Thursday, July 10, 2014

Whistling Heron, a report by Rafael Lau

La noche anterior, Guido Berguido me mando un chat que observo un Whistling Heron en la misma calle en cual se observo el año pasado, reportado por Kevin Easley, salí esta mañana y estaba desde las 6 a.m. en el lugar, no tuve mucho éxito y decidí retirarme, ya cuando iba a guardar la cámara miro a mi izquierda y esta justo en frente mío! Es asustadizo, decidí no seguir tomándole fotos ya que estaba alterado y me fui del lugar, la vi exactamente a las 10:00 a.m. y estuve observándola por un lapso de 30 minutos y seguía ahí cuando me retire. Después del letrero de Tanara, 9kms, calle de tierra a la izquierda, a unos cuantos metros de la entrada a mano derecha hay 3 lagunitas. Muchas gracias a Guido por el reporte!

Whistling Heron, still there

Rafael Lau located the Chepo Whistling Heron this morning at 9 am. The bird was at the same dirt road, but closer to the Panamerican Highway.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Whistling Heron near Chepo, a report by Guido Berguido

Whistling Heron en Chepo vista hoy a las 6:45pm. A 9kms de la entrada de Tanara, a la izquierda entrando por calle de Tierra. Parece q iba a dormir en unos Tecas casi al final de la calle en la derecha...cerca de una laguna. Ese camino da la vuelta y termina en los humedales donde la garza fue vista el año pasado....

Monday, July 7, 2014

Boat-billed Herons and Collared Forest-Falcon at Metropolitan Nature Park, a report by Osvaldo Quintero and Rosabel Miró

 La Garza Cucharón fue observada en el laguito del Parque Natural Metropolitano el domingo 29 de junio y el Forest Falcon hoy, domingo 6, llegando al mirador del parque, estaba cantando cuando él se lo encontró. Yo me encontré hoy también uno, adulto, en el Sendero de Los Momótides (muy bien cuidado ese sendero, por cierto). 

Hoy estaban 2 garzas cucharonas también en el laguito del Parque, esas garzas fueron vistas en la gira del primer domingo de mes, bastante escondidas en un árbol, nada como la observación que hizo el Dr. Quintero la semana pasada.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

El Niño cometh: Gray Gull in Pacora, a report by Rosabel Miró

En la mañana de hoy, jueves 19 de junio, como parte de un proyecto de reavistamiento de aves anilladas/abanderadas y en acompañamiento a Stephany Cartí, una estudiante que realiza su tesis en los fangales de Pacora, Yenifer Díaz, Michele Caballero y yo observamos las siguientes especies de aves: 2 Red Knots, 2 Common Terns, 1 Royal Tern anillado en la pata derecha (detrás de uno de los Common Terns, ) y 1 Sandwich Tern anillado (también en la pata derecha). De interés fue observar a una Gray Gull entre varias Laughing Gulls.

En el área también habían más de 100 Black Skimmers, de todos los tamaños.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The final word on the Cypseloides swifts

Kevin Easely chimes in about the swifts. His verdict: White-chinned Swifts all along. 

Some nice photos of swifts coming out of Panama of late.  We always suspected here in CR that Spot-fronted Swifts were in Panama as we have seen them VERY close to the border on both the Caribbean side and the Pacific side (photos as well).  Just a matter of time really and getting people in the field that are not only familiar with swifts but actually take the time to identify them.  Most of the clients I get just want to tick the species of swifts and don't want to study them thoroughly. We have made it a mission to study swifts here in CR and have come up with 10 times the data over the past 5 years than was ever present.  All of my guides are nuts for swifts now...and photograph them as much as they can.
Regarding the White-chinned vs Black Swift conversation...I am convinced that all of the photos in question are White-chinned Swift.  Not so much based on the nostril size...but on plumage and shape.  White-chinned has a big head which we refer to here in CR as bull-headed and also has a short necked.  The projection of the head from the body is short overall.  It is a shorter bird in length giving it a thick-bodied look.  The wings are shorter and a bit more broad as well, very different from Black Swift which has a longer and thinner neck, longer vent, longer tail and longer body overall giving it a slimmer appearance while still being a large, stout swift.  Even the photo labeled as..."this is a Black Swift"...I believe to be a White-chinned Swift.  Overall coloration can be seen clearly on the bird in flight labeled Black Swift and especially on the bird on the nest and it is dusky gray supporting White-chinned...not blackish as in Black Swift.  Facial markings support White-chinned as well with the pale spot behind the eye.  There is nothing I can see in the photos to suggest otherwise.  
I didn't want to get overly involved in this but at the same time when the consensus was leading toward Black Swift I felt I should weigh in.  Granted, swift identification is very challenging and proper photos are necessary...which they were able to get.   
As far as shape goes...Spot-fronted and White-chinned have a similar overall shape...bull-headed, short bodied, broader-winged etc.  The shape of the Black Swift is more in line with White-collared, perhaps with Black Swift being slightly more compact.  Head projection and size of head are very similar.  
I would personally try to get the conversation over to White-chinned...which based on your recent comments you are doing, Kudos for that.  I know that birders can get quite sensitive over things like this but the important thing is to get it right.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Inca Tern in Coiba, a report by Kees Groenendijk

