Monday, January 19, 2015

Birding around Yaviza, a report by George Angehr

Between January 6-9 a party consisting of Bill Adsett, George Angehr, Charlotte Elton. Dave Klauber, and Les and Cindy Lieurance visited Darien, birding mostly around Canglon, and Yaviza. The following are some of the highlights (with photos by Bill Adsett).

Pale-bellied Hermit. A few individuals seen on the El Salto Road and north of Yaviza on Jan 7.

The hummingbird feeders at the Avicar Restaurant in Meteti on Jan 6 and 9 featured Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Black-throated Mango, and Long-billed Starthroat.

Spot-breasted Woodpecker. Two seen near Rio Iglesias on the afternoon of Jan 6.

Barred Puffbird. Several pairs seen a few km north of Yaviza on Jan 8.

Blue-and-yellow Macaw. A flyover by three individuals on Jan 6 about 7 km east of Rio Iglesias, on the south side of the Filo de Tallo, in a mostly deforested area. It's good to see the species still persists here.

Spectacled Parrotlet. A pair was observed at close range for about 40 minutes as they ate Cecropia fruits along the edge of the road a few km north of Yaviza on Jan 8.

Gray Elaenia. A male seen very well a few km north of Yaviza on Jan 7.

Double-banded Graytail. A pair seen at very close quarters during a brief stop at the Canopy Camp just before noon on Jan 9. Another was seen less well on the El Salto Road earlier that morning.

Black-capped Donacobius. Two seen very well in a marsh on a side road about 7 km north of Yaviza on Jan 7, and one seen again there by Dave there on the following morning.

Bicolored Wren. A pair allowed excellent views at the cemetery at Yaviza on the morning of Jan 9. Found by the Lieurances at about 8 AM, they alerted the rest of the party who had gone to the El Salto Road but were able to return and see them at 9.

White-eared Conebill. A male at the Rio Mono bridge on the morning of Jan 6.

Black Oropendola. Great views of several birds at close hand several km north of Yaviza on the afternoon of Jan 7. Others were seen near the side road where the Donacobius were found the same day, and another by Bill on the following morning.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whistling Herons and Masked Ducks, a report by José Tejada

[Tuesday, January 13] These are the popular Whistling Herons that are being reported frecuently from the pond at Gorgona's Malibu residential proyect; I finally decided to go and search for them to get my lifer; however the pictures are not so good due to the far distance and heat waves making the pictures blurry; well a success anyways!! Thanx to Rafael Lau and Justo Camargo for the information about the location to get to the place and to Niurka Castillo for joining me for an early start that day.
I also happened to find this group of Masked Ducks consisting of one male and four females which spent the whole day foraging at the center of the pond far from the edges asociating with a group of nearby Blue-winged Teals and Common Moorhens. Through the day for many hours (and to my surprise) the Masked Ducks never searched for the concealment of the plants at the edge of the pond.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ring-necked Duck at Lago Calamito, a report by Howard Laidlaw

I had a Ring-necked Duck at Lago Calamito, Panama Rainforest Discovery Center on the afternoon of Sunday, January 11. Was with the continuing Masked Ducks. Lousy photos but the pale eyering and white ring on the bill can be seen.

Not sure of its newsworthiness but there are still 2 American Wigeons hanging around at Gamboa Rainforest Resort Marina.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

White morph Reddish Egret at Farfán, a report by Howard Laidlaw

Present at Farfan on 10th January 2015 from 12.35 pm to 1.35 pm was a white-morph Reddish Egret. Also 2 Northern Shovelers continue there.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Chipping Sparrow, a new species for Panama

