Saturday, 26 January 2013

Panama Days 3 and 4 - Gamboa

Day 3: Slept in and took my time getting out of Panama City to Gamboa. Taxi for 25$, or bus for 0.65? I'll take the bus. Got settled into a B&B and then met up with my friend Jenn who lives and guides around these parts. We birded casually around town and near the big fancy resort from about 3:00 to 6:00 racking up ~70 of the mostly common species. Flame-rumped and Golden-headed Tanagers were stunners - no photos, sorry folks. Long-billed Starthroat was the standout among the hummingbirds. Bat Falcon hunting bats at dusk was a nice way to end the day.

 Blue-gray Tanagers are super common but are still stunning regardless.

 Black-cheeked Woodpeckers are common - this one was excavating a nesthole.

Agoutis are everywhere. Other mammals seen already include sloths (2 and 3 toed), monkeys (Howler and White-faced Capuchins, squirrels, and a Tamandua - a small anteater.

Day 4: Met up with Jenn at 6:30 and headed to the famous Pipeline Rd. Pipeline rd is about 17.5km long and has a species list over 400! It was build to service a pipeline built during WW2 but never used.
We were fortunate enough to get a free ride to the 6km mark in a 4X4 truck and then we walked back along the "road". We spent the next 9 hours walking and birding our way back to Gamboa, covering about 10km. It was exhausting, but super fun. Manakins, Trogons, Caciques, Hummingbirds - there are lots of gaudy birds to be seen. But the most fun comes from finding and IDing small Tyrant Flycatchers calling and flitting about the trees, or listening for more shy birds walking around on the forest floor. I kept a total list for the day so I could e-bird it later (107 species) but don't really care how many species I see in any given day.
The road doesn't stay this nice...not by a long shot. 

 Band-tailed Barbthroat on her nest over the road!  A Great Tinamou - often heard but not seen.

 A male Gartered Trogon (Violaceous Trogon). We got 4 species today, and many of them. 
A Tamandua that was blind to our existence. I could have grabbed it if I was stupid. 

Gamboa resort area ebird checklist:
Pipeline Rd mainly checklist:

I know I won't get sympathy from those back in freezing Canada, but the neck pain one gets from working through a mixed-species flock in the canopy is far worse than any "warbler-neck" I've ever had.


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  3. That Trogon is beautiful!
    You're successfully making me jealous!