700 or Bust – Lifer Countdown – Reflections of the Pure World


With an obnoxiously loud BEEP BEEP BEEP, my 5:00 am alarm woke me from a deep sleep. The adrenaline immediately kicked in and I used to be actually leaping away from bed. I used to be sure that right now would deliver me lifer species quantity 700. I used to be on a return go to to the magical Yucatan Peninsula, having simply visited there a month earlier than. I once more requested the companies of Amar Aves chicken skilled, Miguel Amar Uribe and had booked a 6-day tour of the peninsula. Miguel and Claudio Lopez had met me on the Cancun Worldwide Airport the night time earlier than and we drove to the city of Rio Lagartos to spend the night time.

Rio Lagartos Malecón

I opened the door and regarded throughout the road to the malecón and watched the tour boats gently rocking with the water and will hear the waves lap in opposition to them. I used to be sitting at 683 life Birds, with my final lifer being a Inexperienced-breasted Mango on the Isla de Cozumel in December of final yr (2021). The record of potential life birds on this space was staggering and with visions of unique hummingbirds, colourful trogons and flamboyant flamingos in my head, I wandered alongside the malecón, attempting to get a way of simply how spectacular the day could be. At 5:30, Miguel, Claudio and I have been joined by “Chino” Santiago Contreras and we headed out to discover the close by forests with plans to return to take a noon boat tour of the bay. Moreover being one of many elite birders of the area, Chino could be our skipper for the tour by way of the Parque Pure Ría Lagartos.

Quick-forward to our arrival again at Rio Lagartos, having simply checked off lifers #695 Yucatan Wren and #696 Cinnamon Hummingbird.

Yucatan Wren

We stopped briefly on the hummingbird home on Calle 17 to get a take a look at dozens of Mexican Sheartails (lifer #697) and Cinnamon Hummingbirds.

Mexican Sheartail (feminine) and Cinnamon Hummingbird
Mexican Sheartail (male)
Cinnamon Hummingbird

As we boarded Chino’s boat to start our tour of the bay we had numerous frigatebirds and cormorants and Laughing Gulls flying throughout us.

Magnificent Frigatebird

We cruised across the shallow bay adjoining to Rio Lagartos viewing an assortment of shorebirds and herons with a quick view of a Clapper Rail.

American Oystercatcher and Reddish Egret

We continued our gradual commute alongside the banks of the river when Claudio abruptly yells out “Naked-throated Tiger-Heron”! Chino guided the boat skillfully as we floated in the direction of an attractive chicken that acted as if we weren’t there in any respect. After a number of dozen images, we have been off in quest of my subsequent lifer.

Naked-throated Tiger-Heron

At this level the bay narrowed to extra like a river with vegetation towering alongside all sides. First we heard, after which we noticed a Widespread Black Hawk #699. We acquired to see and {photograph} first an immature chicken after which an grownup. ALMOST TO #700!

Widespread Black Hawk – Immature
Widespread Black Hawk – Grownup

As we rounded a bend, the panorama opened up and earlier than us within the distance was a rating of lifer birds #700, in any other case referred to as AMERICAN FLAMINGOS.

American Flamingos

Chino was very thoughtful as to on no account trouble these magnificent wonders of nature, however my 500mm lens introduced me lots shut sufficient to get some good pictures.

By this time the solar was beginning to get low on the horizon bathing the flamingos in a heat glowing gentle.

As we headed again in the direction of Rio Lagartos, I used to be exhausted and exhilarated on the identical time. What a grand journey, and this was solely the primary day!

Lastly, an enormous thanks and shout out to the type of us at Mexico Kan Excursions (Fb Hyperlink), Amar Aves (Web site Hyperlink), Miguel Amar Uribe, Claudio Lopez (Fb Hyperlink) and our skipper “Chino” Santiago Contreras (Fb Hyperlink).


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