Sunday, December 10, 2006

Prepwork for the Christmas Bird Counts 2006

Rosabel and Karl Kaufmann spent their morning checking the status of (and looking for new) sites for the upcoming Pacific Christmas Bird Count, which will be held next Sunday December 17. Interestingly enough, they ran into a small flock of Brown-throated Parakeets near Veracruz, on the west bank of the Canal. This species, formerly regular on the Pacific Count, has been gone for eons, but remains abundant on savannas west of the City. Darién Montañez joined them for an afternoon jaunt to the ever-diminishing mangroves of Diablo, where they found a pair of Brown-throated Parakeets (must have been a good day for them) mixed in with a big flock of Orange-chinneds around the ruins on the far end of the yacht club. At the same spot we also heard what had to be a Rufous-browed Peppershrike singing from a distant tree. Like the Parakeets, this species also used to be frequent on the Pacific Count, but has ben gone from the area immediately surrounding the city since the mid eighties. I once heard one singing from the mangrove just east of Costa del Este, on the pre-luxe-tract days, and there's recent records from Tocumen Marsh. It remains pretty common on scrub and dry forest west of the City.
The Panama Audubon Society will be doing three more counts on the weekends following the Pacific Count: Central (including Gamboa and Pipeline Road) and Volcán (in the Chiriquí Highlands) on Saturday the 23 and the Atlantic Count (including Achionte Road and San Lorenzo National Park) on Saturday the 30.

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