11th - 26th MARCH 2023
This tour is a specialised itinerary designed to concentrate our efforts in finding as many of the endemic and specialty bird species of Western Mexico as possible. Starting along the Durango Highway we should see Rufous-bellied Chachalaca, Elegant Quail, Mexican Parrotlet, Lilac-crowned Parrot, Colima Pygmy-Owl, White-naped Swift, Golden-crowned Emerald, Berylline and Sparkling-tailed Hummingbirds, Citreoline Trogon, Russet-crowned Motmot, Black-throated Magpie-Jay, Purplish-backed Jay, Happy and Sinaloa Wrens, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Blue Mockingbird, Fan-tailed and Rufous-capped Warblers, Blue Bunting and Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow top the list of specialties. As spectacular as this list may appear, the real objects of our search here are found in the pine woodlands at higher elevations—Tufted Jay and Eared Quetzal—certainly two of Mexico’s most impressive and interesting birds. A more thorough exploration of this fabulous area should reveal Mountain Trogon, Gray-crowned Woodpecker, Mountain Pygmy-Owl, White-striped Woodcreeper, Pine Flycatcher, Gray-collared Becard, Spotted Wren, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Aztec Thrush, Gray Silky-flycatcher, Crescent-chested and Red Warblers, Red-headed Tanager, Rufous-capped and Green-striped Brush-Finches, Hooded Grosbeak and Black-headed Siskin. Following our stay here we will then head further east and target 2 more endemics; Striped Sparrow and Sierra Madre Sparrow before heading to San Blas for a great boat trip amongst other things. Species that we expect to see include Rufous-bellied Chachalaca, Elegant Quail, Lesser Roadrunner, Colima Pygmy-Owl, Mexican Woodnymph and Bumblebee Hummingbird (as well as a host of wintering northern hummers for our Mexican lists), White-striped Woodcreeper, Spotted, Happy and Sinaloa Wrens and Red-headed Tanager. There's plenty more happening before we reach the twin volcanos of Volcan de Fuego & Volcan de Nieve. Due to changing habitats draped across these magnificent volcanos, fields and thorn scrub on the lower flanks through pine/fir forest near treeline, the variety of birds to be found here are truly amazing. Here we have our best chance of seeing Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Singing Quail, Thick-billed Parrot (found in the winter season only), Bumblebee Hummingbird, White-striped Woodcreeper, Gray-collared Becard, Spotted Wren, Aztec Thrush (present here in wintertime flocks), Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Dwarf Vireo, Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Green-striped Brush-Finch, Collared Towhee and Black-backed (Abeille’s) Oriole. Night birding on the volcanos has its prizes to be uncovered as well. Whiskered Screech-Owl, Mountain Pygmy-Owl, Stygian Owl, Mexican Spotted Owl, Eared Poorwill, Buff-collared Nightjar and Mexican Whip-poor-will top our list of possibilities. It is our intent to find ALL of these specialty nightbirds, thus our five night stay in the area. Wow!
See tour info here - WEST MEXICO TOUR INFO