Panama Day 7: #728-#730 at the Canopy Tower

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Today we leave for the Canopy Lodge, but there are still birds to be seen here. I added three more species from the top of the tower this morning:

  1. Mealy Parrot
  2. Semiplumbeous Hawk
  3. Blue-headed Parrot

We whiffed on King Vulture though. Maybe we’ll get lucky on the road.

Panama Day 6: #727 at Costa del Este

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Before heading back to the Tower for lunch, we made a brief stop at Costa del Este to once again scope for shorebirds on the Pacific Ocean. Again it was mostly common North American species wintering down south. However we did pick up a couple of really good birds including a rare (for Panama) Long-billed Curlew that I spotted. Possibly this one bird has been returning to this site for the last ten years or so. And then the leader found a more Southerly bird too far north, #727, Collard Plover! It’s a lot like a a Semipalmated Plover or Snowy Plover.

Panama Day 6: #716-726 at Metropolitan Park

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Friday was our last full day in the vicinity of the Tower. We drove down into Panama City to visit Metropolitan Park, their “Central Park” though it’s much more wild than either Manhattan’s or Huntington Beach’s. We got some good birds here, and lucked into a really big mixed flock toward the end.

  1. Gray-chested Dove
  2. Yellow-crowned Parrot
  3. Forest Elaenia
  4. Lance-tailed Manakin (a Panama endemic!)
  5. Rufous-and-white Wren
  6. Red-crowned Ant-Tanager
  7. Rufous-breasted Wren
  8. White-tipped Dove
  9. Yellow-green Tyrannulet
  10. Bright-rumped Attila
  11. Orange-billed Sparrow

We also got the best looks I’ve ever had of Mourning Warbler and Kentucky Warbler, which for some reason seemed a lot less shy here than in New York. I was hoping for Little Tinamou here, but we whiffed on that. :-(

Panama Day 5: #705-715 Back at the Tower

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Thursday was a relatively relaxed day. We didn’t get up till around 6:00 and didn’t drive more than a few miles away all day. We didn’t leave the tower until almost 8:00 AM, and we added one more life bird on the road out, #705, Cinnamon Woodpecker.

We spent most of the morning at the Police Academy Ponds and on Old Gamboa Road. I missed Jet Antbird, but I did add eight more life birds:

  1. Gray-headed Chachalaca
  2. Lesser Kiskadee (one I both spotted and ID’d on my own!)
  3. Yellow Tyrannulet
  4. Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
  5. Crimson-crested Woodpecker
  6. Black-striped Sparrow
  7. Red-throated Ant-Tanager
  8. Yellow-billed Cacique


Panama Day 4: #681-#704 East of the Canal

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Wednesday we had another 4:00 AM wakeup call, 5:00 AM departure; this time heading north to Colon and then across the Canal at Gatun Lock; but we saw #681, a Savannah Hawk in a church field, before we even got to the Lock. Then we got stuck waiting for the drawbridge across the canal for about 45 minutes. Fortunately the area by the bridge is not yet completely built up so we tallied about 18 species awhile parked waiting for the boats to go through including 3 more lifers:

  1. Pale-vented Pigeon
  2. Ruddy Ground-Dove (probably seen on Monday as well from the truck, but this was a much better more certain look. Iooked for this bird in California once near the Salton Sea, but it’s rare there. Here it’s relatively easy to find in disturbed habitat.)
  3. Scrub Greenlet

Then it was across the bridge and onto the road to Achiote Road in the San Lorenzo National Park. Within a couple of minutes of exiting the van, we spotted #685 White-headed Wren , and the birds kept coming:


Panama Day 3: #680 Cocoi Heron and a Broken Camera

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

On the way back from Cerro Azul, we stopped in Panama City at Costa del Este to do a bit of shorebirding. Mostly, the birds there are the species we’re accustomed to from either the east or West Coast of the United States that have headed south for the winter. However we did spot one life bird here, #680 Cocoi Heron. This is similar to our Great Blue Heron (coincidentally also present.) This was one of my target birds for the tip (i.e. one I could remember from the field guide).

I also spotted three rare for Panama Black Skimmers. What’s rare-bird-alert worthy mostly depends on where you are when you see it. :-)