Friday, March 31, 2000

Birding Western Chiriquí, a report by Bill Porteous

From 27th to 31st March Bill Porteous was in Chiriqui and sends the following report:

On 27th March there was a lot of activity on the new trail at El Respingo above Cerro Punta, and a pair of Silvery-throated Jays joined a pair of Emerald Toucanets in the same tree, where they were later joined, briefly, by a pair of Black Guans!
On the 28th there at least two Masked Ducks, both female-plumaged birds, at Volcan Lakes. In the evening, in the clearing above the first forest patch above Cerro Punta, Dusky Nightjar sang, and then reacted to tape playback by landing on a post in full view where it continued singing.
On the old Oleoducto Road in Palo Seco on the 30th there was White-bellied Mountain-Gem at the top, and Lattice-tailed Trogon further down, where the pipeline crosses a small valley. Rufous-breasted Antthrushes were singing on both sides of the road, and a good view was had of one of them. They were singing as well on the Continental Divide Trail, where I was surprised by the numbers of Streak-breasted Treehunters, including a pair with a nest in a hole in a rotten tree stump.
Early on the 31st I was surprised to find a Bare-shanked Screech-Owl sitting on the road a little beyond the STRI centre in Fortuna; it flew off strongly into the forest when I tried to pick it up. On the Sendero Verrugosa in Palo Seco there were many Black-headed Nightingale-Thrushes, singing and showing well. Lattice-tailed and Orange-bellied Trogons were both there, and I heard a Black-headed Antthrush calling from below the end of the trail.
There can not be many places in the world where one can see five species of Nightingale-thrush in a week, but Ruddy-capped and Black-billed were at El Respingo on the 27th, Orange-billed was at Finca La Suiza on the 29th, Slaty-backed was on the Rio Hornito trail in Fortuna on the 30th, and as already noted, Black-headed was on the Verrugosa trail on the 31st!

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