Photos with this report (click to enlarge)
De Filippe's Petrel
Juan Fernandez Petrel
Hornby's Storm Petrel
This was our fifth seabird-orientated voyage on a commercial cruise ship. We have learned that these large vessels offer many opportunities for the serious sea-birder. Not the least of which is a completely stable platform from which one can comfortably use one’s scopes, covered decks in wet weather, and a vast array of possible routes. Downsides are of course that one cannot choose the exact course, there is no chasing or chumming, nor Zodiac rides. Rather, these represent what oceanographers call “ships of opportunity” – vessels which provide a platform for one’s work whilst their actual purpose differs. The various shipboard amenities are mere icing on the cake for the committed sea-birder! Another big advantage for the budget-minded birder is the very competitive pricing compared with typical “expedition” eco-tour cruises.
The ship for this cruise was the ms Veendam of the Holland America Cruise Line with a carrying capacity of about 1,500 passengers. This ship is very birder-friendly in terms of viewing conditions. Virtually all our viewing was performed from the bow that provided an almost stable platform enabling us to comfortably use our telescopes for prolonged viewing. Wind is usually not an issue because viewing right at the bow (next to the ship’s bell and flag mast)provides a “wind-shadow” resulting in calm conditions while just a few yards back is much windier. We have found that very few passengers use this deck and normally we have it almost to ourselves. In hot weather we would view from the Promenade Deck to avoid the sun [although hot sunny weather was only a minimal problem on this trip].
The cruise departed San Diego on October 31st We had arranged to arrive a couple of days early and do some land-birding including a trip to the Salton Sea. Likewise we also had arranged for a couple of days birding in Chile at the end of the cruise. Unlike our previous cruises, this trip had no less than twelve land days which proved to be a logistical challenge trying to arrange car rentals, guides etc to maximize our days’ birding ashore.
We had 12 port stops, and at many we were able to contact a BirdingPal or a professional guide to help – with limited time ashore, such local knowledge is invaluable.
Our contacts included:
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Daniel Galindo, firstname.lastname@example.org; he in turn put us in touch with Maria Elena Muriel, email@example.com, who took us out.
Huatulco, Mexico: Eric Antonio Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guatemala: BirdingPal Victor Juárez, ALAS Guatemala, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicaragua: Tierra Tours, David Larios was our contact, email@example.com
Costa Rica: Birding Pals Darrell and Lorna Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecuador: Pancho Sornoza, email@example.com; we were put in touch with him by Jane Lyons, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peru: Gunnar Engblom, Kolibri Expeditions, email@example.com
Chile: Fernando Díaz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World, 2007, Derek Onley and Paul Scofield, Helm Publishers, London.
A Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, 2005 David Sibley
Birds of Mexico and Central America, 2004 Ber Van Perlo
Field Guide to the Birds of Ecuador 2001 Ridgley and Greenfield
A Field Guide to the Birds of Peru 2001 Clements and Shany
A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America 1995 Howell and Webb
Birds of Chile 2002 Jaramillo
October 28th BC & GM arrived in San Diego at about 6.45 p.m. from Baltimore, Md. AQ & PC flew in from Heathrow, England via Denver Colorado. An early season snowstorm in Denver delayed their onward flight to San Diego by several hours. Eventually they arrived in San Diego about 2.00 a.m. only to discover that their luggage had not arrived. Fortunately, they had most of their birding gear with them.
October 29th A very enjoyable morning birding with Peter Ginsberg around Point Lomo and vicinity. The luggage from Denver had still not arrived so we made a short stop at Target to purchase vital necessities. In the p.m. drove to Brawley with a few birding stops en route including Paso Pichao Campground and Cuyamaca Lake in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Birds seen including an unexpected Painted Redstart in San Diego plus a good selection of typical S. Cal. species. A call from our motel reassured PC & AQ that their luggage was, at last, in California!
October 30th Early AM we explored the fields south of Brawley, driving in late morning to Obsidian Butte on the Salton Sea. In the afternoon we drove to the north end of the Sea with various birding stops. The Salton Sea had a great concentration and variety of shorebirds, grebes, pelicans and gulls. The top bird was an adult Yellow-footed Gull at Obsidian Butte that provided excellent and prolonged views (and new US ticks for BC and GM!). Unfortunately we dipped on the two Blue-footed Boobies seen a couple of days earlier at the Whitewater Delta, as the access gates to the levees were all locked and no one was around at the wetland project to let us through, as we had been assured in an earlier email.
One extra bit of excitement that we did not need was getting locked out of our Ford Escape SUV when we all leaped out of the vehicle to look at a Greater Roadrunner. In the excitement, we had left the key in the ignition and the vehicle’s safety feature that automatically locks all the doors kicked-in leaving us stranded! Fortunately AAA came to the rescue and we were on our way after a delay of about one hour. A word of caution – some so-called “car safety features” are anything but!
October 31st In early morning we walked to the borrow pit near Borrego Springs in an unsuccessful search for LeConte’s Thrasher (not a whisper!) . This was followed by a slow drive back to San Diego with a few roadside birding stops on route, including Tamarisk Grove Campground where we saw Great Horned Owl but no Long-ears (which, according to the ranger there, have not been seen for some years). After picking up the missing luggage in early afternoon, we had quite a long wait to board the cruise ship which departed SD at 5.00 p.m.
November 1st Our first full day at sea. The ship’s position at noon was Lat 27 degrees 33.3 N. and Long 115 degrees 11.5 W. This approximates to 40 miles W of Punta De San Pablo [Baja Mexico]. An excellent morning with about 650 storm-petrels of three species, Black-vented and Pink-footed Shearwaters plus three unexpected Northern Fulmars. Also, impressive numbers of Red Phalaropes. A number of large dark-backed gulls [both adults and immatures] seen during the early AM were believed to be Yellow-footed [see below].
November 2nd This ship docked at Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula at noon. This allowed a.m. sea-watching and p.m. land birding. Sea-birding was very slow although the first Brown and Masked Boobies were seen and an adult and two immature Yellow-footed Gulls were seen in the harbor at Cabo. We had arranged to meet up with Maria Elena Muriel as well as Antonio and Julio, who had kindly arranged to guide us for the afternoon. We had a very enjoyable time and managed to obtained great views of three Baja endemics with up to 12 Belding’s Yellowthroats, three Xantu’s Hummingbirds and, at the very last minute, a single Grey Thrasher.
November 3rd A full day at sea. The ship’s position at noon was Lat: 19 degrees 46.2N and Long: 106 degrees 08.9W. This approximates 75 miles WNW of Punta Farralion, Mexico. Sea-watching was fairly slow but included two Tahiti Petrels, Pink-footed Shearwaters and Least Storm-Petrels, Red-billed Tropicbirds and our peak count of Brown Boobies.
November 4th The Veendam docked at Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa [Mexico] at 8.00 a.m. allowing about 7 hours of land birding. We had rented a car and planned to concentrate our efforts on thorn forest species. Unfortunately BEC was too ill to go birding and PC was also shaky (although he went out!) so land-birding was somewhat limited. Sea birds seen as we approached Zihuatanejo included our first Galapagos Shearwater of the trip as well as small numbers of Black Storm-Petrels. We birded forest sites off the Old Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Road and Microwave Tower area, later visiting Playa Linda in Ixtapa, and walking some of the very birdy (but buggy) Bicycle Trail. Land birding was pretty good with Colima Pygmy Owl, Doubleday’s Hummingbird, Citreoline Trogon and Blue Buntings being the top birds seen.
November 5th Arrived at Acapulco at 7.00 a.m. and departed around 4.00 p.m. Only limited amount of sea-watching but quite productive. Sea-birds included ten each of Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers. Also ten very interesting shearwaters which we later [back home] concluded were Black-vented. These birds showed very pale [bleached/molting] heads and necks and looked quite different from the BV’s seen earlier on the trip. Other pelagic species included our peak count of Least Storm-Petrels and the first Sabine’s Gull of the trip. We had hoped to see Townsend’s Shearwaters, which, although highly endangered, have been recording in this area in November. However, no definite sightings were made.
Land-birding was almost a complete bust. First, the day was extremely hot (over 90F) We had a car from Budget delivered to the dock, and we drove south for almost an hour in a fruitless search for alleged habitat near the airport. Adding to our frustration was being pulled over by the police for allegedly too much weaving (a common scam). After somewhat prolonged discussion, the police tore up the ticket and let us continue on our journey. On the way back to the city we noticed a sign to the Jardin Botanico and decided to try this spot. Unfortunately, by now it was midday and very hot and the birding at the Gardens were quite slow. However, we did have one piece of amazing luck as we drove up the winding road to the gardens when a Lesser Ground Cuckoo flew low across and in front of the car and landed on a low road-side wall less than ten feet away from us. It provided an extremely close but short view before departing. This pretty much saved the day. (However for birders in Acapulco an early morning stop at the gardens would probably be a good idea as most of the habitat around Acapulco is useless, and this has native plantings and running water. The presence of the ground-cuckoo shows that good birds are around.)
November 6th Arrived at Huatulco at 7.00 a.m. and departed at noon. Not a lot of time for land birding but very productive. We had arranged to be guided by Eric Martinez, an excellent young birder. We visited Parque Nacional de Huatulco, which had very good dry thorn-forest habitat. Many birds seen including Citreoline Trogon, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Russet-crowned Motmot, White-lored Gnatcatcher, a brilliant male Red-breasted Chat, and Blue, Painted and Orange-breasted Buntings.
Sea-watching in the p.m. produced fifty more of the very pale-headed Black-vented Shearwaters, our first Red-necked Phalaropes of the trip and quite large numbers of Black Terns feeding many miles out to sea. Large numbers of this species became the norm for the next several days.
