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GARGANTILLO, western JALISCO Mar 01, 2021

In a short 45 minutes, we descended from the coastal mountains at El Tuito to the agricultural flatlands around Gargantillo. Most of the irrigation ditches were bordered by a mix of thickets and high grasses as well as pockets of woodland. Predawn was a mayhem of commuting flocks, notably hundreds of Dickcissels. The densely vegetated edges came alive with Lincoln's and Grasshopper Sparrows, Ruddy-breasted and Cinammon-rumped Seedeaters, and a mix of warblers, vireos, and orioles. Willow Flycatchers that winter in the area were surprisingly numerous. The wetter swales between ag fields were being patrolled by various egrets, Wood Storks, and even Bare-throated Tiger Heron.

A local fish farm gave us a very different habitat to explore. Hundreds of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks enveloped a half dozen of their less common cousin, Fulvous. The dense lily pad choked edges provided a hideout for 2 Purple Gallinules as well as a Limpkin. Overhead, several Snail Kites patiently patrolled the wetlands. Overall, a most welcome area to return to on future Jalisco outings.


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