Our comprehensive exploration of Oaxaca is jam-packed with specialties taking in the major birding sites of Teotitlan del Valle, Benito Juarez National Park, Cerro San Felipe, the archaeological spectacle of Monte Alban and Huatulco. With a high level of endemicity, we set out to find dry interior endemics such as Ocellated Thrasher, Bridled and Oaxaca Sparrows, Boucard's Wren, Dwarf Jay and the diminutive Dwarf Vireo. Cerro San Felipe is expected to reward us with Russet Nightingale-Thrush and the piercing Red Warbler, possibly one of the most attractive birds in all of North America. As we marvel at the iconic Monte Alban, we will also be searching for the endemic Slaty Vireo, Ocellated Thrasher and Blue Mockingbird. Our time in Huatulco will be spent birding the endemic strewn Sierra de Miahuatlan for such delights as Long-tailed Wood Partridge, Blue-capped Hummingbird, White-faced Quail-Dove, Mexican Hermit, Long-billed and Plain-capped Starthroat, West Mexican Chachalaca, Citreoline Trogon and Red-breasted Chat.
As the tour draws to a close, we change tack, and head out to the sea off Puerto Angel for a pelagic, with such headline species as the endemic Townsend’s Shearwater, while we shall also be on the lookout for Christmas and Galapagos Shearwaters, and both the rare Black and Wedge-rumped Storm Petrels.
Unicolored, Azure-hooded, White-throated & Dwarf Jay, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Blue-capped, Beautiful, Dusky, Garnet-throated, Azure-crowned, Emerald-chinned, Cinnamon & Green-fronted Hummingbird, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Mexican Hermit, Long-billed & Plain-capped Starthroat, West Mexican Chachalaca, Pileated Flycatcher, Blue Mockingbird, Ocellated Thrasher, White-throated Towhee, Oaxaca Sparrow, Long-tailed Wood Partridge, Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo, Brown-backed Solitaire, Red & Red-faced Warbler, Slate-throated & Painted Whitestart, Collared Towhee, Lesser Roadrunner, Spotted Wood Quail, Black & Ornate Hawk-Eagles, White-faced Quail-Dove, Colima & Central American Pygmy Owl, Slaty Vireo, Blue Mockingbird, Aztec Thrush, Grey-crowned Woodpecker, Vermiculated Screech Owl, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, Citreoline Trogon, Russet-crowned Motmot, Boucard’s, Happy & Banded Wren, Red-breasted Chat, Blue & Orange-breasted Bunting, Hooded Yellow-throat, Wagler’s (Emerald) Toucanet, Townsend’s, Wedge-tailed, Galapagos, Black-vented, Christmas & Pink-footed Shearwater, Black, Least & Wedge-rumped Storm Petrel and Red-billed Tropicbird
intermontane valley scrub, pine & oak forests, pelagic, humid cloud forest, subtropical forest, pacific thorn forest and foothill riparian forests
mostly warm with some light drizzle expected in the cloud forests. Can be cool to cold at higher elevations (and on the pelagic). Humidty can be expected in low lying areas
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
relaxed, with some long days in the field
mostly easy with some tricky/rare target species
pre-Colombian archaeological sites of Monte Alban & Yagul, Oaxaca City.
good to excellent
David was brilliant, as usual, and the Mexican guides were also exceptional, making for a really good tour. Great country, fabulous birds, would like to go back.
Our trip, a long time in the waiting, was nothing short of a triumph. David led us again with passion, interest and focus. Jorge, our local guide. and his wife Amy who joined us were a triumph leading us to, and putting us on many many lifers. The travel arrangements were well made, the hotels were comfortable and the meals copious. Our first trip to Mexico will most certainly not be our last. Roll on the Yucatan!
Adam Walleyn was an excellent guide, extremely knowledgeable, friendly and well organized. Our local guide is one of the best local guides I have known on a birding tour – intimately familiar with the birds of Mexico, their habits and habitats. Consequently we were successful in finding and seeing many of the challenging endemic birds of the Oaxaca and Huatulco areas.
"We are pleased to report on our recent Rockjumper birding adventure after spending four weeks (March 22 - April 17) exploring many of Mexico’s best birding sites during back-to-back trips to the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas. We were guided by Rockjumper’s Adam Walleyn and his local contact, Eric. Adam guided us in previous trips to Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Cuba, Jamaica and Dominican Republic, and we have always been impressed by his worldwide birding expertise and his knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, all wildlife. Eric (a Mexican, living in Oaxaca, and fluent in English) has intimate knowledge of literally every bird species that resides in or migrates through Mexico - over 900 species. We slept well and ate extravagantly. Our drivers did an outstanding job of driving safely and minimizing the discomforts of numerous speed bumps and potholes. We birded in a diversity of landscapes that varied from sea level (during a morning coastal/pelagic cruise), to a mangrove forest, to desert scrub and to cloud forests where elevations were over 8000 feet. The highlight of our trip was, of course, the wildlife. We recorded a total of almost 500 bird species during the three trips - 20 of those were heard only. But with Eric’s guidance we had an exceptional opportunity to absorb Mexican culture. We visited ancient stone ruins, enjoyed delicious meals in small village homes (fincas) of farmers and coffee growers, and were pleased to view the products of skilled woodworkers and potters. Adam and Eric did their best to ensure that everyone in our diverse group saw every bird that we encountered. Everyday we were amazed by their skill in spotting and hearing birds and getting their scopes on the birds so that all could see. Their warmth and passion were felt and appreciated by all. We never felt threatened or insecure during our month-long trip. Mask wearing in Mexico is a law with near 100% compliance, including outdoors (our group complied when outside the van). We had no heath issues associated with food and drinks. "
Our tour leaders produced a very successful tour. They worked together well and their skills complemented each other. Chris's education and experience provided us with a plethora of knowledge and fun facts. His personnel skills were put to the test with quite a diverse group of birders with an assortment of desires. He succeeded well. One could not ask for a better local guide than Eric. He knows every nook and cranny of his turf. He knows the birds well and multiple sites to look for each species. He has very good eyes and ears. But for me, his strongest characteristic is his genuine desire to find every target for the group. His persistence is unmatched. It paid off several times. I enjoyed the trip.
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