A quick e-mail to report a sighting of an Inca Tern (Larosterna inca) on Coiba. The exact location was the sand bank in the mouth of the Rio San Juan, about 500 m. north of the entrance to the Sendero Los Pozos. THe dat is 4 June 2014 at about 10.45 am

The tern was resting on the sand bank among a flock of about 50 black terns, 4 common terns and 2 Royal terns. When the whole flock flew up briefly, I first noticed the odd-looking tern as it flew away. It was obviously larger than the black terns and had had a black back and black wings with a white edge at the end. I kept the bird in view, noting dark underparts and a fairly strong red bill. When it landed again, I saw the white 'whiskers' and realised that I was looking at an Inca tern.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Maguari Madness

The Juan Hombrón Maguari Storks are still around. Even though we who went there early today didn't find them, the next batch of birders did: José Pérez, Jeannette and Rafael Lau, Claudia and Bill Ahrens, Natalia Sarco and third timer Venicio Wilson. The birds are now hanging out with the local Wood Stork crowd (like the Costa Rica bird ended up doing), so they should be easier to find now. Go! Now!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Capped Herons in Clayton, a report by Rosabel Miró

En la tarde del día jueves 22 de mayo, Día Mundial de la Biodiversidad, de regreso de una gira de trabajo en Gamboa, haciendo shortcut por Clayton para llegar más rápido a la oficina, vimos unos grebes en el lago de Clayton (el que está en el área residencial, próximo a la antigua oficina del Fondo Peregrino). Habían más de 5 Least Grebes, ya bastante común observarles en ese lago. Al rato Yenifer Díaz nos aviso a Michele Caballero y a mí que habían un par de garzas al costad derecho del lago. Al observarlas notamos que eran dos Capped Herons, en el borde del lago, comiendo. No recuerdo haberlas visto por esta área, de ahí que considero importante el reporte. Habrá que seguirles la pista no vaya a ser que vayan a utilizar el área para anidar. La foto adjunta no es muy buena, la luz del día no nos ayudó.

Wilson's Phalarope, etc at Finca Bayano, a report by Bill Adsett

Cindy and Leslie Lieurance and I went on May 20 to the Finca Bayano rice farm near Chepo (Eastern Panama). Water levels are still low and water birds were sparsely distributed. Quality made up for quantity.
Cindy's sharp eye located a group of 3 Wilson's Phalaropes way off in a shallow wash. There was one smart female coming into breeding plumage, while the other two were still in non-breeding plumage. This bird is rarely seen in Panama during the Fall migration and is exceedingly rare in Spring (only one previous Spring record?). 

Nearby was a Pectoral Sandpiper, also rare in Spring, especially in mid-May.
Leslie and I were walking a rough track through the undeveloped marsh area when a small heron flushed from a drainage ditch in front of us and landed in a clump of bushes. It turned out to be a most unusually tame Least Bittern that stayed put for several minutes just a few feet away from us. It is clearly a particularly handsome individual of the resident race (erythromelas) that is darker and has more rufous sides than migrants from the north.

To top off the rare sightings of the day, we came across a dead Greater Grison. This mustelid mammal is widespread but extremely rarely seen alive or dead. This is only the second time I have seen one, the first being one that crossed the Panamerican Highway (and lived to tell the tale) just west of Pacora at least 20 years ago.