November 7th Arrived at Puerto Quetzel, Guatemala at 8.00 a.m. and departed at 5.00 p.m. We had arranged to be picked-up at the dock by a Birding Pal Victor Juarez and taken to Los Tarrales Reserve. Unfortunately a major road accident on the way (involving a petrol truck) caused a complete traffic stoppage. We had to change plans and drive to a shade-grown coffee farm [Finca Filadelfia] on the side of a volcano near Antiqua,. They took us up a steep mountain track where we stopped every time we saw birds. We enjoyed a surprisingly productive visit with quite a few good birds including at least ten very smart Bushy-crested Jays. Other notables included the near-endemic Black-capped Swallow plus Brown-backed Solitaire, Yellow-throated Brushfinch and two very smart White-eared Ground Sparrows. Our excellent guide there was Rocio Aldecoa (email@example.com), who is an ornithologist working at the plantation. On the way back we stopped at a petrol station and, by chance, enjoyed a colony of Lesser Nighthawks nesting on the roof of the building.
The limited afternoon seawatch was quite productive with our first South Polar Skua plus fifteen Parasitic Jaegers as well as the now regular Galapagos and Black-vented Shearwaters and Least and Black- Storm Petrels.
November 8th Arrived in Corinto, Nicaragua at 8.00 a.m. and departed at 3.00 p.m. After a lot of difficulty we had managed to arrange a trip to Finca San Cristobel. This was another shade-grown coffee farm of about 2000 hectares. Reaching it involved a very long drive over an extemely difficult dirt road, made worse by recent rain. The habitat appeared excellent with large areas of native cloud forest with huge old trees shading the coffee. Unfortunately the birding was slow (one of those days!), although we obtained excellent views of three Chestnut-capped Warblers. Other good birds were parties of both Orange-fronted and Orange-cheeked Parakeets and three Turquoise-browed Motmots. The finca owner served us lunch and drove us back just in time to catch the ship!
Our now normal late afternoon sea-watch produced our first Elegant, Arctic and Bridled Terns of the trip plus Brown Noddies and all three species of Jaeger.
November 9th Arrived at Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica at 8.00a.m. and departed at 5.00 p.m. We had arranged through “Birding Pals” to meet Darrell and Lorna Smith and then drive to Carara N.P. This was one of only two days that weather affected our birding. We arrived at the river trail at Carara to find it partially under water which limited to birding only the first quarter of a mile [the trail is just over two miles long]. Still a lot of bird activity in a fruiting tree which included a party of Scarlet Macaws. Other birds seen included Black-headed Trogon, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Black-hooded Antshrike, Dot-winged Antwren, and Dusky Antbird. Unfortunately, the rain started mid-morning. We decided to retreat to a local restaurant for an early lunch in the hope that the weather would improve. No such luck, it continued to rain quite hard so after birding around some nearby marshes, we reluctantly had to cut short the day and return to the ship.
Our late afternoon sea-watch produced our first Markham’s Storm-Petrels of the trip and our last Least Storm-Petrel plus small numbers of Galapagos Shearwaters.
November 10th Our first full day at sea in almost a week! The ship’s position at noon was Lat: 05 degrees 17.8N and Long: 083 degrees 086W. This approximates 300 miles west of Ensenada, Colombia. The biggest surprise today was a Swallow-tailed Gull seen about 6.30.a.m. The bird drafted around the ship for several minutes provided close observation. In addition large numbers of Leaches’ Storm-Petrels were seen and Markham’s Storm-Petrels had now fully replaced Black. Further Storm Petrel species added to the list were Band–rumped and Wedge-rumped, both photographed. One of the Leach’s photographed appeared small and had a dark grey rump, a feature consistent with the race ‘chapmanii’ which breeds on Isla Guadalupe off Baja California. Other birds included four each of Tahiti Petrel and Red-billed Tropicbird. Finally we recorded our only Red-footed  and Nazca Boobies  of the trip.
November 11th Arrived at Manta, Ecuador at 9.00 a.m. and departed at 8.00 p.m. We had arranged to meet Pancho Sornoza, an experienced birding guide from Quito who luckily was working for two months at the state environmental agency in Manta. Pancho was very familiar with both the local birds and birding locations. We first birded some dry Tumbesian areas within Machalilla National Park, and then drove a bout 90 minutes to the wetter Rio – Valley in search of the rare endemic Esmarelda’s Woodstar. Unfortunatly, we had mist and rain most of the day. Hummingbirds were scarce and we dipped on the Woodstar despite checking known haunts. However on the whole, it was a very successful day. Interesting birds included Elegant Crescentchest, Collared Antshrike, Grey and Gold Warbler, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Collared Forest-Falcon and many others.
The morning sea-watch prior to docking produced a Parkinson’s Petrel. [This was originally identified as a White-chinned but the identification corrected after a review of Tony’s photos]. Another distant bird may have been this species.
November 12th All day at sea. The ship’s position at noon was Lat: 04 degrees 41.1S. Long: 082 degrees 34.9W. This approximates 40 miles WSW of Talara, Peru.
A very good day for pelagic species with about 200 Galapagos Petrels, 20 Waved Albatrosses, huge numbers of storm-petrels of seven species including 250 Hornby’s, many coming off the water right under the bow giving mind-blowing looks!
November 13th The Veendam docked at Trujillo, Peru at 8.00 a.m. Our early morning sea-watch produced two Waved Albatrosses cruising around in the bay less than 1/2 miles from the shore. We were also quite surprised to see large parties of Great Grebes totaling over fifty birds swimming in the harbor.
Following the day-stop at Trujillo, the Veendam would dock for two days at Callao. This would allow us to have three days ashore in Peru for some relatively extensive land-birding. We had arranged to hire Gunner Engblom to guide us during this period. Thus began our saga in Peru!!
We met up with Gunner outside the dock. He had a rental truck, and we then headed inland to the Sinsicap Valley. The main target here was the Russet-bellied Spinetail. A few interesting birds were seen including good views of Amazilia Hummingbird and Purple-collared Woodstar although no signs of the Spinetail. The first of many car problems was a flat. We then found that most of the tires were bald! This required wasting several hours driving back down to Trujillo to get a replacement car. The remaining birding that day was an evening visit to Chao. After some flogging around we managed to see the target bird, the “Chao” Spinetail. We then had a long drive to our ‘”on spec” hotel. Per Gunnar, by this time we were meant to have reached a hotel (existence in doubt) 60+ miles further inland (see below) at a town called Huallanca.
November 14th We left the hotel around 3.00 a.m. for what Gunner said would be a 3-4 hour drive to our next birding destination through the Andean foothills – he was not exaggerating! . Initially, the road was good, but as we drove into the mountains it deteriorated and became a very bad bolder-strewn dirt road. Driving this in the pitch dark was quite hairy to say the least. Eventually the car broke-down literally in the middle of an almost birdless nowhere. After several hours a local came by who jumped-started the battery. We then had about 6+ more hours along this incredibly bad road not daring to stop in case the car would not start again. Eventually we came to the small town of Huallanca (never looked for the possible hotel) and yet another flat! A local fixed this for us. The group then decided we had enough of this and to change our plans by heading back towards the coast as we had real concerns that more car problems could result in us missing the ship. With all of the problems we ended up on the road from about 3.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. with only minimal birding en route. Not what we had been promised at all!
November 15th Despite further car problems [including another breakdown and the need to replace the battery], we managed to get some decent birding in today. This included a visit to Lomas de Lachay, which was quite birdy including being alive with hummingbirds. We also struck lucky with a roadside stop that produced a pair of beautiful Tawny-throated Dotterels. Finally an all too-short a stop at a wetland reserve produced many birds the highlight of which was a pair of Peruvian Thick-knees.
November 16th All day at sea. The ship’s position at noon was Lat: 17 degrees 09.3S. Long: 075 degrees 46.1 W. This approximates 300 miles west of Arica, Chile. Another very successful day of pelagic birding. Sea-bird activity is usually quite patchy, with periods of exciting activity interspersed with much slower periods. Today, although there were some hot spells, sea-birds were more or less in view throughout the day. Both Buller’s and Black-browed Albatrosses were recorded for the first time also, at long last, our first cookilaria petrels with Cook’s, Stejneger’s and many De Filippe’s. Other good birds were eight Kermadec Petrels, twenty more Hornby’s Storm-Petrels plus at least four other storm-petrel species and at least fourteen Long-tailed Jaegers and our first Southern Fulmars of the trip.
November 17th Another full day at sea. The ship’s position at noon was Lat: 24 degrees 03,9S, Long: 073 degrees 10.8W. This approximates 200 miles wnw of Plata Point, Chile.
Another very good day for sea-birds. Buller’s Albatrosses totaled about thirteen birds and we had about 80 De Filippe’s Petrels. Other good birds were thirty Juan Fernandez Petrels and one or possibly two Christmas Island Shearwaters. Perhaps the most exciting event of the day was the large numbers of Swallow-tailed Gulls totaling more than 300 birds! Finally a South Polar Skua and all three jaegers were recorded with Long-tailed hitting our daily maximum of fifteen birds.
November 18th We docked at Coquimbo [La Serena], Chile at 10.00 a.m. and departed at 6.00 p.m. We decided to rent a taxi for the day and drive to Puenta Juan Soldado [ Pearman Site # C9]. We birded in and along the sides of this gorge with excellent results as most of the more interesting birds showed well. Giant Hummingbirds were common, we had nice views of two Dusky-tailed Canasteros as well as a surprisingly showy Dusky Tapaculo. However, the best birds of the morning were repeated close view of several White-throated Tapaculos and a very energized Moustached Turca.
Sea-watching during the morning and for a short while in the evening produced some interesting birds. These included ten Southern Fulmars, a new species for the trip. Also, our largest count of Sooty Shearwaters and 15 Peruvian Diving Petrels.
November 19th The Veendam docked at Vaparaiso, Chile at 7.00 a.m. Regrettably this was our departure point for this cruise. If only we could have continued with the Veendam to its final cruise port of Buenos Aires – how many more great pelagic species would we have seen!
We had arranged to meet Fernando Díaz, a young Chilean birding guide who was to guide us for the next couple of days. A representative from Sixt also met us at the dock with a good-sized 4WD vehicle that still barely held all our luggage! Our plan was to bird along the coast north of Valparaiso for a while and then head south for the 4 hour long drive to Altos del Lircay. We had some time in late afternoon to bird the entrance area of the park although by now it had gotten rather cloudy and cold. Best birds today were our only Humboldt Penguin of the trip, several Chilean Seaside Cincloides, Chilean Hawk and ten Green-backed Firecrowns.
