30 October -- 14 November 1995
by Richard D. Palmer
This is a report of a birding trip that Jim Eidel (4150 Meadow Wood Road, Carson City, Nevada 89703-9459, Phone 702-882-9172) and I (Richard D. Palmer, 370 South Avenida De Las Sabinas, Green Valley, Arizona 85614-4701, Phone 520-648-6735, Email PalmerRD@aol.com) took from October 30th thru November 14th, 1995 to the west Mexican states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Colima.
An excellent time of the year to visit Mexico, with very little rain. We camped out 7 of the 15 nights and found motels without reservations for the other 8 nights. We drove 2981 miles round trip from Tucson, Arizona and for the most part made it an easy trip, driving only a few miles after dark.
To give you an idea of the cost for the 16 days our expenses in U.S. dollars were as follows based on an exchange rate of 6.5 Pesos to the dollar:
Car Insurance: $193.00
Camping food, drinks, ice: $112.00
Toll road fees: $130.00
Camp grounds: $25.00
Gas at 2.08 pesos per liter: $250.00
Boat trips (3) and tips: $138.00
Restaurant food and tips: $170.00
Miscellaneous not including souvenirs: $75.00
Total cost of trip for 2 people: $1304.00 U.S. dollars
30 October: Driving day. Tucson to Navajoa, Sonora. Raining most of the time contrary to above statement. Stayed at Hotel del Rio in Navajoa. Only rain we had.
31 October: Navajoa, Sonora to Alamos, Sonora. Birding around Alamos and the Cuchujaqui River close by. Camped out in Alamos.
01 November: Alamos, Sonora to Los Cascabeles Resort east of Costa Rica, Sinaloa. All morning birding at the Cuchujaqui River near Alamos. Driving in the PM. Camped out at Los Cascabeles Resort, a good birding spot.
02 November: Costa Rica, Sinaloa to Kilometer 201 on the Durango Highway 40, Sinaloa. Birding around Los Cascabeles in the morning, KM201 in the late PM. Camped out at the KM201 area up the hill.
03 November: Birded all day at KM201 and the barranca. Same camp spot.
04 November: KM201 to San Blas, Nayarit. Birded the AM at KM240 on Highway 40. Rest of the day spent driving to San Blas. Stayed at the Las Brisas Resort in San Blas. (This motel has since changed their name but can't remember to what.)
05 November: Birded all day around San Blas with the main part of the day in the Singaita jungle. A good untraveled dirt road heads north out of the small town of Singaita. Stayed at the Las Brisas Resort.
06 November: 6:00AM to 11:30AM boat trip up the Estero San Cristobal River including the Laguna Tepequena. 4:00PM to 9:00PM boat trip down the River to Crocodillo from the main bridge near San Blas. These trips were guided by Jose Lopez, whom I recommend as excellent. Ask for him at the bridge where the boats are. Cost in pesos $500 for both trips. Some birding around San Blas from 11:30 until 4:00. Camped in San Blas at Los Cocos.
07 November: San Blas, Nayarit to Guzman, Jalisco. 7:00AM until 11:00AM boat trip out on the Pacific Ocean to the islands of Roca de la Virgen and Elephant Rock. Most of the birds were seen at Elephant Rock which is the farther of the two. Cost in pesos $350. Guide's name was Tony. Ask at the Las Brisas Hotel for directions to the small Marina located near the hotel on the harbor channel. PM drove to Guzman. Stayed at a hotel in Guzman, Jalisco.
08 November: Guzman, Jalisco to the Volcan de Colima in Colima National Park. Birded from the main highway starting at the beginning of the dirt road all the way to the microwave towers. Camped out near the microwave towers.
09 November: Colima National Park, Jalisco to Colima, Colima. Birded in the AM around the microwave towers, PM drove to Colima. Stayed at the Hotel Los Candiles in Colima.
10 November: Birded at El Cobano, Colima in the AM. Took the afternoon off to go to the National Rodeo in Colima. Stayed at the Hotel Los Candiles.
