On New Year's Day Honey and I did the Gomez Farias Christmas Bird Count in southern Tamaulipas, Mexico. This CBC includes the famous El Cielo Biosphere Preserve. Unfortunately various circumstances caused people to not be able to come down so we did the count all by ourselves. Having birded in Mexico many times this was no big deal. It's just hard to cover a fifteen mile diameter circle with one group. We tried our best anyway and got 109 species on the day and a few more for the count period. We didn't find anything really unusual but had a good time anyway.
The beautiful Rio Sabinas yielded a cool Bare-throated Tiger-Heron in the afternoon.
We started the day on the mountain below the vilage of Alta Cima.
Here's a jewel---Canivet's Emerald.
White-winged Tanager likes the higher elevations.
We saw quite a few Blue Buntings.
As we worked our way down the mountain towards the river we saw lots of common Mexican birds. They're a bid deal when they wander up to south Texas. Here's a couple of Social Flycatchers.
Juvenile Roadside Hawk.
I attracted lots of birds by imitating the call of the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. Sometimes it would bring in an owl.
Awesome pictures of beautiful birds!!
Too bad that some people couldn't make it, their loss ;)
A question, if you don't mind...
Myself and a friend are planning to drive down to El Cielo (via Reynosa, then Victoria) on Feb 20. But suddenly we're getting a lot of flack/fear from friends and relatives who've gotten wired-up about the recent up-tick in violence along the border and highways. I've personally been to Mexico many dozens of times in my life, by all modes of transport, including my own car and even hitchhiking, and I believe I know what to watch for, etc. I've also been in the region around Goez Farias several times, including twice since 2003. I'm wondering if you have any comments on the reality of any increased danger -- at the border crossing (officials), getting through/out of Reynosa, or along hwy 97 and 101 to Victoria. Thanks for ANY comments, positive or otherwise.
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