Friday, March 10, 2017

Panama Canal area - Metropolitan Park, City and the last day at the Summit

For our last day in the Panama Canal area we decided to revisit the Metropolitan Park and then the city in the morning and grab a buggy ride around the golf course in the afternoon.

The park really is worth a visit, being prime forest right on the edge and indeed mostly enveloped by the city of Panama.

The wildlife however is abundant with three-toed sloths, squirrels and some lizards too:


The birding is good though we would recommend a guide as being very popular the trails offer less direct birding and you need to know exactly what the various whistles and squeaks are.  We walked the trails we'd skipped on our first visit, seeing Slaty-tailed Trogon:


and Yellow-bellied Elaenia amongst others:


From the park we drove down to the shoreline to the West of the city centre:


We saw more plastic than birds on the shoreline, however there's a narrow spit leading to a tourist development on Isla Naos.   From this narrow spit we saw Whimbrel:


and Willet:


though birds were few and far between.

Back at the hotel in afternoon we were collected by Carlos at 15:30 for the buggy tour, this is how the birders get to explore around the golf course, without getting in the way!

On our little trip we saw a lot of birds including Plain-coloured Tanager:


Fork-tailed Flycatcher:



A Cayman basking beside one of the water features:


Keel-billed Toucan:


Because necessarily the golf course has a lot of grass, a lot of grassland birds are present around the hotel, including Variable Seedeaters:













And the delightful Saffron Finch:



A species only found in the Canal area of Panama.

We also watched a small flock of Tree Swallows settling one by one onto one of the fences in the fading afternoon light:


The reason for our extended stay in the canal area was upon us, the following morning we were due to join our first ever birding group, going as far East as the road in Panama allows, toward the Colombian border and province of Darien!

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