Baja California - Cape Region - 24th January - 1st February 2003

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT


by Steve Mlodinow

One lovely morning on the shores of Ensenada La Paz, I learned two things: Why we evolved toes and why we invented shoes. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The pursuit of birding under sunny skies was the original purpose of this 3rd trip in 12 months to Baja. Our flight down was uneventful enough, and by the time we arrived, all that lingered from the previous week's stress was the dull remnants of a migraine. That afternoon, the same day that began in soggy Seattle, we were wandering the glowing shores of Estero San Jose bathed in photons. Sadly, the Estero continues to be degraded. One bank is being shored up by rocks and steel mesh, while trees and brush are being cleared. The passerine numbers, consequently, are dropping, including a rather impressive decline in Belding's Yellowthroats. I have a saying, however. Well, actually I have several, but only one apropos of the moment. "When the birding is slow, get thee to the sewage ponds."

So, there we went. A bit upstream from the Estero is the San Jose del Cabo Sewage Treatment Plant. In the vicinity of the sewage ponds, there is actually relatively little waterbird habitat, but the riparian habitat remains tasty. The trees around the sewage ponds were alive with passerines, including excellent numbers of warblers, orioles, and tanagers. A few Belding's Yellowthroats scolded from the reeds. Among flitting flocks of Orange-crowneds, Yellows, and Yellow-rumpeds (both Audubon's and Myrtles) we had my 1st BCS Nashville Warbler.

The morning of 25 January started at the Estero. The landbirding was a total yawn. Waterbirds, however, remained delightfully plentiful. Eight White-fronted Geese were there, presumably remnants of the flock of 12 found in October. Both yellowlegs, Snowy and Semipalmated Plovers, Killdeer, etc worked the Estero edges. Reddish Egrets danced insanely for their piscine audience. Frigatebirds bathed by bouncing off the water like giant skipping stones. Over the Estero, a flock of swallows fed. Mostly Violet-greens, but including 3 Barns, 3 Cliffs, and a Bank. Migrant? Winterers? The greatest treat for me here were 2 Large-billed Savannah Sparrows that provided long and close study.

Admittedly somewhat disheartened by the dearth of passerines, we headed to Caduano for a change in scenery. Bill Tweit and I had scouted the town a wee bit in October just before heading for the airport. We were fascinated by the pueblo's potential. Casey and I parked in the town square. Our pishing began. The 2nd bird to pop into view (the first was a Yellow Warbler) was a male Black-throated Blue Warbler! Suddenly, the frustrations of the morning went "Poof". We took a stroll through this picturesque village. A Thick-billed Kingbird called from the same tree as in October. We entered the ag fields and encountered a strip of mesquite with a dribble of water passing through it. We stopped and Casey promptly spotted a Black-and-White Warbler. What followed was the most impressive flock of passerines I've encountered in Baja. Orange-crowneds and Yellows streamed in. Suddenly, a Magnolia Warbler appeared and worked its way past us. Then, a Bell's Vireo came by. Then a Plumbeous. Green-tailed Towhees mewed from the shrubs. Scrub-Jays yakked from the taller mesquites. Western Tanagers clucked from behind us. A Northern Parula appeared. Sadly, it was then that a truck sin muffler wheezed past and the flock evaporated. Who knows what else was traveling with that crowd?

We finished that day in Miraflores. No rarities excepting an American Redstart, but we continued to see good numbers of passerines.

The dawn chorus on the Miraflores wash was not as I had remembered. Roosters, dogs, and even turkeys. Add in the shouts of people and it was a bit much. And we weren't even in town. For some reason, this morning was different from my previous mornings here. And the birding was surprisingly slow, especially given last pm's success. There was some joy, however. A few cool dragonflies, a neon-blue tailed young whiptail, and we refound the Hooded Warbler from October - a fine male. We also tallied 7 Thick-billed Kingbirds. I am sure that a careful survey of the area would yield more.

By the time we'd spent walked both up and downstream, the day was mostly gone. So, it was back to the Estero. Landbirding remained poor, but the waterbirds were plentiful. Gull diversity was up and we had a GW Gull and a couple Herrings in addition to the regular California, Heermann's and Laughing.

