El Pato Mexicano and extra Monterrey marvels

My firm has an workplace in Monterrey so my journey wasn’t the primary time to this industrial metropolis, nor will it’s the final. My earlier submit on birding right here has obtained some criticism – apparently I used to be too harsh on the place. Now, in early March, the town confirmed itself from its greatest aspect with clear skies and air air pollution ranges so low that solely young children needed to keep indoors. Butt-ugly no extra?

Whereas having fun with my farewell Portuguese espresso and pastel de nata on the Lisbon airport and learning up on identification I thought-about the planning of my two-week journey to the Americas. True to my very own recipe I’d arrive a day or two early to go birding. I’d go together with Mexican birding buddy Mau, guided by Kingfisher Birding who additionally supplied the fowl photos. Our vacation spot: 4 inland reservoirs and the encircling scrubland.

First cease: the Presa El Águila. The reservoir has been furnished with picnic areas and facilities. The principle leisure exercise is angling. Fishing with explosives has been explicitly forbidden as a useful signal knowledgeable. It’s frequent data such indicators are historic indicators: some fool tried this not less than as soon as! We left from Monterrey at 5:00 hrs and arrived on the lakeshore with the solar peeking over the horizon. With the Sierra Los Picachos within the distance as an alternative of the extra acquainted Sierra Madre Oriental, the tranquillity and clear air let you realize you’re distant from the town.

The wind was robust and chilly however had concentrated the birds within the downwind a part of the lake. Drowned timber present perching alternatives and there are shallow and uncovered areas and underwater vegetation on this a part of the lake. It could simply be the feeding alternatives that had drawn within the birds, not the wind. Or perhaps we have been simply projecting our distress on the birds. With the solar gaining in power and out of the wind we have been quickly fairly snug. The birds warmed us too. There was a big raft of tons of of American Coot, an American White Pelican and plenty of duck species.

I can’t title all geese, however Bufflehead and Canvasback have been lifers so that they deserve a call-out.

A bunch of about 15 Least Sandpipers was feeding within the shallows. They have been transferring in our path and gave the impression to be oblivious of our presence. Quietly we waited for them to get nearer and nearer and nearer nonetheless, after which, bang! Sandpipers up within the air and a basic panic among the many coots and geese. A Merlin had simply tried to seize breakfast earlier than our very eyes… She missed and whereas we have been glad for the sandpipers – they’re very fairly – the joy we felt was for the falcon. What a spectacle. Hearts racing and tears of emotion welling up in our eyes!

The joy was removed from over. Subsequent we witnessed an Osprey by way of those self same watery eyes. The fowl hovered, plunged and caught a big fish. The wind made it laborious for it to settle so we have been handled to some fly-bys. Typically actual life is healthier than any Sir David Attenborough documentary. Solely a cynic would attribute our tears to the chilly wind.

We checked out the shrubs for songbirds whereas returning to the automobile and have been rewarded with a displaying Crimson-winged Blackbird. A Loggerhead Shrike bade us farewell and we headed out to the following vacation spot. Driving slowly out, by way of shrubland and acacia woodland, we scanned for birds. We noticed a Black-throated Sparrow

… after which our guides heard Cassin’s Sparrow calling. We stopped. I received out, stretched and appeared an Japanese Screech-Owl straight into its attractive eyes. Was it the small dimension, the very giant eyes, or the lovable ear tufts? I don’t know however I stood mesmerised, drowning in these eyes and feeling remarkably “zen”. I feel I’m in love with an owl.

Subsequent cease: Presa Agualeguas. The emotional excessive of the owl was by no means going to present this lake a good likelihood besides I’d say this spot was the least engaging of the day. Far fewer birds and an uninteresting panorama. A Nice White Egret plunge diving for a fish nonetheless made the cease worthwhile however we didn’t keep lengthy.

We then checked the Presa El Nogalito for one fowl species particularly. The reservoir is surrounded by excessive cliffs with solely a single shallow half with vegetation and the likelihood for birds to forage. And foraging they did, about 200 specimens of the species we have been after: Sandhill Cranes.

There are some picnic spots and facilities at this website, however it’s all in determined want of restore. The bathroom bowls have been smashed up and damaged, however had nonetheless attracted clientele… We discovered this in any respect websites we visited: there are services however all dilapidated and dirty. No must linger then, adelante!

It was now properly previous lunch time and at round 14:00 hrs we pulled into the car parking zone of Presa Sombreretillo within the Sierra Los Picachos. We unpacked the sandwiches and the telescopes – an important piece of kit for all websites we visited – and munched our Mexican cheese sarnies whereas watching Mexican Duck. Each the style and the view have been mouthwatering.

The leisure consisted of a bunch of 8 Grasshopper Sparrows and Cattle Egret attending to a small herd of – watch for it – cattle. Sorry for that weak joke, however every time an English title is precisely describing the fowl I really feel I must name it out. If I have been in cost, I’d change the main focus of the naming debate to enhance each single title. Not simply the racists however the misnomers too. I do know the names are a remnant of the good Anglo-Saxon custom in pure historical past with its fowl skins and laboratory work, however the easy and simple naming of e.g. Afrikaans or German fowl names is refreshing. A fowl that calls out its personal title, great. Take your decide: Eurasian Eagle Owl or simply Uhu? Even the scientific title makes extra sense (Bubo bubo). Apologies, I’ve digressed… Again to the lakeside. We noticed all of the duck species we had seen within the different reservoirs plus some Wooden Duck, the already talked about Mexican Duck, Eurasian/Inexperienced-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck (one other unusual title – the ring is hardly seen and positively not a defining attribute of this duck – oh, will you simply cease it!), and Black-necked Grebe (not saying something). We additional noticed a single Noticed Sandpiper on the spillway and a trio of aptly-named Rock Wren.

Though we didn’t discover the encircling areas there may be plenty of appropriate habitat across the reservoir. Presa Sombreretillo is probably the most scenic of the 4 reservoirs we visited. There have been plenty of wildflowers, dragonflies, butterflies, and succulents, so for non-birding nature lovers there’s a lot to see. It’s about 90 minutes away from the town so if in case you have restricted time that is the one to go for.

Each time I return to the town I’m liking it extra – there’s a lot nature to get pleasure from within the instant environment. Monterrey will be the impossible vacationer vacation spot in Mexico, however it’s value a go to. As a Cyberdyne Programs T-800 Mannequin 101 as soon as stated: I’ll be again.

Autor Peter


Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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