Lynn Schofield's excellent Dawn Chorus contribution was accidentally published early yesterday evening. This marker diary is to point those of you who may not be following Birds and Birdwatching to the diary if you are looking for your weekly dose of Dawn Chorus. lineatus provided some of the text as a teaser to draw you in.
Notes From the Field: Save the Dry Forest!
It seems the prevailing winds have led me to the south of Mexico away from my usual autumn home on the placid, green coast of Veracruz to the dry, turbulent expanses of the southern edge of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The area where I live here in the southeastern Oaxaca is known as La Ventosa. Literally meaning something akin to ‘the wind tunnel,’ the name offers a clue as to the character of this strange place.
La Ventosa is located at the mouth of a narrow gap between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the highlands of Chiapas. The mountains collect and channel the wind from further north until it finally reaches this gap and is violently pushed through. Every breeze becomes transformed into a gale of extreme force by the time it exits this passageway.
The mountains also cast a vast rain shadow across the whole Pacific slope, so for much of the year the highlands take the moisture from their air and leave the coast sun-scorched and dry. The resulting climate is not inviting. In light of the brutal winds, the extreme heat, the flat expanses of cattle-torn pasture land, stolid sorghum, withered trees, and razor-sharp scrubland it has been a struggle to explain to others my rational for having abandoned the verdant white-sand paradise of Central Veracruz in favor of the Isthmus.