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Old Sunday 14th January 2018, 21:28   #1
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A Walk On the Pacific Slope, Mexico

I had a very nice walk today in Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico. I added a Tropical Parula to my Barra list and had great views of a White-throated Thrush. I had seen the White-throated Thrush here a few years ago and was happy to see it again because it doesn't show as being at the coast in this area on the range map in my field guide, but author Steve Howell does mention that winter wandering is poorly known. I saw a White-tailed deer, a couple of Coati Mundi and a lizard I had never seen before. I did some googling on the lizard and came up with Pastebelly Tree Lizard (Sceloporus melanorrhinus). It's cooler here now than it was when I was here mid-November and other than mosquitos and no-see-ums, it's perfect.
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 08:30   #2
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Coati Mundi - one of the world's loveliest animals! Any birding day that includes them is a superb day!
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 12:42   #3
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Sounds like a lovely day, Sue.
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 15:06   #4
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Coati Mundi - one of the world's loveliest animals! Any birding day that includes them is a superb day!
I agree, they are beautiful animals. I've only seen them here four times, and I've had plenty of walks. In Panama, they were almost a daily thing, and I loved seeing them. I knew I was spoiled while I was there. I was so lucky to have been able to have that experience; I really miss that jungle.
Don't get me wrong, I feel lucky to be here too--much better walks than at the old folks home! I ran into a wild pig last visit here in November. There are a few creatures in the wild that I am fearful of and hope I don't run into--wild pigs are on that list! He didn't see me at first and I finally took a few loud steps to alert him. Instead of jumping into the bush like most animals would do, he stood his ground in the middle of the road and stared at me. I was sure he was going to charge and take a hunk out of my leg. We stood like that for what seemed like an eternity. I finally stood up tall and spread my arms and stomped and moved forward a little. He stayed. I walked backwards and stood for awhile, then went forward and still the only thing that moved was one back leg that was bent and on it's 'toe'; like a runner in a starting block. It occurred to me that he maybe he was also scared and thought it best not to move. After a few backwards and forward moves on my part, I began to move forward slowly and he finally sauntered into the brush. I hope I don't run into one again. Don't know why the thought of them is so scary to me. I guess I read too many books in childhood that had pig attacks in them.
Going for a walk even though it's late now--9:00 a.m.
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 15:12   #5
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Sounds like a lovely day, Sue.
It was. Every day is nice here. It's so relaxing. I'm torn between hanging out at the pool or beach with a junk novel, or birding in the surrounding dry forest. I think I'll do a little of both today. At night, Peregrine gently rocks us to sleep. Never thought I say I miss living in the moldy hole in the water, but I do. I am obviously a masochist.
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 16:30   #6
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Hi Sue,
Good find on the thrush, sounds like a great walk. I really enjoyed birding that area.
If I read correctly Cornell shows its range as all along the central and southern coast of Mexico but not actually on the coast. These days I tend to take the details of most distribution maps with a grain of salt. Things are changing so rapidly that one can't be too hidebound and as you quote winter wanderings for these guys are poorly understood. I've seen them myself on the coast at Huatulco.

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Coati Mundi - one of the world's loveliest animals! Any birding day that includes them is a superb day!
halftwo, I have to agree with you about Coati Mundi. They are always a treat especially if the whole family shows, the little ones can be lots of fun. Sue, do you remember the large family at Shelter Bay in Panama? They always delivered good views.

Any sailing plans For Peregrine? We are back on the boat in Florida sporting colds and freezing our butts off at the moment.
Cheers,
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Old Monday 15th January 2018, 16:57   #7
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There are a few creatures in the wild that I am fearful of and hope I don't run into--wild pigs are on that list!
Imagine this, then, Sue:

Just decended the final slopes of a Javan volcano, having been up it until after dark, and it was pouring with rain, so the dark was very intense.

Became aware of several large wild pigs nosing around on & around the path. Couldn't see them, but could hear and smell them. They were very close. No alternative than to keep going and hope!!
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 00:03   #8
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Imagine this, then, Sue:

Just decended the final slopes of a Javan volcano, having been up it until after dark, and it was pouring with rain, so the dark was very intense.

