Sunday, January 29, 2017

01_14_2017 Edition Two is Published! Another reason to Celebrate!

Edition two of the Intro book was published. Edition one was great and very well received. Edition two is even better. I am really proud of this book.
It's hard to convey how much work goes into these things. Yay!

01_06 to 12_2017 Barcelo at Mismaloya MX x 3 - Bird Photos!

Again, Dave was able to get a lot of beautiful bird photos while we were in MX.

This is a Western Tanager. I am wondering if it is not a male given hints of orange on his head. 
Ivory billed Woodcreeper.
Brown Crested Flycatcher
A beautiful Squirrel Cuckoo. Saw many of these this trip.
An unusual sight - a Gray-Headed Woodpecker.
Another Squirrel Cuckoo
Rose-Throated Becard
Rufous-Capped Warbler
Not a bird!
Rufous-Backed Robin
There were hundreds of Nashville Warblers there!
Black-Throated Magpie Jay
Orange-Fronted Parakeet - El General!
Rufous Crowned Motmot we saw at Rancho Primavera
Brown-Crested Flycatcher
The sound of this area - a Great Kiskadee
A huge treat this trip was seeing a Military Macaw nest in the wild. At the nest when we arrived were four birds. Some were initially in the nest. I assume there were jockeying for the nest for the upcoming breeding season. Really amazing to get to see them in the wild!
Military Macaw at a nest
Common, but so fun - the Yellow-Winged Cacique!  Great head dresses on these silly birds.
Plain-Capped Starthroat hummingbird. A treat!
We saw multiple Streak-Backed Orioles. This female was bathing, then hopping to this prickly pear for some preening and drying.
Male Streak-Backed Oriole
Green Jay. These birds never get old. So beautiful
Masked Tityra.  So unusual, and so beautiful
Cordilleron Flycatcher.
Olive Backed Woodpecker. A first for us.
Hummingbirds are hard to ID! 
We also saw, for our first time, many Varied Buntings. They are very challenging to photograph given their iridescence. This bird is blue with reds. So gorgeous.

01_06 to 12_2017 Barcelo at Mismaloya MX x 3

It is that time of the year - time to head to Mexico for some R&R. It was much needed after a year of way too much work for me, and multiple surgeries for Dave.

We went back to Barcelo which is just south of Puerto Vallarta in a lovely little town called Mismaloya.
We made not one, not two, but THREE trips to the Botanic Gardens this year. And after learning our very painful lesson last year, we were fully covered! The no-see-ums are truly vicious and very hungry there. 
Lots of beautiful plants and birds.
Dave took the big lens this year which was nice.

The following blog entry will offer bird photos from the trip.
Big lens or not, not all the sights required such power. Nothing like a point-and-shoot for some beautiful scenes.
It was drier than in years past, and the bougainvilleas LOVED it. They were blooming and spectacular. 
Bathroom signage there was pretty funny!
We also spent a day at Rancho Primavera in the hopes of seeing Lilac Crowns and other birds. Sadly, Jasmine, the Lilac Crown we visited last year had gone missing. :(

There were two other birds who were being raised by those at the ranch. This is El General. He is a small bird with a big personality. He does what he wants when he wants. Happily my swarovski binoculars are made well. Even his active little hook bill could not damage them.

He got bored with the binos and moved to my shoulder where I was able to preen some pin feathers on his head and neck. He immediately fell in love with me for doing so. This presented a problem in that he did not want to get off of me. He is a sweet little bugger!
Also at the ranch was a six month old Black Throated Magpie Jay. He - Azul - was a rascal. A very bitey stinker. No way I'd let him near my eyes. By the time we left, I may have been the only person not bleeding. He completely underestimates his own power! He did chomp my ear, cheek and multiple fingers. He tried opening my thumb nail like it was an acorn. Super cute, but OW!
We went to the ranch with a few other birders. It was a nice trip with nice people. Most were ex-pats living in interior Mexico now.
This year, we got a room on the opposite side of the resort. It offered a different, but still lovely, view.
Day one, I saw some Military Macaws fly over.
The mountains to the east. To think that Henri may have hatched up there somewhere.
Massive pool set up - it was awesome.
An evening view. The point is where the movie set (decaying away) of Night of the Iguana is located.
As it has been every year, the food was excellent.
The maids upped their game this year. Everyday they came inn the room, they set up our towels in the form of animals. Pretty cool!
When not birding, we were pooling. The iguanas jumped in the pool a lot more this year than in years gone by. Most people in the pool freaked when it happened! We loved it!
Another lounger at the pool.  This is a smaller one. We saw him jump in, swim to the island in the pool, and challenge a much larger male for the territory. Given he has a new tail growing it, it is likely not his first challenge. He was defeated again, jumped back in the pool and headed back to his own lovely territory.

Fun time, and much needed R&R. Not sure where next year will take us. Time will tell.