Mostrando las entradas de diciembre, 2008

Pacific Christmas Bird Count 2008

Last Sunday, December 14 saw a small number of brave birders spend hours and hours in the field looking for all the birds they could count in 24 hours. Yes, it's CBC time again. Some highlights: Plantation Road: Dull-mantled Antbird seen around the creek (Iván Hoyos). Old Gamboa Road south: Short-tailed Nighthawk seen flying above Summit Ponds at dawn. Rufous phase juvenile Tiny Hawk seen about 500 m from the Summit Golf Club entrance to Old Gamboa Road (50 meters before the first clearing) being mobbed by six or seven Purple-crowned Fairies. (Darién Montañez). More highlights and preliminary totals to come.

An ornithophagous Barred Puffbird

This happy Barred Puffbird, with a still-kicking Pacific Antwren in its jaws was photographed by Iván Hoyos last Tuesday, December 9th, at the enntrance of the Mine Trail, at Cana Field Station in Darién National Park. Several tanagers were agitated by the presence of what I presumed to be a Chocó Screech-Owl or similar. The reason was the Barred Puffbird, which I observed with the Pacific Antwren still alive in its bill for about 3-4 minutes. Shortly after, the antwren showed no motion and the Barred Puffbird then disappeared with the antwren into the forest.

Western Kingbird at San Lorenzo

The Canopy Tower's Carlos Bethancourt sent in these photos of a rain-soaked Western Kingbird, seen while both bird and birders braved the rainstorm of November 26 at San Lorenzo. The photos clearly show the black tail with white-edged outer rectrices typical of Westerns, but we're blaming the notched shape to feather wear and to the rain. This is only the second record of this extremely rare migratory vagrant to central Panama, the first being one seen at Chivo Chivo Road in 1988.

Quetzal Bonanza

From November 6 to 10, Jacobo Ortega took a small group of Venezuela Auduboners to the Chiriquí Highlands. Highlight was a tree full of Resplendent Quetzals seen on the 8th at the entrance of Respingo trail above Cerro Punta, with three adult males and 16 females and immatures. Also at the same tree was a male Three-wattled Bellbird. On November 10 at Macho de Monte, Cuesta de Piedra they found two Crested Guans.

Hook-billed Kite in El Valle

Osvaldo Quintero, in the company of Venicio Wilson and Rafael Luck, photographed this female Hook-billed Kite on the road to La Mesa in El Valle on Sunday, December 7. Hook-billed Kite is a bird of the lowlands, but rarely ventures up into the foothills.

Ducks, migratory and otherwise

Gonzalo Horna photographed this drake Mallard (which was accompanied by a camera-shy female) on the morning of December 6 on the Gatún river, about 2 km downriver from the Transisthmian highway. His boatman, who lives in the area, says that he sees these birds almost every year from october to the end of the dry season. We think (at the risk of being called conservative skeptics) that these birds can't be safely called vagrant wild migrants. Wild Mallards winter south to central Mexico, even though some venture further south. Meanwhile, domestic Mallards are pretty common throughout Panama, and these birds were too close to houses and farms for comfort. Also, the chances of not just one but two adults overshooting their regular wintering location are pretty slight. Also seen that day were Cocoi Heron, which is rare away from the eastern Pacific slope of central Panama, plus a Lesser Scaup in Gatún Lake.

Mixed Bag, from Jan Axel Cubilla

El grupo compuesto por Gloriela Archbold, Osvaldo Quintero, Rafael Cortéz (quien nos visitaba desde Colombia) y mi persona salimos los días 29 y 30 de noviembre hacia el camino del oleoducto y alrededores. El 30 observamos muy brevemente un Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica) en el lago Gatún desde el puesto de observación del sendero del Centro de Visitantes de Avifauna gracias a Venicio Wilson, Rafael Luck y compañía, quienes localizaron el ave gracias a su sonoro llamado. El lugar es fácilmente accesible y los que ahí trabajan refieren que observan el zambullidor con cierta regularidad (paciencia y scope). Camino al aeropuerto, el 30, Rafael Cortéz y mi persona observamos una Franklin's Gull (Larus pipixcan) y una Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) en Panamá Viejo. Regresé por mi cuenta el día de hoy (1 de diciembre) a Panamá Viejo y nuevamente observé las cigüeñas (un grupo de cinco) y una Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) inmadura (1st winter) junto a las Laughing y Franklin

Raptors Ocean to Ocean

The Panama Audubon Society has concluded its 5th annual Raptors Ocean to Ocean Count. The results for Cerro Ancon are as follows: Turkey Vulture 1195027 Osprey 183 Swallow-tailed Kite 12 Mississippi Kite 4957 Plumbeous Kite 0 Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 Broad-winged Hawk 213550 Swainson's Hawk 344889 American Kestrel 0 Merlin 10 Peregrine Falcon 199 Unknown Accipiter 1 Unknown Buteo 4 Unknown Falcon 1 Unknown Raptor 4561 Totals 1763396 The results of previous counts are available on the Publications section of the Panama Audubon Society website.