Monday, March 28, 2016

Sierra La Laguna

Easter Sunday rolled round, and for us that meant a road trip out thru the Mexican desert. We are always looking at our Gazetteer, for those little black line, roads that are used, sort of maintained but not a lot of traffic. They usually go some where, but in many cases, the road is more goat trail than not by the time we are thru. We always plan on them going some where, circling around or connecting to another road, just so we don't have to back track. Our trip to Sierra La Laguna was not one of those roads. First of it started out like a two lane, VERY WELL improved dirt road. I mean it was graded, smooth, and very wide. Once we got to the boundary of the Biosphere, that all went away. I do have to admit, this turned out to be a grand day, great company ( my lovely wife Jeanne) beautiful weather, some very beautiful, diversified country, and know, a bunch of birds!!

I am going to start out with one of the biggest surprises of my Mexican birding experience ever! It happened at the very end of our day, where we pretty much have run our of road, and turned around near a stream bed with little bit of a trickle of water in it. This seemingly year round water had allowed a nice grove of date palms to thrive. this grove of date palms, were nearly 30 ACORN WOODPECKERS!!  For those of you who know me, I was like a kid in a candy store!! I always thought that the rumors of Acorn Woodpeckers this far south were just confused locals with a little to much cerveza in them. I had even seen where the local Fish and Wildlife (such as it is) had used a photo of an Acorn Woodpecker on it!! Like, really? So, I will eat my silly words, and admit, there really are Unicorns here in Mexico....

We found that many of the flowering trees were all in bloom, so all the nectar eaters were having a great time, like this female Hooded Oriole

This Gila Woodpecker was enjoying nibbling on this cactus bloom!
 This is the first time I had ever seen the Northern Cardinal actually eating the stamen out of the flowers....

This guy found a bush full of berries....and he was really going to town on them!
Speaking of eating, this American Kestrel had a small lizard for breakfast!

There were an amazing amount of the small Kestrels in the area!

This big old Redtail Hawk soared right over head! 

This female Cardinal was well protected back inside the thorn bush. Actually, virtually every plant down here has is the only way they survive!!

This Gray Thrasher was well camouflaged inside this bush.....but stuck his head out just long enough for me to get a photo!

The Ash-throated flycatchers were well represented in this area as well...

This Lark Sparrow was sitting right on top of a bush as we went by....not the normal behavior for these very decorated little sparrows.

While this blog is about birds, I have to give a little shout out to this very old Spiny-tailed Iguana. Jeanne spotted him as we drove by, and he sat still long enough for one quick photo. Then he ducked inside him hollowed out log, I guess that is why he has gotten to be so old!!


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