Birding Baja’s San Bartolo arroyo.


The San Bartolo arroyo offers up some spectacular scenery.  It starts at the sea and runs up nearly along side the road from Los Barriles towards the little town of San Bartolo. I don’t know who did it, but the trash that had been dumped up there for years has been mostly cleaned up.  Now the wash is a great quad ride to see all kinds of good stuff.

By looking at this gate adorned with bones I get the hint this rancher might like his privacy.  Debbie and I always respect other people’s property when we’re out and about.

We ran across an old friend up there.  This is a Loggerhead Shrike.

These birds are named loggerheads because of their disproportionate head size relating to their body.  They are also called butcherbirds.  They earned this nick-name from the interesting habit they have of impaling prey, such as grasshoppers or maybe lizards, on cactus spines or barbed wire so they can tear them apart.  They may even store some snacks this way to eat later .

Quading up arroyos can be pretty tough on the bones.  Expect bumpy going much of the time so don’t get in a hurry.  Take plenty of water.  Keep your eyes pealed for anything moving or what seems to be out-of-place.

We saw some Lark Sparrows

And some Brewer’s Sparrows

We get home late in the day and we’re pooped.  Grab some cold drinks and go out to the south patio to visit with mom.  Ahh…quiet and restful.  Edith is asking us about our day and low and behold, what’s that!  Up in the sky a few hundred yards away.  What is that???  My jaw drops with memories of “birds we see” in Oregon.  After spending all day long in timbucktu we get home to find a bird new to us in Baja.  Sure, we’ve seen this raptor, this accipiter , many times up north in Oregon but never here.  I take a few shots.

This bird is a Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Like many birds, some Cooper’s Hawks migrate to Baja in the wintertime.  If not seen side-by-side, which would be unusual, these birds can be confused with Sharp-Shinned Hawks.  If I am close enough to see the tail when the bird flies over I can usually tell them apart.  The Cooper’s Hawk has a rounded tail and the Sharpie’s tail is squared-off. L 14-20″ wing span 29-37″

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