Thursday, February 11, 2016

Los Frailies, BCS Mexico

Another one of the things that I want to feature on my new blog is a bit of information about the places that I am doing my birding and photography. Todays feature is Los Frailes, at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.

                                                           Los Frailes

In 2011, when my wife Jeanne and I sailed out sailboat down the west coats of the US to Mexico, we had to take refuge from a nasty northerly storm. This great little bay, with it's coral reef hook allowed the wind to blow thru, but never allowed any of the waves to build. We were there for a week. At some point, I went ashore and started to explore the area away from the water, and of course went looking for new birds!

Just above the high point of the beach, there is the end of a long arroyo. About half way up in the arroyo there is a flat area that the "Snow Bird" campers have cleaned up, smoothed out and established small intimate campsites. This area is mostly populated by Canadian travelers who are here in the winter. By May 1st they have all headed north, and that is when Jeanne and I tend to take our trailer and head to that area.

Cabo Pulmo, one of the largest coral reefs in Mexico is a Federal Marine Reserve, and just north of Frailes. We always try to plan at least one day there snorkeling, since the area is protected from fishing, the size, quantity and diversity of the marine life is just astounding!!

Of course the bird viewing is pretty amazing as well......In addition to the birds, at the  end of this post, I will add a few shots of some of the other wildlife we get to enjoy while we are there!

We will start off with one of my favorite Frailes birds, the Pyrrhuloxia. So far this is the only place on the Baja that I have been able to find these unique, and lovely birds. Of course much like most birds, the male is the one that go all the amazing colors...

And here is the female.....

The female Hooded Oriole.....

One of the Baja's endemic species, The Gray Thrasher.

Here are a couple of the Gila Woodpecker..I am still not sure what the white seed looking thing is that he was eating, or even where he got it! It almost looks like a pickled onion. The second shot is the Gila eating the sap from the split in the branches.

Here is a Ladder-backed Woodpecker, working on her nest.

The Western Scrub Jay.


Here is a shot of the Green-tailed Towhee

I have seen three different Hummingbirds in this area, the Most common, the Costa's an occasional Xanthus and so far only one ever Black-chinned.

Here is a Costa's and then a Xanthus....

Here is a close up of the White-winged Dove

And of course there is the Greater Roadrunner!!  Beep Beep..

This area has a very large population of Northern Cardinals!!

Like I mentioned before, birds are not the only fun creatures running around this area. Black-tailed Jackrabbits wander thru the camp sites early in the morning.

Up on the ridge above the arroyo that we are camped in, I spotted a pair Spiny tailed Iguanas that had taken over a woodpecker hole in a Cordon Cactus. They were not early risers, sticking their heads out around 9:30-10:00 in the morning. They had a great view of the entire arroyo, which I am sure also gave them a heads up watching for predators.

One of the shyer of the little lizards we get to see every now and then is  the Orange-Throated Whiptail.

We do see quite a few of the Zebra tailed Lizards.....they are a real kick to watch around camp, as they are very territorial especially around mating time. The red neck patch is only visible at this time, and they are all excited!!  They come in a large variety of colors from what you see here, to dark brown-nearly black.

All in all I have seen nearly 50 different species in this area, plus Coyotes, Desert Fox, and keep in mind we are less than a 100 yards from the beach where the whales, dolphins and Mobula rays are seen almost every day.

1 comment:

  1. More bird species there than I would have ever thought, nice to see. Dad