First post for seven months, it seems longer. We were home for the hurricane season and while we were there we helped care for my father who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He passed away on September 29. I lost my most avid reader and fan. Just days after his death, Gene's older brother died. It was not a happy visit but I feel lucky that we were there for my parents and not at sea somewhere. We are now back aboard Peregrine in Chiapas, Mexico (on the coast very close to the border of Guatemala).
Below: Guatemalan Cracker Hamadyras guatamalena marmarice There were quite a few crackers to look at for ID, but I think I finally chose wisely.
click photos to enlarge
Yesterday, I found what I thought was an Owl Pellet. I posted my pellet encounter on WhatBird to ask if an Owl ID could be made from a pellet. I got no responses from my post, so I also posted on BirdForum. Not long after my BF post, I got a response on WhatBird. I was informed that Hawks and Falcons also cough up pellets. The ID seemed easy at that point because a Roadside Hawk hangs out on the lamppost where I found the pellet. Stupid of me not to have figured hawks and other raptors might have pellets. Now I have to find out if all raptors cough up pellets. I can only say that I barely keep my head above water in regards to learning and identifying bird species (and ssp) in new places and haven't had time to study many details (with the exception of the Empids :)). I look forward to being home and really getting to know the birds and their behavior on our property in San Diego County. For now, I will fly by the seat of my pants, as usual. Here is a link to the Whatbird post (complete with pellet photos):
I also got a lifer: Northern Jacana. They were across the highway from the marina in a large muddy, marsh area. There were also some large brown ducks. They were just out of range, but I think they must have been Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. There were other birds there but the view is blocked by dense growth and many birds are barely in binocular range. I was able to ID the Jacana because I saw it fly and saw the yellow wings. Its rufous back and bright yellow face shield gleamed in the sun and ID was easy. Wish they had been closer though. There were also immatures.
I was going to write a list of birds I saw on yesterday's walk, but frankly, I'm too lazy. We are still cleaning mold and mildew and re-stowing below and I am drained.