11 November: Birded around Tecolapa on the road to Manzanillo in the AM, birded around noon at Rio Salado and El Cumbre and in the PM went to San Antonio area to bird at Laguna Maria (not recommended) till dark. Stayed at the Hotel Los Candiles.
12 November: Colima, Colima to San Blas, Nayarit. Birded La Cumbre and the Rio Salado in the AM, rest of day spent driving back to San Blas. Spent about an hour at the Singaita Jungle looking for birds we missed before. Camped in San Blas at Los Cocos.
13 November: San Blas, Nayarit to Navajoa, Sonora. AM birded in the mangroves around San Blas, remainder of day driving. Stayed at Hotel del Rio in Navojoa.
14 November: Navajoa, Sonora to Green Valley, Arizona near Tucson. Stopped for about one hour at Kilometer 174 on Highway 15 to bird.
Results of the Birding Trip:
30 Oct. 26 species, 1517 birds
31 Oct. 68 species, 701 birds
01 Nov. 69 species, 1530 birds
02 Nov. 90 species, 5115 birds
03 Nov. 52 species, 334 birds
04 Nov. 72 species, 554 birds
05 Nov. 105 species, 1565 birds
06 Nov. 108 species, 2487 birds
07 Nov. 62 species, 3552 birds
08 Nov. 79 species, 292 birds
09 Nov. 73 species, 258 birds
10 Nov. 48 species, 322 birds
11 Nov. 58 species, 247 birds
12 Nov. 72 species, 3887 birds
13 Nov. 62 species, 5653 birds
14 Nov. 41 species, 258 birds
Trip total: 311 species, 28,272 birds.
The List of Species Observed:
Quantity - Species, location found - otherwise wide spread.
1 - Common Loon, Pacific Ocean near San Blas,
5 - Least Grebe
8 - Pied-billed Grebe
3 - Black Storm-Petrel, pelagic trip from San Blas to Elephant Rock.
1 - Red-billed Tropicbird, resting on Elephant Rock.
200 - Blue-footed Booby, pelagic trip from San Blas.
1000 - Brown Booby, Pacific ocean mainly off San Blas and Elephant Rock.
2 - Red-footed Booby, around Elephant Rock.
507 - White Pelican, San Blas area.
1202 - Brown Pelican
131 - Double-crested Cormorant
109 - Neotropic (Olivaceous) Cormorant
50 - Anhinga, San Blas river trip.
768 - Magnificent Frigatebird
2 - Bare-throated Tiger Heron, 1 at Cuchujaqui River near Alamos (rare),
1 on the San Blas river trip.
37 - Great Blue Heron
2495 - Great Egret
232 - Snowy Egret
29 - Little Blue Heron
13 - Tricolored Heron
2860 - Cattle Egret
41 - Green Heron
3 - Black-crowned Night-Heron, 2 at Los Cascabeles, 1 at San Blas.
12 - Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, all at San Blas.
4 - Boat-billed Heron, all on the river trip from San Blas.
108 - White Ibis, all around San Blas.
454 - White-faced Ibis
15 - Roseate Spoonbill, all from the boat trip out of San Blas.
12 - Wood Stork, 9 at Los Cascabeles, 3 at San Blas.
1234 - Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, mostly at Los Cascabeles.
20 - Green-winged Teal
28 - Mallard (Mexican Duck form)
70 - Northern Pintail
68 - Blue-winged Teal
152 - Cinnamon Teal
550 - Northern Shoveler
10 - Gadwall
30 - American Wigeon
70 - Redhead
25 - Ring-necked Duck
300 - Lesser Scaup
5 - Rudy Duck
540 - Black Vulture
1129 - Turkey Vulture
17 - Osprey
5 - White-tailed Kite
2 - Snail Kite, both on the San Blas river trip.