We got lucky with our accommodation as we found a great bed and breakfast Refugio El Galo, in the woods a short distance from the park. This consists of a newly- built A-frame cabin sleeping 6, with a welcome wood stove, as well as a restaurant. They served up a great dinner (one of the best meals of the trip, including those on the cruise!) and a sumptuous breakfast. The lady showed us a brilliant photo of a Rufous-legged Owl taken right on their property. That evening we tried taping the bird in but no luck.
November 20th Our main target at the national park was the Chestnut-throated Huet-Huet. Several birds were calling along the trail but they were extremely elusive and initially we only had brief silhouette views. We spent several hours looking, and, in the end, we all got tickable views. As usual, Gail got the best view of a singing perched bird! Other good birds seen at the park were a Magellanic Woodpecker [with several others heard], Chilean Pigeon, Patagonian Tyrant, six White-throated Treerunners, and, again good numbers of the frustratingly elusive Green-backed Firecrowns. Most of the afternoon was spent on the return drive to Santiago.
November 21st We spent several rather unproductive hours at Estero Lampa, a wetland near the Santiago Airport. We had great luck at this site on prior trips [Painted Snipe, Stripe-backed Bittern etc.] However, the marsh was much drier this year with far fewer birds. Probably the best were several Brown-hooded Gulls and a close calling Black Rail, as well as Spectacled Tyrant and Wren-like Rushbird. We then visited Batuca Lagoon, and finally Batuca Sewage Works. Both places were quite birdy with good variety including a nice assortment of waterfowl (e.g. Black-headed Duck, Rosy-billed Pochard, and Red Shoveler), as well as Many-colored Rush Tyrant and Cinereous Harrier. We dropped Fernando off (to catch a taxi home) and drove to the airport to catch an Air Canada overnight flight to Toronto.
November 22nd While the trip was over, Gail and Barry rented a car at Toronto AP and drove via Niagara Falls to the Buffalo AP. This allowed us to visit the falls and enjoy both the spectacle and the huge concentration of gulls that winter there. We manage to add several new gull species including Glaucous, Iceland (Kumlien’s) Gulls and Greater and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
We recorded an amazing 520 species which was significantly higher than we had expected.
Pied-billed Grebe: Up to ten birds birds seen in S. Cal, plus two near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and a single bird in Peru.
Eared Grebe: An impressive 50+ birds seen at one site at the Salton Sea.
Silvery Grebe: Just a single bird seen at the Batuco Lagoon, Chile.
White-tufted Grebe: Three birds seen at Batuco Sewage Works, Chile.
Great Grebe: Several flocks totaling 50+ birds in the harbor at Trujillo, Peru. Single birds near Callao on November 15th and one at Batuco Lagoon on 21st.
Western Grebe: Six birds seen Pt. Lomo, and about twenty-five at the Salton Sea.
Clark’s Grebe: A pair seen at Cuyamaca Lake on the drive to the Salton Sea.
Common Loon: Two birds seen off Pt. Lomo, S. Cal.
Waved Albatross: Twenty birds seen on November 12th. The birds were seen on and off during most of the day and brilliant views were obtained. At noon, the Veendam was about 40 miles WSW of Talara, Peru. Additionally, two birds seen the following morning only about 1/2 mile from shore as we approached Trujillo, Peru. Without doubt one of the top birds of the trip.
Black-browed Albatross: Just a single bird seen on November 16th.
Buller’s Albatross: About twenty-five birds seen concentrated on November 16th & 17th. During this period the Veendam was cruising 200 miles off the northern and central Chilean coast.
Albatross sp. A single Thallassarche sp. November 18th.
Giant Petrel sp. A total of four birds all seen in Chilean waters. None were specifically identified, although Southern is by far the most likely [per Jaramillo].
Northern Fulmar: We had the rather unique experience of seeing both Fulmar species on this trip with three Northerns off the Baja Peninsula.
Southern Fulmar: About twenty birds seen while entering and leaving the port of Coquimbo, Chile.
Cape Petrel: Surprisingly scarce with just four birds seen in Chilean waters.
Tahiti Petrel: Two birds watched for several minutes on the afternoon of November 3rd. At noon the Veendam was approximately 70 miles WNW of Punta Farralion, Mexico. Four birds seen on November 10th when the Veendam at noon was about 300 miles west of Ensenada Docampedo, Colombia.
De Filippe’s Petrel: Recorded in fairly large numbers on November 16th and 17th [80+ birds on each day].
Cook’s Petrel: Three birds seen very well and considered to be this species during the morning of November 16th. Both this and the following species were seen in association with a movement of De Filippe’s Petrels.
Stejneger’s Petrel: A single bird seen during the morning of November 16th.
Cookalaria sp.: At least thirty birds on November 16th -- too distant for specific identification but most likely De Filippe’s Petrels
Galapagos Petrel: Recorded on just one day – November 12th -- with birds recorded throughout the morning and tapering off around mid-afternoon. At noon the Veendam was about 40 miles WSW of Talara, Peru. In all, approximately 200 birds of this large impressive Pterodroma were seen including a flock of almost 100 birds. For BC and GM the top seabird of the trip.
Kermedac Petrel: Eight dark-phased birds seen on November 16th.
Juan Fernandez Petrel: About thirty birds of this large striking petrel were seen on November 17th.
White-chinned Petrel: Recorded on three dates with a maximum of thirty birds on November 12th. The others were on the previous two days.
Parkinson’s Petrel: Rather surprisingly just a single bird seen on November 11th when the Veendam was in Ecuadorian waters NW of Manta. Another distant bird on the same day was probably this species.
Wedge-tailed Shearwater: A surprisingly scarce species with just four birds sighted over three days with single birds seen off of Mexico and Nicaragua, and two off Colombia.
Pink-footed Shearwater: Recorded on five days with the daily maximum of 25 birds seen on November 1st. Again, surprisingly scarce.
Sooty Shearwater : Not recorded until quite late in the cruise with the first birds seen on November 15th. It was then seen daily with the largest count of 100 birds on November 18th.
Christmas Island Shearwater: Probably the most unexpected pelagic species seen on the cruise. A single bird was studied in excellent light as it crossed the bow at quite close range. We immediately noticed a complete lack of any pale color on the under-wing and the bird looked a nearly uniform sooty-brown coloring. Given the distance and excellent lighting conditions, we feel sure that there was no suggestion of the silver under-wing flash of the Sooty Shearwater The bird looked smaller and more compact than Sooty Shearwaters seen the following day. The wings were shorter and lacked the thin scythe-like look of the Sooty’s wings. This sighting was about 5.15 p.m. on November 17th. At that time the Veendam was about 100 miles west of Morpo Point, Northern Chile.
Black-vented Shearwater: Our first sightings were of twelve birds seen on November 1st. At this time, the Veendam, at noon, was about 40 miles west of the Baja Peninsula, Mexico. These were typical looking BV Shearwaters. However, over November 5th and 6th we observed about sixty birds with atypical plumage. This required some research back home before we determined the birds to be Black-vented. The major difference was that almost all birds had very noticeable pale, almost cream-colored heads and napes. In fact, they looked very similar to those recently described by Brian Sullivan in North American Birds, Volume 63 No.2. We are unsure why we observed two distinctly different looking populations of BV Shearwaters, although the later birds were, presumably, in either worn/bleached plumage or in active head and neck molt.
Galapagos Shearwater: Recorded in small numbers almost daily between November 4th and 10th. The maximum daily count was fifteen birds.
We had very large numbers of storm-petrels on November 12th, which we estimated at approximately 1,000 birds of seven species. At noon on this date the Veendam was approximately 40 miles WSW of Tara, Northern Peru. Many of the small black and white [rumped] storm-petrels [estimated at 500+] were left unidentified, as they were too distant. Therefore, the numbers of several of the following species are very substantially understated. The large numbers of Hornby’s Storm-Petrels were particularly impressive.
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: Up to six birds recorded on two dates. Almost certainly undercounted.
White-vented Storm-Petrel: Up to eight birds on two dates, again, numbers very likely greatly underestimated due to identification difficulties.
Least Storm-Petrel: A fairly widespread species being seen as far south as Costa Rica. In all recorded on eight days with the daily maximum of 25 birds seen on November 5th. The flight was fast and almost bat-like.
Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel: First seen were four off Colombia/Ecuador on 10th November. An estimated forty birds seen on November 12th. Again, likely under-estimated on this date although this species was easier to pick-out due to their distinctive large white rump patch. Off Chile, twelve were seen on November 16th and three the following day.
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel: Two different birds were photographed on November 10th off Colombia/Ecuador among good numbers of Leach’s and five birds were seen at close range on November 12th. Given the large numbers of unidentified storm-petrels seen on that day, this is likely to be an under-estimate. Both “The Birds of Ecuador” and “A Field Guide to the Birds of Peru” indicate that this species is a rare migrant. However, it does breed on the Galapagos Islands. On this day we were seeing many other Galapagos breeders including Waved Albatross, Galapagos Shearwater and Petrel, and Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel. Also, we were [at noon] about 40 miles off the Northern Peruvian coast. It may well be that, post-breeding season, this species is quite regular in these waters.
Leach’s Storm-Petrel: Recorded on just two days with an estimated 75 birds seen on November 10th and five more on November 12th. A bird photographed on November 10th appears to have features consistent with the race ‘chapmanii’ that breeds on Isla Guadalupe off Baja California. It had a grey rump with a partial darker central stripe and was thought to be smaller than the other Leach’s.
Black Storm-Petrel: Large numbers on the morning of November 1st when an estimated 500+ seen. Up to six birds recorded on five other days with the last sighting on November 8th fairly close inshore off Nicaragua.
Ashy Storm-Petrel: Seen on just one day when an estimated forty birds on November 1st, associating with the flight of Black Storm- Petrels.
Markham’s Storm-Petrel: Commencing on November 9th, this species replaced the Black Storm-Petrel. The most widespread storm-petrel, being seen on six days with daily maximums of 350 and 120+ birds on November 12th and 16th respectively.
