Peregrine Bird Tours
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Peregrine Bird Tours

Oaxaca, Mexico Birdwatching Tour

Oaxaca, Mexico Birdwatching Tour


When: Thu 16 March - Fri 31 March 2017
Leaders: Chris Doughty and mark Pretti

Oaxaca, Mexico Birdwatching Tour


Melbourne/Melbourne (16 Days) $10,481
Single Room Supplement $550
Ground Content Ex Oaxaca $7,985
J ust as the charisma and riches of Mexico proved irresistible to the Spanish Conquistadors, so it now exerts its influence over jet-age naturalists. Mexico conjures up a rich mixture of images, sombreros, white-clad peons, stubborn mules and siestas, all portraying a distinctly sleepy image, which disguises the reality of a country rapidly entering the modern world, with good roads, quality accommodation, great food, and, best of all, extremely exciting birding. Mexico, both culturally and ornithologically, is a land of stark contrasts. A transitional zone between the temperate North American continent and the lush rainforests of Central America, its geographical position, topography and contrasting habitats have produced an endemic-rich avifauna, which, remarkably, is third only to Brazil and Peru amongst New World countries. The birds of Mexico are a delightful mix of endemics, wide-ranging neotropical species and, at this time of year, trans-gulf migrants from North America. This tour is designed to thoroughly explore the state of Oaxaca, in southwestern Mexico, by far the richest region for birds, in all of Mexico. Oaxaca has a complex ecosystem - an intricate mix of barren cactus-studded hillsides, dry forest, refreshing pine forests, high cloud forests and steamy tropical lowland rainforests. On this unique tour, we shall go birding in all of these habitats. The Oaxaca basin and the surrounding uplands, harbour more endemic Mexican birds, than anywhere else in the country, including a number of rare and highly localised species, such as Beautiful Hummingbird, Dwarf Jay, Ocellated Thrasher, Collared Towhee and Bridled and Oaxaca Sparrows. We begin our journey in the attractive colonial city of Oaxaca, where cactus-covered foothills, and rugged mountains rise dramatically from an extensive arid plain. We shall thoroughly explore the deserts, wetlands and forested hills of the Oaxaca Valley. Leaving Oaxaca, we drive northwards and cross over two mountain passes before descending a little, towards the Gulf of Mexico and the small town of San Mateo Yelta, which will be our base for three nights. We will spend two full days birding the spectacular cloud forest surrounding the town. We then return to Oaxaca, where an added bonus, will be visits to the ruins of Monte Alben and Yagul, fine old Zapotec cities, currently inhabited by only animals and birds. Leaving Oaxaca behind, we head south to Puerto Escondido, on Mexico's sun-drenched Pacific coast. Here we shall divide our time between the extensive thorn forests that cover the coastal slope, and the mangrove swamps and river estuaries along the coast. Although most of the excitement on the trip will undoubtedly be generated by the extraordinarily rich birdlife, the spectacular scenery and the magnificent monuments to the genius and creativity of one of the world's most gifted races, will add another colourful aspect to this memorable experience.

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