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Los Cabos with detour to La Paz. December 14 and 18th, 2018


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I went on 7 day trip to Cabo, with a non birding friend, birding on December 14(day) and 17th(2 hours). My trip was specifically organized for my mobility and bird list. Most of the day trip was travel. I’d torn my knee meniscus before the trip which severely limited my mobility, and missed a lot of other endemics. My target bird was Blue-footed Boobies, and the usual endemics in area. I saw a National Geo tv show many years ago on them, narrated by Attenborough. It was hysterical and I fell in love with these amazing birds. Never thought would see one and yet here I was. 

Baja Sur has a bazillion Turkey Vultures, just wanted to warn you. The first stop was a back road, of course, with a pair of Xantus Hummingbirds.  Tantalizing  loud calls, songs in trees, then popped up along fence line, 2-8 feet away. Next were Scott’s and Hooded Orioles. A few others appeared. Then along highway was a Zone-tailed Hawk, which was a surprise for all of us. Maria Elena had just finished a short class on identifying same. They usually stick around Turkey Vultures, one bird per flock, and banded tail was best identifier.  Good looks seen by all. Unfortunately Harris Hawks haven’t been seen in area in last 2 years They are seen in flocks with over a dozen in one flock seen by Maria Elena.. The belief is they have been hunted for shows. I’ll jump ahead to boat trip, Cactus Wrens beside boat dock seen at close range. Onto boat and there was the first Magnificent Frigatebird. What I noticed the most on this bird was shape, wing shape and very long tail. Shortly, we started seeing a lot of Frigatebirds, over a hundred was my estimate. It was cool to see them hanging onto rocks in their colony. Yay,! Saw a juvenile flying to small rocky island, and the colony. Juvenile was very easily identified. Blue, necks, heads, beaks. Fantastic! 

The Monday 2 hour trip was very slow as uneven path and knee was sore. Estero San Jose was a delightful surprise. I had low expectations and wow. There is a huge variety seen at this location that haven’t  been documented on ebird. I love seeing Cinnamon Teal, Ruddy ducks, Hooded Orioles by the dozens. Well, not that many, but quite a lot. Orchard Oriole, Gray Thrasher, Vermillion Flycatcher and more. Joanne had seen an Indigo Bunting the day before, and Orchard Orioles on previous trips. These birds were seen in a small picnic area. I wanted to go further and spend a few days here, sigh. Overall I enjoyed myself and had a great time. 

I saw 60 birds. In case you’re disappointed in the low numbers, check out, email for information on Tip to Top trip in February. The 2018 trip had 400 birds. 

I did not give an accurate location for Booby trip as was asked not to. This is one of the tour company’s target endemics and it doesn’t want other companies to barge in. Check out Estero San Jose on ebird and remember that birds are under reported on ebird. 

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