Became aware of several large wild pigs nosing around on & around the path. Couldn't see them, but could hear and smell them. They were very close. No alternative than to keep going and hope!!
I would not have enjoyed going on, but you're right about not much else to do at that point. At night! Yikes!
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 00:26   #9
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Hi Sue,
Good find on the thrush, sounds like a great walk. I really enjoyed birding that area.
If I read correctly Cornell shows its range as all along the central and southern coast of Mexico but not actually on the coast. These days I tend to take the details of most distribution maps with a grain of salt. Things are changing so rapidly that one can't be too hidebound and as you quote winter wanderings for these guys are poorly understood. I've seen them myself on the coast at Huatulco.



halftwo, I have to agree with you about Coati Mundi. They are always a treat especially if the whole family shows, the little ones can be lots of fun. Sue, do you remember the large family at Shelter Bay in Panama? They always delivered good views.

Any sailing plans For Peregrine? We are back on the boat in Florida sporting colds and freezing our butts off at the moment.
Cheers,
Bryan
OMG Just wrote you a nice long response and hit the wrong button. It's gone! We are heading out for dinner now--will write later. Da*m.
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 13:14   #10
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Hi Sue,
Good find on the thrush, sounds like a great walk. I really enjoyed birding that area.
If I read correctly Cornell shows its range as all along the central and southern coast of Mexico but not actually on the coast. These days I tend to take the details of most distribution maps with a grain of salt. Things are changing so rapidly that one can't be too hidebound and as you quote winter wanderings for these guys are poorly understood. I've seen them myself on the coast at Huatulco.



halftwo, I have to agree with you about Coati Mundi. They are always a treat especially if the whole family shows, the little ones can be lots of fun. Sue, do you remember the large family at Shelter Bay in Panama? They always delivered good views.

Any sailing plans For Peregrine? We are back on the boat in Florida sporting colds and freezing our butts off at the moment.
Cheers,
Bryan
I loved Hualtulco and enjoyed our time there very much. Didn't see any WT there but saw plenty of the Rufous-backed. The WT here is hanging out with the RB even though they seem to be a little adversarial. The first time I saw the WT here, it was in the forest in a dark a damp area. I got eaten alive by mozzies while trying to peer into the shadows. This time it is on the resort grounds in a damp area. So easy to see! The range map show that comes to the coast in the PV area which is only 130/140ish miles from here--not far for a bird. It probably heads inland in summer. Wouldn't be surprised if it is here year round though. Not really a surprising find. I don't remember a family showing often in Shelter Bay, but I did see Coatis and Agoutis nearly every day on my walks down San Lorenzo Rd. There was one that hung out at the Ranger Station at the entrance to the San Lorenzo NP (just over the bridge on the little river). I think the 'rangers' fed him. He was so fat and healthy. It's ironic that I just posted how I don't see them very often here. On my walk yesterday, thirteen of them came out of the forest and crossed the road only a few feet from me. It was the same corner where I saw the deer the other day. There were a bunch of little ones with the group. Later I saw two more at different spots. I guess I should mention that I haven't seen the Blue Mockingbird this visit. Gene and I are going to leave P here for awhile. Gene had a pretty brutal year fighting cancer. He had to have chemo and radiation at pretty high levels. He's doing well now, but is still recuperating. We are taking it easy and relaxing. There are worse places to have a second home! He has done well with the visits and our next one will be longer.

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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 13:46   #11
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Imagine this, then, Sue:

Just decended the final slopes of a Javan volcano, having been up it until after dark, and it was pouring with rain, so the dark was very intense.

