Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jan Axel's Blog becomes international

For the first time since I started this blog, I have the opportunity to travel out of Panama. My destination was Toronto, Canada; along with two other Internnal Medicine residents (Erika Barrera and Carlos Tuñón) to attend the American College of Physicians' Annual Scientific Meeting. We left Panama very early the morning of april 21th heading to Miami, United States of America; for our connecting flight. After almost a 3-hours flight, we arrived to the sunny Miami, when we had to wait 4 hours for our next flight. After a quick meal at the food court, we decided to walk around the airport in order to take some pictures. Of course, I did some birding during the time we stayed at Miami, despite we never left the airport. No matter that, the first birds I saw when we exited the airport were the House Sparrows. They were so tame, allowing great photos while approaching very close looking for food. Then, a big dove perched on a pole. A quick glimpse with my bins prove it to be a Eurasian Collared-Dove, a well-stablished allien in this part of the world. I'm not worried about including this introduced species in my Life List because I already saw tons of them in their native range (many years ago in Taiwan). Then, my first life bird for the journey appeared: a female Boat-tailed Grackle was working some palm trees by the entrance of the terminal. In comparison with the Great-tailed Grackles (with which I'm familiar), she was warmer brown with a big-headed shape due to her less flattened crown. Soon after that, I found several adult males with their dull yellow eyes confirming the i.d. (by the way, the Great-taileds' are not supposed to occur in Florida). Not bad at all for just a couple of hours at an airport. Soon we boarded our connecting flight to Toronto, arriving three hours later. By then, it was getting dark so I didn't saw any bird (except for an European Starling by the airport), but we were impressed by Toronto's downtown skyline, dominated by the CN Tower. A 45-minutes ride from the airport in the airport express (free WiFi in the bus!) and we were at the Delta Chelsea Hotel, getting to our rooms. Others members of the panamanian delegation were staying in the same hotel so we had dinner together and, after a long traveling day we took a deserved rest waiting for the next day.

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