ESTERITO BOQUITAS (LAGUNA DE IPALA) JAN. 30, 2018

Heading south from Mayto, our first stop was Esterito Boquitas. Tucked behind a barrier beach, this brackish water lagoon has a great cross section of waterfowl, shorebirds, waders, gulls, and terns. We admired the Roseate Spoonbills, Tricolored Herons, Laughing Gulls, and Royal Terns before moving closer and getting to work on shorebirds. Numerous plovers were skittering around and we managed to find one Collared Plover in the group. A sizeable flock of Sanderlings rested close by with an almost equal number of Stilt Sandpipers. A lone Wilson's Phalarope was a bit of a puzzle as most of its cousins were on alkali lakes high in the Andes in late January. Moving even a bit closer, I was able to flush a small group of dowitchers that revealed their identity as Short-billed by their low "tu-tu-tu" call. As we were scoping the ducks, a Peregrine Falcon decided to blitz the throng and pandemonium broke loose. Not sure why a top of the food chain predator like a Peregrine wastes time and energy pursuing a flock of Sanderlings!

Moving south along the coast road of this remote section of the Cabo Corrientes, we found quality habitat not far from the esterito. We found not one but three pairs of Rosy Thrush Tanagers in a 2KM stretch. A juv. Roadside Hawk gave indication of just how far north they have spread. White-bellied Wrens were in evidence at several stops. We only had one encounter with the stunning Red-breasted Chat. A pair responded to playback with the dazzling male leading the way. Orchard and Black-vented Orioles were a nice additon to the flocks.

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