My wife and I returned to Hautulco, Oaxaca for a 2nd time in 3 years for a "bird and beach" mop-up tour that allowed her to get some beach time. Last year's 15 day Costa Rica birding custom tour left her in need, as we only saw a beach for 2 minutes as we drove by the Gulf of Nicosia!
Using E-bird, I was able to see more of what was being seen and where than last time, when I missed the Ground-cuckoo and caught only a glimpse of the Red-breasted Chat. I believe that the guides have also been quite busy, including blazing new trails as volunteers at Huatulco NP. The Chat can readily be found there and the Ground-cuckoo just east of Huatulco in a couple of areas.
We also did a $300 US half-day fishing/pelagic trip in the standard, 25 foot (70hp) fishing boat that got us 10 miles off shore. We picked up all of the targets, including Townsend's, Wedge-tailed and Galapagos (Audubon's) Shearwater, and all 5 Booby species, including what appears to be a Nazca booby juvenile. We also saw a large pod of Spinner Dolphins and many turtles.
We hired a guide (Cornelio Gabriel) to take us on a very long day trip, beginning at 5 am up to Rio Molino De Alto, and Tres Cruces (by San Jose Del Pacifico) , which is further up the Sierra Madre Del Sur than we went on our last visit (to Pluma Hidalgo, which is good for mid-elevation and some lower upper montane species).
With planning, you can see all of the birds from Huatulco that you can at traditional, well-advertised Puerto Angel or Puerto Escondido. If you want waders and a Lagoon experience, it would not be as good. However, you can bird the Copalito River mouth, which is very good.
Photos can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jckendall/
Huatulco & Oaxaca
Our first day was offshore:
Black Terns offshore - see 3/14 report for migrating Black Tern count offshore (5000)
All 5 Booby species
Black-vented, Wedge-tailed, Galapagos and endemic Townsend's Shearwaters
Huatulco area, including Huatulco NP:
Typical waders in area
Short-tailed, Gray Hawks
West Mexican Chachalaca - hard to miss near civilization
Typical ground,Inca,white-winged, White-tipped Doves (Ruddy Ground no..at Copalita last time)
Orange-fronted Parakeets nesting at termite mounds
Lilac-crowned Parrot (endemic) -helps to know the distinct call
LESSER GROUND-CUCKOO - showing well at two sites between Huatulco and Copilita River
Groove-billed Ani's -common
Colima Pygmy-owl (endemic)nice views at Huatulco NP and pics
N. Potoo-nice views at HNP
Hummers - Doubleday's, cinnamon, plain-capped starthroat
typical woodpecker list
Myarchus Flycatchers: 6 are possible at Huatulco NP; esp. good for Flammulated. We saw Flamulated and most of them. Last time, we had 5 in one visit; Brown-crested, Flammulated, Ash-throated, Nuttings and Dusky-capped. A great place to study these is Huatulco NP.
White-throated Magpie-Jay - common and they have recently expanded well up the slope.
Happy, Banded and Rufous-naped Wrens
RED-BREASTED CHAT - HNP we saw 3-4
Saltators and Seedeaters
Spot-breasted, Streak-backed and Altamira Orioles (also, Hooded, Orchard, etc)
ORANGE-BREASTED BUNTING - fairly common in bushy areas in dry forest
Rt 175 north of La Soledad:
Rio Molino de Alto:
Warblers: Red, Golden-browed, Crescent-chested,Olive, Hermit, Townsend's, Grace's,Red-faced,McGillivray's, Nashville, T. Parula, Wilson's, Black/white
Vireos;Plumbeous, Cassins, Hutton's
CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO-saw one finally after chasing 4 heard birds
Pine, pac-slope, Flycatchers
Lunch at Tres Cruces (higher elevation and just S. of San Jose Del Pacifico):
Rio Molino and Tres Cruces:
missed Bumblebee Hummer here
Stellar's Jay (no White-throated Jays this trip)
BB Solitaire common
La Manza Restaurant - stop nearby on way back south:
GRAY SILKY - many
White-striped and Streak-headed Woodcreepers
El Mirador (further down slope on way south):