Friday, December 28, 2012

Birding on Cozumel Island-Day 1

Eric writes:  Our first day in Mexico consisted of flying into Cancun in the morning, hopping on an ADO bus to Playa del Carmen, hopping onto a ferry to Cozumel, and then lots of walking.  When we arrived on Cozumel we were set to meet our CouchSurfing host, Oscar, at the University on the island.  It turned out a bit more complicated when there were two people who worked at the university with the same name.  After a while we got it figured out; then walked to his house where we were staying for the next two nights.

A view of Playa del Carmen from the ferry across to Cozumel-notice
the big Christmas tree.
Black Catbird-An endemic to the Yucatan and northern Belize

Bananaquit-We even saw one of these in the fruit section of  a grocery
store on Cozumel.
On our walk to the university and on the university's grounds we picked up a couple of nice warbler species, Black Catbird, and Bananaquit.  Oscar's house was on the edge of town so the next morning we got going early and with only a couple minute walk we were in some nice birding habitat.  Our main targets were the endemic species and subspecies.  The species were Cozumel Vireo, Emerald, and Wren (which currently is considered a subspecies of House Wren, although it sounds nothing like one and looks a bit different as well).  Within the first couple hours we had great looks at Cozumel Vireo and Emerald.  But hadn't seen any sign of the wren.

Female Cozumel Emerald-we also saw a few males but I was
never able to get a picture of one.

A Cozumel Vireo-we ended up having many of this species on the island.
We spent the afternoon relaxing (and avoiding the heat) at Oscar's house.  Later we found some new habitat to bird which turned out to be very productive-we had almost every endemic in this location in the afternoon and the following morning.  At night we came back to this same spot and Ethan was able to get some great recordings of Common Pauraque.

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