30 March 2009

Two Days in the Tuxtlas…(Veracruz, Mexico): 18-19 March 2009

We spent a couple of days birding The Sierra de Los Tuxtlas of northern Veracruz, birding both an excellent looking patch of good montane forest (1100m) outside the town of Tuxtla San Andreas, and another couple of lowland patches too (200-300m). Our first afternoon was quiet as expected for a sunny afternoon in the cloudforest, although still produced a headline sighting. Late in the afternoon I got a little sick of hearing Slaty-breasted Tinamous mocking me all around and so went after a close calling bird. As I walked in the bird remained steadfastly in one spot and after playing a little tape it proved that Tinamous can be taped in after all, as a male bird ran rings around me several times, pausing in the open on multiple occasions. Superb. The main bird we had come here for was a highly-localized quail-dove, named after this mountain range. We spent a good few hours chasing down calls, that were always that little bit far off with birds showing no interest in our recording whatsoever. However, late in the morning on our second day we ventured in after one, making a ton of unavoidable noise crunching through the dry leaf litter, only for the bird to continue calling away-we finally had our shot. It teased us for a while and we inadvertently flushed it once, but finally we were able to get some great looks at a striking Tuxtla Quail-Dove as it called from some low trees. Mission accomplished. In the sweaty lowland forest patches visited (once again they were mere patches), we had some more impressive Keel-billed Toucans and a pair of Black-headed Trogons among others.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

If you have a photo of the Tuxtlas quail dove, I would very much like to publish it-