Monday, March 30, 2015

Isla Mujeres - Playa Norte and Coastal Zone

The dominant habitat of Isla Mujeres is of course the sea and the coastline.

Magnificent Frigatebirds are the most obvious species, soaring over the entire island. Laughing Gulls too are impossible to ignore, and are ubiquitous. On the sheltered western side of the island there are many marinas and beach clubs. These all have wooden piers or jetties, and there are many wooden pilings, all of which provide a perfect perch for the many Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants and Laughing Gulls here. At the south end of the island there are quite a few terns which use these, and on 28th I found a flock consisting of 42 Sandwich Terns, 3 Royal Terns and 8 Roseate Terns. These were all on a group of pilings just off shore from Capitan Dulche Beach Club.

The northern part of the island has a large and attractive beach (Playa Norte), and this is where most of the hotels are. The hotel gardens provide another different habitat, and it is likely that any visiting birders will spend a fair amount of time here. The dominant species here is Great-tailed Grackle, with a supporting cast that includes Tropical Mockingbird, European Collared Dove and White-winged Dove.

Adult female Magnificent Frigatebird
Adult male Magnificent Frigatebird
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern
Roseate Tern
Cattle Egret and White Ibis
Tropical Mockingbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown Pelican
Tropical Kingbird
Migrant Peregrine resting on the cell-phone tower in the middle of the town.
Male Ruddy Ground-Dove

White-winged Dove
Two very different looking Hooded Orioles...
I think the above bird is an immature male, and the lower is an adult male, both of the igneus race of Hooded Oriole, endemic to Yucatan.
These Iguana are everywhere!

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