Monday, October 5, 2009

Rainy day

October is one of the most rainy months of the year in Panama, and we verified it last saturday, during our day visit to El Valle de Anton. The day started good, with clear skies, but it became dark rapidly. Our first stop was close to Los Llanitos ("Todies Land") where we recorded ALL the motmots species found in Panama, with Tody Motmot in my saw-and-barely-photographed list (as I have said before, they are very tough to photograph). After a quick hot coffee and a piece of pineapple pie in a little bakery close to the famous "mercado" in El Valle, we headed to the Cerro Gaital Natural Monument where a smiley-faced Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth welcomed us. By mid-morning the day was dark and chilly, with some dropplets falling down, but that didn't stop us. We walked the loop trail (El Convento) reaching only the second station. In the way we saw a nice Green-crowned Brilliant and a mixed flock of Silver-throated Tangers, Common Bush-Tanagers, Bananaquits and very cooperative Black-faced Grosbeaks (a huge group, maybe 15 individuals). A little noise in the understore resulted in a Nine-banded Armadillo who quickly ran away. The migrants were represented by Canada, Blackburnian and Mourning Warblers plus Swainson's Thrushes. It soon began to rain, so we headed back just in time to reach the car when a heavy downspur covered everything. We left El Valle, calling it a day not before a short visit to the lowlands of El Chiru, but it was late and we only saw very common birds (plus a nice Pearl Kite). The return journey was under a rainstorm all the way to Panama city, but at least it was refreshing!

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