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Mexican Sheartail by Apolinar Basora.In association with Steve Bird's Wildlife
Winter Birding Getaway!
January 27 - February 2, 2018
                 Plus Cozumel extension

                        February 2 - 4, 2018

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Contact to reserve your space!

The Yucatán Peninsula is known for sunny blue skies, sprawling beaches, crystal clear waters and Mayan culture.  It's best kept secret is its prolific wildlife and bird specialties that are found here and no where else. This tour is the perfect winter break for warm weather is warm and the birding fantastic.  Join us to explore Mexico’s Yucatán where we will search for an appealing number of endemic birds and specialties plus several Cozumel endemics.

Some of the special birds possible on this tour include:

  • Black Catbird
  • Ocellated Turkey
  • Gray-throated Chat
  • Orange Oriole
  • Yucatán Woodpecker
  • Buff-bellied Hummingbird
  • Yucatán Jay
  • Western Spindalis
  • Black- throated Shrike-Tanager
  • Yucatán Poorwill
  • Cozumel Vireo
  • Yucatán Nightjar
  • Gray-collared Becard
  • Black-faced Antthrush
  • Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird
  • Yucatán Wren
  • Mexican Sheartail
  • Yucatán Bobwhite
  • Rose-throated Tanager
  • Yucatán Amazon
  • Yucatán Vireo
  • White-bellied Wren
  • Cozumel Wren
  • Yucatán Flycatcher
  • Wedge-tailed Sabrewing
  • White-crowned Pigeon
  • Lesser Roadrunner
  • Green-backed Sparrow
Gray-throated Chat by Apolinar Basora.

Top photo: Mexican Sheartail by Apolinar Basora.
Above: Gray-throated Chat by Apolinar Basora.

This time of year will also offer great opportunities to see many North America migrants including good numbers of warblers before they head north to their breeding grounds. Fantastic birding, easy and inexpensive to get to, why not join us this special winter getaway!


Itinerary>     Trip Cost>       Registration Form>   
Contact to reserve your space!

oscellated Turkey. Photo by Apolinar Bosora. ITINERARY:

Day 1: Saturday 27th Jan
Please plan for a flight that arrives in Cancún International Airport (Airport code) on the morning of January 27,  2018. The tour will begin in Cancún, Quintana Roo, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. There are many flights to and from Cancún. Airlines that fly direct from United States include American Airlines, jetBlue, Virgin America, Delta, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United, Southwest Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. British Airways, Air Europa, and Air Canada fly from Europe. 

Once everyone has arrived we transfer to Ría Lagartos where if we have time we will begin exploration of the nearby reserve which represent some of the finest birding on the whole Yucatán peninsular. We'll have a welcome dinner and stay in Ría Lagartos at Punta Ponto Hotel or similar (D). Photo: Ocellated Turkey by Apolinar Basora.


Day 2: Ría Lagartos 28th Jan
Morelet’s Crocodile by Steve Bird.The Ría Lagartos Bio-Reserve protects nearly 60,000 hectares (150,000 acres) of forest, sand dunes, mangroves, estuaries and beaches and includes the fishing village of Ría Lagartos where we will be staying. The area has recorded 395 Bird species (residents and migratory), along with 59 species of mammals, and 80 species of reptile, 99 species of fish, and 16 amphibians as well a rich and diverse flora. The wetlands host a significant number of rare, vulnerable or endangered animal and plant species. Hopefully we will get to see the Morelet’s Crocodile! (Photo: Steve Bird)

We will start the day with an early morning boat ride to explore the estuary where we expect to see many flamingos and shorebirds that should include species like Roseate Spoonbills, White and Brown Pelicans, Bare-throated Tiger- Heron, Common Black Hawk, Magnificent Frigatebirds, the amazing looking Boat-billed Heron, Reddish Egret alongside countless other egrets and herons, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Mangrove Warbler, Black Skimmers, Limpkin, Rufous- naped Wood Rail, Ringed and Belted Kingfishers, Mangrove Cuckoo, Snail Kite, plus Black-necked Stilts and lots of shorebirds. This trip will offer wonderful photo opportunities so get your cameras ready.

Yucatán Wren (Photo: Apolinar Basora)
Along the coastal edges and on land we will spend the rest of the day looking for species such as Plain Chachalaca, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Zenaida Dove, White-crowned Pigeon, Crane Hawk, Laughing Falcon, White-tailed Hawk, Altamira Oriole, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat and the local resident Eastern Meadowlark as well as endemic and near endemics such as Yucatán Wren (Photo: Apolinar Basora), Mexican Sheartail, Yucatán Bobwhite and Yucatán Flycatcher. The Mexican Sheartail, which apart from being found here is only found in central Veracruz, while the Yucatán (Black-throated Bobwhite) could also be considered an endemic except for a few disjunct populations, including one in Honduras.


