Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Details on the Hudsonian Godwit & Las Perlas, by Venicio Wilson

On Friday 8th of January Michaela Schmidt, Christian Gernez and myself (Venicio Wilson) found a Hudsonian Godwit at Playa Veracruz.
The bird was the only shorebird in the beach. It was standing alone in the shallow water directly in front of the restaurants at the beginning of the beach. My first guess when I saw it with my binoculars was of a “larger” Willet. I had my scope with me and when I saw it with the scope I noticed two things: the mask in the face of the bird and the pinkish-bone color of the base of the bill. I knew I had something different but the humidity and the heat of the beach convinced us three of not staying too long. The bird was standing still in the shallow water. It seemed a bit nervous or alert. I described the bird to myself as been larger than a Willet, bluish-gray, white underneath, upturn bill with pink-bone color at base, contrasting mask.
As we drove back to Panama City, I reached my copy of the Sibley Guide to Birds and checked the shorebirds when I noticed that I had a Hudsonian Godwit. I just didn’t knew how rare it was here in Panama.


Last month, during a 13-day trip to Las Perlas Archipelago working for Fundación Almanaque Azul we saw some interesting birds:
  • During our navigation between Isla Del Rey and Pedro González (Dic 15th) we saw about 2,000 to 3,000 Black Terns feeding in a huge area. It took us about 15 minutes to navigate in between all the feeding frenzies full of Black Terns. Also present were Sandwich Terns, Laughing and Franklin Gulls, Brown Boobies and Brown Pelicans. We spoted 7 pairs of American Oystercatcher as we sailed arround Pedro González Island.
  • In the Island of Contadora was remarkable the number of Cattle Tyrants. We saw three pairs in a walk that covered just 400 meters. The species was first reported by Ladys Frías back in 2006 and later confirmed by me in Contadora Island where I saw one adult by the lake. Seems that the bird is increasing its population at least in Contadora.
  • Ladys Frías, who lives in the community of La Ensenada on the eastern side of Isla Del Rey, comment on a bird “quite common in the City, but that I never had seen before in San Miguel”. According to Ladys the bird stayed for about 3 months living around the community and was always singing beautifully. She described the bird as brown shubby bird with a yellow bill. My guess is that Clay-colored Thrushes made it to San Miguel and managed to survive some months there.

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