Became aware of several large wild pigs nosing around on & around the path. Couldn't see them, but could hear and smell them. They were very close. No alternative than to keep going and hope!!
Were you by yourself, H?
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 16:52   #12
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The San Lorenzo road Coatis might be the same family that is now nearer the marina. The two big males stay to themselves but the family seems at ease with human presence. They roost in a tree right by the abandoned church.
I once saw a jaguarundi on the San Lorenzo road but never a Coati. I found a group of about fifty Peccary living in the area but this bunch were very wily and cautious which I wondered about until the Marina manager mentioned having seen a puma while walking his dog early one morning. As I recall he claims to have seen it a couple of times. It might explain the cautious behaviour I observed with the Peccary group.
You are certainly right about Barra de Navidad being a great second home. I enjoyed my stay there. I've been told the French baker has retired which may be good for him but the absence of fresh pastries delivered right to the boat would be bad for me.

Are the Orange-breasted Buntings still hanging around the hotel green space? They were a lifer for me along with the Yucatan Jay.

I'm glad to hear Gene is recovering and is on the mend. In the mean time you guys are in a great location for just hanging out, enjoy.
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 17:57   #13
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The San Lorenzo road Coatis might be the same family that is now nearer the marina. The two big males stay to themselves but the family seems at ease with human presence. They roost in a tree right by the abandoned church.
I once saw a jaguarundi on the San Lorenzo road but never a Coati. I found a group of about fifty Peccary living in the area but this bunch were very wily and cautious which I wondered about until the Marina manager mentioned having seen a puma while walking his dog early one morning. As I recall he claims to have seen it a couple of times. It might explain the cautious behaviour I observed with the Peccary group.
You are certainly right about Barra de Navidad being a great second home. I enjoyed my stay there. I've been told the French baker has retired which may be good for him but the absence of fresh pastries delivered right to the boat would be bad for me.

Are the Orange-breasted Buntings still hanging around the hotel green space? They were a lifer for me along with the Yucatan Jay.

I'm glad to hear Gene is recovering and is on the mend. In the mean time you guys are in a great location for just hanging out, enjoy.
It's funny that you ask about the Orange-breasted Buntings. I was recently commenting to another birder and to Gene that when we first arrived here, the Buntings were all over and now I rarely see them. I saw one yesterday on the green area that leads to the clinic--that used to be covered with them. Maybe they have a heavier presence at different times of the year?Not so many iguanas either. I think you mean San Blas Jay.

Are you sure you didn't see a tayra? I ask because I posted a blog post that I saw a jaguarundi on SL Road. I was so excited! Later, I had to eat crow and post that it was a tayra. I saw them on several occasions. I don't know if you ever had the pleasure(?) of riding in the marina shuttle when the wild and crazy Angelo drove. LOL He made the Red Devil drivers look like the old people drivers at Leisure World! One day Gene was on the shuttle to go to the grocery and a jaguar came out of the jungle and crossed the road. Everyone on the bus was thrilled!
The French Baker (Emerik) is still here! Here is a post from my blog about him. It's from 2014, but it still applies: http://thetwitchingsailor.blogspot.mx/
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 18:02   #14
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Had an easy walk today. I was only out for an hour and a half. I saw some birds I don't see very often: Golden-crowned Emerald and Black-vented Orioles.
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 19:51   #15
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Sue,

Yes of course it was the San Blas Jay, thanks for catching that, Still, a lifer though.

I wonder what happened to that group of Orange breasted Buntings, moved elsewhere perhaps?

I know that it can be easy to mix up Tayra and Jaguarundi sightings. I've seen Jaguarundi a few times before and a couple of those sightings were in the presence of a park ranger friend whom I travelled extensively with in Costa Rica.

Luckily I had a very close view of this one as it slinked across the road. It behaved and moved like the individuals I've seen before which always seem skittish. The colouring and body shape were different from that of the Tayras which can have varying degrees of bi colour.
What always struck me about the Jaguarundi proportions is how small its head is relative to its body.
The Tayra I've seen always seemed a bit stockier and have a tiny bit of an awkward waddle in its gait at certain speeds. Certainly not so graceful as the Jaguarundi.

I've encountered a few Tayra in my years here in Central America not to mention having been threatened by them up close a couple of times, which was no fun I can tell you. Always happy to see them though.
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Old Tuesday 16th January 2018, 22:35   #16
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[quote=BryanP;3666461]Sue,

Yes of course it was the San Blas Jay, thanks for catching that, Still, a lifer though.

