Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Trip Report - Jaracuaro Bridge

Eleven of us met at the Jaracuaro Bridge on Monday evening: David and Karin (Patzcuaro), Glen and Tracy (Patzcuaro/Texas), Ed and Dottie (Texas), Mike (North Carolina), Ursula (Erongaricuaro), Francis (Arocutin), and Chuck and Georgia (Patzcuaro/Arocutin). We had an hour before a downpour sent us hither and yon.

Birds seen:

Great egret
Snowy egret
Little blue heron
Great blue heron
White-faced ibis
Northern jacana
Common moorhen
Mexican duck
Barn owl

Cassin's kingbird
Vermilion flycatcher
Black phoebe
Canyon towhee
Song sparrow
Common yellowthroat
Yellow-headed blackbird
Brown-headed cowbird

The endemic Black-polled yellowthroat, however, evaded us.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My friend Victor and I took a road trip yesterday to Cocucho, a village west of Paracho. Paracho is famous for its guitar-making. Cocucho is also near Parocutin, a famous volcano. (Just Google both of these places, and you'll no doubt find much information about this area of Michoacan.)
Cocucho is famous for its pottery, and I wanted to pick up a couple of pieces. In case you're interested, one of these pieces is going to Seattle for a local charity auction, the proceeds of which will support bird habitat.
Calle Hidalgo, the main street of Cocucho

As I venture into new places, I use the Guia Roji to guide me. This is an atlas of the roads of Mexico. Though smaller in size, it's much like a Rand McNally or DeLorme atlas in the US. The Guia Roji served its purpose for this trip until we left the main road by Paracho. So much road work is being done in Michoacan that the Guia Roji 2008 is no longer accurate. The federal government is investing in fine asphalt road to the villages, and I was pleased to find with few topes. Because few road signs had been erected yet, we had to ask directions on several occasions. No problem: everyone we met cheerfully directed us on our way.

Most Mexicans I've met fear owls, but these artisans made owl figures and knew the vocalizations of the Great-horned owl.
Naturally, I made my purchases from them.

Victor is now the owner of the large pot to the right of Fidelina and her mother.

Not yet finished items at Fidelina and Domingo's workshop.
Most of the time that I bird, I wonder where the raptors are. Today, however, I saw seven adult Red-tailed hawks, two American Kestrels, and two Sharpies. I didn't count the many Turkey vultures.