Itza on the 17th

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Very much the common Woodpecker of the area, with up to 4 in one tree. Although superficially similar to Yucatan Woodpecker in colour, the overall size (similar to Red-fronted of North America) and also length of bill make it easy to separate with a little experience. The Yucatan subspecies dubius has red lores, which in the main hides the "golden front". Coba (5), Vigia Chico road (20), Chichen Itza (40), Rio Logartos area (4)

Red-vented (Yucatan) Woodpecker

As with the above, this bird was fairly obvious once seen - the size was more that of a Great Spotted Woodpecker, with much smaller and finer bill than Golden-fronted. Also, with good views, the yellow completely surrounding the bill can be seen. Singles were seen at Cancun golf course, Coba woods, Vigia Chico road, and the Botanical Gardens

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

A single over-wintering bird was seen on Cancun golf course

Smoky-brown Woodpecker

Only 1 bird was seen, on the Vigia Chico road. Although it doesn’t look much in the books, the rich chocolate brown and red cap of this species render it more exciting in real life

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Easily picked out by its small size and pied appearance. Road from Cancun to Coba (1), Vigia Chico road (2), Rio Logartos (1)

Tawny-winged Woodcreeper

Although the plain Woodcreepers look superficially similar, they didn’t present too much difficulty. It is in the same order of size as Ruddy, but the bicoloured wings are quite obvious, as is the distinctive eye-stripe. 1 was seen next to the first Mayan ruins at Coba

Ruddy Woodcreeper

Unfortunately, both birds seen were very brief, but the size and overall uniform red-brown appearance are evident. 1 was amongst the Ant-Tanagers before the clearing on the Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road, the second beside the Vigia Chico road

Olivaceous Woodcreeper

This bird is much smaller than the above two, and has a plain grey-brown head, which contrasts with the more red-brown wings. 2 were in the woods of the Coba ruins

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper

This was the first Woodcreeper species seen, and was picked up on call by a guide in the woodland of Puerto Laguna. Subsequent birds were at Coba forest (3) and the Vigia Chico road (2)

Barred Antshrike

Although a male was hoped for, the single female next to the Vigia Chico road was almost as good, with the staring white eye the most obvious feature. Unfortunately, the bird remained hidden amongst leaves for most of its short stay

Vermilion Flycatcher 

The place to see these birds is on the north coast, where they are fairly common and very easy to see. 4 birds were seen on the road from Tizimin to Rio Logartos, 9 sightings on the two days at San Felipe mangroves (although some will have been of the same birds), and a further 6 birds in the Rio Logartos / Los Colorados area

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

A long-awaited species since my first trip to Florida Keys in 1992. A lone bird was perched in the open in front of the mangroves east of Puerto Morelos. It was presumably an adult female by its long tail and lack of colour (until flight, when it showed rust axillary area). From a distance, a passing glance likens them to Mockingbirds - how many more were missed due to the abundance of the latter birds?

Couch’s Kingbird 

Due to the similarities between this and Tropical Kingbird, the first positive identification was made on the track stop between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto. Many birds were subsequently specifically identified, but there were probably more of this species than the numbers suggest. Vigia Chico road (4), Chichen Itza (1), San Felipe (1), Los Colorados road (2), Botanical Gardens (4)

Tropical Kingbird

The first grey and yellow Kingbirds were identified as Tropical. Subsequently, it was obvious that Couch’s was more common than we had at first thought. Since the best distinguishing feature of the latter is its shorter and more thickly based bill, not all birds were split. Approximate numbers were therefore Cancun golf course (5), road from Cancun to Coba (24), Vigia Chico road (10), Rio Logartos / Los Colorados area (9), Puerto Morelos (2)

Boat-billed Flycatcher

Although the bill can be seen to be much larger than that of Great Kiskadee when seen well, we found the most reliable feature to be the plain brown back. Vigia Chico road (4), Chichen Itza area (8), Botanical Gardens (2)

