9 July 2013
Todos Santos is a cute little town, a bit of an artist enclave with many galleries, and a bit of a surf town with plenty of surfers around. It’s definitely a touristy place but in July it was still pretty sleepy. We spent a day there to get prepared for a hike up to the Sierra de la Laguna, so we took the opportunity to bird the small lagoon there. You can reach the lagoon by following signs for Hotel Posada la Poza that leave Hwy 1 on the south side of town. When you reach the hotel, find a place to street park in the vicinity then walk past the hotel towards the beach and it’s only a couple hundred meters to the lagoon.
At the lagoon we found the expected water birds, many of the endemic Belding’s Yellowthroats (15-20 is a conservative count for only about 100 yards of reeds we walked) and a few early returning ducks – some Redheads, a few Ruddy Ducks and a female Northern Shoveler. A big surprise, however, was to find an adult male Broad-billed Hummingbird in the flowering scrub backing the lagoon. This was just the morning after Tropical Storm Erick swept up the west coast of Mexico and past the cape of Baja so perhaps it was a storm blown bird. Either way, it was a minor excitement to find it. Common enough in western mainland Mexico but a vagrant to Baja.
We also did a bit of a brief seawatch on a calm and decidedly not very birdy ocean. One very briefly seen Shearwater was dark above and white below and a couple miles out. A single Murrelet was seen very briefly in flight, again too far away and too briefly to identify. A bit later a Blue-footed Booby flew south and that was all we saw…