Gene and Kay, a couple of Baja birders who came to buy Chris’ wonderful book, Birds We See in Baja California Sur, Mexico told us about a little river in El Coro. Immediately, we both started thinking…water = birds! So, a couple days later, off we went to El Coro. El Coro means “the choir” for those of us that are challenged in the Spanish language.
I found it very interesting to see mostly cardons on the north side of the beginning of the Sierra La Lagunas but when we dropped over the top, elevation 1771 feet according to our trusty Garmin GPS, we began to see more organ pipe cactus. Driving through the enormous (just kidding) town of El Coro we came to the “river”. Pretty amazing that a lot of our water in Baja Sur comes right out of the ground in the middle of no where and creates all this abundant flora which brings the fauna. Baja is truly a magical place. Have you ever felt the magic? Maybe blessed would be a better word? Maybe all the descansos that we see really do work? There is a large descanso just before El Coro. I wasn’t sure if it was from the site of a death or if it was built to bring blessings to El Coro.
We looked for the large neatly goat and cattle trimmed mango trees that our fellow Baja birders had described and sure enough…there was lots of shade to park under! The trees were laden with cute little green mangos…going to be a bumper crop! I immediately started with my normal barrage of questions within my own mind. Are these mangos harvested and taken to market? Do we buy them at our local veggie stand? Or, do they feed the whole town (20-30 people) of El Coro? Is it private land and do they fight over the distribution of the mangos if it’s public? Questions later to be discussed with Chris as we were on a birding mission.
The above Our Lady of Guadalupe painting was on a rock at a stock farm close to the water source. We saw cattle, goats, pigs, chickens and questioned together….why don’t they fence off the water source where it daylights to keep it useable for human consumption or maybe even swimming? Maybe they have enough water nearer their casas that they do not need to use it and just leave it for a natural watering hole for the animals. We did see a pila on top of the nearest casa.
Of course, the greenery is always beautiful by a water source. We climbed over large boulders to follow the water down the hill. Then it took a fairly large drop and I said nope, I’m not going down there! Now, if there had been plenty of birds around, I might have. But it was looking like it wasn’t going to be a very good birding day. We saw a few Ash throated flycatchers, orioles, cardinals, cactus wrens but….no new species. Isn’t that something…we are getting so spoiled that we are thinking if we don’t see a new species every time we go birding in Baja that it’s an uneventful day! LOL…I like being spoiled.
So, we left the water and headed back over the mountain. On the way, we saw that there was more water down in the draw so…we started out in search of it and maybe…some birds we see in Baja!
We take the first left we come to and come to a ranch. We don’t see anyone around to ask permission about coming on their land to look for los aves so we turn around and leave. The next road we take we see a ganadero on a burro so we stop and ask him if there are any ponds around. He says, “si, mi casa”, and pointed to where we had just come from. He gave us permission to come onto his land but we decided to head on down to the next greenery and check it out….nothing.
We come down from the mountain thinking that today was really a bust for birding near El Coro but…when we got back to our casa, I downloaded my photos. I was pretty pleased at what I had captured through the lens that day. So…I’d like to share them with you if I may. I hope you like them too..