EBird actually is aware of find out how to push my buttons. I imply that in a great way: By routinely displaying one’s new 12 months record every January 1st, and evaluating it to at least one’s final a number of 12 months lists, they all the time make me wish to hit the bottom operating with as many species in my first week as I can handle. And in my case, which means heading as much as Lake Cuitzeo. (Besides within the unhappy 12 months of 2020, when Lake Cuitzeo had nearly totally dried up by January 1st.)
Most years, a day in January of significant birding round Lake Cuitzeo can provide me round 85 species. Just one different of my favourite websites can come shut. So up north I’m going, all the time hoping for harvest of 12 months birds.
This previous January, nonetheless, my expertise was even higher. First, the lake’s always-variable water ranges turned out to be favorable for selecting up some additional species. And second, I had reinforcements: My buddy Nacho, a botany professor at one among Morelia’s universities, went with me. 4 eyes are higher than two. And when two of these eyes are professionally educated for wildlife monitoring, that’s definitely an enormous plus. Consequently, we managed to see a fair 100 hen species in at some point — a report for each of us.
I ought to make clear that this was only a regular day of birding, not less than by my requirements. This was not professional-level aggressive birding, during which one travels 100 miles or extra via a dozen habitats. We didn’t begin earlier than daybreak, and we had been dwelling by a bit after 3:00 p.m. I may have simply birded extra aggressively, with extra driving, however selected to not.
Listed here are a number of the components that allowed us to move the century mark in a single morning:
- Winter: If you wish to rack up the species in central Mexico, you need to hen right here within the winter, when northern species have come down for his or her off season. For instance, of the 9 duck species we noticed, 7 are winter-only. The identical could be stated, to a lesser extent, for the shorebirds, New World sparrows, warblers, and plenty of different households.
- Wetter: The size of my record is tremendously influenced by the presence or absence of water. My #2 species-rich web site additionally features a good-sized physique of water.
- And higher… collectively: As I discussed above, having an additional pair of eyes actually made a distinction.
It additionally actually helps when the birds go for inclusion, and hand around in blended flocks. So fashionable of them.
For instance, these could all technically be Blackbirds, however there are Pink-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds and a Brown-headed Cowbird on this one picture.
Dowitchers, Teals, and Wigeons, oh my!
Certain, the canine didn’t depend for our eBird record. However I need to say, these are some very tolerant Lengthy-billed Dowitchers!
We didn’t actually see that many uncommon species; we simply noticed extra of them. In actual fact, that’s what I like about birding in January. Even the most typical species nonetheless seem to be an occasion the primary time I see the within the 12 months. Nonetheless, there have been a number of uncommon ones:
This Ring-necked Duck was the primary one I had ever seen on Lake Cuitzeo, or certainly, wherever in Michoacán.
A Willow Flycatcher is a dependable hen at decrease altitudes, however this was solely the second time I had seen one on the lake. (Be at liberty to appropriate me if I acquired this Empidonax ID incorrect. It undoubtedly occurs.)
The north shore of the lake is my solely spot within the state during which to reliably see Northern Cardinals. However, for some purpose, they’re all the time in the course of dense brush:
And, in fact, there was an impressive Hook-billed Kite. However I’ve already written concerning the pleasure of seeing this magnificence.
Listed here are a number of others, extra widespread however nonetheless beautiful:
This feminine Blue Grosbeak blended in effectively along with her environment.
This Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler checked us out within the morning gentle.
An immature Northern Harrier appeared to have some form of hen in its claws. Which isn’t my concept of find out how to see two birds directly, really.
So there you could have it, 100 species in a single day. I might like to have you ever remark under, mentioning your regular birding area, and what number of species you possibly can hope to see in a single day of “regular” birding. It will assist me to handle my expectations, ought to I ever be in an identical area.