Published On: Mon, Sep 7th, 2015

BACKYARD BIRDING IN MERIDA, YUCATAN AND BEYOND – A FELLA ROPED ME INTO IT: WILSON’S PHALAROPE, PART 1

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Cherie Pittillo, “nature inspired,” zoologist, photographer, and author, explores nature everywhere she goes. She’s identified 56 bird species in her Merida, Yucatan backyard view. Her column, published on the 7th and 21st of each month, features anecdotes about birding in Merida, Yucatan and beyond. Contact: all4birdies@gmail.com  All rights reserved, ©Cherie Pittillo

 

Just before I received a Facebook video from friend, Victor Hugo Lizama Morales, I finished my column for this week. Well, I thought I did.  His video showed the whirling, twirling feeding dance in shallow water of the Wilson’s Phalarope, a transient and winter resident bird species migrating from as far south as Chile and Argentina on its way to North American prairies to breed. He urged me to see them at Kai Lu um Park, formerly CRIT. Link to directions to Kai Lu um (CRIT): http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2012/11/backyard-birding-in-merida-and-beyond/ He saw a couple in Ria Lagartos a few days ago, but he spotted ten phalaropes this afternoon at Kai Lu um, which is in Merida’s backyard. This Mayan name means “fish pond” but the sign states it as “song of the earth.”

And I went late afternoon to listen…

First, Mother Nature graced me with jade, bronze, and silver shimmering on the water’s surface. In the midst of her watercolor painting, two Wilson’s Phalaropes flew out from shore. Others floated back to it.

Flight of adult Wilson's Phalarope

Flight of adult Wilson’s Phalarope

Flight of female Wilson's Phalarope from back

Flight of female Wilson’s Phalarope from back

Wilson's Phalarope swims near shore

Wilson’s Phalarope swims near shore

Curves

Curves

Later she changed her palette to azure, copper, russet, spring and olive greens as an adult phalarope walked near shore.

Water Colors

Water Colors

While another phalarope circled round and round, Mother Nature accented its spins with sapphire, silver, and maroon.

Red, white, and blue

Red, white, and blue

Then an audience of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks relaxed as a phalarope skirted by.

Female Wilson's Phalarope walks in front of two resting Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks

Female Wilson’s Phalarope walks in front of two resting Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks

I felt such awe as I looked through my camera’s viewfinder to see these amazing reflections AND a new species for me at the same time. Incredible colors, terrific light, no disturbance by me or my camera. My heart overflowed with joy and gratitude. So now I attempt to share my wellspring of happiness with these artistic images. (I only cropped the photos with no enhancement on any reflections.)

Next column, I’ll reveal details about the role reversal of the female phalarope.

GO EXPLORE OUTDOORS, BE QUIET FOR A BIT WITHOUT CELL PHONES, AND LISTEN TO EARTH’S SONG.

Mexico Travel Care

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