Hornby’s Storm-Petrel: Large numbers of this attractive storm-petrel were seen on November 12th when an estimated 250 birds were recorded. Birds were seen beginning in the early afternoon and continued throughout the day. Many came off the water just in front of the bow, providing extended great views. Also about twenty more were seen on November 16th. One of the top pelagic species of the trip.
Oceanodroma/Oceanites sp. An estimated five hundred “white-rumped black storm-petrels” were recorded on November 12th and twenty more on November 16th.
Peruvian Diving–Petrel: Three birds seen while entering the port at Trujillo, Peru. Also, about fifteen birds seen both in flight and swimming as the ship entered and departed the port of Coquimbo, Chile. Some were very close in front of the bow, affording great looks at this tiny tubenose.
Humboldt Penguin: Rather surprisingly just a single bird seen. This was on the large rock close inshore just north of Vina Del Mar.
Red-billed Tropicbird: A total of nine birds seen over four widely separated dates including four birds on November 10th.
Magnificent Frigatebird: A very common coastal species being first recorded on November 2nd and with a maximum estimate of 700 on November 11t
American White Pelican: Abundant at the Salton Sea. No estimate attempted but the numbers must have been in the hundreds.
Brown Pelican: A common coastal species from Southern California down to Costa Rica. Usually so numerous we simply just ticked it in the daily log.
Peruvian Pelican: Replaced the previous species starting on November 11th at Manta, Ecuador. Subsequently recorded commonly at coastal stops down to Valparaiso, Chile.
Blue-footed Booby: An estimated 350 birds seen on the rocky jetties at Manta, Ecuador. Also, about 400 feeding birds seen the following day while off Northern Peru.
Peruvian Booby: Very large numbers seen as the ship either approached or departed the dock at both Trujillo and Callao, Peru [e.g. 2,000 birds estimated at Trujillo]. Also seen in smaller numbers in coastal waters off Coquimbo and Valparaiso, Chile.
Masked Booby: Two birds seen on November 2nd and three more on November 7th
Nazca Booby: Recorded on just one day with an impressive forty birds seen on November 10th. On this date, at noon, the Veendam was about 300 miles west of the Colombia coast.
Red-footed Booby: The rarest of the boobies with just two birds seen on November 10th when, at noon, the Veendam was about 300 miles west of the Columbia coast. Both were brown-phase birds. According to Clements and Shany, this species is accidental to Peru.
Brown Booby: The most widely-distributed of all the boobies being recorded on seven days. The first bird was seen on November 2nd and numbers peaked at 350 birds on November 3rd. Our last sighting was of 25 birds on November 9th.
Brandt’s Cormorant: Common around Point Lomo, S. Cal. with an estimated fifty birds seen.
Pelagic Cormorant: Just a single bird seen amongst the Brandt’s Cormorants at Point Lomo, also thousands seen flying further offshore.
Neotopical Cormorant: Recorded regularly at many coastal locations. Particularly common with some large colonies seen in Costa Rica and around La Serena, Chile.
Double-crested Cormorant: Small numbers recorded in California and Mexico.
Guanay Cormorant: Fairly common coastal species in Peru and Chile.
Red-legged Cormorant: About ten birds seen around Coquimbo, Chile and a single bird the following day at Valparaiso.
Anhinga: A single bird seen at a wetland near Ixtapa, Mexico.
South Polar Skua: A total of seven birds seen all far offshore on seven widely separated dates.
Pomarine Jaeger: In all about fifty birds recorded over six days. The daily maximum count was fifteen birds seen on November 7th.
Parasitic Jaeger : About twenty-five birds recorded over seven days with a daily maximum of ten birds seen on November 5th.
Long-tailed Jaeger: About thirty birds recorded over three days with daily maximums of fourteen birds on November 17th and fifteen on the following day.
We recorded an impressive 17 species of gulls on the cruise. In addition, BC & GM, on the journey home, also saw Iceland, Glaucous, Lesser and Greater Black-backed Gulls during a short visit to Niagara Falls.
Band-tailed Gull: Recorded on two days including about 300 birds seen as the ship departed Callao, Peru in the evening of November 15th.
Gray Gull: Recorded on three days including about 200 birds resting on the beach at La Serena, Chile.
Heermann’s Gull: A common coastal gull around San Diego. Also, recorded on November 1st off the Baja Peninsular.
Ring-billed Gull: A very common gull in coastal California and at the Salton Sea.
California Gull: Only about six birds seen along the coast at San Diego, although likely overlooked amongst the more numerous Ring-billed Gulls.
Kelp Gull: A rough estimate of 600+ birds seen loafing along the beach at La Serena, Chile. Common also around Valparaiso and recorded in small numbers in Peru.
Western Gull: Common around San Diego. Also about 100 birds seen on the cruise off the Baja Peninsular.
Yellow-footed Gull: We had extended great views of an adult off the Obsidian Butte at the Salton Sea. – A new U.S. bird for BC & GM. Also, an adult and two immatures in the bay at Cabo San Lucas, Finally, about fifteen birds seen in flight believed to be this species while the Veendam was cruising off the Baja Peninsula. Appeared to have blacker upperparts and heavier bodied birds with noticeably bulkier bill than Western Gulls. We were, however, unable to see the diagnostic leg color.
Herring Gull: Common around San Diego and small numbers seen at the Salton Sea.
Brown-hooded Gull: This attractive hooded gull was seen on only one day with about ten birds seen flying over the Lampa marshes in Chile.
Gray-hooded Gull: Twenty-five were seen in Peru on November 13th in the harbor at Trujillio.
Andean Gull: Small numbers seen on three days in Peru and Chile.
Laughing Gull: Recorded only once with about twenty birds seen on November 7th.
Franklin’s Gull: Surprisingly small numbers seen. In all recorded on five days with the maximum a mere 100 birds seen on November 8th.
Bonaparte’s Gull: Six were at the Salton Sea on October 30th.
Sabine’s Gull: This very attractive gull was recorded on seven days with the daily maximum of 100 birds.
Swallow-tailed Gull: A single summer plumage adult was seen on November 10th when the Veendam was about 40 miles north of the Equator and about 200 miles almost due south of the small breeding colony on Isla Malpela. Columbia. On November 17th an extremely impressive 306 birds were recorded. Many of these birds were first sighted roosting on the sea in flocks of up to seventy birds. Most individuals were immatures or in winter plumage . On this date the Veendam was cruising about 200 miles out from the north Chilean coast. Brilliant and one of the very best pelagic spectacles of the trip.
Black Tern: Between November 5th and November 9th this was a common pelagic species being recorded many miles from shore. Most daily numbers were between 50 and 200 birds but included an estimated 5,000 on November 9th. The waters off southern Mexico and Central America are obviously a major wintering area for this species.
Caspian Tern: Just two birds seen on November 4th.
Royal Tern: Recorded on four days with the daily maximum of ten birds on November 10th.
Sandwich Tern: Ten birds on November 4th was the sole record.
Elegant Tern: Recorded on six days with daily maximum of eight birds on November 6th.
South American Tern: Recorded on two days including thirty birds on November 15th.
Common Tern: Recorded on three days with a daily maximum of 40 birds on November 3rd.
Arctic Tern: All birds seen were well offshore. In all recorded on three days with a daily maximum of ten birds on November 16th.
Forster’s Tern: About ten birds recorded at the Salton Sea.
Sterna sp: About 500 birds seen on November 18th with smaller numbers on a few other days.
Peruvian Tern: Just a single bird seen well offshore on November 12th. On this date the Veendam was cruising about 40 miles off the northern Peruvian coast.
Least Tern: Recorded on two days with an impressive 150 birds seen while entering the harbor at Punteranas, Costa Rica on November 9th.
Bridled Tern: Four birds recorded over November 8th and 9th.
Inca Tern: This very striking tern was a common coastal species between southern Peru and Central Chile with an estimated 350 birds seen at Callao, Peru, 200 birds at Coquimbo, Chile and 120 at Vina Del Mar, Chile..
Brown Noddy: Just three birds seen on November 8th.
Black Skimmer: A single bird seen inshore at Coqumbo, Chile.
We considered ourselves fortunate in seeing both of the southern murrelets. Both species were seen either on the water or flying up from the surface immediately ahead of the bow. Had we not been right at the front of the ship, we would probably have missed both species.
Xantu’s Murrelet: A single bird well seen on November 1st when the Veendam was off the northern Baja Peninsular.
Craveri’s Murrelet: We were starting to give up hope for this murrelet but on November 3rd we enjoyed great views of about twelve birds both swimming and in flight. At the time the Veendam was about seventy miles off the north/central Mexican coast.
Cassin’s Auklet Two birds seen in flight and briefly swimming on November 1st.
Gray Phalarope: A common pelagic species being recorded on nine days with a daily maximum of about 1,000 birds on November 1st.
Red-necked Phalarope Far less numerous than the prior species, although probably overlooked to some extent. In all recorded on five days with daily maximums of 40 birds on both November 6th and 8th.
Northern Jacana: A single bird seen at Playa Linda, Ixtapa, Mexico.
Wattled Jacana: A single bird seen at a roadside pool near Manta, Ecuador.
Marbled Godwit: Recorded on two days in California including at least twenty birds at the Salton Sea.
Whimbrel: In all recorded on four days with fifty birds along the beach at La Serena being the daily maximum.
Long-billed Curlew: An impressive 100+ birds seen feeding in a pasture at the Salton Sea.
Greater Yellowlegs: Common and widespread at the Salton Sea otherwise single birds seen on at least two other days.
Lesser Yellowlegs: Common and widespread at the Salton Sea and singles seen on at least two other days.
Spotted Sandpiper: Fairly common at the Salton Sea and seen in small numbers on at least four other days.
Wandering Tattler: Just a single bird seen feeding on the breakwater at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.
Willet: Very common at the Salton Sea and up to six birds seen on three other days.
Ruddy Turnstone: Five birds seen at Point Lomo, S.Cal.
Black Turnstone: Five birds seen at Point Lomo, S.Cal.
Long-billed Dowitcher: About 75 birds seen at one site at the Salton Sea.