2 - Northern Harrier, northern Sonora
3 - Sharp-shinned Hawk, Sonora
7 - Cooper's Hawk
5 - Common Black Hawk
1 - Great Black Hawk, Singaita Jungle, San Blas
3 - Harris Hawk, Sonora
7 - Grey Hawk
4 - Swainson's Hawk
3 - White-tailed Hawk
1 - Zone-tailed Hawk, Durango Highway
65 - Red-tailed Hawk
33 - Crested Caracara, Sonora
1 - Laughing Falcon, Singaita Jungle, San Blas
1 - Collared Falcon, an immature, Singaita Jungle
182 - American Kestrel
1 - Peregrine Falcon, Durango Highway
4 - Rufous-bellied Chachalaca (wagleri), Alamos, Sonora
21 - West Mexican Chachalaca (poliocephala), Colima National Park
1 - Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Colima National Park
8 - Elegant Quail, Alamos, Sonora
1 - Gambel's Quail, Sonora
19 - Common Moorhen
27 - American Coot
6 - Semipalmated Plover, San Blas
18 - Killdeer
1103 - Black-necked Stilt
254 - American Avocet
2 - Northern Jacana, San Blas
20 - Greater Yellowlegs
3 - Lesser Yellowlegs, San Blas
12 - Willet
15 - Spotted Sandpiper
7 - Whimbrel
4 - Long-billed Curlew, San Blas
30 - Sanderling, San Blas
22 - Western Sandpiper
140 - Least Sandpiper
11 - Stilt Sandpiper
124 - Long-billed Dowitcher
300 - Laughing Gull, San Blas
7 - Heermann's Gull, San Blas
1 - Ring-billed Gull, Sonora
12 - Gull-billed Tern, San Blas pelagic
11 - Caspian Tern, San Blas
57 - Royal Tern, San Blas
10 - Elegant Tern, San Blas pelagic
20 - Common Tern, San Blas pelagic
4 - Forster's Tern, San Blas
1 - Black Tern, San Blas
488 - Rock Dove
105 - Band-tailed Pigeon, mostly KM201 Durango Highway
100 - White-winged Dove
64 - Mourning Dove
44 - Inca Dove
64 - Common Gound-Dove
26 - Rudy Ground-Dove
4 - White-tipped Dove, Singaita Jungle, San Blas
6 - Green or Pacific Parakeet (introduced?) near El Cobano, Colima
40 - Orange-fronted Parakeet
215 - Blue-rumped Parrotlet, mostly San Blas
4 - Parrot species, San Blas
2 - Mangrove Cuckoo, both from the boat on the trip up the river at San Blas.
3 - Squirrel Cuckoo, El Cobano
144 - Groove-billed Ani
1 - Great Horned Owl, Sonora
1 - Least Pygmy-Owl, San Blas
3 - Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Alamos, Sonora and Colima National Park
2 - Mottled Owl, at the micro-relay towers, Colima National Park
12 - Lesser Nighthawk
2 - Common Pauraque, night boat trip at San Blas
1 - Buff-collared Nightjar, Colima National Park
1 - Common Pootoo, night boat trip at San Blas
20 - Vaux's Swift, San Blas
51 - White-throated Swift, Colima National Park
12 - Broad-billed Hummingbird
9 - White-eared Hummingbird, Durango Highway
5 - Berylline Hummingbird, Colima National Park
4 - Cinnamon Hummingbird
1 - Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Rio Salado, Colima.
1 - Blue-throated Hummingbird, Colima National Park
1 - Magnificent Hummingbird, El Cobano, Colima
2 - Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 - Calliope Hummingbird, Colima
4 - Citreoline Torgon, San Blas
1 - Mountain Trogon, Colima National Park
4 - Elegant Trogon
8 - Russet-crowned Motmot, San Blas.
43 - Belted Kingfisher
6 - Green Kingfisher
4 - Acorn Woodpecker
18 - Golden-cheeked Woodpecker
21 - Gila Woodpecker, Sonora
1 - Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, KM201 Durango Highway
15 - Ladder-backed Woodpecker
1 - Hairy Woodpecker, Colima National Park
2 - Strickland's Woodpecker, KM201 Durango Highway
1 - Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Colima National Park
1 - Gray-crowned Woodpecker, KM201 Durango Highway
6 - Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)
22 - Northern Flicker (Gilded)
2 - Lineated Woodpecker, Singaita Jungle, San Blas.