On the afternoon of November 22, Jeanette Frazier, a visiting birder from Indiana, photographed this winter-plumage Chipping Sparrow with a flock of Yellow-faced Grassquits in Altos del María (Perhaps at a spot called Siena Park?). Due to the locality, consensus among the Panama Records Committee is this is a natural vagrant rather than being ship-assisted like some of our other vagrant sparrows. Jeanettte's report follows:
Viewers: Elcira Villarreal and Elizabeth Booth and F Jeanette Frazier (all residents of Indiana, USA)
Location: Altos del Maria 
Date: on the afternoon of Saturday November 22, 2014.  We stopped at several locations in Altos but the photos of the bird in question came from near Parque de Siena. (I think that is what it is called.) We walked towards a building that I think is a library and then beyond to the first house and turned away from the house looking across the street into the habitat. My guess is that we were facing north, but I may not be correct!
Time: between 4:30-5:00 PM, It was overcast and we were losing light because of the overcast sky. According to my camera data the photos were taken between 4:43-4:45 PM. Just checked my camera time and it appears to be 2 minutes behind so I suppose, technically the photos were taken between 4:45-4:47 PM
Comments: We observed a group of maybe six to nine or so Yellow-faced Grassquits, mostly females and possibly molting males (2 had some faint black showing in the neck). They were in a small shrub and on the ground down in the grass feeding and moving along. We watched them move about ten feet and also watched some other birds (non-breeding male type Red-legged Honeycreeper and Plain-colored Tanagers) feeding in a tree above us. Then we noticed a sparrow feeding with the grassquits in the grass. My impression was that they were of similar size although my Sibley’s iPhone app indicates that Chipping Sparrow is 5.5” and The Birds of Panama says that Yellow-faced Grassquits are 3.5”.  We commented on the sparrow as follows:
Description: that it had a plain, not streaky, breast, a white eye-ring, a dark streak in the eye, paler above the eye and a pink mandible and dark maxilla. I especially thought the head looked a bit flat. I thought I should take photos and had trouble getting on the right bird as it was crouching low in the grass and was hard to distinguish from the grassquits in my view finder due to the poor lighting.  I took ten photos before we decided to move on to another location. One photo I have included shows a very scruffy looking bird I assume to be a molting grassquit along with another hidden female-type grassquit and the sparrow in proximity so you can compare size. In one photo you already have, I also notice a white line in the wing which could indicate Chipping Sparrow.  I think one of my companions commented on that at the time. Maybe I just remember noticing it on the LCD display when checking the images in the field.
Chipping sparrows are quite common in breeding plumage and with young in Indiana and I should be familiar with it but did not recognize this bird as Chipping Sparrow without your comments. Elcira says she felt it was familiar but could not place it either. Because of the slightly flattened head I asked Alfred Raab about Grasshopper Sparrow. Grasshopper Sparrow is less familiar to us as we see it less frequently in our area but we have seen it several times. I believe that you are correct that it is most likely a non-breeding adult plumage Chipping Sparrow.

Whistling Herons, STILL at Malibú

The two Whistling Herons that have taken residence at the pond in Playa Malibú (first seen on July 15 by Euclides Campos) have been visited by many a birder in the last few days.  

First were Venicio Wilson and Maurice Posner, who went there on the morning of Wednesday, January 7. They found them on the fields north of the pond, where they also had a juvenile Tricolored Heron that may be the mysterious possible third Whistling Heron reported previously. The pond had Masked Duck and the Lesser Scaup reported previously, as well as many American Coots.
On the morning of Friday, January 9, Delicia, Camilo and Darién Montañez tried yet again, this time successfully. The two birds were on the edges of the greener grass around the small pond on the NE of the big pond. The juvenile Tricolored was also there, so caveat emptor. The pond had a raft of 6 female Masked Ducks (out in the open, too), lots of Coots and two Lesser Scaup.

That same afternoon had Rolando Jordán visit, who took the photo above. And later in the day, Rafael Lau went too, this time accompanied by his wife, Ovidio Jaramillo and Juan Pablo Ríos, and managed the photo below.

The plumes and brightly-colored bills and facial skin may indicate a pair in breeding plumage, so the question is, what are you waiting for?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Whistling Herons at Gorgona, a report by Rafael Lau

January 4, 2015: After the several reports on Xenornis from Paul Oehrlein, Jose Pérez and I took a quick look at the pond and saw these 2 Whistling Herons! If you missed the Chepo heron this is a good chance to see them!

Migrants galore at Punta Galeta

Juan Pablo Ríos found Mangrove Cuckoo and Ovenbird at Galeta on January 2 and a male Northern Parula on the 3rd.
Some of the many teams that visited Galeta yesterday for the Atlantic Christmas Bird Count found the Parula again, including Jan Axel Cubilla's and Darién Montañez's (who found the male and a female in a mixed flock at the turnoff to the Albatros antenna field). Word also has it that a Prairie Warbler has also been seen recently, so this may be a great time to go roam the mangroves.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Whistling Herons still at Playa Malibú, a follow-up report by Paul Oehrlein

January 2, 2015. Just took a turn down by the pond and noted two of the Whistling Herons on the Eastern end of the pond. As before, I submitted a checklist to E-bird.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

American White Pelican, still at Panamá Viejo, a report by Rafael Lau

Sunday, December 28. American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), still in the same place for over 3 days straight in the visitors center parking lot in Panamá Viejo, at the left side of the little island! Thanks to José Tejada for helping to get this wonderful shot!

[Note: This looks like a full, handsome adult bird, unlike the scruffy juvenile-looking bird photographed last week, so unless pelicans achieve a full moult in eight days we may have a two-pelican situation here.]