Western Sandpiper: Single birds recorded on two days in Peru.
Least Sandpiper: The common ‘peep’ at the Salton Sea where hundreds were seen.
Baird’s Sandpiper: A flock of eight birds seen migrating far out to sea on November 17th and at least two birds at a wetland just outside of Callao, Peru.
Pectoral Sandpiper: Two birds seen near Callao, Peru were the sole sighting.
Sanderling: Our only sightings were three birds seen near Callao, Peru.
Black Oystercatcher: Two birds seen at Point Lomo, S. Cal.
Blackish Oystercatcher: Three adults plus small young near Vina Del Mar, Chile.
American Oystercatcher: Six birds at Point Lomo, and two more near Manta, Ecuador.
Black-necked Stilt: Very common at the Salton Sea and recorded on several other days including about 40 birds at the Batuca Lagoon and Sewage Works, Chile.
American Avocet: Fairly common at the Salton Sea.
Semipalmated Plover: Just four birds seen over two days.
Killdeer: Recorded on two days including 25 birds at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Black-bellied Plover: Six were seen in California on October 30th.
Tawny-throated Dotterel: We enjoyed one possibly two pairs of this very attractive species at a road-side semi-desert habitat stop on the drive towards Callao, Peru.
Southern Lapwing Recorded daily in Chile with the maximum of 120 birds on November 21st.
Least Seedsnipe: At least eight birds seen in the same semi-desert habitat as the Tawny-throated Dotterels above.
Peruvian Thick-knee: We had missed this species on a couple of prior trips. Therefore, we were delighted to see a pair at a wetland reserve just outside of Callao, Peru.
Pale-breasted Tinamou: A single bird heard calling at Machililla NP, Ecuador.
Andean Goose: A pair seen on a high Andean wetland in Peru and three more at the Batuco Lagoon, Chile.
Snow Goose: Two were at the Salton Sea on Oct 30th.
Canada Goose: Small numbers seen in California.
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: A flock of thirty birds seen at Playa Linda, Ixtapa, Mexico.
Ruddy Duck: c100 were at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal and 30 at the Salton Sea.
Andean Duck: Thirty birds seen at the wetland reserve near Callao, Peru.
Lake Duck: Twenty birds seen at the Batuco Lagoon and Sewage Works.
Green-winged Teal: Thirty birds seen at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal, and twenty seen at a wetland outside of Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
Cinnamon Teal: About twenty birds seen at the Batuca Lagoon and Sewage Works.
Speckled Teal: Eight birds seen at the Batuca Sewage Works, Chile.
Blue-winged Teal: Eight birds recorded at the Salton Sea.
Mallard: Recorded at various sites in California.
Crested Duck: Our only sighting was of six birds at the wetland reserve near Callao.
Red Shoveller: About twenty birds [including female with young] at the Batuco Sewage Works.
Northern Shoveller: Abundant at the Salton Sea with an estimated 1,000 birds seen.
White-cheeked Pintail: Eight birds at the wetland reserve near Callao and two at the Batuco Sewage Works.
Yellow-billed Pintail: Forty birds seen collectively at the Batuca Lagoon and Sewage Work.
American Wigeon: A single bird seen in California.
Chiloe Wigeon: Fifteen birds seen at the Batuco Lagoon and Sewage Works.
Gadwall: A party of twenty birds seen at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal.
Black-headed Duck: An impressive twenty birds seen at the Batuco Lagoon and Sewage Works, Chile, albeit rather distantly. The world’s only parasitic duck.
Rosy-billed Pochard: A pair of this attractive species was seen at the Batuca Sewage Works.
Redhead: A single bird seen at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal.
Ring-necked Duck: About twenty-five birds seen at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal.
Lesser Scaup: Two birds seen at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal.
Bufflehead: About sixty birds seen at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal.
Hooded Merganser: Ten birds seen at Cuyamaca Lake, So. Cal.
Surf Scoter: Ten birds seen in flight off Point Lomo, S. Cal.
Great White Egret: Up to six birds recorded over nine days.
Tricolored Heron: Single birds seen on November 6th and 9th.
Little Blue Heron: Recorded on four days including six birds at a wetland near Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
Snowy Egret: Recorded on seven days with a maximum of six birds on November 9th.
Great Blue Heron Surprisingly, just single birds seen on two days.
Cocoi Heron: A total of five birds seen including four at the Batuca Sewage Works.
Cattle Egret: A common bird in Costa Rica, Peru and Chile.
Green Heron: Just single birds seen at IIxtapa, Mexico and in Costa Rica.
Striated Heron: A single bird seen at Machililla NP, Ecuador.
Black-crowned Night Heron Recorded on four days including eight birds at the wetland reserve near Calao, Peru.
Least Bittern: A single bird seen briefly in flight by Gunnar at the wetland reserve near Calao.
White Ibis: Twenty birds seen near Carrara, Costa Rica.
White-faced Ibis: A fairly common bird at the Salton Sea.
Roseate Spoonbill: Three birds seen on November 4th and a single on the 9th.
Wood Stork: Ten birds seen near Carrara, Costa Rica was the only sighting.
Black Vulture: A common species seen at most land stops as far south as Calao, Peru.
Turkey Vulture: Another common and widespread species and seen at virtually
all land stops.
Osprey: Recorded on five days as far south as Costa Rica. The daily maximum was 12 birds seen in and around Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
White-tailed Kite: Two were seen while driving through Chile on November 20th.
Northern Harrier: Three birds seen around the Salton Sea.
Cinerous Harrier: Two birds including a handsome male were seen hunting at the Batulco Lagoon, Chile.
Great Black-Hawk: A pair seen in open country near Manta, Ecuador. Pancho taped the birds in from about 1/2 mile away until they were perched in a tree right above our heads. Very impressive.
Harris’s Hawk: Six birds seen on the drive to and from Manta to Machililla N.P.
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle: This large impressive raptor was seen on two days in Peru including about six birds at Lomas de Lachay.
Sharp-shinned Hawk: Three were seen in California on October 30th.
Chilean Hawk: A single bird seen from the car en route to Altos Del Lircay, Chile. Ver similar to North American Cooper’s Hawk.
Roadside Hawk: Surprisingly scarce with only four birds seen over three day trips in S. Mexico/Central America.
Red-shouldered Hawk: A single bird seen on the drive back from the Salton Sea was our only sighting.
Variable Hawk: Four birds seen including two at Altos Del Lircay.
Red-tailed Hawk: About six birds seen on the drive from the Salton Sea to San Diego and four birds seen soaring above the cliffs at Cabo San Lucas.
Short-tailed Hawk: A single immature seen over Huatulco NP, Mexico.
Chimango Caracara: Common and widespread in Chile with a daily maximum of at least 35 birds.
Collared Forest-Falcon: A single bird well seen perched and briefly in flight just as we were leaving the Machililla N.P. Ecuador.
American Kestrel: About eight birds seen on the drive from the Salton Sea to San Diego. Also, seen in small numbers in Guatemala, Peru and Chile.
Merlin: A singe bird seen at San Diego and another at Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
Peregrine Falcon: Two birds appeared over the ship while we were at sea on November 2nd. They probably came from a nearby island and looked like they interested in the large numbers of Black Storm Petrels that were around at the time. Another bird seen on our drive outside of Manta, Ecuador.
Aplomado Falcon: A single bird seen in the Sansicap Valley, Peru on November 13th
West Mexican Chachalaca: A single bird observed briefly as it flew across the road outside of Acalpulco, and birds heard calling the following day at Huatulco, Mexico.
Wild Turkey: A party of about ten birds seen on the drive from San Diego to the Salton Sea.
Gambel’s Quail: Two birds seen in dry brush near the Salton Sea.
California Quail: Fairly common at a couple of stops on the drive back from the Salton Sea, in more mountainous terrain than the former species.
American Coot: Common at a roadside pond on the drive to the Salton Sea. Also seen at a wetland near Cabo San Lucas.
Red-gartered Coot: Fairly common the Batuca Lagoon and Sewage Works.
Red-fronted Coot: Common at wetlands in both Peru and Chile.
White-winged Coot: One was photographed at the Peruvian coastal wetland on November 15th, and common at the Batuco Lagoon and Sewage works in Chile.
Andean Coot: Common at a high Andean wetland in Peru on 14th. One was also photographed at the coastal wetland on 15th.
Giant Coot: Several dozen birds seen at the same wetland as the previous species. Gunner estimated this wetland held about 200 Giant Coots, many at their large floating nests.
Common Moorhen: Recorded in both California and Baja, Mexico.
Sora Rail: A single bird found alive and well onboard the ship while many miles from the coast on November 8th was quite a surprise. Also, excellent views obtained of two birds at the Estero San Jose, Baja.
Virginia Rail: An obliging bird provided great views and photo opportunities at the wetland at Estero San Jose, Baja..
Black Rail: Two birds calling at Estero Lampa, Chile, which unfortunately refused to show in the bright sunlight.
Sandhill Crane: An estimated 100 birds seen in farmland near the Salton Sea.
Band-tailed Pigeon: Fairly common at higher elevation on the drive from San Diego to the Salton sea with over thirty birds seen, mainly in small parties.
Chilean Pigeon: A single bird of this large attractive pigeon was seen at Altos Del Licay, Chile.
Peruvian Pigeon: This restricted range species was not seen in Peru but a about five birds was recorded en route to, and at, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Rock [Feral] Dove: Common – frequently seen at dockside at the various ports.
Mourning Dove: Common in California and just a single bird seen in Mexico.
Eared Dove: Fairly common in Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
White-winged Dove: Single bird seen in California and small numbers seen in Mexico, Nicaragua and Ecuador.
Pacific Dove: Fairly common in Peru, and a single in Ecuador – very similar to the White-winged Dove.
Common Ground Dove: Recorded in small numbers in California, Mexico and Nicaragua
Ruddy Ground Dove: Two birds seen at Carara, Costa Rica.
Croaking Ground Dove: Recorded in Ecuador and fairly common in Peru.
Bare-faced Ground Dove: About twelve birds of this attractive ground dove were seen while birding in an Andean valley in Peru while our car had broken-down!
