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WEATHER; wall to wall sunshine all day, very hot – 34C

Our final walk through the dry and dusty forest area of Ensenada produced a couple of good sightings as well as all the usual bright and wonderful species. We saw all the usual Orioles and Hummers, Trogons and Flycatchers.

Jason pulled out a great sighting when e spotted a distant White-necked Puffbird, that was a stunner and then he found a Double-striped Thick-knee further along the trail. We spent sometime chasing down a couple of Wrens, Banded and Rufous-and-white Wrens were seen fleetingly.

a distant digiscope shot of the White-necked Puffbird

Double-striped Thick-knee

On the way back we found two or three raptors perched in the huge trees around the lodge. Crane Hawk was stunning, Short-tailed Hawk was a flyover and our second Hook-billed Kite was a superb sighting in the morning light.

Lineated Woodpecker - taken by Chris Perry

We took breakfast, packed our cases and said goodbye to Ensenada, I do love that place we always have a great time there. We drove along the dusty tracks to the main road, stopping to loom at Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and various parrots and parakeets. An hour later we visited some small salt pans further south, just before we got there we stopped to scan a roadside pool that was crammed with herons, egrets, ibis and storks.

saying goodbye to the lovely views of Ensenada and the Pacific Screech Owl we tough

At the pool we added Black-crowned Night Heron and enjoyed a host of other species. The salt pans were relatively empty due to it being a low-tide period during our visited, which couldn’t be helped.

We found just one of target birds, the Marbled Godwit, it was only there because it had a broken wing! Should we tick it? One ‘pan’ held about 50 Black-necked Stilts and other waders were dotted about in the others. We saw Bare-necked Tiger Herons, some Orange-chinned Parrots and a pair of Bat Falcons flew over.

Next we stopped at the mangrove forest in the picturesque seaside town of Caldera, the forest lies just north of the town and adjacent to a large brackish pool. We searched for Mangrove Vireo but didn’t find one! We did find Yellow-throated and Philadelphia Vireos and Mangrove Warbler and few other common species.

Wood Stork taken by Chris Perry

At one point a lesser Ground Cuckoo called from the hillside behind us, Jason and some of the group went over to look for it. I think only Chris got a sighting of it. We drove on and stopped for lunch in a large tourists roadside mall.

After our lunch we set off into the rolling hills a few kilometers north of Tarcoles, we searched a couple of places for Long-tailed Manakin which we eventually found, what a stunner! A quick stop at anther site for the Ground Cuckoo produced a dozen or so of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers but not the cuckoo.

a Fritillary Butterfly - taken by Chris Perry

Soon we were pulling into our hotel grounds at Tarcoles, extensive gardens with a river and a steep hillside forest surrounded us. We had a superb dinner and we all saw Common Pauraque nightjars on the footpath outside our cabins on the way to dinner.