Veracruz 2009: Day OneBy
What do you do if you’re involved in a birding conference? You show up two days early to bird, of course!
WINGS arranged the field trips for this year’s ABA Conference in Veracruz, which starts Sunday afternoon here in the beautiful old city of Xalapa. It was a short night last night after our 1:15 am arrival at the hotel, but the few hours of sleep were refreshing and a good breakfast revivifying. And then it was off to scout the hotel grounds and neighborhood streets for the informal welcome-to-Xalapa birdwalk scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Social Flycatchers screeched from the trees, and Wilson’s Warblers flycaught just about everywhere we looked. Then Greg‘s sharp eyes picked out a dumpy shape in the shade–a Blue-crowned Motmot, sitting motionless above the creek. A few minutes later he found another on the other side of the road, and we eventually heard both birds giving their hesitant double whoop. Even better, an evening walk down to the same site with Tamie and Brenda produced one of the birds actively feeding, sallying out to capture big and no doubt delicious insects which it bludgeoned and swallowed.
Our evening sortie was well timed for White-fronted Parrots, too, as they headed noisily to roost.
Most simply flew overhead, but one pair stopped to dine in the treetops overhead, easily snipping off branches with their bills and maneuvering them with their expressive feet. Eventually this pair, too, joined the rest in what looks like a fairly substantial roost behind the hotel; should be a nice noisy show tomorrow morning!
You can see a complete list of the birds we found around the hotel today at ebird. And check back here for daily updates on what promises to be an outstandingly good week with the birds of Veracruz.