Enticed by our previous success, our third morning started at Caduano. We were again greeted by the Black-throated Blue Warbler. Overall, oddly, birds were fewer than during our afternoon visit. We did see a shockingly vivid Summer Tanager and the parula briefly reappeared. The Thick-billed Kingbird was still squeaking from his tree. Next was Santiago. This town encircles a wet sink filled with cattails. Most of the vegetation is palm trees, but there are some areas with more woody diversity. Again, Thick-billed Kingbirds were in evidence, and we totaled at least 4. One of the wetter and better spots with trees yielded 3 American Redstarts. The marsh itself has interesting potential. One Sora volunteered, but I'd be surprised if a large number of rails aren't living here. A nocturnal foray with tape recorder would be most interesting. Also, the marsh throbs with yellowthroats. At just a couple access points we tallied 40+ Commons and 13 Belding's. The marsh as a whole must have at least 10 times (and maybe 100x) this number. Lunch was had at a small café in town. The Tacos de Camarones, adorned with guacamole and pico de gallo, were fabulous.

January 28th: Time to leave San Jose del Cabo. We were ready. To be honest, we were weary of tourist town and yearned for the more down-to-earth La Paz. We were going to start at San Bartolo, but some fine habitat at Las Cuevas stopped us short. Las Cuevas (town name not marked on roads, but is on maps) is where a road to La Ribera meets Hwy 1. On one side of the road is a few houses with nice plantings. On the other side are some largish mesquite shielding a few farm fields from the highway. At first, it was discouragingly slow - perhaps it was a tad early. Then we crossed to the mesquite side of the road and boom!- birds everywhere. White-crowned Sparrows, Orange-crowned Warblers - the usual suspects. Plus an Indigo Bunting and a Black-and-white Warbler. Interestingly, this was not the first time on this trip that we found the mesquite to be the better habitat early in the morning, with the larger trees becoming more interesting later in the day. This difference did not seem apparent in October.

Next stop, San Bartolo. Nestled on the steep sides of a wash, this place reeks of potential. Casey and I found it birdy in March, though Tweit and I found it wanting in birdlife during October (though great for lizards). Some of the October shortfall may have been due to mid-day heat and wind. Anyway, this time we were almost immediately in birds. One flowering, but leafless, tree held almost 50 Orange-crowneds plus YRWAs, Hooded Orioles, Xantus's Hummingbirds, a Bell's Vireo and so on. I also heard a Cassin's/Plumbeous Vireo singing. When I finally achieved binoculation a few minutes later, I was startled to see a rather bright bird. The sides were a bit clouded with olive for a Blue-headed Vireo and the secondary edges were a bit dull, but had I seen this bird in Chicago instead of Baja, I could have talked myself into it being a Blue-headed. Anyway, after 15 minutes or so of singing like a typical Cassin's, it starts to give riffs of unadulterated Blue-headed Vireo. This goes on for a minute or two, then it's back into Cassin's mode. So very peculiar. The head pattern was really like a Blue-headed. Tremendous contrast, in all lights, between throat and auriculars. Hybrid? Extreme bright end of Cassin's? The more I learn, the less I know.

Since we'd landed, I'd been anticipating the La Paz Sewage Treatment Ponds (known to local birders as the Oxidation Ponds). Ahhhh. The sweet smell. The oozling "residuals." As a STP connoisseur, I give it an "A+". This visit did not disappoint. Hundreds of Black-necked Stilts yapped away, while teal dabbled and Orange-crowned Warblers flitted. Along one edge of the Oxidation Ponds is flooded pastureland. This area is as interesting as the sewage ponds themselves. We were standing on the pastures edge and saw a circling Buteo. I almost didn't lift my bins. When I did, I was rather shocked by this birds blackness. Confused, I thought of Zone-tailed Hawk (though the shape was wrong). So, my eye drifted tailwards (keep your bad jokes to yourself). The tail was that of a Harlan's I thought. It took a moment for the rather extreme rarity to penetrate. The bird was 1/4 plus miles away and heat waves/wind made videotaping impossible. Occasionally, it would launch itself over the pasture, make a circuit, and return to its perch. The white streaking on the otherwise black underparts was clear. The tail pattern, above and below, was Harlan's. No red. I later found out that Roberto Carmona had seen the bird 3 times previously this winter. The pasture beneath the Harlan's was seething with activity: 200+ Long-billed Dowitchers, hundreds of teal, hundreds of blackbirds (all Red-winged and Brewer's). A group of 30 Caracara fed on a decaying cow carcass. Among the teal was a hybrid BW X Cinnamon. Only the 2nd such bird I've seen. On the way out we noted 15 BB Whistling-Ducks feeding on "Residuals" as they entered the sewage ponds. No sign of the Canada Goose from Mar/Oct 2002. It had either left or, more likely, met its demise.