Other birds in the area could include Olive-throated Parakeets, noisy White-fronted Amazons, Barred Antshrike, Common Tody-Flycatcher and Velasquez’s Woodpecker, a recent split from Golden-fronted, and if we are lucky maybe Lesser Roadrunner although this bird can be very elusive. Several hummingbirds will be sought around flowering bushes and may include Canivet’s Emerald and both Cinnamon and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and stunning birds such as Turquoise-browed Motmots and striking Vermilion Flycatchers are always vying for attention. As you can see our time here will be well spent.  Lodging in Ría Lagartos (B,L,D)

Day 3: Ría Lagartos / Felipe Carrillo Puerto 29th Jan
Gartered Trogon (Photo: Steve Bird)We will do some early morning birding to find any missing birds and get ready for the drive to Felipe Carrillo Puerto town where we will make several birding stops along the way. Felipe Carrillo Puerto, offers a nice introductory to the birding of the Sian Ka’an Reserve another spectacular wildlife rich area. Sian Ka'an - is Maya for "Where the Sky is Born" – and represents a 1.6 million acre haven for wildlife. It has many ecosystems, with equal parts lowland tropical forests, wetlands (marshes, flooded savannahs and mangrove forests), and coastal and marine habitats (lagoons, bays, and coral reefs). The reserve’s boundaries extend to the Caribbean and encompass 68 miles of the Mesoamerican Reef, one of the second largest barrier reefs in the world.


Scanning the trees and bushes could reveal Collared Forest Falcon, White-crowned Parrot, Rose-throated Becard, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Masked Tityra and Brown Jay, while the forest itself holds a mouth-watering variety of other birds and wildlife. Here we can search for Blue Ground Dove, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, White-bellied Emerald, Black-headed and Gartered Trogon (Photo: Steve Bird), Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Tawny-crowned and Lesser Greenlets, Spot-breasted Wren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Green-backed Sparrow and Blue Bunting. If we encounter an Army Ant Swarm we should consider ourselves very luck as accompanying birds might include Olivaceous and Ruddy Woodcreepers, plus Red-throated Ant Tanager amongst others.


Of course, there are far too many species to mention here but other delights may include Rose- throated Tanager, Yellow-backed Oriole, Northern Royal Flycatcher, Gray-throated Chat, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Scaled Pigeon, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Bright-rumped Attila, Eye-ringed Flatbill, White-browed Wren, and with luck maybe a Bat Falcon, Bicolored Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk or Hook-billed Kite. We may get time tonight for our first attempt at Yucatán Nightjar. Lodging at Felipe Carrillo Puerto (B,L,D)

Day 4: Vigia Chico Road / Felipe Carrillo Puerto 30th Jan
Today we will explore the famous edge of the Reserve Vigia Chico Road.  We will start the day by looking for Yucatán Jay (Photo: Apolinar Basora), Orange Oriole, Rose-throated Tanager, Yucatán Woodpecker (Photo below: Apolinar Basora), Yucatán Amazon - a nice selection of special birds. There will be plenty of chances to spot species that we may have missed yesterday alongside new ones like Collared Aracari, Keel-billed Toucan, Northern Bentbill, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Black-headed Trogon, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, White-bellied Emerald, Yellow-throated Euphonia.


Yucatán Woodpecker (Photo below: Apolinar Basora)We should see real Muscovy Ducks and a host of other birds. One of the best places to find Yucatán Nightjar and Yucatán Poorwill is the Vigia Chico road, so we will endeavor to go out this evening in search of these two much sought after birds. With luck on our side we may even get to see or hear a Northern Potoo.
Lodging at Felipe Carrillo Puerto (B,L,D)

Day 5: Vigia Chico Road / Bacalar Lagoon 31st Jan
Today after morning exploring Vigia Chico Road again, we will go to the Bacalar Lagoon area. Bacalar is one of the world´s true natural treasures with turquoise fresh water, white beaches, jungle, mangroves, unique ecology, culture, and history. Bacalar Lagoon is also known as “the seven colors lagoon” for its varying
shades of turquoise and blue colors. Our target birds are going to be Gray-collared Becard, White-bellied Wren, Olive Sparrow, Blue Ground-Dove and Black-faced Antthrush.


