Monday, May 03, 2010

The Yucatan: Muyil

When I reached Muyil, it was already extremely hot and humid, and the only wildlife activity there seemed to be mosq
uitoes. On a brighter note, and as I had expected, I had the site entirely to myself.

Mayan ruins at Muyil

As I explored the area around the first couple of ruined buildings, a Roadside Hawk flew in and flew off again.

Then I came upon something that really surprised me - a birding trail and boardwalk, partially sponsored by the Houston Audubon Society. I can imagine that this trail, and the observation tower that accompanies it, would produce excellent birding early in the morning. Unfortunately for me, it was now midday and extremely quiet.

Part of the birding trail at Muyil

The only bird sightin
g I had was a very brief glimpse of a Black-faced Antthrush scuttling across the boardwalk. That is until just as I was leaving, when a Bright-rumped Antilla settle on a branch just feet away from me.

Back in the ruins, I sat down in the shade to rest. A Couch's Kingbird flycatching from a treetop was soon joined by what looked like a Tropical Pewee.

Couch's Kingbird

Tropical Pewee?

Then there was another of those flurries of bird activity. Yellow-green Vireos appeared, followed by Hooded Orioles, a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, an American Redstart and a Cinnamon Hummingbird.

Hooded Oriole

Cinnamon Hummingbird

A pair of Yellow-throated Euphonias added to the scene.

Fifteen minutes later, all the birds had left. So I headed back to the car, stopping to photograph a Golden-fronted Woodpecker along the way.

I spent the next two hours driving to my final destination for the day, the botanical gardens at Puerto Morelos, north of Playa.

The Botanical Gardens

On a previous visit to the gardens, Deanne and I had seen several interesting birds and some spider monkeys. So, although I was already very tired and it was 95F and extremely humid, I was really looking forward to this visit.

I pulled up to the entrance - to find that the gardens are closed on Sundays. Bummer!

The only consolation was tha
t the road verge was absolutely crawling with iguanas. So before heading back to Playa and an early dinner, I watched for a while as these amazing reptiles dashed in and out of their burrows.


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