Mexico, The Yucatan, Day 20 - The Xocen Track, 3 March 2020

Our final day and I was up at the crack of dawn to make the most of it. My last bit of birding was a 30 minute drive to the village of Xocen out to the SW of Valadollid. So I headed around the city ring road in the dark. The Xocen Track has become a well known birding site in the last few years and I was pleasantly surprised to even find a visitor center there even though it was closed.

Parking at the start of the track I opted for a slow walk for about 3km and then to retrace my steps. It was a thoroughly enjoyable 3 hours with just a few locals on bikes passing occasionally with a cheery 'buenos dias'. The first major success was a Buff-bellied Hummingbird at long last. I had been looking for this species for so long so indulged in a fist-pump moment! A Roadside Hawk was perched up in a tree and Indigo Buntings were common in weedy clearer areas. Red-crowned Ant Tanager, Canivet's Emerald and Brown-crested Flycatcher were trip ticks and 2 Ovenbirds, several Scrub Euphonias, 3 White-eyed Vireos, 2 Brown Jays, Masked Tityra, Turquoise-browed Motmot and several Plain Chachalacas also gave themselves up. In a weedy clearing 2 plainish pale sparrows eventually gave good views for me to clinch them as Botteri's Sparrows and then a Tropical Pewee posed on a barbed wire fence (my last 2 lifers of the trip). A singing Rufous-browed Peppershrike and a perched but distant Ridgeway's Swallow gave some great views too.

Roadside Hawk

Rufous-browed Peppershrike

Ridgeway's Swallow

I reluctantly dragged myself away and returned to Belinda at the hacienda where we spent a coupel of hours having a late breakfast and exploring the grounds, church and cenote. A showy Squirrel Cuckoo there was the last bird of note.

It was then just a 2 hour drive back to Cancun airport via the toll road and the long trawl home.

Triplist - 219
Lifers - 61          

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