There will of course be much more to look for including Squirrel Cuckoo, Blue-diademed Motmot, numerous warblers and orioles, Common Pauraque, Keel-billed Toucan, Ringed Kingfisher, Red-lored Parrot, Masked Tityra, Rose-throated Becard, White-eyed Vireo and Red-legged Honeycreeper. Lodging at Bacalar at Villas EcoTucan or similar (B,L,D)


Red-capped Manakin (Photo: Steve Bird)Day 6: Bacalar 01st Feb
Today we will take a morning drive to Tres Garantias Road, a very different habitat than yesterday. Here some of our target species will include Red-capped Manakin  (Photo: Steve Bird), White-collared Manakin, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Scaled Pigeon, White-necked Puffbird, Black-throated Shrike Tanager and Gray-headed Tanager. We will also get many opportunities to see some of the species seen on previous days making for a full and entertaining day. Lodging at Bacalar (B,L,D)


Day 7: Bacalar / Cancun International Airport - END of Main Tour 02nd Feb
Morning transfer to Cancun International Airport via Playa del Carmen for those continuing with our
Cozumel extension. (B, L)


Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird (Photo: Apolinar Basora),Cozumel Extension, Feb 2 – 4, 2018:

Day 7: Playa del Carmen 02nd Feb
Morning drive to Playa del Carmen, where we will drop of those staying for the Cozumel extension. We should have a fairly leisurely afternoon. Lodging at Playa del Carmen at Hotel Las Golondrinas or Similar. (B,L,D)


Day 8: Cozumel / Playa del Carmen 03rd Feb
This morning we will take the ferry to Cozumel Island, We will end our trip on the isle of Cozumel, known for its abundance in endemic species. Here we will spot for specialties like: Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird (Photo: Apolinar Basora), Cozumel Vireo; Cozumel Wren and of course many residents like Black Catbird, White-crowned Pigeon, Caribbean Elaenia, and Western Spindalis. Afternoon return to Playa del Carmen. Lodging at Playa del Carmen (B,L,D)


Day 9: End of Tour 04th Feb
Breakfast and transfer to Cancun airport (1 hour) in time to catch your international flight back home. (B)

Leaders: Steve Bird and Gina Nichol with local guides throughout.

Cozumel Vireo
Cozumel Vireo
Photo: Apolinar Basora
White-crowned Pigeon
White-crowned Pigeon
Photo: Apolinar Basora
Black Catbird
Black Catbird
Photo: Apolinar Basora

Below: Yucatán Bobwhite
Photo: Apolinar Basora

Itinerary>     Trip Cost>     Registration Form>      Contact to reserve your space!

Yucatán BobwhiteYucatán
January 27 - February 2, 2018
Cozumel extension
February 2 - 4, 2018
Contact to reserve your space!   
Registration Form>

Main Tour $1950.00 – Cancun / Cancun. 
Single supplement: $260.00
Cozumel Extension: $495.00. Single supplement: $145.00

Deposit: $500 per person. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise when you have made payment. 

Single Supplement: $ per person (subject to availability)

Group Size: Minimum 6, Maximum 12

Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite, All meals from dinner day 1 to breakfast day 7 Main tour and Day 7 -9 extension (Note some breakfasts and lunches are picnics. Meals are described in itinerary as B,L,D), ground transportation mentioned in the itinerary, all entrance fees to National Parks, boat trip, round ferry trip to Cozumel (extension), transport throughout, all taxes, services of local guides and leaders.

Not included: Cost does not include roundtrip airfare to and from Cancun from your home airport, passport/visa fees, insurance, departure taxes, items of a personal nature such as: laundry, telephone, beverages, or gratuities for porterage or personal services.

RESERVATIONS: Contact either or to reserve your space! Then, complete the Registration & Release Form and mail it with your deposit of $500.00 per person to Sunrise Birding, LLC.  Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.   
>Download & print the Registration Form 

Final payment is due by November 1, 2017 and must be paid by check or bank transfer. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees).

Transportation/Travel Planning: You will be responsible for making your travel plans to Cancun. Information will be forthcoming about timings for arrivals and departures. Once the tour is confirmed to go ahead, we will send you information about booking your flights. Please do not book flights until you receive this information from us and are notified that the trip has sufficient numbers to run.

Note: This tour is being run through Steve’s Birds Wildlife – Birding & Wildlife Tours, 5 Quarry Cottages, Plymouth, Devon, UK. Contact Steve Bird for more information.
If booking from the US then payments can be made through Sunrise Birding LLC.

**Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Cancellations and Refunds:  All cancellations must be made in writing.  In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.

There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. 

Insurance:  The purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover any eventuality is strongly recommended.  Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour. 


Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724