accumulated list. One of the new species was a Red-legged
During our stay at Teziutlan we saw Emerald Toucanet,
Unicolored Jay, Hooded Yellow throat, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia,
White-naped and Chestnut-capped Brush-finchers, among many
wintering neotropical migrants. This was accomplished in
spite of the generally miserable weather. Tony was also lucky
enough to see the Azure-hooded Jay, which I missed.
Our next stop was Catemaco and we again had bad weather -
first a light mist, then rain, rain, rain. We did manage a
few good species though, like White Hawk, Collared Aracari,
Keel-billed Toucan, and Lovely Cotinga. I was fortunate to get
excellent looks at a "most wanted" species - the Black-throated
Because of the bad weather, we cut our stay short and
headed for Palenque. On the way we added Yellow-headed Vulture,
Great Black Hawk and Plain-breasted Ground Dove.
At Palenque the next day we saw our first sunshine in
10 daysl This also provided us with excellent birding. In
the morning we had a beautiful White Hawk soaring over the
ruins, Barred Woodcreeper, Black-crowned Tityra, Black-cowled
Oriole, among many Mexican and neotropical migrant species.
The best bird of the morning came as we were birding a jungle
trail. I rounded a corner with Tony right behind, and right
in front of me in the trail, at a small water crossing, was this
plump, almost tail-less bird with long legs. I knew immediately
what it was, but because of the excitement, I could only get
half a word out...uh-uh-PITTA! Here was something I have been
wanting to see since I first started birding the neotropics, an
Antpittal It was the Scaled Antpitta, a beautiful but very
secretive bird which, nevertheless, provided full back and side
views at about 20 feet. What a nifty findl
In the late morning we were joined by John Barrera and
Simon Perkins, the two Massachusetts birders we met at
El Naranjo. After birding some more around the ruins, with
Tony fortunate to see the Green Shrike-Vireo, the four of us
birded a road outside Palenque. Along this road we found
Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Aplomado Falcon, and 31 Double-
striped Thick-Knees, plus numerous buntings and finches.
The next morning we birded along the Ocosingo Highway before
setting off towards the Ucatan Peninsula. By evening we reached
Uxmal after numerous birding stops through marshes and Thorn-
scrub habitat. On the way we had excellent looks at Yucatan
In the Yucatan we birded around the ruins of Uxmal, Kabah,
Labna, Xlapak and Sayil. While we didn't turn up anything
unusual it was most enjoyable to watch such beautiful specie ■■
as Turquoise-browed Motmot, Yucatan Jay, and Oranage Oriole.
In this area neotropical migrants really dominated the scene.
Wintering vireos and warblers were most numerous. Also in
great abundance were Ferruginous Pygmy Owls. Using a tape of
their call, we carefully counted 24^ of these little owls in one
day of birding, and we got looks at 1_2 of these, two of which
were sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on a branch.
We finished our two week trip with a tally of 357 species,
including 28 species of raptors, and 33 species of warblers.
Considering bad weather much of the way, this was a respectable
Other than the weather, the only other problem I had during
the trip was fighting off a few days worth of depression and
sadness. For the forests of Mexico continue to fall. In
areas I birded just 2h years ago, there was obvious and sometimes extensive, clearing. This was most evident along the
Ocosingo Highway, especially in the area of the Las Cascadas
(waterfall) which is now a national park (!), and in the
thorn-scrub forest area of Northern Campeche. In the latter
area, several tracts of hundreds of acres were bulldozed down to
bare earth. The previously beautiful area known as Las Cas<jj
just off the Ocosingo Highway has had all the understory
cleared out and the trees thinned. In an area where I viewed
Blue-Black Grosbeak and Violet Sabrewing on my last trip, only
a Wood thrush could be found. This is a national park?