I had already been to Singayta many times over the years and I decided to break away from my usual routine of walking through the village to explore the forest beyond. This time I continued on up the highway on foot. The forest canopy covered the entire highway so I walked in a shady tunnel of vegetation. There was a cacophony of bird calls all around.
One of the prize birds that I spotted that morning was the endemic, Russet-crowned Motmot in the photo above.
On that day I got my first Fan-tailed Warbler. The thing that set the day apart were the many hummingbirds I saw that day. Along with the usual, Black-chinned and Cinnamon Hummingbirds, I saw Berriline Hummingbird, and several new species, Mexican Hermit, Mexican Woodnymph, (both endemics) Plain-capped Startthroat, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. I also saw a Magnificent Hummingbird.
As the day grew very hot, the birding action died down and biting insects prevailed throughout the forest. I drank all the water in both of my canteens, and still had more than a mile to walk, just to reach Singayta. Up ahead I heard a Happy Wren that sounded anything but happy. It was loudly scolding. I thought that it was upset at me, but soon noticed that it was paying no attention to me.
Its attention was focused on a clump of vegetation about eight feet above the road. I thought that there must be a snake hiding inside the tangle of vines and dead leaves. When I looked closely, I saw that the wren's attention was on a clump of curled dead leaves on top of the tangle. Then part of the clump turned, and there were two fierce yellow eyes staring back at me. I saw that it was an owl. A tiny owl, about five inches in length. Its markings looked like a Ferruginous, (now Ridgway's Pygmy Owl), but it was much smaller. It could only be a Colima Pygmy Owl. One of the world's smallest owls, and another lifer for the day.
I managed a few quick photos before it flew off, but I have since misplaced those poor quality photos.