2 - Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, San Blas, El Cobano
3 - White-striped Woodcreeper, KM201 and Colima National Park
1 - Greenish Elaenia, Colima National Park
17 - Tufted Flycatcher, common at KM201
9 - Greater Pewee
3 - Western Wood-Pewee
1 - Willow Flycatcher
7 - Least Flycatcher
2 - Hammond's Flycatcher
1 - Dusky Flycatcher
1 - Gray Flycatcher
6 - Pine Flycatcher, KM201
9 - Pacific-slope Flycatcher (based on Howell's range maps)
31 - Cordillaran Flycatcher (based on Howell's range maps)
17 - Black Phoebe
6 - Say's Phobe, Sonora
41 - Vermilion Flycatcher
1 - Bright-rumped Attila, San Blas Singaita Jungle
2 - Dusky-capped Flycatcher
11 - Ash-throated Flycatcher
6 - Nutting's Flycatcher, Alamos, San Blas
6 - Brown-crested Flycatcher
32 - Great Kiskadee
34 - Social Flycatcher
1 - Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, KM201
37 - Tropical Kingbird
65 - Cassin's Kingbird
12 - Thick-billed Kingbird
51 - Western Kingbird
4 - Rose-throated Becard, San Blas, Colima National Park
9 - Masked Tityra, San Blas
100 - Gray-breasted Martin, Elephant Rock pelagic trip, San Blas
76 - Tree Swallow
32 - Mangrove Swallow, San Blas
6 - Violet-green Swallow
1456 - Northern Rough-winged Swallow
88 - Barn Swallow
30 - Steller's Jay, KM201
62 - Black-throated Magpie Jay
1 - White-throated Magpie Jay, La Cumbre, Colima
55 - Tufted Jay, KM201 Durango Highway. If you don't find them here you're not trying!
3 - San Blas Jay, from the boat on the up river trip, San Blas
9 - Purplish-backed Jay, Alamos, Sonora and Tecolapa, Colima
4 - Gray-breasted Jay,Colima National Park
973 - Sinaloa Crow, Sonora, Sinaloa, Jalisco and Colima
43 - Chihuahuan Raven, Sonora
15 - Common Raven
4 - Mexican Chickadee, Km201
3 - Verdin, KM174, Highway 15, Sonora.
3 - White-breasted Nuthatch
1 - Pygmy Nuthatch, KM201
4 - Brown Creeper
3 - Gray-barred Wren, Colima National Park
6 - Rufous-naped Wren, La Cumbre, Colima
6 - Cactus Wren, Sonora
2 - Rock Wren, Alamos
2 - Canyon Wren, Alamos
14 - Sinaloa Wren, common but seldom seen, San Blas
6 - Happy Wren, common but seldom seen, Alamos, El Cobano
32 - Northern House Wren
2 - Northern (brown-throated) House Wren
31 - Ruby-crowned Kinglet
55 - Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 - Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Sonora
46 - Western Bluebird, KM201
23 - Brown-backed Solitaire, KM201 best seen at sunrise in the top of dead trees.
7 - Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Colima National Park, El Cobano
2 - Russet Nightingale-Thrush, KM201
1 - Hermit Thrush, Los Cascabeles
6 - White-throated Robin, KM201
24 - Rufous-backed Robin
3 - American Robin KM201
13 - Northern Mockingbird
2 - Curve-billed Thrasher, Alamos, Sonora
2 - Crissel Thrasher, KM174, Highway 15, Sonora
8 - Blue Mockingbird
15 - Gray-silky Flycatcher, KM201
1 - Phainopepla, KM174
14 - Loggerhead Shrike
3 - European Starling, Sonora
1 - Mangrove Vireo, San Blas
4 - Bell's Vireo
4 - Solitary (cassini) Vireo
6 - Solitary (plumbeus) Vireo
5 - Golden Vireo, El Cobano
5 - Warbling Vireo
5 - Yellow-green Vireo, Colima National Park, El Cobano
4 - Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Colima National Park around the micro-towers.
