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Pale-billed Woodpecker - Iain Campbell
Subject: Pale-billed Woodpecker - Iain Campbell
Resolution: 375x500 File Size: 87078 Bytes Date: 2008:02:03 10:56:00 Camera: Canon PowerShot S80 (Canon) F number: f/4.0 Exposure: 1/30 sec Focal Length: 13144/1000 Upload Date: 2008:01:30 19:04:15

Pale-billed Woodpecker - Iain Campbell

Tropical Birding tour report: The Yucutan and Palenque

Pale-billed Woodpecker - Iain Campbell

driving the entrance road at daybreak yielded nice looks at Great
Curassow and
Slaty-legged Tinamou. Collared Forest-Falcon and Common Potoo were seen
across the road. If I had to think of one word to describe Calakmul it
would be
“awesome”. Picture walking through lowland
rainforest and stumbling upon a
decaying stone staircase. The vegetation is thick, and you can only see
first twenty stairs or so. As you ascend the stairs, you’re
completely surrounded
by layers of canopy. Finally, you reach the top of the staircase and
around to see untouched rainforest in every direction, studded by a
half a
dozen ancient pyramids, peeking their heads out above the canopy.
both senses of the word! As said by a participant,
“It’s pristine jungle with
no sign of man, except for the odd thousand-year-old pyramid here and
there!” Birding
the unexcavated grounds of Calakmul is very productive, especially at
resident army ant swarms. We found many species attending the swarms,
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Great Crested Flycatcher, Gray-headed
Gray-throated Chat, and Worm-eating, Kentucky, and Swainson’s
Warblers. Mexican
Antthrush was also a nice find.
10:00, we ascended
another pyramid to look for raptors and were rewarded with amazing
looks at a
Black Hawk-Eagle, whistling as it soared just above our heads. Later in
day, another pyramid top served as a lovely base for digiscoping a very
friendly group of Keel-billed Toucans. If you’ve ever
wondered what it’s like
to digiscope from the top of a pyramid, let me tell you, it’s
spent more time in the
afternoon with antswarms, where Northern Barred-Woodcreeper,
Spadebill, and Bright-rumped Atilla were new.

started a bit later this morning since we saw the curassow the day
before, but
we were still treated to a Ruddy Quail-Dove on the road as we reentered
Calakmul. We were greeted by the friendly Ocellated Turkey flock at the
again, and the parking area was quite active as well. Three
Trogons were flying around as we got out of the car, and we soon after
found a
Lineated Woodpecker nest! We watched the woodpeckers for a quarter hour
or so,
changing guard to keep the eggs warm every few minutes. Just inside the
we flushed about a hundred White-fronted Amazons from their
roost???talk about
noisy! The same location was home to a pair of spectacular Pale-billed
Woodpeckers, whose nest we also found. More time at the antswarms
Ovenbird, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Painted Bunting, and even a
Roadside Hawk
in attendance. Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, White-collared Seedeater,
Golden-olive Woodpecker were also new. Gray-throated Chats proved to be
curiously common here, as we saw as many as ten throughout the

Gray seedeater
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