Lanceolated Monklets at Palo Seco, etc.
Advantage Tours' Guido Berguido reports the highlights of a 9-day birding trip (Sept 14-22):
At the top of the list are two Lanceolated Monklets we saw at Willie-mazu, Bocas del Toro. We were walking around the grounds of the lodge searching for Lattice-tailed Trogons. Since I had heard that the monklet had been seen not too long ago, I went ahead and played the call twice. After a little silence, a tiny bird flew right in front of us, some 4 meters above the ground. When I first saw the small bird fly in I thought it was just a flycatcher, but I promptly put my Swavoski binos on it, and was happily surprised to see this long-desired bird: a Lanceolated Monklet. Some seconds later, a second one flew in next to the first, and both started calling. Robin, the manager of the lodge, said that he had only seen it once before some weeks ago, so we felt pretty lucky.
Secondly we were all very happy to watch great many migrants during the trip.
The same Monklet day, while birding along the Continental Divide road we came across a few mixed flocks with nice views of Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Common Bush-tanagers, et al. but of interest were the large numbers of Blackburnian Warblers and Red-eyed Vireos (at least two dozen each). One of the flocks had a Cerulean Warbler and a female Black-troated Blue Warbler. When we first saw the latter, it was a plain-gray warbler, but then we managed to see the diagnostic white patch in the wing.
Another Cerulean Warbler was seen later in the trip, in Cerro Jefe.
On our last day, while birding along the road to Darién near Tortí, we were joined by Venicio Wilson and Euclides Campos. We saw Speckled Mourner, Spot-crowned Barbet (Darién race), Sulphur-rumped Tanager, a few Syristes, White-ringed Flycatchers, One-colored Becard, White-eared Conebill, and a couple Yellow-green Tyrannulets. Also noteworthy was a kettle of almost two thousand Mississipi Kites, along with a couple of Swallow-tailed Kites and Ospreys heading South.
On the way back near Ipetí we saw a pair of Pacific Antwrens and our fifth species of Puffbird: a pair of Barred Puffbirds.