Picui Ground Dove: A fairly common bird in Chile
Black-winged Ground Dove: Our only sighting was of six birds seen at Puenta J. Soldado near La Serena Chile.
Inca Dove: Common and widespread in Southern Mexico south to Costa Rica.
White-tipped Dove: Fairly common from south Mexico to Costa Rica.
Orange-fronted Parakeet: About thirty birds seen at a shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Orange-chinned Parakeet: Ten birds seen at the same farm as the previous species. Also, five seen at Carara NP in Costa Rica.
Crimson-fronted Parakeet: Heard only at Carara N.P. Costa Rica.
Mountain Parakeet: Three birds seen at Lomas De Lachay, Peru.
Austral Parakeet: Ten birds seen at Altos De Lircay, Chile.
Pacific Parrolet: About ten birds in seen at various road-side birding stops near Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Bronze-winged Parrot: Fifteen birds seen flying overhead at Machalilla National Park.
Scarlet Macaw: A party of eight birds of this spectacular macaw were watched feeding in a fruiting tree at Carara, while other flew overhead.
Squirrel Cuckoo: Just a single bird seen at Ixtapa, Mexico.
Greater Roadrunner: Three bird seen from the car as we drove around the Salton Sea.
Lesser Ground-Cuckoo: Extremely close albeit brief views of a bird that flew in front of the car and landed on a low wall just feet away from us! The bird was seen on the busy road leading up to the Jardin Botanico at Acapulco . At the time it was completely unexpected and provided a few totally unforgettable seconds! Certainly the most “jammy” sighting of the trip.
Groove-billed Ani: Quite widespread in low numbers being seen in Mexico, Central America, Ecuador and Peru.
Burrowing Owl: Recorded in small numbers around the Salton Sea and at Estero Lampa in Chile.
Great Horned Owl: A single bird seen at a birding stop en route to the Salton Sea.
Colima Pygmy-Owl: Two birds responded to the tape and well seen at Ixtapa. Mexico.
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl: Heard calling at Hualtulco, Mexico.
Austral Pygmy-Owl: Two birds seen at Altos de Lircay N.P., Chile
Pacific Pygmy-Owl: Three birds seen and/or heard calling at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Lesser Nightjar: A fortuitous stop for gas on the way back to the ship in Guatemala resulted in finding a very active flock. In all about fifteen birds seen flying low around the pumps and settling on the roof the gas station! Also a single bird seen in Costa Rica.
White-collared Swift: Four birds seen near Carara, Costa Rica.
Andean Swift: About six birds of this large impressive swift were seen on our long slow drive through the Andes in Peru.
Anna’s Hummingbird: Quite numerous in the residential area at Point Lomo, Southern California with an estimated dozen birds seen.
Xantu’s Hummingbird: After a bit of a struggle we managed to get excellent views of two males and a female of this exquisite Baja endemic with all sightings in downtown Cabo San Lucas. Superb!
Azure-crowned Hummingbird: Two birds seen at Finca Filadelfia in Guatemala.
Cinnamon Hummingbird: About five birds seen at Huatulco N.P and two more at Ixtapa, Mexico.
Doubleday’s Hummingbird: A total of at least six birds of this Mexican endemic were seen over three day stops with a maximum of three birds seen at Huatulco National Park, .
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird: Three birds seen at Carara N.P. in Costa Rica.
Amazillia Hummingbird: At least four birds seen at a road-side stop in the Sinsicap Valley, Peru.
Oasis Hummingbird: At least six birds, probably more, at Lomas de Lachay.
Peruvian Sheartail: About four female/immatures seen at Lomas Del Lachay.
Purple-collared Woodstar: This little gem was the most numerous hummer at Lomas de Lachay [Peru] with at least ten birds seen. Also, two birds seen at the Sinsicap Valley, Peru.
Stripe-throated Hermit: A single bird seen along the river trail at Carara N.P. Costa Rica.
Green Violet-ear: A single bird seen at the shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Giant Hummingbird: This huge hummer put on a great show for us at Puenta J. Soldado, Chile, with at least fifteen birds showing well. This included a pair feeding recently fledged young. Also, a single birds seen on two other days.
Green-backed Firecrown: Up to ten birds seen on both days at Altos Del Lircay, Chile, They were actively feeding on some flowering bushes right at the entrance gate. However, frustratingly difficult to get decent views as they zipped around so fast, usually staying well within the thick branches of the shrubs.
Purple-crowned Fairy: A single bird of this beautiful hummer was seen at Machililla N.P. Ecuador.
Violet Sabrewing: A single bird seen at the Finca Filaledelfia in Guatemala.
Citreoline Trogon: This attractive trogon was seen on four occasions with two birds in dry thorn forest along the Old Ixtapa Road and two more in similar habitat in Huatulco N.P. [both in Mexico].
Black-headed Trogon: A single bird seen at Carara N.P. Costa Rica.
Ecuadorian Trogon: A single bird seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Russet-crowned Motmot: A single bird seen and others heard at Hualtuco N.P.
Blue-crowned Motmot: Heard only at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Turquoise-browed Motmot: Three individuals of this very attractive species were seen briefly on the drive to the shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan: A party of four birds seen feeding in a fruiting tree in Carara N.P. Costa Rica.
Belted Kingfisher: Two birds seen in So. Cal.
Ringed Kingfisher: Single birds seen in Mexico and Ecuador.
Green Kingfisher: Our only sighting was a single bird at Playa Linda, Mexico.
Ecuadorian Piculet: Two birds of this tiny woodpecker seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Hoffman’s Woodpecker: Two birds seen in the rain outside of Carara NP. Costa Rica.
Acorn Woodpecker: Common on the drive from San Diego to the Salton Sea with 30+ birds seen. Also, four birds recorded in Nicaragua.
Scarlet-backed Woodpecker: A single bird seen at a roadside birding stop on the way to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Black-cheeked Woodpecker: A single bird seen at a roadside stop on the return from Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Red-breasted Sapsucker: A female or immature bird see at Paso Pichao Campground California.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: An adult male seen at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala provided a first record for this site.
Northern [Red-shafted] Flicker: Fairly common around Pt. Lomo with about six birds seen.
Andean Flicker: Just a single bird seen at a roadside stop in Peru.
Chilean Flicker: Single birds seen both days at Altos Del Lircay, Chile.
Golden-cheeked Woodpecker: Four birds of this dry thorn forest specialist were seen over three days in Mexico.
Gila Woodpecker: Common in suitable habitat around Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
Golden-fronted Woodpecker: A total of four birds seen in the shade grown coffee farms in Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Golden-olive Woodpecker: A single bird seen at a roadside birding stop on route to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Smoky-brown Woodpecker: A single bird seen at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Striped Woodpecker: Four individuals of this attractive small woodpecker were seen over three days in Chile
Pale-billed Woodpecker: A male of this large impressive woodpecker seen very well at Huatulco N.P. Mexico.
Magellanic Woodpecker: An even more impressive bird than the prior species. A single male seen and several other birds heard at Altos Del Lircay, Chile.
Cocoa Woodcreeper: Two birds at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Streaked-headed Woodcreeper: One seen at Carara NP Costa Rica.
Spotted Woodcreeper: A single bird seen at Finca Filadelfia in Guatemala.
Plain-brown Woodcreeper: Two birds seen at a roadside stop on the drive to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Plain Xenops: Two birds seen at Carara NP Costa Rica.
Streaked Xenops: Two birds seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Buff-throated Foilage-gleaner: A single bird at Carara NP Costa Rica.
Pacific Hornero: Three birds seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Coastal Miner: Five birds seen in Peru including four at Lomas de Lachay.
Grayish Miner: A single bird seen at Lomas de Lachay, Peru.
Thick-billed Miner: Two birds seen at Lomas de Lachay.
Chilean Seaside Cincloides: Quite common along the seafront at Vina Del Mar, Chile with about six birds seen including a pair at their nest in the sea wall.
Peruvian Seaside Cincloides: Just a single bird seen along the sea-front near Callao, Peru.
“Chao Spinetail:” About eight birds seen at Chao, Peru. This form considered by some to be a different species to the Necklaced Spinetail, as it lacks a necklace and has a different call.
Thorn-tailed Rayadito: At least four birds seen at Alto Del Lircay, Chile.
Cactus Canastero: Excellent views obtained of a pair at their nest at Lomas de Lachy, Chile.
Dusky-tailed Canastero: Excellent views obtained of a pair at Puenta J. Soldado near La Serena, Chile.
White-throated Treerunner: This engaging species was fairly common at Altos Del Lircay, Chile with about ten birds seen.
Elegant Crescentchest: Close but brief views of a single bird seen at a roadside stop on the way to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador. Several other birds heard both at this site and in the Sinsicap Valley in Peru.
Black-hooded Antshrike: Two birds seen along the River Trail at Carara NP.
Western Slaty Antshrike: A single bird seen at Machalilla National Park.
Collared Antshrike: Excellent views of three individuals of this impressive bird were obtained at a stop on the drive to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Dotwinged Antwren: Common at Carara NP with about six birds seen in a quarter mile walk on the River Trail.
Dusky Antbird: Two birds seen along the River Trail at Carara NP.
Rufous Mourner: A single bird seen along the River Trail at Carara NP.
Chestnut-throated Huet-Huet: This was one of our most wanted land birds of the trip and was the reason we drove about four hours to Altos de Lircay NP. When we arrived at the forest trail we immediately heard birds calling, but getting good views was a big challenge. After about three hours slogging around the trail, we all managed to get identifiable but not entirely satisfactory views of up to three birds. One was flushed from a hole above a large shelf fungus about 3 meters off the ground, potentially nesting?
Moustached Turca: A single highly entertaining individual well-seen (even flying!) and others heard at Puenta J. Soldado, Chile.
White-throated Tapaculo: Another very charismatic species, which was quite common at Puenta J. Soldado. The birds were tame and confiding allowing prolonged excellent views. In all we estimated about eight birds seen. - Superb
Dusky Tapaculo: An extremely obliging bird provided great views at Puenta J. Soldado, rushing about on a rock with its tail cocked over its back – very unlike the usual Scyalopus behaviour!
