on September 23, 2007
With over 300 species of birds in the area, Puerto Vallarta is birder heaven. We boarded the van in front of EcoTours office at 7am and headed south out of town with 6 other people, plus Linda and myself. First stop was an overlook near Mismaloya with a view of Los Arcos off shore. There we watched the brown pelicans, cormorants, and boobies circle the rock formations. Our guide soon directed our attention across the road to some bushes which were alive with bright yellow winged caciques. From there we went along the Rio Tomatlan stopping to take short easy hikes along a small road and some trails. Among the birds seen here were: black throated magpie jay, San Blas jays, golden cheeked woodpecker, ladder backed woodpecker, streak backed oriole, masked tityra, great kiskadee, Inca dove, orange throated parakeet, and elegant trogon, as well as the large spider pictured. The colors of these tropical birds are magnificent and our guide was expert at spotting birds in thick jungle foliage and identifying them by call as well. The big disappointment, up to this point, was no green jay, which Linda really wanted to see. We stopped at a jungle restaurant for chips and guacamole and soft drinks, included in the tour price. The restaurant owner tossed some chips out to attract birds and more yellow winged caciques swarmed out of the jungle to snatch them up. As we were getting ready to leave, a single green jay made his appearance, to Linda's delight. He was certainly worth the wait, with neon bright plumage. I have photos of some things we saw on this tour, but, unfortunately, I'm not quick enough on the trigger for the birds. Some birds we were really hoping to see but did not were, military macaws, blue footed boobies, (we saw the common boobies), and ibis, all of which are seen in this area. Perhaps you will have better luck with these. The walking involved was not very strenuous at all so this tour is appropriate for most nature lovers.
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