near LEON (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (11th January, 2005)


Birding Site Guide

The city of Leon was used as a base to visit the Salinas Grandes area. There was apparently a direct bus but this seemingly left at 4pm. I took one of the frequent buses to Managua (ordinario) at 7am and got off at the turning for Salinas Grandes. This was about 20km from Leon and from the turning it was a further 11km on a bumpy road. I hitched this easily as it seems do most of the locals. There are extensive saltpans in between the village on Salinas Grandes (on high ground) and another settlement with houses by the coast. South from here were some lakes with a few waders including a Long-billed Curlew, which is not included in my list of birds found in Nicaragua. Salinas Grandes has been known for new records in the past, including Peregrine Falcon and Tropical Mockingbird (first seen in 1994) the latter of which I saw. There was also a good ditch between the lakes and the coast which was good for egrets and waders. From here I walked north along the coast to an estuary and the start of Isla Venado. This also had many water birds and there seemed to be good areas of mangroves although they maybe a little more difficult to reach. This site would be much better during Spring and Autumn migrations. I saw 50 species. 

Species seen

  • Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
  • Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens
  • Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor
  • Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
  • Snowy Egret Egretta thula
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Green Heron Butorides virescens
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  • Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
  • Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
  • Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  • Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
  • Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus
  • Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
  • Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
  • Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
  • Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
  • Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
  • Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan
  • Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
  • Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
  • Royal Tern Sterna maxima
  • Rock Dove Columba livia Introduced species
  • Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
  • White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
  • Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
  • Inca Dove Columbina inca
  • Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
  • Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis Seen in Leon
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus
  • Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Seen in Leon
  • Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • Rufous-naped Wren Campylorhynchus rufinucha
  • Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus
  • Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi Seen in Leon
  • White-throated Magpie-Jay Calocitta formosa
  • Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina Seen in Leon
  • Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Stripe-headed Sparrow Aimophila ruficauda
  • Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
  • Streak-backed Oriole Icterus pustulatus
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced species

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse