Friday, March 10, 2017

Panama - Birding in Darien day 1

We met the group the following morning, being the first to the assigned meeting point, as usual.  We were somewhat nervous joining a group for the first time and one that had already been together for a week.

We'd organised the trip via Birding Panama and had opted for their extension rather than the whole tour.  In the end we joined three American birders, one couple and a lady journeying on her own.

The first stop was a comfort break on the road out beyond the city where we added our first few trip species.   The next stop, before Darien, was at a roadside bridge.   It surprising how often birding is alongside busy roads, but hey ho.

We saw a load of species in a very productive hour at this bridge, including Blue Dacnis:


Howler Monkeys on the other side of the road:


Rufous-winged Antwren:


Masked Tityra:


and White-eared Conebills:


as well as Barred Antshrikes:



and a Black Antshrike:


We stopped for lunch at the Hotel Avicar, a great spot with decent rooms, a very hospitable host, good food and the beer is cheaper than the sodas!  They also have hummingbird feeders, which were the first we'd encountered in Panama.   If I lived in Panama i'd have half a dozen of them permanently full, there's such an abundance of species.

We saw plenty over lunch including Black-throated Mango, male:



and female:


Blue-chested Hummingbird, female:


Sapphire-throated Hummingbird:


Snowy-bellied Hummingbird:


and against the blue background painted on the wall (good idea whose ever it was - blue 'sky' even when it's raining!), another Sapphire-throated Hummingbird:



While we were having lunch Helen just now recovering from the infections she travelled with, was struck with a migraine, so that was the end of her day.  Luckily it was a milder one so while she was ruled out for the day chances are she'd be able to participate the following day.  Meanwhile i was coming down with the bronchitis and sinusitis, the joy!

Our reduced group headed out locally in the afternoon birding along a trail and into some woodland, seeing lots more species including Brown-capped Tyrannulet:


A three-toed Sloth, this one actually looked awake:


A lovely butterfly or moth of somesort:


And Pied Puffbird:


We headed back to the hotel for a late dinner and an early night ahead of the early start planned for the following day.

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