Thursday, 20 March 2014

Back from Panama!

I recently returned from just over 2 weeks birding in Panama. I was there for almost the entire trip with David Bell and Steve Pike and we rented a car and birded across the country from El Cope east to the Darien Gap. Before meeting up with me, Dave and Steve had already birded the western highlands, seeing over 100 species that I wouldn't have a chance at this trip. However, in our time birding together, we visited a wide variety of habitats and saw quite a few interesting birds, including a number of endemic species to the Darien and the mountain ranges found in it. At the end of the trip my total was around 480, with the exact number unknown until we have all the checklists in ebird. Some of the main bird highlights of our Panama trip include:
-Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo
-Blue Cotingas
-Gray Elainea (in Canal Zone)
-40 species of diurnal raptors/falcons/vultures including Ornate Hawk-eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-collared Hawk, Plumbeous Hawk, and Aplomado Falcons
-killer looks/photos of a Harpy Eagle
-3 species of Quail-dove
-Black Antshrike
-2 macaws
-the thiree "Pirre" endemics (hummingbird, bush-tanager, warbler)
-Dusky Pigeon
-White-whiskered Hermit (possibly only one documented record for the country)
-Green-naped Tanager
-Choco Tinamous and Tapaculos
-8 owl species
-Tody Motmot
-Wing-banded Antbird
-Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper
-Spot-breasted Woodpecker
-Yellow-hooded Blackbird
-Black-crowned Antpitta
-Tacarcuna Bush-Tanager
-Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker
-Bonaparte's Gull (very rare vagrant to Panama)
-Yellow-green Tyrannulet
-plus many more!

Before I get into the daily summaries, here is a photo of an Ornate Hawk-Eagle that buzzed us on the hawk-watching tower in Altos del Maria.


Alan Wormington said...

What about the Bonaparte's Gull?

Josh Vandermeulen said...

Oh wow, I completely forgot about it!! Update made. By the way, how the hell did you hear of it?

Alan Wormington said...

I monitor E-bird 24/7 LOL.

Mike Burrell said...

Pretty jealous, Josh. Looking forward to seeing pics and hearing about it. BTW, did you actually get Yellow-headed Blackbird or was that supposed to be Yellow-hooded? I know they are basically the same...

Josh Vandermeulen said...

Whoops, good catch, Mike!