Mixed Bag, from Ken Allaire
Ken Allaire sent in the highlights of his first month in Panama:
On July 4th I found a Sapayoa on the upper reaches of the Río Blanco, below Peña Blanca in Omar Torrijos N.P.. I was with a local guide named Santana. The bird called in a very appropriate spot (a lushly-vegetated spot where a wash met the river.) I recognized the call and got a brief but good look at the bird before it flew off. I tried playback, and the Sapayoa responded but did not return. I know this is an unusual locale for the species but I am confident in the i.d..
On July 5th I found a Plumbeous Hawk along La Rana trail. The bird perched several times and was seen quite well. The next day, also on La Rana, I had a mixed flock that included a Lineated Foliage-Gleaner, Spotted Barbtail, and a probable Streak-breasted Treehunter (the last bird was seen briefly and I could not confirm my initial impression.) This is a low elevation for all three species.
On July 14th I found a Grassland Yellow-Finch in the grasslands below Penonomé—saw one and heard others. The birds were found about 3 km south of where the road to El Coco forks, on the paved road to El Coco.
This Monday, July 21, I found a Scaled Antpitta on Cerro Gaital, on the lower portion of the trail to the mirador, not far above the sign for the Sendero El Convento. The bird was standing in the middle of the trail, and when it appeared a second time I collected some decent video.
On July 22 Danilo Rodríguez and I drove to the Caribbean side of Las Minas Trail, north of La Mesa—we found male and female Stripe-cheeked Woodpeckers, and audio and video were collected. Danilo first found this species here on June 22, and a couple of weeks later Harmodio Rodríguez found this pair. I will share images and recordings when I can. I will also share directions to the Caribbean-slope part of Las Minas when I have a bit more time—we have just started exploring this area, and it is great for Black-headed Antthrush, Emerald Tanager, Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, and many other good species for the area.