Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Holidays in Darien. Part III

After seeing two life birds the previous day, my expectatives were high for the last day (march 4) of the PAS fieldtrip to El Real, eastern Darien province. We were suppose to leave the place at 10:00 am, so we decided to have a short walk to the airstrip and surroundings before breakfast. Our guide (Isaac Pizarro) knew a place where Dusky-backed Jacamars have been reported, so we headed first in that way, finding a Ringed Kingfisher by the bridge close to town. We started birding the trail with a gallery forest, finding common species like Crimson-backed Tanager, Thick-billed Euphonias, Buff-throated Saltator and a Black-tailed Flycatcher. No signs of the jacamar, so Rosabel decided to play a recording of a long desired life bird for her (and for me): Gray-cheeked Nunlet. After few minutes, we heard an answer quite close to us. A little searching revealed a nunlet perched and singing very close to us, inside the vegetation, allowing great looks. I managed to get a poor photo, but anyway it was a very cute little bird (smaller than I though). Stil it was early, so we moved to the Mercadeo road finding part of the group by the airstrip and finding a Pied Water-Tyrant there too (not mentioned for Darien province in the birdguide). In the Mercadeo road, we first saw a pair of Gray-capped Flycatchers and Cinnamon Becards attending their nests, plus a Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher in the same tree. Then, we heard the characteristic call of the Yellow-breasted Flycatcher (a bird not even listed in the book) and soon we were having great views of this new addition to the Panama's bird list. My photo of the bird resulted overexposed, so I edited it... the bird is recognizable anyway. Now it was getting late, so we headed to the hotel after seeing a group of Spectacled Parrotlet and a very cooperative pair of Rufous-tailed Jacamars that responded to the playback. The trip through the river was uneventful (again), seeing lots of herons and ibises, but no Black-collared Hawks. Once again, a great trip to a great place... excellent birds and terrific companions... all what a birder needs!

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