26 March 2009

Navigating for Nava’s…(Chiapas, Mexico): 17 March 2009

On this day we headed north into a very special habitat in northern Chiapas – forests that are located on limestone karsts or outcrops, where a very special wren can be found. We birded the edge of the El Ocote reserve checking outcrops within the montane forest for this well-endowed wren to no avail. Michael has a GPS reference for a recent sighting and so we headed across cleared pasture land into a forest patch well off the road, and finally heard our quarry. We settled ourselves in an alcove on the side of a large limestone outcrop within this small forest fragment and waited, and after a long painful silence this distinctive bird, the Nava’s Wren came hopping along the top edge of the rock, before settling into a near tree and singing for us. Having fought our way through pastures and tracked down the territory by way of our waypoint reference we then bumped into another calling bird alongside the road, when all we had to do to get it this time was get out of the car and watch among the limestone boulders by the road. A hell of a lot less hassle this way! One pay off for working our way through the cow pastures that had replaced a large proportion of highland forest in the area was finding a Slate-colored Solitaire (see photo) singing its heart out on the forest edge. Another notable addition in another area of limestone karst was a White-bellied Wren, one of 16 species seen on the trip so far…

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