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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 02:45   #1
canadagurl123
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Playa del Carmen

Well It's almost for sure my mom and I are going to La Playa del Carmen in the 2nd week of February instead of Mazatlan. Any ideas on where to go for bird watching within a few hours of La playa del Carmen for good bird watching. We,ll be going to Tulum and possibly Coba. I took three years in Spanish at school so I can get around ok with my Spanish( That's why Mom needs me! Also any good birding books for the area and some species of birds that should be commonly seen would be a great help. Thanks!!! Muchas Gracias
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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 02:54   #2
Dave B Smith
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This is a pretty good birding area, though not sure how well it has bounced back from Hurricanes in the last few years.

Here's a link to a trip report for Playa del Carmen and surrounds.

The best field guide is Steve Howell's 'A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America'. For a bird finding guide, same author titled 'A Bird-Finding Guide to Mexico'. Both books are excellent.

Buen Viaje!
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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 03:18   #3
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Hi! Coba is definetely a good idea. You could also go to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, south of Tulum, it has a 372 species bird checklist. I have not been there yet but it should be an excellent spot; try these e-mails for more info:
amigos "at" amigosdesiankaan.org
siankaan "at" conanp.gob.mx
If you can stretch a little further on the northern part of the Yucatán peninsula, the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve is a wonderful place to see many great species, including flamingos and a jabiru was nesting there some weeks ago. There is a great mexican bird guide there, he's called Ismael Navarro and I highly recommend him. He knows wery well the area and all its species and speaks english fluently (great for your mom). He gave me a card with these two e-mails:
riolaga "at" hotmail.com
tours "at" riolagartosexpeditions.com
If you can not contact him by mail I also have its phone numbers.
The best book about mexican birds (you surely know about it) is the Howell and Webb one, it weighs a ton, but it's unbeatable in accurancy and you will also need its companion "A bird-finding guide to Mexico" also by Steve N.G. Howell. A North-american field guide is required for migrant species not depicted in the Howell book. The National Geographic is good but I personally prefer the Sibley guide (quite heavy though).
Hope you will have a great time here in Mexico, mucha suerte!
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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 04:18   #4
canadagurl123
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thanks for the help. I'll see if y mom is up to any of the ideas. My mom mostly just wants to relax at the beach and check out the ruins so squeezing bird watching time is hard. But since that reserve is close to Tulum I might get her to take me. Must brush up on my Spanish. Es muy problema!!! No estudio espanol por dos anos.
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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 13:57   #5
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IF she is hot on ruins, talk her into going to Palenque, wonderful ruins with wonderful birding, esp if you could get an overnight in a local hotel so that she could sleep in and you could do the early morning along the access road.

Disclaimer: I was there in 2000, hope it is still like that

Niels
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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 15:38   #6
Edward woodwood
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Hi there

I met Ismael at Rio LAgartos and he's a thoroughly nice bloke. If you go to the 'office' on the road out of LAgartos, about 1 mile or so south, you might bump into him. Otherwise there is the seafod restuarant in the village where he can be contacted. Worth going on a boat with him for close up views of Bare-throated Tiger Herons and shorebirds.

The Botanical Reserve just south of Puerto Morelos is worth a visit too, and Coba, Chichen Itza, Cozumel and the regular sites in Steve Howell's book.

Tim
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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 17:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen
IF she is hot on ruins, talk her into going to Palenque, wonderful ruins with wonderful birding, esp if you could get an overnight in a local hotel so that she could sleep in and you could do the early morning along the access road.

Disclaimer: I was there in 2000, hope it is still like that

Niels
Personally I would not recommend coming into Chiapas From Playa del Carmen as it's an awful distance away, I think it's about a 7 hours drive. Plus, even tough the birding along the access road is still good in the early morning and you could certainly spot many tropical forest birds that you will never see in Yucatán, the trails around the forest past the ruins have been now closed to the public. From Playa del Carmen you could visit the ruins of Chichén Itzá, there's some good birding there even if it's nothing like Palenque that's a fact. But the ruins are probably Mexico's best known ones.
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Old Sunday 21st January 2007, 22:57   #8
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well I convinced my mom to take me to Cozumel for sure so that's good. I'm hoping for a couple endemics to the area. I've been actually studying the Howell book for awhile. i got it from the local library. It's nice to know that I got a proper book to study and thanks for all the help.
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Old Monday 22nd January 2007, 17:47   #9
gatafrancesca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadagurl123
well I convinced my mom to take me to Cozumel for sure so that's good. I'm hoping for a couple endemics to the area. I've been actually studying the Howell book for awhile. i got it from the local library. It's nice to know that I got a proper book to study and thanks for all the help.
I don't mean to sound negative, but please take into account that Cozumel island suffered great damage in 2005 during the pass of the hurricane Wilma. Things have been rebuilt, but wildlife will need years to get back to its previuos condition. Some endemics could possibly be difficult to find. Sadly the Cozumel thrasher is almost certainly extint now. It was the most powerful hurricane EVER in the history of the mexican caribbean coast. Good luck anyway and I am sure you will enjoy your trip :).
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Old Monday 22nd January 2007, 18:08   #10
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If time and cash allow staying overnight at Chichen Itza (Hotel Pyramide in Piste was fine in 2000) means you can enter the site bang on opening time before all the tourist buses from Cancun et al arrive late morning. Two advantages: early better for birds and site much quieter making them easier to connect with. (Also makes the ruins much more impressive) With your command of Spanish, the PDC bus station should hold no fears! Think the bus went via Coba although only a 10 minute stop. The Botanic Gardens mentioned by Tim can be reached by bus from PDC too...spider monkey for the non-birder but heavy application of insect repellant recommended (scratch, scratch). Enjoy.
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Old Tuesday 12th June 2007, 01:55   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadagurl123 View Post
well I convinced my mom to take me to Cozumel for sure so that's good. I'm hoping for a couple endemics to the area. I've been actually studying the Howell book for awhile. i got it from the local library. It's nice to know that I got a proper book to study and thanks for all the help.
Was in Cozumel for a day last year. There is a lot of devastation still, however I found that the brush and dirt roads around the El Cedral Ruins turned up some good finds which included Cozumel Vireo and Black Catbird (Yucatan endemic). I am going to be in Cozumel this summer and I am thinking that we might take a ruins tour in the siann Kann biosphere which will be birdy as well.
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