[Warning: This post contains photos taken under extremely dark conditions. If you are sensitive to photos that are underexposed, overexposed, or grainy, please view with caution.]
I imagine that I’ve birded in a reasonably big selection of locations: ten nations, on three continents, and counting. And, having birded now in such western Mexican coastal cities as Acapulco, Ixtapa, Lázaro Cárdenas, and Puerto Vallarta, I’ve spent my justifiable share of time in dry tropical forests. I even made one journey with the particular objective of birding on Mexico’s a lot wetter jap coast, visiting completely different websites alongside the very stretched-out state of Veracruz.
However even in that final journey, I solely actually acquired the possibility to spend a couple of hours in true humid tropical rainforest. So final month, when my new birding buddy Rolando Chávez, in Mexico’s southeastern state of Tabasco, supplied to take me to a little bit of that state’s remaining rainforest… Properly, he didn’t should ask twice.
Due to the place I used to be housed throughout that journey, Rolando determined to take me to a beautiful little bit of rainforest by the little city of Malpasito. “Malpasito” could possibly be translated, maybe, as a “little misstep”. However going there was no misstep.
First off, being on this forest jogged my memory of being in a high-end florist store, or maybe a houseplant nursery. The jungle was surprisingly colourful, and it appeared I had already seen many of those flowers and vegetation, in additional synthetic settings.
One among our extra thrilling birds for the day even turned out to have an particularly intimate relationship with one of many vegetation. Rolando instructed me this tree was generally referred to, by the locals, because the Palo de Gringo, or the Gringo Tree. That’s as a result of, just like the pores and skin of the gringos who go to Mexico’s seashores, the Palo de Gringo’s bark is pink, and peels.
This tree’s roots may be fairly cool, too.
When you have a lot curiosity in birds, you might properly have seen movies of the very comical mating dance of male Purple-capped Manakins, a species whose vary stretches from southeast Mexico to South America. Properly, we didn’t see a male, and we didn’t see his dance. However we did see a feminine constructing a nest; so such a dance will need to have occurred. And what was she gathering to construct that nest? At least the peeled bark of the Palo de Gringo tree.
Having been denied the chance to hen in a rainforest for thus lengthy, I had fairly constructed up fairly a want listing. And never a lot of my needs had been denied. For instance, highland Michoacán has two attractive trogon species. However each of these have vibrant pink bellies, and I had at all times wished to see one in every of tropical Mexico’s trogon species with yellow bellies. A beautiful male Gartered Trogon match the invoice properly.
As soon as this trogon opened its mouth to vocalize, it earned a spot on my ever-growing listing of Birds that Look Like Muppets.
In the identical approach, all of central Michoacán’s woodpeckers are black and white and pink throughout. I knew coastal Mexico had greenish woodpeckers, however I had by no means seen one. By no means, that’s, till at the present time, once I met the Golden-olive Woodpecker.
I might have liked to see my first Pale-billed Woodpecker, however was keen to accept a beautiful Lineated Woodpecker, one in every of Mexico’s largest, though I had seen a couple of in Veracruz state.
And who wouldn’t wish to see a member of the toucan household? This one was a Collared Aracari.
One does see pictures of ravishing tropical tanagers. However one doesn’t count on to really see one, on this case, a Golden-hooded Tanager.
Western Mexico has just one species of motmot, so I used to be actually hoping to see one of many southeast’s a number of different species. Lesson’s Motmots had been calling distintively from many components of the woods, however most remained stubbornly out of sight. This one was within the deepest potential brush and shade. However it did showcase an impressively giant pair of “racquet” tail feathers.
Equally, southeastern Mexico provides many extra species of woodcreepers than the 2 I can see in Michoacán. Today alone we noticed two species, each lifers for me, together with this Wedge-billed Woodcreeper. It actually was completely different from the long-billed woodcreepers I’m used to seeing.
I had little-to-no data of the Lengthy-billed Gnatwren, so it was not on my want listing. However it ought to have been! This little fellow was amazingly hyperactive, so I’m grateful even for this nearly unsalvageable picture. It reveals the hen’s comical form. And that’s all that issues.
The Vivid-rumped Attila is without doubt one of the few species we noticed that day which I also can see in central Michoacán. However it saved following us round, demanding to be photographed. So I did.
In the long run, I walked away from Malpasito with a reasonably spectacular twenty-two lifers, in simply in the future. I want I had good pictures of all of them. This second day of great birding in Tabasco left me with an inventory of 96 species for the state. Yet another species close to my non permanent house there, in addition to three extra seen on my return journey two weeks later, left me with a pleasant even 100 Tabascan species.