That night Casey and I met Roberto Carmona and his wife Monica. Roberto is a slender man of short stature and intense energy. His eyes smile. Roberto is a professor (as is Monica) at University de la Baja California Sur. His main area of study is Western Sandpipers, and he has maintained an impressive banding study of these birds at Ensenada La Paz. Among other findings, he as noted that ~80% or La Paz's Westerns are males, with a disproportionate number of juvs. Across the Sea of Cortez in Sinaloa, another ornithologist has noted mostly males, but predominantly adults. On Mexico's east coast, ~80% of Westerns are females. So, Roberto, Monica, Casey, and I wandered a few blocks down along La Paz's scenic bayside (sadly, my favorite dinner place from October is now open only for lunch) and ate outside in glorious comfort.

And I forgot. The purpose of this meeting. To arrange for me to join Roberto and hunt for a Terek Sandpiper found by one of his students this fall. Roberto had seen it 3 or so times in the past week or two, so prospects seemed good. My job - video documentation.

Roberto picked my bleary-eyed self up at 4:15 the next morning. We packed up the mist nets and other materials and went to the festive mudflats of Ensenada La Paz. Headlamps on, the University crew set up mist nets at the mud's edge. That task accomplished, we sat on higher ground and waited for the rising tide, sipping coffee.

Thirty minutes later the nets yielded a Western and a Least. Both were fit with their multi-colored anklets. Going in style. Ready for Calidris Vogue. Unlike the old style metal bands, these birds can be relocated by telescope-bearing birders in Washington, Alaska, Sinaloa - wherever. Time passed. The sun came up. No more sandpipers entered the nets. So, Roberto stalked out onto the flats. Light of foot (and fleet of foot), Roberto circled behind the peeps. The plan was solid, but the shorebirds were not cooperating. Twas as if they knew they were being herded, so they would just fly around behind Roberto. Their calls seemed to taunt. The lack of action was clearly disappointing. We were back at our resting spot. Roberto and I were considering the Terek hunt, when suddenly 40 peeps hit the net. The group leaped into action galloping across the mudflats with loud squishing noises. Though the group was good at getting birds safely out of the net, Roberto was clearly a master, untangling birds with deft fingers. The bags carried by Gina and the students had filled with birds. Roberto put a couple in the capacious vest pockets. It looked like his heart was going to burst forth. An unsuspecting passerby would have been terrified. Little chance of that, though, while standing in 6" of fetid mud.

The search for the Terek started easily enough. A gentle breeze and wispy clouds kept the temperature moderate. Unshod, we squelched easily across relatively sturdy mud. 30 minutes. 45 minutes. No Terek. I could see frustration mount in Roberto's eyes. In the meantime, the going got tougher. In places, my ever more hefty self would go calf deep into muck. In boots, this would have been a great challenge. Beyond the risk of boots getting sucked off your feet, there would have been a lot of sliding and slipping issues. Ahhhh, but with exposed toes, those ever present but oft ignored appendages, you can grip the slippery slime and maintain balance. However, under this soft overcoat lived bivalves with pointy little shells. "Woop-dee-do", you say. Well, that's fine for you, but me feet were saying something entirely unprintable. During one stop, I found a Gull-billed Tern. Roberto was about to step over and peer through my scope but noticed that my left foot was in a small puddle of blood. I manfully shrugged it off while pondering the access of anaerobes to my circulatory system and the effectiveness of the antibiotics at my hotel room.

Fifteen minutes later, a crazed sandpiper dashed through my scope from left to right. Before I could react, it dashed back right to left. Its legs were orange, its bill long and upturned. "TEREK SANDPIPER", I yelled. Soon Roberto was on it and video was running. The bird seemed insane. All around, Western Sandpipers were sedately probing the mud. Dowitchers did their sewing machine imitations. Semipalmated Plovers were walking about poking here, poking there. And through this business-like atmosphere whipped the Terek, like a school-child in need of Ritalin. Clearly, it's the Reddish Egret of shorebirds.