Social Flycatcher

By far the most common of the three yellow and brown flycatchers, and very distinctive due to their small size and narrower, shorter bill. They live up to their name, with almost all birds in noisy groups of up to 12 birds (Vigia Chico road, where they were plainly unhappy at a Pygmy Owl tape). A nesting colony was found at the track stop between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto. Cancun golf course (2), road from Cancun to Coba (1), track between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto (4+), Coba Club Med hotel (6), Vigia Chico road (28), Chichen Itza area (45)

Bright-rumped Attilla

1 was close in at the Coba Mayan ruins, and the other a little more distant at the Botanical Gardens

Great Kiskadee

Best separated from Boat-billed Flycatcher by the rufous wings. Cancun golf course (group of 3), Vigia Chico road (4), road from Chichen Itza to Rio Logartos (3), Los Colorados road (3)

Brown-crested Flycatcher

Since the distinction between this species and Great Crested Flycatcher is very subtle, and distinctive field marks could not be seen, we unashamedly identified the 2 larger flycatchers seen as Brown-crested due to the extreme rarity of Great Crested in the area. Both birds were at Chichen Itza

Yucatan Flycatcher 

As with the two above species, separating this from Dusky-capped Flycatcher is difficult. Because of this, many of these birds were passed over if they cold not be seen well. However, singles at Vigia Chico road and Chichen Itza could clearly be seen to have rusty edged secondaries, and white edged tertials. Another bird at the Botanical Gardens seemed to have more rust edged tertials, which would indicate Dusky-capped Flycatcher, but wasn’t seen well enough to confirm this

Tropical Pewee

1 bird on the track stop between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto and 2 birds on the Vigia Chico road were separated from the very similar Eastern Wood-pewee on call (one of which was heard at the latter site). More birds were probably overlooked

Least Flycatcher 

Coba (1), Vigia Chico road (1)

Yellow-olive Flycatcher 

A calling bird at first unidentified was found to be this species when looking at video evidence. The dark eye, which originally through a spanner in the works for this bird, may indicate a juvenile

Common Tody-Flycatcher 

This was one of the surprises of the trip, and is a stunning little bird, with a very neotropical jizz. The first was seen very early on the first day, in the first corner of bushes searched at the edge of the Cancun golf course. A second bird was in the Botanical Gardens on the last morning

Caribbean Elaenia

The Elaenias are not particularly exciting, but do seem to have a distinctive (narrow) head shape as compared with other flycatchers. 1 was seen in front of the Coba Club Med hotel

Greenish Elaenia 

2 birds were seen on the Vigia Chico road

Rose-throated Becard

This is one of those species where the colouring on the female is vastly different from the male, but is equally as impressive. They usually occurred in mixed bird parties - Coba woods (1 male and 2 females), Vigia Chico road (1 male and 2 females), Chichen Itza (1 female)

Black-crowned Tityra 

As with the above, these birds are often in mixed parties - single females were seen on the Vigia Chico road and in the Botanical Gardens

Masked Tityra 

 2 very smart males were seen, one perched in the open briefly next to the Vigia Chico road, and the second at the top of a tree in the woods of the Chichen Itza ruins

Mangrove Swallow 

The north of the peninsular was the place for these, with around 75 birds over the San Felipe mangroves, and a further 60 or so feeding over the Los Colorados salt ponds

Tree Swallow

 The greatest concentration of these over-wintering birds was over the track between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto. There were in the order of 200 birds (mixed in with smaller numbers of Vaux’s Swift), and their direction of flight indicated that they might have begun migration. Smaller numbers of birds were in the Rio Logartos area (30) and the Vigia Chico road (2)

Grey-breasted Martin

The lack of grey collar and nasal area (as compared with female Purple Martin) are not as easy to see in flight as expected, so the odd Martins seen earlier in the week were not specifically identified. 4 birds at eye level from the Chichen Itza pyramid were this species, and a single bird at the San Felipe mangroves obligingly perched on a wire next to a male Purple Martin