I wonder what happened to that group of Orange breasted Buntings, moved elsewhere perhaps?

I know that it can be easy to mix up Tayra and Jaguarundi sightings. I've seen Jaguarundi a few times before and a couple of those sightings were in the presence of a park ranger friend whom I travelled extensively with in Costa Rica.

Luckily I had a very close view of this one as it slinked across the road. It behaved and moved like the individuals I've seen before which always seem skittish. The colouring and body shape were different from that of the Tayras which can have varying degrees of bi colour.
What always struck me about the Jaguarundi proportions is how small its head is relative to its body.
The Tayra I've seen always seemed a bit stockier and have a tiny bit of an awkward waddle in its gait at certain speeds. Certainly not so graceful as the Jaguarundi.

I've encountered a few Tayra in my years here in Central America not to mention having been threatened by them up close a couple of times, which was no fun I can tell you. Always happy to see them though.[/QUOTE

How great to see a jagarundi! I knew as soon as I saw the tayra the second time, it was not a jaguarundi, and that it was what I had seen the first time . I didn't even know tayras existed until I saw one and had to ID what I saw. I didn't see any other color but black on the individual I saw three times, but the feet were too weird for a cat. I did eventually see another with the throat a different color. A friend of mine saw Southern River Otters in the little river that crosses the road. I was so envious! There is so much hiding in that jungle even though it is surrounded by people. I really did love having it as a back yard for three years. I see the OB buntings out on my walks--they just don't seem to at the resort. One sailor here thinks the resort sprays. I don't know--but there are plenty of Great-tailed grackles and house sparrows. They don't hang out in those areas so much though. I hope it's just a timing thing. They are so pretty. Speaking of pretty, I saw a Vermillion Flycatcher this morning--what a gorgeous little bird!
Stay warm!

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Old Wednesday 17th January 2018, 07:07   #17
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Hi again.

Yes, I was in my own at the time - started out with a friend but we split up near the mountain top and came down separately. It was hours later when he finally turned up - I was just about organising a search & rescue!

I've seen a Tayra at close quarters - and like you didn't know they existed until I looked it up. Nothing cat like about it - and making noises as it passed by!
Would love to see any of the cats though.
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Old Wednesday 17th January 2018, 16:30   #18
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Hi again.

Yes, I was in my own at the time - started out with a friend but we split up near the mountain top and came down separately. It was hours later when he finally turned up - I was just about organising a search & rescue!

I've seen a Tayra at close quarters - and like you didn't know they existed until I looked it up. Nothing cat like about it - and making noises as it passed by!
Would love to see any of the cats though.
Great story halftwo,
Tayra can actually be kind of scary at close quarters. They have a little of the same bad boy attitude of the wolverine or badger.

I once spotted one in a tree on a forest trail. When it saw me it very deliberately climbed down the tree without breaking eye contact. That in itself was kind of creepy but when it got to the ground it noisily thrashed through the bush towards me and appeared on the path about twenty feet away. It squared off in that pugnacious way they have and again made eye contact for about ten seconds when it suddenly waddled a few feet closer without breaking that eye contact. Yikes! At that point I got busy wildly trying to think up a plan for a cowardly retreat when with a loud huff it turned, slipped off the path into the forest and disappeared.

There was no question in my mind that it was deliberating on how it might profit by the encounter and I suspect from its attitude that it was leaning more to the mugging side of the pendulum and less of the cute begging for a handout scenario.

Funnily enough out of all the cats down there I've only ever seen the Jagurundi and that multiple times. Never a Margay, Puma, Ocelot or Jaguar. Saw some Ocelot scat once but it was only exciting for a minute or so.
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Old Wednesday 17th January 2018, 17:09   #19
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Hi Sue,
I'm assuming the river otter your friends saw was in the San Lorenzo area? Are you seeing anything of mammals in Bara outside those you've already mentioned? What about Caymans and alligators. Saw some big ones in PV.