Several times the bird would fly a hundred yards or so, and we'd pursue. Once, trying to refind it, I found a Red Knot, apparently only the 3rd for La Paz. Simultaneously, Roberto relocated the Terek. We swapped scopes. Another time, Roberto danced (not unlike the Terek), across a wetter strip of mud. I plunged hip-deep. The terror of similar past experiences welled up inside. The potential embarrassment of it flashed through my mind. Shore was a long way away. "Swimming" through the mud face down, as I had done several years prior on Whidbey Island, Washington, did not seem enticing. Roberto, calm and bemused, beckoned for my tripod. Knowing him to be an honest man, I passed it forward. Thanks to Stairmaster for the positive outcome that followed.

Happy, and smelling of the mire, we rejoined the banding crew, gathered Maria and Luis, and headed for "The Tank" - a reservoir to which water travels from the Oxidation Ponds. This pond was full of ducks being eyed by a very dark immature Peregrine (which eventually dispatched a hapless Mourning Dove). The highlight here was 35 Least Grebes, well in excess of previous La Paz tallies. The day ended at the Unversidad's lab, where I videotaped specimens of Stilt Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper for Dick Erickson. Roberto was clearly revered here. People came in to greet him, exchanging hugs and quick pecks on the cheek, asking questions. Gina came in dressed like a professor and looking somewhat startlingly pretty. The students worked hard (all bachelor's candidates write a thesis - Luis' is on Least Sandpipers), but they also clearly loved what they did and who they did it with.

Todos Santos. Home of Hotel California (as in "You can check out, but you can never leave" fame). Home of ex-pats, artists, and new-agers. A charming blend of traditional Mexico and untraditional U.S.A. Also, home of October's Mourning Warbler and other rarities. Casey and I had found little here in March 2002, but Bill and I hit it rich in October 2002. We started at the city park, where Casey promptly found a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. After that, though, the birding slowed. Interestingly, there was considerably more water here in January than post-hurricane Oct. A local informed us that water levels were rising without explanation. Farms were being flooded out. Avocado trees were dying. An amazing phenomenon in a desert with rain for months (and without outside irrigation). Consequently, the pond by the beach at Posada La Poza was too high for shorebirds. But there were lotsa ducks and a Neotropic Cormorant. A spectacular, if pricey, lunch was had at the Adobe Restaraunt in town.

My final full day was along the road to San Antonio de la Sierra. I rented a Jeep Wrangler from the Dollar Rental Car agency at our hotel (Los Arcos, from which, we could see Brown and Blue-footed Boobies). This small, canvas-topped vehicle without a/c would not have been good for the entire trip (no place to hide stuff, hot, etc), but it was well-suited for the day's events. About 100 minutes from the hotel, I found an oak-lined wash 16.5 km up from the highway. Tweit and I had commented on this place's potential but lacked time to bird it. This wash (apparently named Arroyo de Agua de San Antonio) was filled with acorn-loving birds. Acorn Woodpeckers yakked incessantly, Band-tailed Pigeons hooted and flapped overhead, W Scrub-Jays glided through the shrubs, and a couple of Hutton's Vireos burst into querulous song. Spotted Towhees, Chipping and Lark Sparrows abounded. And, a mile or so upstream, a Baird's Junco popped into view almost stopping my heart.

The road to km 23 really didn't require high ground clearance until the last km or two. I got out at the wash to be greeted by grunting pigs, neighing goats, and mooing cows. The place looked desolate. My heart dropped. I chose to plod on anyway. Five minutes later a sound slowly penetrated my subconscious. It was the sound of robins. For the next hour, I played with San Lucas Robins. There were at least 30 here and maybe double that. There were also heaps of Acorn Woodpeckers and a tree festooned with 18 Band-tailed Pigeons (noting that the local race lacks a distinct tail band). Another White-breasted Nuthatch called from the oaks, another endemic race. And, a flock of 6 Baird's Juncos pished readily in, one almost close enough to touch.

Our final morning. The Oxidation Ponds. We ran into Luis (who had caught a White-collared Seedeater in his Least Sandpiper mistnet!). The Harlan's appeared distantly, but the excellent conditions allowed digiscoping. The hybrid teal was still there with his Blue-winged Teal amiga. All was well. On the way back to the airport, 20 km from the sea (and 6 km northwest of San Bartolo), a Magnificent Frigatebird drifted over the parched desert while Louis Armstrong sang "Wonderful World". Indeed.


