Monday 26 March 2012

Birds of Different Feathers

My trip to Mexico last month is quickly becoming a distant memory, but before it fades away completely I'd like to make one last blog entry about it - kind of a catch-all featuring a hodge podge of feathered characters that I observed and photographed.

First, a selection from the Barra de Navidad region where both marsh and beach habitats, and what must be a healthy ecosystem with ample food supplies, make for abundant and diverse bird life:

A jacana, with stilt-like legs and splayed toes
designed for treading across the floating water hyacinths.

Another hyacinth-treader: a moorhen. 
A glossy ibis swallows a snail.

A stilt poses gracefully on one long leg.

One of the many "cocodrillos" to be seen in
the mangrove swamp at nearby La Manzanilla.

An egret just a few feet from the crocodiles,
perhaps attempting camoflage.

Two shorebirds, two different speices: a whimbrel, left, and
a willet, right. (Hopefully I have identified them correctly!)

A hapless fish becomes lunch for an egret

From my sketchbook - a snowy egret

And from the botanical gardens in Puerto Vallarta, about 150 kilometres to the north of Barra de Navidad, I can't leave out this colourful show-off, a yellow-winged cacique. He was avidly demonstrating his gymnastic abilities in an effort to impress a demure female of his species.

Checking to see that she's watching.

The lively courtship display (she flew away unimpressed).

So on that colourful note, I say farewell to Mexico for now. I treasure the memories and cherish the opportunity to have observed and recorded so many bird species (you've seen only a handful). As one of my travelling companions noted, "Who knew Mexico had so many birds?"! 

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