1. Tzintzuntzan – Monday July 14, 2008
Ojo de Agua, a small pocket park on the north boundary of Tzintzuntzan, is our destination for this half-day trip. With access to the lake, agricultural fields on both sides, tall and expansive trees, berry bushes, and a riparian area, we are bound to see a variety of birds. There’s no hiking involved – you might even bring a folding chair.
Departure from Patzcuaro is 9:00 AM. If anyone is interested in carpooling, let me know if you are willing to drive or want a ride, and I’ll try to organize this. Antep9@aol.com. Others who are coming from different localities should time their arrival to Ojo de Agua for 9:30-9:45 AM. We’ll bird this spot for a couple of hours, weather dependent. Bring binoculars. This is a great spot for spotting scopes.
If anyone is interested in Blue grosbeaks, I saw them last week on the road to the ruins near Ihuatzio. I also saw Horned larks in a newly plowed field by Las Cuevas. We could look for them after birding Ojo de Agua.
Directions to Ojo de Agua: From Patzcuaro, make your way to Tzintzuntzan. Continue through town, past the square and then the turn to the embarcadero, as if you were heading to Quiroga. Near the north side of Tzintzuntzan, watch for the median to end and turn left into the park.
From Quiroga: You’ll find Ojo de Agua on the right side of the road as you enter Tzintzuntzan.
2. Bird trip to Rancho Madroño – Target Birds are Trogons!
Saturday July 19, 2008
For this excursion, we will visit Rancho Madroño in the oak, pine and madrone forested hills above Erongaricuaro, Michoacan. The bumpy dirt road to the Rancho is 5 kilometers long. Rancho Madroño is an organic farm that uses permaculture methods to restore and enhance habitat for native plants, birds and wildlife. The Rancho is off the grid with solar panels to provide minimal electricity and rain catchment systems provide the water. Other systems include composting toilets, solar hot water heating, plant propagation, adobe block making, food and test gardens, and many kilometers of trails ideal for bird watching. A natural building workshop will be held in October to teach cob and straw bale construction.
Some species we’re likely to see/hear at the Rancho (not in taxonomic order):
Trogons (Mountain and Elegant – we could hope for Eared quetzal!)
Please note that access to Rancho Madroño is only by permission and prior arrangement.
A 50 peso per person donation is requested to support bird habitat at Rancho Madroño. After birding, our host will guide anyone wishing a tour of the permaculture activities. There is an additional 50 peso donation suggested for the tour.
Because the trogons are most active in the early morning (7:00 – 9:00 AM), we will meet at the Plaza in Erongaricuaro at 6:30 AM. Sorry about such an early start, but the plan is to carpool from the Plaza to the ranch so we can arrive around 7:00 AM. Our host will have hot water and tea ready for us.
We’ll walk the trails through the forest and/or bird from his patio. Less ambulatory individuals will see plenty of birds from his patio. We’ll return to Erongaricuaro’s Plaza before noon.
Depending on the interest, we might venture north along the lake to Opongeo for a fish lunch. Or, three women make IMO the best quesadillas right there on Eronga’s Plaza. Delicious, freshly made, and at ten (10) pesos each, they’re an unbelievable meal.
Please send me a note if you are interested in this trip – I’d like to give our host an idea of how large our group will be. Antep9@aol.com. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope, if available.