Magellanic Tapaculo: Birds heard but not seen at Altos de Lircay, Chile.
Chucao Tapaculo: Several birds heard calling at Altos de Lircay
Rufous-tailed Plantcutter: A number of these, including several juveniles, were seen at Puenta. J. Soldado.
Orange-collared Manakin: Three birds seen at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Northern Beardless Tyrannulet: Single birds recorded at Ixtapa and Huatulco, Mexico.
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet: Three birds seen at Machalilla National Park.
Tumbes Bearded Tyrannulet: A common bird in the Sinsicap Valley[Peru] with an estimated ten birds seen. Also three birds seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Paltry Tyrannulet: A single bird seen at Carara NP.
Sooty-headed Tyrannulet: A single bird seen at Machalilla National Park.
Northern Bentbill: Three birds seen at Carara NP.
White-crested Elaenia: Easily the most abundant bird seen at Altos Del Lircay with dozens seen and or heard.
Yellow-bellied Elaenia: Three birds seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Pacific Elaenia: A single bird seen at Machalilla National Park.
Many-colored Rush-Tyrant: Up to four individuals of this little gem were seen at a wetland reserve near Callao, Peru. Also, four birds seen at the Batuco Sewage Works, Chile.
Austral Negrito: Just a single bird seen at Batuco Lagoon, Chile.
Spectacled Tyrant: A pair of this striking tyrant were seen at the Estero Lampa wetland, Chile. The female is very different from the male.
Patagonian Tyrant: A single bird seen in the Nothofagus forest of Altos Del Lircay, Chile.
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant: Two birds of this little gem were seen in Sinsicap Valley, Peru and three more at Machalilla National Park.
Tufted Tit-Tyrant: Fairly common in the dry scrub valley at Puenta J. Soldado, near La Serena, Chile.
Golden-crowned Spadebill: A single bird seen at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Common Tody-Flycatcher: Two birds of this attractive flycatcher seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Vermilion Flycatcher: Fairly common in Ecuador and Peru with a daily maximum of six birds.
Rufous Flycatcher: This Peruvian endemic was seen by Gail and Gunnar at Chao, Peru.
Fire-eyed Diucon: Fairly common and widespread in Chile being recorded on three days with daily maximum of eight birds.
Tumbres Pewee: Three birds seen at Machalilla National Park
Greater Pewee: A single bird seen at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Willow Flycatcher: Two birds seen at Huatulco NP. Mexico.
Least Flycatcher: A single bird seen at IIxtapa, Mexico.
Hammond’s Flycatcher: A single bird seen at Huatulco, Mexico.
Pacific-slope Flycatcher: Single birds believed to be this species seen at Ixtapa, Aculpulco and Huatulco, Mexico.
Black Phoebe: Common around the Salton Sea with about twenty birds seen. Also recorded at Point Lobo and Cabo San Lucas.
Say’s Phoebe: About ten birds seen in Southern California.
Ash-throated Flycatcher: Three birds seen in the dry thorn forest at Ixtapa and a single at Huatulco NP, Mexico.
Nutting’s Flycatcher: A pair of these provided a tricky identification challenge from the previous species at Ixtapa, but confirmed by photographs. They were along a gravel track near the microwave tower off the old Ixtapa-Zihuahu Road.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher: Another difficult Myiarchus flycatcher with a single bird seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Brown-crested Flycatcher: At least three birds seen at Huatulco NP Mexico.
Streaked Flycatcher: A single bird seen in scrub habitat near Carara NP.
Baird’s Flycatcher: A single bird of this impressive flycatcher was seen just outside Machalilla National Park.
Great Kiskadee: Common and widespread at Ixtapa, Mexico and Carara, Costa Rica.
Boat-billed Flycatcher: Recorded in small numbers at Huatulco NP, Mexico, and the shade grown coffee farms we visited in Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Piratic Flycatcher: Just a single bird seen at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Tropical Kingbird: Common in open country in Mexico, Central America and Peru..
Cassin’s Kingbird: The sole sighting was a single bird on a wire near Cabo San Lucas.
Masked Tityra: Two birds seen along the river trail at Carara,
Black-crowned Tityra: A single bird seen along the river trail at Carara.
Rose-throated Becard: A female at Huatulco NP was our only sighting.
Loggerhead Shrike: A total of five birds seen in California mainly in the vicinity of the Salton Sea.
Steller’s Jay: A single bird seen at a road-side birding stop on the drive from San Diego to the Salton Sea. Also a single bird at the Mirador (high elevation) at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala. The latter bird was almost completely blue around the head and neck, unlike birds seen in North America.
Western Scrub-Jay: Quite common in southern California with a daily maximum of twenty-five birds.
White-throated Magpie-Jay: This striking species was surprisingly common in Nicaragua with an estimated twenty-five birds seen in a few hours of birding at a shade-grown coffee farm. Also ten birds seen at the Botanical Gardens at Aculpulco and six more at Huatulco NP, Mexico.
Bushy-crested Jay: We managed to obtain excellent views of this very attractive jay at Finca Filadelfia, Nicaragua, some right next to the outdoor café as we enjoying our shade-grown coffee! In all at least ten birds seen.
American Crow: Common and widespread in southern California.
Common Raven: Recorded daily in southern California where it was quite common with up to thirty birds were seen daily.
Horned Lark: About thirty birds seen in agricultural fields near the Salton Sea.
Tree Swallow: Seen on two days in southern California including about fifty birds feeding over fields near the Salton Sea.
Blue-and-white Swallow: Fairly common and widespread in Peru and around La Serena, Chile.
Chilean Swallow: Common & widespread at most sites visited in Chile.
Barn Swallow: Very few birds noted anywhere on this trip with the maximum being just six birds seen around the Salton Sea.
Bank Swallow: A single bird seen at Altos del Lircay, Chile was the sole record.
Black-capped Swallow: Nice views obtained of about twenty birds of this Central American endemic seen high up at the overlook at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow: About ten birds seen at Aculpulco and quite common in Guatemala.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow: Fairly common on the drive to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Gray-breasted Martin: Common at both Acapulco and Huatulco, Mexico and on the drive to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Correndera Pipit: About 25 birds seen in Chile mainly at the Estero Lampa wetland.
American Pipit: Six birds seen feeding in agricultural fields near the Salton Sea.
Phainopepla: About ten birds seen in brushy areas around the Salton Sea and road stops on the drive back to San Diego. Also four seen outside of Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
Mountain Chickadee: A single bird seen at a road-side birding stop on the drive to the Salton Sea was the only record.
Verdin: A single bird seen near the Salton Sea and six more near Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
White-breasted Nuthatch: Single birds seen on two days in S. California.
Pygmy Nuthatch: Two birds seen at a birding stop on the drive to the Salton Sea.
Bewick’s Wren: Two birds seen at Pt. Lomo, San Diego.
Fasciated Wren: Four birds seen in the Sinsicab Valley, Peru.
Northern House Wren: Single birds seen at Pt. Lomo and Cabo San Lucas.
Southern House Wren: Fairly common in Peru with about twelve birds seen including six at Lomas de Lachay. Also common in Chile.
Speckle-breasted Wren: Fairly common at to Machalilla National Park, with at least six birds seen in just a few hours birding.
Superciliated Wren: Two birds seen in dry scrub at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador and one in the Sinsicab Valley, Peru..
Band-Backed Wren: Heard only at Finca Filadelfia Guatemala.
Rufous-naped Wren: Three birds well seen at Huatulco NP, Mexico.
Cactus Wren: Fairly common at Estero San Lucas and other sites near Cabo San Lucas, Baja with an estimated ten birds seen in just a few hours.
Banded Wren Two birds seen at Huatulco NP and a single at the shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Happy Wren: One seen at Ixtapa and two more at Huatulco NP. Mexico.
White-bellied Wren: Our only record was a single bird seen at Ixtapa, Mexico.
Black-bellied Wren: A single bird of this very striking wren was seen along the River Trail at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Rufous-breasted Wren: Three birds seen along the River Trail at Carara NP.
Riverside Wren: A single bird was yet another wren seen only along the River Trail at Carara NP.
White-breasted Wood-Wren: Heard only at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Marsh Wren: A single bird seen at the Salton Sea was the sole record.
Northern Mockingbird: Up to ten birds seen daily in California and about eight more recorded around Cabo San Lucas & Estero San Lucas, Baja.
Long-tailed Mockingbird: A very common bird with many seen from the car on the drive to Machalilla National Park, Ecuador. Also common on our first day out of Trujillo, Peru.
Chilean Mockingbird: Fairly common in Chile with a total of ten birds seen over three days birding.
California Thrasher: Two birds seen briefly at Point Lomo, Cal. at the bird water feature, and another seen scuttling across the road.
Gray Thrasher: We had a tough time getting to grips with this Baja endemic. At the very last minute we managed to locate a single bird sitting on a chain-link fence in an area of waste land behind a hotel in downtown Cabo San Lucas. We all got extended close views and this was an early highlight of the trip.
Hermit Thrush: Common around Point Lobo, San Diego with about ten birds seen in a couple of hours.
Clay-colored Thrush: Recorded in Guatemala [3 birds] Nicaragua [6 birds] and Costa Rica [10 birds]
Rufous-backed Robin: Our only firm sighting was of a single bird in the Huatulco NP, Mexico.
Ecuadorian Thrush: Three birds of this endemic thrush were seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Austral Thrush: Common and widespread in Chile.
Chiguanco Thrush: Three birds seen in the Sinsicab Valley in Peru.
Brown-backed Solitaire: A single bird well seen and several others heard at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Wrentit: At least four birds watched coming in to drink at the water tap at Pt. Lomo, San Diego.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet: Quite common at Pt. Lomo with about eight birds seen during a two hour walk.
Golden-crowned Kinglet: About six birds seen at various birding stops on the drive to the Salton Sea.
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher: The sole record was of a single bird seen at Borrego Springs during the unsuccessful search for the LeConte’s Thrasher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: Common at Ixtapa and a single bird seen at Huatulco NP.
White-lored Gnatcatcher: Recorded only at Huatulco NP where about five birds were seen.
