A weblog about birding, birdwatching, wild birds, raptors, hawk watch, raptor migrations and bird conservation from a birder, nature photographer and naturalist who resides in Veracuz Mexico.

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I went out birding this morning. I loaded up my bicycle with my tripod and with camera and binoculars headed out in search of visual adventure. I am a convert to "digiscoping" digital camera+spotting telecope+computer. It has changed the way that I look at the world and has made me a better birder.

As far as I know the "father" of bird digiscoping is Laurence Poh, he developed the concept a few years back and now many people have taken up digiscoping. There are some breathtaking images of birds out there on the web thanks to this technique. I describe myself as a mediocre digiscoper, (my equiptment is basic Sony Mavica CD250 digital cam and a Nikon spotting scope 80mm 20X60 zoom and a good sturdy tripod [that is a must] I use a gitzo studex tripod w/a manfrotto head-----the total cost around 1,600 dollars) as for results if the photo is good enough to get an ID or capture an interesting behaviour I am a happy camper. There are some dyed-in-the-wool digiscopers who spend hours ind the field painstakingly taking the pics and then more hours in photoshop tweeking their pics. The results are incredible, I just don't have the patience. I am a "focus-point and shoot " digiscoper. I don't have an adapter which holds my camera steady to my scope. I simply hand hold it to the eyepiece and click. To be sure I have plenty of blurry shots but when one get close to mark it is great fun.

OK lets see, I headed out birding. Today I got a late start 9:00am. (Under normal conditions the best birding is at the crack of dawn until about 10:30)
I had splashed on some mosquito repellant ,for my own peace of mind, because for the mosquitos it doesn't seem to make a damned bit of difference, they are just hungry.
As I am riding my bike out into the countryside I am watching and making mental notes as to what I am seeing. Mosquitos and heat aside it was not a bad morning, I was back at the house by 11:30a.m. I had observed 41 species, not too bad for this time of year. Our fall migrants here in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz are just beginning to arrive (100+ species will either pass through or winter here). Here are some ot the highlight of today's trip Vermilion flycatcher, Limpkin, Black-bellied whistling duck, white ibis, Great kiskadee, Couch's Kingbird, Tropical kingbird, Groove-billed Ani, Crested caracara, Snail kite, Dusky-capped flycatcher, Anhinga, Northern Jacana, Neo tropical cormorant , Mangrove swallow, Northern rough winged swallow, Grayish saltator, white-collared seedeater, Eastern meadowlark..... Not a bad morning.

In the afternoon I turned to the skies over the house to see if I could catch a glimpse of my first migrating raptor of the season. No luck. Lots of soaring black vultures with a turkey vulture here and there, a resident crested caracara, a common black hawk and a soaring solo "Jonathan Livingston" Great Egret that loves to ride the thermals.

The hawk watches in Corpus Christi TX and Veracruz are already in full swing. Corpus Christi reporting 5,000 plus raptors( I really enjoy reading Patty Waits Beasley's reports from Corpus Christi, she adds her own touch of humor to the hawkwatch) and Veracruz has counted over 15,000 migrating raptors so far this season. Last year the "River of Raptors Hawkwatch in Veracruz counted over 6 million migrating raptors

About me

  • I'm David L. McCauley
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  • David L. McCauley a nature photographer, birding guide. I am currently involved with two projects. 1 ¬†leading birding tours with a focus on the bird of prey migrations in Veracruz Mexico. ¬†and 2. Working on a 12 acre plot of land using principles of natural farming, Permaculture, gardening with the end goal of sustainability.
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