Purple Martin 

The same difficulties arose with this bird as the above species. Single females were among the hordes of hirundines over the Tulum - Felipe Carillo Puerto track and Chichen Itza hotels, with a superb male on wires next to a Grey-breasted Martin at the San Felipe mangroves

Ridegway’s Rough-winged Swallow

3 birds were hawking for some time over the lagoon at Punta Laguna, and a single bird was over the lagoon at Coba

Cave Swallow

Although Cliff Swallows are only a casual migrant through the Yucatan area, the 50 or so birds over the Chichen Itza hotels could be identified as Cave Swallows by their obvious clean throats

American Pipit

1 bird at the Los Colorados salt ponds

Yucatan Wren

After a fruitless search along the Los Colorados road for these (where it was obvious that a closer look would have been needed anyway), at least 4 birds were behind the rubbish dump at the Rio Logartos crossroads. It was while filming these that the first Roadrunner appeared

White-browed Wren

This Yucatan & Guatemala subspecies was seen twice - 1 bird at Coba and 1 at Chichen Itza

Spot-breasted Wren

This Wren seems to have a reputation as being difficult to see, but we saw 3 birds very well - overgrown scrub adjacent to Coba Club Med (1), woods of Chichen Itza ruins (2)

(Southern) House Wren

1 bird was seen reasonably well in the undergrowth and low branches of the Botanical Gardens

White-bellied Wren 

Vigia Chico road (2 separate birds), Chichen Itza woods (1 near Spot-breasted Wren)

Grey Catbird 

Seen regularly in small numbers - Cancun golf course (2), Coba woods (3), Vigia Chico road (6), Chichen Itza (2), Botanical Gardens (2)

Black Catbird

As with Grey catbird, seen regularly throughout the week - Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto track (1), Vigia Chico road (5), Chichen Itza (2), Botanical Gardens (1)

Tropical Mockingbird 

Despite the lack of Northern Mockingbird, the two species are easy to separate anyway, with the Tropical birds having much less white in the wings. They are very common, being seen on every day in numbers up to about 50. We found on the last day that Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is superficially similar when looked at quickly and from a distance

Wood Thrush  

4 were in Coba woods and 1 in the Botanical Gardens, all typically rooting around on the ground under cover of the trees

Clay-coloured Robin

Coba (2), Vigia Chico road (1), Chichen Itza (6), Rio Logartos (2)

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher 

Vigia Chico road (2), Chichen Itza (5), Rio Logartos (2), Los Colorados road (4)

Tropical Gnatcatcher 

2 birds were seen, a female on the Vigia Chico road, and breeding plumaged male at the Botanical Gardens. The eye stripe is obviously large on both sexes (as compared to Caribbean)

Song Sparrow

Despite the reported scarcity of this species in this area, an individual on Cancun golf course fitted the description and past American experience exactly, particularly the central and side eye stripes, and flecking on the breast meeting to form a dark area in the centre. A further group of 5 birds were very similar, but noticeably smaller - who knows?

Blue-black Grassquit

Unfortunately, no black males were seen, so some time was taken before this species was definitely identified. Most birds were in small flocks of what were probably juvenile birds, with smaller numbers of juvenile Yellow-faced Grassquits mixed in. Chichen Itza (3), Los Colorados road (20)

White-collared Seedeater

Only the first bird seen, in the village area next to the Coba Club Med hotel, was a male. Small flocks then seen on the opposite shore of the lake (10) and the Vigia Chico road (6)

Yellow-faced Grassquit

Thankfully, the first 2 birds seen, in the grounds of the Hotel Hacienda at Chichen Itza, were both males. Subsequent birds numbered around 50 juveniles around 8km east of the Rio Logartos crossroads, on the Los Colorados road

Green-backed Sparrow

2 birds were seen well near the village on the shore of the Coba lagoon, showing black head stripes and pure grey base to the head (Yucatan Olive Sparrows have darker stripes than in other areas, and a buff-grey base colour to the head)