San Jose del Cabo: from where airport road meets hwy 1, go 12.5 km south to roundabout with big yellow abstract sculpture. Go 3/4 way around roundabout (essentially turning left). In .4km, will encounter to closely spaced stop signs. Go left at 2nd one. In 1.2 km, will reach a small roundabout. To get to Estero San Jose go straight and park at road's end in .3km. Walk past Da Antonio Restaurant to access both brushy habitats and estuary. To reach San Jose del Cabo STP, go back to small roundabout and go 1/4 way around (essentially turning right if coming from Estero). In 1.0 km a small paved road goes to right. Park on main road and walk down side road, which has some tasty looking trees. This road will take you to wash. Bird wash and head upstream. San Jose del Cabo Golf Course is reached by heading north from the big roundabout with the yellow sculpture. Go north .4km and turn right. Take 1st right turn into El Mesa, the SJDC Golf Course Restaurant. Bird trees around restaurant. Can access GC from vacant lot next to restaurant. Go left along GC edge until reaching clubhouse (1/4 to ½ mile). Can get back to road from here and walk back to car. The road itself has some nice looking trees.

Caduano: elevation 600': Go 23.5 km north from airport turnoff on hwy 1. Turn left at Caduano turnoff (well-marked). In 1.2 km, turn right. Park in quaint small city park at town center. Bird little park and then down road (continuing in direction you'd just been driving). After a couple hundred yards will reach a dirt road/track heading off to right without gate. Bird down this road, which will eventually take you back to road you'd driven in on. Turn right there and walk back to car (this last bit is not very birdy).

Miraflores: elevation 650': From Caduano turnoff, go another 5.2 km north on hwy 1. Turn left at well-marked Miraflores turnoff (there is a Pemex station here). After turning left, go 2.6 km until road ends in a 'T'. Turn left. In .2km will reach a stop sign. Turn right here. In .1 km will pass 'Alas Madres' statue in the road. Start birding .2 to .3 km after the statue. The wash is .7km from the statue. Bird along road and wash. At about the .2 to .3 km point (past statue), a small footpath goes off to the right. Bill and I had Hooded Warbler and Indigo Bunting here in Oct and Casey and I had an American Redstart here in Jan. Just before the wash there are two tracks to the left. The one farthest from the wash goes back into some farm areas and was very birdy. The other follows on the edge of the wash and is worth walking. Across the wash from town, just on the left side, is the best little piece of habitat and is where the Hooded Warbler, found in Oct, is wintering.

Santiago: elevation 400': 13.6 km north of Miraflores turnoff, turn left (well-marked) to Santiago. In 2.0 km, you'll enter town. In .4 km thereafter, a road goes right into ag lands. Bird along road briefly. Turn left in .6km. Along this stretch the cattail marsh is accessible in several spots and there is some modestly birdy brush as well. In 2.1 km, you can left to Plaza Publica or straight to the zoo. Just before this intersection, a small road descends into some moist woody habitat - the best we saw in town and it had 3 American Redstarts and a Thick-billed Kingbird. Zoo is .3km from intersection and seemed to have decent habitat but few birds. To get to town center (and perhaps lunch), turn left and go .6km. Then turn left again. In .7 km, you'll reach town center. Some of the nearby neighborhoods are fairly birdy.

Las Cuevas: elevation 200': 22km north of Miraflores on hwy 1. There is a sign here pointing to La Ribera down a sandy road to the right. On the left side of the road (when heading towards La Paz) are a few building with nice plantings. On the right side of the road are some mesquite and a few small farm fields.

San Bartolo: elevation 1100': From La Ribera turnoff, go 32.4 km. There is an abandoned house with impressive plantings on the right side of the road here. In another 2.8km, you'll be within San Bartolo. Turn here to your left and straight down to wash (in .2 to .3km). This road is marked for San Bartolo Micronides Station. Bird mostly to your left along town's edge, though there is some good habitat directly across from town where water springs forth from the hillside.

San Antonio: 27.4 km north of San Bartolo on hwy 1 turn left and go .2km and park. Bird the wash that head off left and forward. Also bird around town. Great in Oct. Dull in Jan.

