Birds to watch Unspecified

Perched 400m (1,312’) above Puerto Vallarta, Carmelita’s Restaurant,

a new destination for the 2014 VBF has to have the best view of any restaurant (and any hotel or condo for that matter) in the city proper (so bring your camera)! And the food is quite good, as well….

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Las carmelitas

Together, these would be good enough reason for anybody to pay a visit to this family-owned and family-friendly establishment… But visiting birders will be doubly delighted when they discover the manifold joys of a visit here, including:

  1. Inspiring expanses of unscathed, intact tropical broadleaf and Colima Palm forests flanks the restaurant, free from deforestation and hunting…so birdlife is particularly abundant (in the A.M. before the restaurant opens).
  2. Raptors, vultures, martins and occasional bands of swifts, are constant “companions,” to sharp-eyed diners…who can easily view them from within or atop this circular restaurant that offers panoramic views of the whole region and its attendant birdlife.
  3. And here is the real treat—Carmelita’s has to be the best (and easiest) location in all of Puerto Vallarta to see (not just hear) both Common Pauraque and the even more coveted Buff-collared Nightjar in the first hour after dusk…and you can do this without leaving your vehicle!
  4. We will make it a point to precisely schedule a visit to take full advantage of this unique birding opportunity for participants who opt for this excursion; Lesser Nighthawks may be seen, as well, in the early spring when the Festival takes place.

Note: Since Carmelita’s is family-owned, and the family has taken great care to preserve not only its natural surroundings, but also its privacy…there is no access in the early A.M. when many land birds are most active. However, since the restaurant opens at 1:00 P.M. and closes at 11:00 P.M., access to the birding areas is available during the afternoon through evening hours, including the crucial hour after dusk when the nightjars are active.

Notable forest birds inhabiting the inspiring forests surrounding Carmelita’s include: West Mexican Chachalaca (endemic); Gray, Zone-tailed and Short-tailed hawks; Collared Forest-, Laughing and Bat falcons; Red-billed Pigeon, Inca and White-winged doves; Squirrel Cuckoo and Groove-billed Ani; Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl; Plain-capped Starthroat; Golden-crowned Emerald (endemic); Broad-billed, Cinnamon and Violet-crowned hummingbirds; Vaux’s and possibly White-collared and Rufous-collared swifts; Citreoline Trogon (endemic); Golden-cheeked (endemic), Ladder-backed, Gray-crowned (endemic), Lineated and Pale-billed woodpeckers; Orange-fronted Parakeet; Ivory-billed Woodpecker; Northern Beardless Tyrannulet; Greenish Elaenia; Bright-rumped Attila; Dusky-capped, Nutting’s, Social and Boat-billed flycatchers; Great Kiskadee; Tropical and Thick-billed kingbirds; Masked Tityra; Rose-throated Becard; Golden Vireo (endemic); Green, Black-throated Magpie- and San Blas jays; Gray-breasted Martin; Happy and Sinaloa wrens (both endemic); Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush, Rufous-backed Robin; Blue Mockingbird (endemic); Fan-tailed Warbler; Blue-black Grassquit; White-collared (Cinnamon-rumped) Seedeater (endemic subspecies); Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow (endemic); Yellow Grosbeak; Varied Bunting; Streak-backed Oriole; Yellow-winged Cacique (endemic) and Scrub (Goldman’s) Euphonia (endemic subspecies), etc.

As far as migrants go, the sky’s the limit! Come join the fun!

Difficulty Rating: 1-2 (if we walk part of the road in the preceding hours before dusk).

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