Tropical Gnatcatcher: Common at Machalilla National Park where at least eight birds were seen in just a few hours of birding.
Lesser Greenlet: Three birds seen along the River Trail at Carara NP.
Bell’s Vireo: Three birds seen at Huatulco NP and a single at the Jardine Botanical Gardens, Aculpulco.
Rufous-browed Pepper-Shrike: Fairly common at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador, with at least five birds seen.
We managed to see an impressive twenty-two species of warblers of which sixteen species were Neotropical migrants from North America.
Tennessee Warbler: Single birds seen Ixtapa, Mexico and Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Orange-crowned Warbler: About eight birds seen during a two hour walk at Pt. Lomo plus two at the Salton Sea. Also small numbers seen in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Yellow-rumped [Audubon’s] Warbler: Another common species being numerous at Pt. Lomo and at sites around Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
Townsend’s Warbler: Excellent close views obtained of this attractive warbler feeding on the ground at Pt. Lomo. In all about eight birds seen there plus six more in the shade grown coffee farm of Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Black-throated Green Warbler: A single bird seen in a shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Chestnut-sided Warbler: A total of five birds seen in the shade grown coffee farms in Guatemala and Nicaragua plus four birds seen along the River Trail at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Black-and-White Warbler: A total of six birds seen during our day trips in Mexico with three at Ixtapa being the high count. Also, singles in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
American Redstart: Three birds seen in Mexico and three more in the shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Tropical Parula: Singles seen at near Cabo San Lucas and at Ixtapa.
Yellow Warbler: Recorded at three sites in Mexico including twelve birds at Ixtapa. Also, a single bird in Costa Rica.
Wilson’s Warbler: Fairly common around Cabo San Lucas and Ixtapa with at least twelve birds seen, also two more at Finca Filadelfia.
Northern Waterthrush: A single bird at Ixtapa was our only record.
Prothonotary Warbler: An unexpected find was a single bird at Carara NP.
MacGillivray’s Warbler: Clearly a common winter visitor to Ixtapa with at least ten birds seen in a few hours birding. Also three birds seen the following day at Aculpulco.
Common Yellowthroat: Three birds seen near Cabo San Lucas and two more at Ixtapa.
Belding’s Yellowthroat This Baja endemic was an early target. It initially proved tricky at its main site at Estero San Jose as we arrived in the heat of the early afternoon. Eventually, however, we all managed to get excellent views of multiple birds. In all about twelve birds seen plus others heard.
Black-lored Yellowthroat: Two female birds seen at a road stop en route to Sinsicap in Peru.
Chestnut-capped Warbler: Nice views obtained of three birds at the shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Grey-and-Gold Warbler: We had excellent views of at least four birds this attractive warbler at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Yellow-breasted Chat: Single birds seen at Ixtapa and Huatulco NP.
Slate-throated Redstart: Two birds seen very well at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Painted Redstart: Another brilliant species was a delightful surprise when we saw a single bird in a suburban yard at Pt. Lomo, San Diego.
Red-breasted Chat: A corker of a male seen very well at Huatulco NP, Mexico.
Bananaquit: Fairly common at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador with about five birds seen in a few hours’ birding.
Cinerous Conebill: A total of ten birds seen in Peru including six at Lomas de Lachay.
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager: A party of three birds seen at Huatulco NP.
Summer Tanager: Two birds seen at Ixtapa, Mexico, a single at Carara NP, Costa Rica, and three more at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
[Highland] Hepatic Tanager: A single bird seen at Sinsicab Valley in Peru.
Blue-gray Tanager: This widespread species was recorded in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Ecuador with the maximum of eight birds at Machalilla National Park.
White-shouldered Tanager: Recorded in both Costa Rica and Ecuador with the maximum of six birds at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Palm Tanager: Our only sighting was of two birds at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Lemon-rumped Tanager: Very common at Machalilla National Park with about twenty birds seen in just a few hours’ birding.
Blue-naped Tanager: A party of four birds of this hansom tanager was seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Green Honeycreeper: Two birds seen at a fruiting tree at Carara NP Costa Rica.
Red-legged Honeycreeper: Three birds seen in a fruiting tree at Carara NP.
Yellow-tufted Dacnis: A single bird of this beautiful small tanager was seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Scrub Euphonia: Four birds seen at Ixtapa, Mexico.
Blue-hooded Euphonia: A single individual of this beautiful species [ now considered more closely akin to the finches than tanagers] was seen at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
Yellow-throated Brush-Finch: Good views obtained of a pair at Finca Filadelfia.
Black-capped Sparrow: Four birds seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Olive Sparrow: Common at Huatulco NP, Mexico with at least eight birds seen.
White-eared Ground-Sparrow: A lucky couple of us obtained good views of two individuals of this jazzy sparrow at Finca Filadelfia, Guatemala.
SpottedTowhee: About six birds seen at the water feature at Pt. Lomo, Cal.
California Towhee: Common at Pt. Lomo with an estimated fifteen birds seen.
Abert’s Towhee: Four birds seen in scrub habitat at the Salton Sea.
Orange-breasted Bunting: This was one of our top land bird targets. We managed to get good views of a party of five birds at Huatulco NP. – Great value
Painted Bunting: Nice views of a pair at Huatulco NP plus a beautiful male at the shade grown coffee farm in Nicaragua.
Blue Bunting: A pair at Ixtapa followed by a single male at Huatulco NP.
Parrot-billed Seedeater About thirty birds watched feeding on the ground at a village near Machillila NP Ecuador plus another group of fifteen in the Sinsicab Valley, Peru.
Chestnut-throated Seedeater: Six birds seen in the Sinsicab Valley, Peru.
Blue-black Grassquit: Just single birds seen in Ecuador and Peru.
Crimson-breasted Finch: Two individuals of this strikingly beautiful finch were seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Band-tailed Sierra-Finch: Recorded in small numbers in Peru and Chile with the daily maximum of three birds seen at Lomas de Lachay [Peru].
Grey-hooded Sierra-Finch: Four birds seen at Puenta J. Soldado, Chile.
Collared Warbling-Finch: Four birds seen at the Sinsicab Valley, Peru.
Common Duica-Finch About six birds seen at Altos Del Lircay NP, Chile.
Grassland Yellow- Finch: Common at Estero Lampa and Batuca Sewage Works, Chile with an estimated twenty-five birds seen.
Black-chinned Siskin: Fairly common in Chile with ten seen at Puenta J. Soldado and 20+ at Altos Del Lircay NP.
Hooded Siskin: Recorded on two days in Peru including at least ten birds seen at Lomas de Lachay.
Lesser Goldfinch: Six birds seen at Pt. Lomo plus two others on the drive to the Salton Sea.
House Finch: Common & widespread at sites visited in S. Cal and at Cabo San Lucas, Baja.
Saffron Finch; Our only sighting was of two birds seen in Peru.
Fox Sparrow: Two individuals of the Pacific coast race “Sooty” Fox Sparrow seen in So. Cal.
Song Sparrow: Surprisingly scarce with just two birds seen in So. Cal.
Rufous-collared Sparrow: The only sighting in Mexico/Central Am. was of three birds seen in Guatemala. However, abundant at Lomas de Lachay, Peru and common & widespread in Chile.
White-crowned Sparrow: Common & widespread in Southern California.
Lark Sparrow: A single bird feeding along the verge of the gravel road near the telecom tower at Ixtapa, Mexico was our only record.
Dark-eyed Junco: Ten birds seen at a feeder en route to the Salton Sea.
Yellow-eyed Junco: Our only sighting was of one at Ixtapa, Mexico.
Northern Cardinal: Quite scarce with just a single bird seen near Cabo San Lucas and two more at Huatulco, Mexico. These birds were the Mexican endemic form sometimes called “Long-crested Cardinal” as they are much brighter red and have a distinctly longer crest than this species in eastern North America.
Streaked Saltator: A single bird seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Buff-throated Saltator: A single bird seen at Carara, NP and fairly common at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador with at least six birds seen.
Greyish Saltator: A single bird seen at Machalilla National Park, Ecuador.
Southern Yellow [Golden-bellied] Grosbeak: A party of six individuals of this large striking species was seen at a stop just outside Machalilla National Park, Ecuador and two more were seen in the Sinsicab Valley, Peru.
Western Meadowlark: Seen daily in So. Cal, with a daily maximum of thirty birds in fields near the Salton Sea.
Peruvian Meadowlark: Single birds seen on two days in Peru.
Long-tailed Meadowlark: Recorded on three of the four days in Chile with a daily maximum of eight birds.
Baltimore Oriole: Two birds seen at Carara NP, Costa Rica.
Orchard Oriole: Common around Cabo San Lucas with at least ten birds seen. Also, two birds seen at both Ixtapa and Huatulco.
Hooded Oriole: Recorded at three sites in Mexico with the maximum being at least ten birds around Cabo San Lucas.
Yellow-tailed Oriole: Very common at Machililla National Park with at least twelve birds seen during a few hours birding.
Streaked-backed Oriole: Two birds seen at Huatulco NP, Mexico.
Yellow-winged Cacique: Recorded at three different sites in Mexico with the daily maximum of at least ten birds.
Yellow-billed Cacique: Just a single bird seen at Machililla National Park.
Red-winged Blackbird: Common around the Salton Sea, California.
Yellow-winged Blackbird: About ten birds seen feeding in the reed-beds at Estero Lampa, Chile.
Yellow-headed Blackbird: We were pleased to see a single male in flight with a group of Redwing Blackbirds at the Salton Sea.
Brewer’s Blackbird: Up to twenty birds recorded daily in southern California.
Austral Blackbird: Up to ten birds seen daily in Chile.
Scrub Blackbird: Common in both Ecuador and Peru.
Great-tailed Grackle: Very common & widespread at the Salton Sea and at most of the sites visited in Mexico and Central America.
Bronzed Cowbird: Four birds seen at Ixtapa and common & widespread in Guatemala.
Shiny Cowbird: large numbers coming into roost at Chao, Peru and recorded on two dates in Chile.
House Sparrow: Common in urban areas of Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Chile.