Northern Cardinal

3 males were seen - 2 at Vigia Chico, and 1 on the Los Colorados road

Black-headed Saltator

Road from Cancun to Coba (group of 8), Coba (1), Vigia Chico road (12), Chichen Itza (5)

Greyish Saltator

The only birds seen were 2 in the woods of Coba, among a bird party including Black-headed Saltator, Becards, etc

Grey-headed Tanager

A single bird was skulking in trees with Ant-Tanagers off the track between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto

Blue Grosbeak

A female was among the Seedeaters next to the southern shore of Lake Coba, and an almost breeding plumaged male in the mangroves east of Puerto Morelos

Painted Bunting

A full coloured male was in the small pool area between San Felipe and Rio Logartos crossroads

Indigo Bunting

All the birds seen were mainly brown, with some having a hint of blue on the tail and flight feathers - Chichen Itza (2), Tizimin to Rio Logartos road (6)

Red-throated Ant-Tanager 

Although males were present, all the birds I saw were females (or juveniles?). They were always in groups in the understorey, and often picked up on call. The buff coloured throat of this species is usually obvious. Cancun to Coba (1), Coba woods (10), off the track between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto (2 with Grey-headed Tanager and obvious ant swarm), Botanical Gardens (3), Vigia Chico road (2)

Red-crowned Ant-Tanager

Only 2 identified females / juveniles were seen, among the Red-crowned Ant-Tanager flock in Coba woods

Rose-throated Tanager 

A pair were off the Vigia Chico road, above the track at 6.4km

Summer Tanager

Clearing south of Punta Laguna (1 male), Vigia Chico road (1 male and 1 female), Chichen Itza (1 male and 3 females), Botanical Gardens (2 females)

Yellow-winged Tanager

A total of up to 6 birds were in the trees in front of the hotels at Chichen Itza

Scrub Euphonia

Coba Woods (3), track off Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road (1 male), Vigia Chico road (1 male), Chichen Itza hotel gardens (2 pairs building nests), Chichen Itza (2 more males), pool next to Tizimin to Rio Logartos road (1 very close singing male), Botanical Gardens (1 male)

Yellow-throated Euphonia 

2 males were seen, 1 singing in the woods at Coba, the other next to the Vigia Chico road

Black-and-White Warbler 

Cancun golf course (1), Punta Laguna woods (5), Vigia Chico road (3), Chichen Itza (4)

Blue-winged Warbler  

2 separate males were in the trees next to the Vigia Chico road

Northern Parula

Cancun golf course (3), Vigia Chico road (3), Chichen Itza (4), San Felipe (1), Los Colorados road (5)

Blackburnian Warbler 

6 birds were at Chichen Itza, around the hotel gardens and woods surrounding the ruins

Magnolia Warbler  

The most common wood warbler seen, with up to 12 birds every day

Palm Warbler

Cancun golf course (5), Punta Laguna (1), Coba (1), track from Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road (2), Vigia Chico road (1), Los Colorados road (2), Botanical Gardens (5)

Yellow Warbler

Due to the presence of the "Mangrove Warbler" subspecies, only males were positively identified. Cancun golf course (1), Chichen Itza (2)

"Mangrove Warbler" 

Cancun golf course (1), San Felipe mangroves (4)

Black-throated Green Warbler 

Punta Laguna (4), Coba (3), Chichen Itza (5), Botanical Gardens (1)

American Redstart

 Most of the birds were females. Cancun golf course (2), Punta Laguna (5), Coba (1), Vigia Chico road (16), Chichen Itza (4), Botanical Gardens (2)

Ovenbird  

Singles were at Coba ruins woods, Rio Logartos, and the Botanical Gardens

Northern Waterthrush

Coba ruins (1), Vigia Chico pools at 25km (6), Los Colorados road (2), Botanical Gardens (6)

