This is probably going to be the longest post I have ever made. So if you start falling asleep keep in mind there will be some x rated shots at the end of the blog. No fair cheating and scrolling down to the bottom of the page!
We visited the San Jose del Cabo Estuary and were completely amazed at the changes. Much good but like with most progress, not everyone agrees with all the things they are doing. We met with Biol. Raul Rodriguez Quintana, Director MPAL. A very pleasant and knowledgeable person. Apparently, he’s in charge of directing the management of the estero. They are cleaning up the trash, which was everywhere, putting in walking paths and in general, creating more public access. A great effort but I don’t agree with all the brush clearing. Some is necessary but almost all of the native plants along one side of the canal have been cleared away. Birds need “islands” of thick brush in which to quickly hide. Having to fly or swim too long a distance to seek shelter leaves them vulnerable to predators. For the most part, I applaud the efforts for sure.
Here’s Debbie and Director Rodriguez Quintana. The smiles they are wearing go right along with this beautiful estuary. Raul says they have plans for an interpretive center with banos’ (restrooms) and all that. This place is well worth a visit as you will see from our photos. There are several accesses including one at The El Presidente Hotel.
I’ll get to the birds we saw right after this. Check out this nice, clean looking water. I saw several turtles up to about a foot across. Also signs of other animals like raccoons and others little critters enjoying the less polluted habitat. Hello happy animals, goodbye garbage.
There were also Northern-pintails Ruddy Ducks
Ruddies are “stiff tailed” ducks.
A Great Egret was looking up in the trees? An American Kestrel was looking down.
This beautifully marked Green Heron landed right across the canal from Debbie, WOW!
A Cinnamon Teal The little cutie of the marsh, Pied-billed Grebe
We saw Great blue Herons
And Double-crested Cormorants
And even a Snowy Egret!!!
As you can see from this photo, there is a lot being done to improve public access to the estero. If you have been here before you’d remember there was mostly boggy old cow trails (which I like, but not for everyone) and very few areas to view wildlife. Pollution, trash of every sort was just killing the estero. There are bird species such as The Beldings Yellowthroat (see in my book “Birds We See” in Baja), That live almost no other place in the world.
Warning: If you are sensitive to seeing photos of birds mating, don’t look.
Whether you call them Common Moore Hens, Swamp hens or more correctly Common Gullinule, these birds are the voice of the marshes. When nothing else may be heard, the squawk of these hens sets the tone of eeriness in the swamp. Just picture this; Early morning, muggy as getting out of the shower in July in Los Barriles. You’re walking in the estero, mist forming, it’s still pretty dark. All alone, listening to the quiet, your boot gets stuck in the bog. Struggling to pull free, the silence is interrupted in the distance by the eery squawk of a mud hen.
I’ve looked and looked all over the internet to find any info on the mating behavior of the The Common Gullinule, I can find none. All I read is there is little info available. So, I have seen the strange behavior and here it is. The female wanders to a log thats just right. The male is ten feet away. She sticks her head in the water, under the water. He gets the message.