Pacific Coast of Mexico – part 1

I enjoyed my first 2 weeks in Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico recently, my first ever holiday in this part of the world. So as you would expect I was quite excited about the birds that would be seen during our time there.

I was not disappointed with at the current count (more still have birds seen to be identified and more photographs need to be reviewed – I brought back over 2,700 photos!) a total of 66 species being photographed with 12 more species to be confirmed as to their names plus birds seen and not photographed; I would estimate 85 to 90 species were seen with at least 80 of these being lifers!

First a little on the area around our hotel, it was situated on the pacific coastline in Nuevo Vallarta 10 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta on a stretch of road loaded with hotels possibly 3 to 4 miles long with a road behind the hotels then to the right what the locals called “the jungle”, the view from our hotel room below gives you a sense of what they meant, “the jungle” was no more than 5 minutes away from wherever you walked.

IMG_4235-2

From the view above from my hotel balcony I saw Grey Hawk, Common Mangrove Hawk, White Ibis, Streak Backed Oriole, Black &  Turkey Vulture, Caspian Tern, Streak Backed Oriole, Great Kiskadee & loads more!

Below are a few images (with some notes) that I managed to capture of the wonderful birdlife in this rich area.

NVTurkVulture6103b
Turkey Vulture
NVBlackVulture6103
Black Vulture

Walks along the road next to the hotels gave great views of birds like these below.

NVStreaBackOriolec
Streak Backed Oriole
BucerOrchOriole
Orchard Oriole
NVGrKiskadeeb
Great Kiskadee
NVWhiColSeedeater
While Collared Seedeater
NVAhninga
Ahninga
NVThikBillKingbird
Thick Billed Kingbird
NVGoldCheekWdpecker 17.54.21
Golden Cheeked Woodpecker
NVTropKingbirdc
Tropical Kingbird
NVGroBillAnii
Groove Billed Ani
NVWhiWingDove
White Winged Dove

These were not the only birds seen on our daily walks just an example of those seen up close and from afar. There was also a small side road that lead to the mangroves opposite our hotel and this was a great spot to see birds such as Greyish Salvador, Yellow Winged Cacique and various warblers I managed to capture with my camera but still need IDing.  Below are a few of the birds I saw in this quite and shady area near the mangroves.

NVBlueGreyGnatcatcher
Blue Grey Gnatcatcher
NVBlueMockingbird
Blue Mockingbird
NVLincolnSparrowc
Lincoln’s Sparrow
NVIncaDove
Inca Dove
NVRufusBackThrushe
Rufous Backed Thrush

Beach walks were entertaining too with regular views of high and low flying Magnificent Frigatebirds, Tern’s aplenty (photo’s being worked on) Heermann’s and Laughing Gulls plus the unmissable Brown Pelicans. Very distant views of a target bird for me the Blue Footed Booby were seen in Banderas Bay that our hotel was located.

NVMagFrigatebirdb
Magnificent Frigatebird
NVHerrmanGulld
Heermann’s Gull
NVLaughingGullc
Laughing Gull
NVLiEgretb
Snowy Egret

I saw Whimbrel and Willet working the coast in pairs on more than one occasion and these birds were very confident too coming within 6 feet or even less of the people on the beach.

NVWhimbrelb
Whimbrel
NVWillet
Willet

The Brown Pelicans look odd anyway but when diving for food in the sea they took on a pre-historic appearance as you can see below.

NVBroPelicanj
Brown Pelican
NVBroPelicang
Brown Pelican

The hotel grounds were busy with Boat Tailed Grackle and I think Common Grackle too along with Yellow Warbler and House Finch.

NVGrackleb
Boat Tailed Grackle
NVYelWarblerb
Yellow Warbler
NVMournDove
Mourning Dove
NVHseFinchc
House Finch

This is the first of a trio of blogs on the trip more to follow soon.