Paraiso Miramar (San Blas area), Jan. 26 - Feb. 15


        We birded longest and most intensively around the picturesque old colonial port of San Blas, the base for Spanish and Mexican expansion northward along the Pacific coast to California.  For three weeks we headquartered on the shore of a protected bay some fifteen miles south of town at the Paraiso Miramar RV Park.  Ocean breezes, gentle surf, green lawns, lofty shade trees, flowering shrubs, and hot showers made this a paradise indeed.  An additional amenity was the Restaurant El Eden offering tasty and inexpensive meals (and great beer) on a deck above the surf.
Front court
Restaurant El Eden
Harry in paradise
The great Strangler Fig
Garden walk

        Our social activities and daily birding meetings were conducted in a lovely palapa, where roosting bats looked down from the thatched roof.
The Whittens lead birding discussions
Our observers

        Having the park almost to ourselves, we deployed our awnings and folding chairs for a pleasant community life.  Almost daily Harry and the other small vehicles took us to birding locations, to town, or for propane refills.
News from home
Duane Whitten, Coen Dexter, Brenda Wright
Card sharks
Ellene Gravelle, Brenda Wright, Shirley Sutton, Ann Jenkins
Propane for Harry

        The park was itself an excellent birding area.  Clouds of Magnificent Frigatebirds wheeled above.  The clamor of Sinaloa Crows was constant.  The loud calls of Great Kiskadees and Yellow-winged Caciques rang from the tall palms.  And one never knew what new bird might turn up.
Birding on the grounds
Magnificent Frigatebird
Frigatebird cloud
"Amazing!  It's a Yellow-throated Warbler!"
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Pale-billed Woodpecker

        With all this at hand, still more exciting birding sites beckoned all around us!

Photographs copyrighted 2004 by Carolyn Merchant