a male Xantus’ Hummingbird, endemic to Baja California Sur, photographed during the GBBC
For last year’s GBBC, I was working in Costa Rica, in the Central Valley. This time around, I was on the job in Baja California Sur, Mexico, at Villa del Faro. Over the course of the four days that comprise the Great Backyard Bird Count, I was able to go out three mornings and one afternoon in search for birds.
By the last day, I had seen most of the usual suspects, although I was unable to spot a Pyrrhuloxia, one of my favorite species here in Baja, which is quite shy. In total, however, I saw 38 species around Villa del Faro, which has a hotspot with 76 species, so I saw exactly half the birds recorded here so far (and two of them were only just reported for the first time yesterday). Continue reading
Patricia works at Reception, with the Great Backyard Bird Count sign behind her
Xandari Resort & Spa’s Great Backyard Bird Count started off with the piercing whistle of a Common Pauraque, followed by some wren vocalizations and a Great Kiskadee‘s eponymous (“great kis-ka-dee!”) call. While drinking my morning coffee before the scheduled birdwatching tour I listened to the sounds from the forest and recorded my first GBBC checklist of the day at 5:30.
Then, some guests and I watched birds from the restaurant terrace for almost half an hour before walking through the gardens as well, leading to two more checklists. The most exciting sightings this time were a small group of White-crowned Parrots and a Zone-tailed Hawk soaring alongside a Short-tailed Hawk.