Grey-crowned Yellowthroat

2 males and a female were in reeds on the southern shore of Coba lagoon

Common Yellowthroat

Cancun golf course (1), Coba (1), Vigia Chico road (4 males), road from Tizimin to Rio Logartos (1), San Felipe mangroves (2), Puerto Morelos (1)

Hooded Warbler 

3 males in stunning plumage were seen - 2 in the woods at Coba, and 1 in the Botanical Gardens

Grey-throated Chat 

A single female was seen in dense bush in an overgrown area behind the church at Chichen Itza. Despite its elusive nature, the characteristics could be seen well, including the constant fanning of the tail. A pair of Koati Mundis were foraging close by while searching for the bird

Bananaquit 

2 singles were seen - 1 on Cancun golf course, and another in the overgrown scrub bushy area adjacent to the Coba Club Med hotel

Rufous-browed Peppershrike

1 bird was in the woods beyond the corner of the clearing, found when walking the track between Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto. 2 birds were in one of the bird parties next to the Vigia Chico road

Yellow-green Vireo 

2 separate birds were in the woods within the Chichen Itza ruin site, and a third was singing at the Botanical Gardens

Yellow-throated Vireo

A single bird was in the gardens of the Hotel Hacienda, Chichen Itza

White-eyed Vireo

A common bird, seen on almost every day, with up to 20 each day

Yucatan Vireo

3 of these rather drab Vireos were in the Botanical Gardens

Mangrove Vireo

2 birds were in the Rio Logartos area - 1 opposite the San Felipe to Rio Logartos crossroads pool, and 1 in bushed next to the Los Colorados road

Lesser Greenlet

A single bird was in the first clearing along the Vigia Chico road, and up to 3 birds were in the Botanical Gardens

Yellow-billed Cacique 

Surprisingly, the only birds seen were a party of about 20 birds in the woods of the Coba ruins

Yellow-backed Oriole   

1 bird was in the clearing south of Punta Laguna, along with Hooded Orioles, as well as other species of birds. 1 was at the gate of Sian Ka’an reserve, along the track off the Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road, and 2 further birds were outside the Coba Club Med hotel early morning

Hooded Oriole 

The most common Oriole seen - birds were found every day of the trip. Clearing south of Punta Laguna (7), track off Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road (2), Coba (20 outside hotel early morning), Vigia Chico road (4), Chichen Itza (18), San Felipe mangroves (4), Puerto Morelos mangroves (4)

Altamira Oriole 

When on their own, the larger size compared to Hooded was not always evident, but the Orange upper wingbar could usually be seen. Clearing south of Punta Laguna (1), track off Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road (1), Coba Club Med hotel (4 early morning), Chichen Itza (12), Los Colorados road (1)

Orchard Oriole

Coba Club Med hotel (15 early morning), Los Colorados road (4), Puerto Morelos mangroves (3)

Red-winged Blackbird

The area to see these birds was around the San Felipe mangroves. Some birds were in and around the mud and trees, but 100-200 were flying over late afternoon on the first day and morning of the second

Melodious Blackbird 

Seen every day except the last full day, with numbers from 10 to 200 (latter in large flocks flying to roost late afternoon over San Felipe mangroves)

Great-tailed Grackle 

From this being the first bird seen (from the aeroplane window), it was seen every day in numbers from 10 to many (when counting stopped). The equivalent of our whole Crow family!

Yucatan Jay

A startling bird when seen in close up - the best views were of 2 juveniles pacing the bushes around a vast line of ants working their way over the Vigia Chico road. Other birds were at the clearing south of Punta Laguna (15 in one group), track off Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road (2), Vigia Chico road (2 birds displaying), Puerto Morelos mangroves (3)

Green Jay

"Oriole bush" in clearing south of Punta Laguna (1), track off Tulum to Felipe Carillo Puerto road (1), Vigia Chico road (6)

Brown Jay 

These turned out to be a very noisy and quite unattractive bird, as well as being larger than expected. Despite their noise levels, they were very difficult to approach. Vigia Chico road (30), Botanical Gardens (6)

 

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