by Michael Donahue
I birded in the San Blas/Puerta Vallarta area for a week in late April of 1996, and thought I'd respond to your request for information. I used the "Where to Find Birds in San Blas" guide, and found it to be quite helpful.
In the introduction they mention the Hotel Las Brisas as a place to get information, and FYI this hotel is now called Hotel Garza Canela.
The place I would highly recommend is the Cerro de San Juan Ecological reserve outside of Tepic, on p. 13 of the guide. We were told that reservations are recommended on weekends, but not usually necessary during the week. Their number (in 1996) is 91-321-31423. I saw some of your target species here--mexican woodnymph (the only place I saw them), rufous-crowned motmot and golden vireo--and had a very nice species list from the reserve and the road leading to it. The main reason I'm suggesting it is that both nights that I was there (April 24 and 25) I saw and heard EARED POORWILLS. They were on the hillside right behind the cabins.
Atillas, motmots, grey-crowned woodpecker, citreoline trogons, cinnamon hummers, magpie jays, golden vireos and the parrots are widespread in western Mexico. I don't think you would have any problems finding them. Birds are everywhere; you'll see lots of them!
Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology
University of Washington Medical Center