Mostrando las entradas de enero, 2012

Breaking: One Jabiru in Chiriquí Grande. And then another.

 As you read this, Jacobo Ortega is in Chiriquí Grande seeing the second Jabiru of the day. The first was seen from the main road on the fields on the south side, near the oil tanks up in the mountain.  The second one (photo below) was seen further out, also from the main road. Who's up for a flash trip out there?

The hunt for the Grasshopper Sparrow

Success, pretty much. This morning, Jan Axel Cubilla, Venicio Wilson, Rafael Luck, Osvaldo Quintero, and Camilo and Darién Montañez converged upon the fabled spot near Penonomé to look for the Grasshopper Sparrow, unrecorded in Panama for fifty years. The spot, shown on the map we tweeted earlier , is on a dirt road on the left side of the Interamericana a bit over 6 km past the Penonomé McDonald's. About 100 meters in, there is a patch of short, green grass on the right shoulder of the road, and that's both where Jan Axel found the bird last Saturday and where we saw it today. Repeatedly. Very briefly. The first sighting was shortly after we parked at the spot: Osvaldo walked ahead of the cars and the sparrow flushed from the grassy shoulder into the field beyond, landing on a patch of short grass surrounded by taller grass. We followed, but hard as we looked we couldn't find it. It flew back to the shoulder, where it remained unfound until it flushed a few inches from my

Grasshopper Sparrow (!!!) near Penonomé, a report by Jan Axel Cubilla.

I just came from a short walk in the Cocle savana following the directions gave by Ken last year to find the Ring-necked Ducks close to Cocle town, 5 min west of Penonome (second dirt road to the left after the "push buttons"). After seeing the ducks (lifer), I was about to leave the place, more or less 300 mts from the Panamerican highway (I was able to see the cars in the highway), when I detected a movement right next to the car. It looked like a mouse, walking very low, even crawling under the grass, but eventually frooze no more than 4 mts from my car. It stayed for 5 minutes, only moving very quickly few steps to stand again. It didn't vocalize, not even a chip. I took plenty of photos... but I was not able to see its breast... I wonder if someone knows how to separate the migrant Grasshopper Sparrows in the field... I hope it is of the endemic race, thought to be erradicated due to habitat loss. [More details on the sighting  at Jan Axel's blog .]

Grasshopper Sparrow rediscovered?

Breaking: Jan Axel Cubilla found a Grasshopper Sparrow near Penonomé earlier this afternoon. He went looking for the Ring-necked Ducks that Ken Allaire had found, and he stopped on a field on the way back, on one of the new roads opposite the push buttons. He was looking at some meadowlarks, when he saw a tiny bird running like a mouse. This is the first record in eons of Grasshopper Sparrow, a near-mythical bird in Panama. Photographs were taken, too, so we'll hopefully determine if this bird was a migrant or if it's a surviving member our local subspecies that has been presumed extinct. I'll try for it tomorrow, but there will probably be a full fledged expedition next weekend. Study up!