I assume you keep a list of the birds you're seeing there. Any chance of having a gander at it? I didn't when I was there and now I'm curious. Never ending boat chore lists were enough to discourage me from keeping any other kind of lists, too much like work. It's different now.

On a side note both you and I were lucky to see the sleepy, remote San Lorenzo side of Gatun lake when we did. The new giant super highway bridge across the Colon ship anchorage is going to completely change that side of the lake. While we were there last winter the rich Panamanians and gringos were buying as much bargain peasant land as they could. Going to turn into a suburb soon. Goodbye Jaguarundi me thinks.
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Old Thursday 18th January 2018, 15:15   #20
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Hi again.

Yes, I was in my own at the time - started out with a friend but we split up near the mountain top and came down separately. It was hours later when he finally turned up - I was just about organising a search & rescue!

I've seen a Tayra at close quarters - and like you didn't know they existed until I looked it up. Nothing cat like about it - and making noises as it passed by!
Would love to see any of the cats though.
I'm not big on going out at night--I did in Panama a few times to ID Pauraques and to look for Potoos. I thought about going out here on the road behind the resort to Owl, but after seeing that pig, I think I'll pass!

The first time I saw a tayra, it was about 75 yards away and it was halfway across the road. It thought it looked like a small black panther. I jumped to conclusions even though I had a horrible shot of it and the feet looked weird. The subsequent sightings were also of it crossing the road. It was fairly close one time. I never heard it make a sound and it didn't even look at me.
I have run into Bobcats about 6 times, and saw a cougar once. Can't say I'd want to be as close to a cougar as I have been to Bobcats. Bears are another animal I would not want to encounter. I have seen them in parks of course, but I wouldn't want to be out on a trail in the wilderness and run across one.
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Old Thursday 18th January 2018, 15:28   #21
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Hi Sue,
I'm assuming the river otter your friends saw was in the San Lorenzo area? Are you seeing anything of mammals in Bara outside those you've already mentioned? What about Caymans and alligators. Saw some big ones in PV.

I assume you keep a list of the birds you're seeing there. Any chance of having a gander at it? I didn't when I was there and now I'm curious. Never ending boat chore lists were enough to discourage me from keeping any other kind of lists, too much like work. It's different now.

On a side note both you and I were lucky to see the sleepy, remote San Lorenzo side of Gatun lake when we did. The new giant super highway bridge across the Colon ship anchorage is going to completely change that side of the lake. While we were there last winter the rich Panamanians and gringos were buying as much bargain peasant land as they could. Going to turn into a suburb soon. Goodbye Jaguarundi me thinks.
Yes, the otters were on San Lorenzo Road. I don't know if you ever walked it and went into the National Park. There is a small river right before the Park entrance. They were in it. I did see alligators there, but I haven't seen any here in Barra. The only other mammals I've seen here are a raccoon (twice) and squirrels. Some people staying at the hotel told me yesterday that they saw monkeys near the golf course. I'm really surprised that there is so much wildlife here--it's not that remote. I'm happy about it though, makes good birding. Here is a list for Barra. I don't think I've left anything off, but I might have. I just added the White-throated Thrush though and I first saw it in 2014! I also noticed I put down Shiny Cowbird rather than Brown-headed! I'm getting senile.
http://birdingaboardperegrine.blogsp...bird-list.html

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Old Thursday 18th January 2018, 15:39   #22
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Hi Sue,

On a side note both you and I were lucky to see the sleepy, remote San Lorenzo side of Gatun lake when we did. The new giant super highway bridge across the Colon ship anchorage is going to completely change that side of the lake. While we were there last winter the rich Panamanians and gringos were buying as much bargain peasant land as they could. Going to turn into a suburb soon. Goodbye Jaguarundi me thinks.
There were rumours about the bridge when we lived in Panama; sad to see it happen.
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Old Friday 19th January 2018, 17:21   #23
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New one for the Barra List: Orange-fronted Parakeet
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Old Monday 12th February 2018, 10:16   #24
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Are you still out there, Sue?
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