RANCHO PRIMAVERA JAN. 26-28, 2018
Always a treat to come back to Rancho Primavera in the Sierra El Tuito southwest of Puerto Vallarta. Bonnie and Pat were the stellar hosts they always are. Our first evening was spent relaxing by the pond. Least Grebes and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were in attendance as well as a Ringed Kingfisher and Purple Gallinule. As the sun set, several Wood Storks majestically swirled in as a nearby Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush serenaded us from dense cover. With lighting fading a raucous flock of Lilac-crowned Parrots crossed over the first ridge to the east.
Morning feeding time (for the birds) is always a treat. Hard to imagine Black-throated Magpie Jays, San Blas Jays, Yellow-winged Caciques, and even a rather bold Blue Mockingbird all sharing the spread. The smaller feeder was a turnstyle between the Grayish Saltators and the Yellow Grosbeaks. After our breakfast, we hit the trails. Heading down behind the stables we spent quite awhile catching only glimpses of the vocal pair of Rosy Thrush Tanagers. Finally, it was the male that paused for an eternity (about 8 seconds) on an open branch. Why these gorgeous vocal virtuosos were named tanagers is a mystery to me-how about Magenta-breasted Catbird as an alternate name? Moving on we had luck with several mixed species flocks that included Greenish Elaenia, Golden and Black-capped Vireos, Black and White Warbler, and even a somewhat misplaced first year female Chestnut-sided Warbler.
Returning from lunch in El Tuito, we birded the creek at the ranch entrance. Highlights were a Northern Waterthrush and a Solitary Sandpiper. Late afternoon found us efforting to see a Russet-crowned Motmot that was intermittently vocal but never moved. As I always say, "the bad thing about motmots is that they never move; the good thing about motmots is that they never move". After I finally located the bird, the clients were able to get long scope views. It was still on the same branch when we departed for dinner.