Road to San Antonio de la Sierra: From San Antonio, go 8.4 km back to the south on hwy 1. Highway here curves left and a dirt road goes straight. Take dirt road 16.5 km to oak-lined wash (elevation 2500'). I birded downstream (to right), but upstream looks good, too. This wash is apparently named Arroyo de Agua de San Antonio. At 23.6 km from hwy 1, will reach wash with cottonwoods (elevation 2150'). I birded upstream. A couple of places where sidestreams come in were particularly good. Wash downstream looks driveable with 4-wheel drive, anyway and there seems to be some good habitat a km or 2 away. This wash is apparently named Arroyo Cholla. The main road is passable, with some care, with a large sedan, though the last km or two is tricky. As you are headed uphill between the two washes, there are some places where the road forks (only to converge later). Take the left hand fork (when headed away from hwy 1) both times. About .8km past Arroyo Cholla there are a couple more good small stream crossings, but venturing past the first with a sedan would be brave. I drove to 27km where the road was challenging and time ran out. There was no apparent habitat here, but the road goes much farther.

La Paz: From San Antonio, go 28.7 km. At this point a road to Todos Santos goes sharply back to your left. Continue straight to La Paz. For the La Paz Sewage Treatment Ponds: In another 25.9 km, take left turn (marked to Ciudad Constitucion). At 3.2 km, turn left and follow road around whale tail statue. On far side of whale tail, do a U-turn. You'll see the a sign for Planta de Tratamiento de Agua Residuales on your right. Turn here. Go over hump. Follow either track straight. In .8km, turn right down another sandy road (there is another small sign here). Park in .3km. Note that for shorebirds that like tidal areas, the STP is best at high tide. To get to Ensenada La Paz, go back around whale tail and continue towards airport. After passing airport, you'll see the mudflats on your right. A number of roads traverse the barren junky desert to the mudflats' edge. Don't drive on wet soil. You can park and walk towards water's edge. And actually, bare feet (once you leave the glass-strewn area) works best. Beware of sucking mud though. For Hotel Los Arcos (which we highly recommend), go back to where you turned for Ciudad Constitucion. Turn left. In 3.7 km, turn left (there is a McDonald's visible from here). Go 1.8 km and turn right. In 1.0 km you'll be at Los Arcos.

Todos Santos: From 'Y' mentioned above, take right hand road towards Todos Santos. In 50.5 km you'll be in town. Take left (marked to Cabo San Lucas). Take next right and you'll be at park in .8km. A brushy area behind some houses across street is worth birding, too. To get to ag areas, from city park, go back the way you came .4km to Hidalgo and turn left. Go one block and turn right. Go one block and turn left. In 1.4km (from town park), bird the hillside on your right and the adjacent field. After birding here, take dirt road that is directly opposite the field/hillside you just birded (there are some small signs for Posada La Poza here). In 1.3 km, take a left to Posada La Poza. The road here is now quite muddy, so it may not be passable. There are other ways to wend your way through town to La Poza. The pond is behind this restaurant. Another spot that looked promising is on the way back to La Paz. Heading back to La Paz, turn down a dirt road shortly after the 50km marker. Go a short distance (I think .2 km) until you see an arch on your left. Turn here, drive .2km and park. There are some dirt tracks following under power lines with some nice looking brush and seeps.

More details on how to bird these areas is in previous trip reports (click here).


note that all sightings from 31 Jan are along road to San Antonio de la Sierra at elevations between 2100 and 2500 feet.

Least Grebe: 35, Chametla, 28 Jan

White Pelican: 75, Chametla, 28 Jan, 18, Estero San Jose, 25 Jan

Neotropic Cormorant: 1, Chametla, 29 Jan, 1, Todos Santos 30 Jan.

Magnificent Frigatebird: 1, 6km ne of San Bartolo (20km inland), 1 Feb.

White Ibis: 2, Estero San Jose (unusual here?), 26 Jan

Black-bellied Whistling Duck: 15, La Paz STP, 28 Jan

Greater White-fronted Goose: 8, Estero San Jose 25-26 Jan

Cinnamon x Blue-winged Teal: 1, La Paz STP, 28 Jan-1 Feb.

Ring-necked Duck: 3, Chametla, 29 Jan, 2, Todos Santos, 30 Jan

Zone-tailed Hawk: 2, Santiago, 27 Jan

Harlan's Hawk: 1, La Paz STP, 28 Jan-1 Feb

Peregrine Falcon: 1 (pale ad), La Paz STP, 1 Feb, 1 (dark imm), Chametla, 28 Jan, 1 ad, Estero San Jose 25 Jan

Snowy Plover: 200, Chametla, 29 Jan

Lesser Yellowlegs: 4, Chametla, 29 Jan, 2, Estero San Jose, 26 Jan

Terek Sandpiper: 1, Chametla, 29 Jan

Red Knot: 1, Chametla, 29 Jan

Short-billed Dowitcher: at least 10 by voice at Chametla, 29 Jan

Western Gull: or at least a large dark-backed gull with pink legs (could some YF Gulls have pink legs?) at Chametla 29 Jan

Glaucous-winged Gull: 1, Estero San Jose, 26 Jan

Gull-billed Tern: 4, Chametla 29 Jan

Band-tailed Pigeon: 20 at each wash (16.5km and 23.6 km), 31 Jan.