31 - Orange-crowned Warbler
37 - Nashville Warbler
2 - Lucy's Warbler, Tecolapa, Colima
9 - Crescent-chested Warbler, KM201
3 - Yellow Warbler (aestiva
7 - (Mangrove) Yellow Warbler (bryanti), San Blas mostly on the river boat trips.
3 - Chestnut-sided Warbler, San Blas
1 - Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, Sonora
16 - Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler
6 - Black-throated Gray Warbler
19 - Townsend's Warbler
9 - Hermit Warbler
1 - Yellow-throated Warbler, Colima National Park
15 - Black-and-white Warbler
19 - American Redstart
23 - Northern Waterthrush
13 - McGillivray's Warbler
2 - Common Yellowthroat, San Blas
1 - Hooded Warbler, a nice male at Singaita Jungle, San Blas
67 - Wilson's Warbler
7 - Red-faced Warbler, KM201
4 - Red Warbler (dark face, melanauris), KM201
1 - Red Warbler (white face), Colima National Park
9 - Painted Redstart
6 - Slate-throated Redstart, KM201, Colima National Park
3 - Fan-tailed Warbler, San Blas
5 - Rufous-capped Warbler, KM201
2 - Golden-browed Warbler, KM201, Colima National Park
4 - Yellow-breasted Chat
1 - Red-breasted Chat, Singaita Jungle clear cut area, San Blas
5 - Olive Warbler
1 - Blue-hooded Euphonia, Colima National Park
2 - Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Colima National Park
10 - Hepatic Tanager
1 - Summer Tanager, San Blas
7 - Western Tanager
4 - Grayish Saltator, El Cobano
2 - Northern Cardinal, Sonora
6 - Phyrhuloxia, Sonora
1 - Yellow Grosbeak, KM240 Durango Highway
1 - Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Colima National Park
5 - Black-headed Grosbeak
1 - Blue Bunting, El Cobano
8 - Blue Grosbeak
3 - Lazuli Bunting
1 - Indigo Bunting, El Cobano
5 - Varied Bunting
4 - Orange-breasted Bunting, Tecolapa, Colima-try the brush next to the corn fields.
8 - Painted Bunting
2 - Rufous-capped Brush-Finch, KM201
1 - Green-striped Brush-Finch, Colima National Park
1 - Collared Towhee, El Cobano
1 - Rufous-sided (spotted) Towhee KM201
2 - Canyon Towhee, Sonora
20 - Blue-black Grassquit, El Cobano
12 - White-collared Seedeater, San Blas
18 - Stripe-headed Sparrow
5 - Rufous-winged Sparrow, Sonora
2 - Rusty Sparrow, El Cobano
4 - Chipping sparrow, Colima National Park
2 - Clay-colored Sparrow, Alamos, Sonora
64 - Lark Sparrow
11 - Lincoln's Sparrow
26 - Yellow-eyed Junco
1004 - Red-winged Blackbird
8 - Western Meadowlark
535 - Brewer's Blackbird
2018 - Great-tailed Grackle
26 - Brown-headed Cowbird
1 - Orchard Oriole, Colima National Park
8 - Hooded Oriole
10 - Streak-backed Oriole
1 - Audubon's Oriole, El Cobano
1 - Northern (Bullock's) Oriole, Colima National Park
2 - Scott's Oriole, KM201
69 - Yellow-winged Cacique
111 - House Finch
1 - Lesser Goldfinch, San Blas
97 - House Finch
Note: Colima National Park as used in the preceding list includes the dirt road to the park and the micro-relay tower area which is not actually in the park.
Richard D. Palmer
Green Valley, Arizona