Effectively, Kai Pflug has overwhelmed me once more. I had spent a few weeks vaguely considering the necessity to write about my first wetland journey of the winter migratory season. In the meantime, Kai continues to crank out two or extra posts every week. Motion was certain to beat contemplation, and so he wrote about his returning waders earlier than I wrote about mine. Let that be a lesson, to me.
Right here in central Mexico, the winter season all the time appears to start with the arrival of assorted members of the sandpiper household. I assume it is because so a lot of them breed within the Arctic and tundra areas, so their summer season is way briefer than that of different birds. They’ve farther to go, however in addition they depart sooner.
Within the waning days of July, a birder good friend from north-central Mexico despatched out the primary report of such wading birds arriving in his personal wetlands. So I waited a respectful few days, and headed out to see if they’d made it to my south-central Mexican wetlands but. A distant pair of migration Yellowlegsmaybe on Higherand one Lesser, prompt that they’d. Nonetheless, a lot of the birds had been locals, together with Full Whistling-Geese, Black-necked Stiltsand a lone American Avocet (nonetheless with a little bit of breeding colour).
Black-necked Stilts are all the time frequent at Lake Cuitzeo.
And when stills get together, they actually get together.
My hope had been to seek out hundreds of Baird’s Sandpipers and Wilson’s Phalaropes, however apparently I had arrived too early to catch that spectacle. A single sandpiper, far within the distance, had the lengthy wings that distinguish the Baird’s, which cease in wonderful numbers at Lake Cuitzeo on their method south, however fly to our east on their return journey. I did a bit higher with the Phalaropes; whereas I solely had one encounter, it was with a medium-sized group, they usually appeared fairly keen to let me take their image.
I am not pleased with this picture. Nevertheless it does showcase sharply delineated darkish chest and elongated form of a Baird’s Sandpiper.
Oddly, the day’s solely gulls all gave the impression to be Laughing Gulls. These are additionally, technically, winter migrants, however breed alongside the nice and cozy waters of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Gulf of California. So, they wanted a trip from the seashore?
This one is younger, maybe a primary yr. Gull lovers, please be at liberty to appropriate me.
Undoubtedly an grownup
I had but to see any peeps apart from the solitary Baird’s Sandpiper, so I proceeded to the mudflats alongside the sting of the city of Cuitzeo — Cuitzeo Seaside, if you happen to please. This can be a moderately nasty place, since plenty of the city’s sewage joins the lake waters there. However hey, different birders enthuse about birding poo vegetation. That is only a poo plant with out the plant.
And birdy it’s. Amongst my many encounters was a pair of adolescentst Black-necked Stiltsdoing what adolescent people additionally do… exhibiting off, and fussing with one another.
Subsequent, certainly one of many Northern Jacanas placed on fairly a present. our Jacanas are pretty nondescript reddish-gray birds, apart from their odd yellow invoice and defend… till they open their wings and fly. Shock!
I had certainly been seeing small teams of peeps flying briefly over the folds within the still-dry mud, however by no means shut sufficient to attain an ID. Lastly, my persistence paid off, and I received the images that recognized my first Western Sandpipers for the seasons. Their lengthy, decurved, barely tapered invoice gave them away, however the spots on their undersides had been a rarer deal with — remnants of their summer season breeding plumage, which hardly ever make it this far south. In the event that they did, peep ID can be much less of a problem down right here.
And, lastly, a pair of peeps sprang into the air and confirmed vaguely yellow legs. Least Sandpipers!
As Cuitzeo numbers go, August 1st did not give me a lot. Nevertheless it definitely was a pleasant foretaste of issues to come back.