Acorn Woodpecker: 50+ total between km 16 and km 25, 31 Jan.

Gray Flycatcher: Max of 12, Miraflores, 26 Jan

Western Flycatcher: 21 total from 200 to 2500'. Four gave calls typical of PS Fly. The others were silent or only gave "Peek" notes.

Thick-billed Kingbird: 1, Caduano 25-27 Jan, 7, Miraflores, 26 Jan, 4, Santiago 27 Jan

Bell's Vireo: 1, Las Cuevas, 28 Jan, 1, San Bartolo, 28 Jan; 1, Caduano, 25 Jan, 1, Miraflores, 26 Jan

Plumbeous Vireo: 1, Caduano 25 Jan

Cassin's Vireo: 7 between km 16 and km 25, 31 Jan. All of the Cassin's Vireos on this trip were rather bright, moreso than birds in WA are. I wonder if they are all the locally breeding race.

Hutton's Vireo: 3 at km 16.5 wash, 31 Jan.

Warbling Vireo: 4 between km 16 and km 25, 31 Jan. 1, Miraflores, 26 Jan

Tree Swallow: 70, Chametla 29 Jan

Violet-green Swallow: 140, Estero San Jose 25 Jan

RW Swallow: 8, La Paz STP, 28 Jan.

Bank Swallow: 1, Estero San Jose 25 Jan

Cliff Swallow: 3, Estero San Jose 25 Jan

Barn Swallow: 3, Estero San Jose 25 Jan,
White-breasted Nuthatch: 1 at km 23.6 wash, 31 Jan.

San Lucas Robin: 30+ at wash at 23.6 km, 31 Jan.

European Starling: 6, Santiago, 27 Jan (unusual here?)

Nashville Warbler: 1, San Jose del Cabo STP, 25 Jan

Northern Parula: 1, Caduano, 25-27 Jan

Magnolia Warbler: 1, Caduano, 25 Jan

Black-throated Blue Warbler: 1, Caduano, 25-27 Jan

Myrtle Warbler: 1, Todos Santos, 30 Jan, 2, San Bartolo 28 Jan, 1, La Paz STP 28 Jan, 1, Chametla, 29 Jan, 4, San Jose del Cabo, 25 Jan, 3, Miraflores, 26 Jan

Black-throated Gray Warbler: 15 between km 16 and km 25, 31 Jan, 1, Caduano, 25 Jan, 5, Miraflores, 26 Jan, 1, Estero San Jose, 26 Jan

Black-and-White Warbler: 1, Las Cuevas, 28 Jan, 1, Caduano, 25 Jan, 1, Miraflores, 26 Jan

American Redstart: 1, Miraflores, 25 Jan, 3, Santiago, 27 Jan,

Belding's Yellowthroat: 1, San Bartolo, 28 Jan, 3, San Jose del Cabo STP, 25 Jan, 4, Estero San Jose 5 Jan, 13 Santiago, 27 Jan

Hooded Warbler: 1, Miraflores 26 Jan

Summer Tanager: 1, Caduano 27 Jan

Spotted Towhee: 35 between km 16 and km 25, 31 Jan. Many more than were here in October. 1, Caduano, 27 Jan

Large-billed Savannah Sparrow: 2, Estero San Jose, 25 Jan

Baird's Junco: 1 at km 16.5 wash, 6 at km 23.6 wash, 31 Jan.

Indigo Bunting: 1, Las Cuevas, 28 Jan.

Varied Bunting: 2, San Bartolo, 28 Jan, 4, Miraflores, 25 Jan, 1, Estero San Jose, 25 Jan, 3, Caduano, 27 Jan

Rose-breasted Grosbeak: 1, Todos Santos 30 Jan.

Brewer's Blackbird: 70, Estero San Jose, 26 Jan (unusual in these numbers here?)


Humpback Whale (Todos Santos)
Antelope squirrel (San Jose del Cabo)


Zebra-tailed Lizard
Black-tailed Brush Lizard
Orange-throated Whiptail