Mexico, The Yucatan, Day 13 - Uxmal, 25 February 2020

Day 13 of the trip and it was rather unlucky - more of that to follow!

With no reason to hang around in Sebaplaya any longer than we had to we hit the road to Uxmal in good time. The drive was pretty uneventful but did have one highlight - I finally managed to nail a couple of Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures having been checking anything likely for days!

We arrived in Uxmal at about lunchtime and therefore way to early to book into our accommodation at Hacienda Uxmal. We kicked our heels for ages even managing to 'explore' an abandoned old hacienda and then had a coffee and a chill on some sun loungers by a swimming pool. Nonetheless there were a couple of Ridgeway's Swallows swooping low over the pool plus 2 Common Ground Doves, Great Kiskadee, loads of Social Flycatchers, Black-cowled Oriole, Blue-grey Tanager, Summer Tanager, Hooded Warbler and Yellow-throated Warbler. 2 Roadside Hawks were also at the rear of the hotel after we'd checked in.

My late afternoon walk was then quite eventful, but not for the right reasons. It began OK with a walk out of the rear of the hotel where I scooped a nice Merlin, Mangrove Vireo, Clay-coloured Thrushes and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker close to our balcony. Then I made the fateful mistake of venturing over the road to a track that is covered in the Where to Watch Birds in Mexico book. It is now gated and locked but I spotted a a gap in the barbed wire and was in. I didn't see a whole lot - Turquoise-browed Motmot, Altamira Oriole, a couple of Blue-grey Gnatcatchers and some calling Caribbean Doves but did get almost to within touching distance of the main ruins. On the walk back along the track however I was seen by a passing car on the road which clearly took at interest in me as it reversed to see as I dodged into the trees and out of sight. 10 minutes later I thought the coast would be clear but no - a stern looking guy was stood by the gate. I'd been rumbled! I walked up to him and climbed back through the barbed wire offering my most grovelling apologies but he wasn't having any of it. Within minutes I was surrounded by 7 security guards who were less than pleased with me for trespassing on to federal land. All I could do was continue to apologise and explain I was only birding and hadn't done any damage or harm. Eventually they decided to let me go with a threat that they would take my camera next time!

Thankfully the evening got better as we'd been offered a free dinner at The Pickled Onion in nearby Santa Elaena thanks to a cocked-up Airbnb booking the English owner couldn't honour. It turned out to be lovely and the best meal of the whole trip.

     Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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