Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New year-birds in Metro Park

A very short visit to the Metropolitan Natural Park, in Panama City, recently produced some new year-birds for me. As usual, I started in the Mono Tití trail up to El Mirador (where I got the view pictured above... it is incredible how a park so close to a cosmopolitan city still holds such species like tinamues, forest-falcons, antbirds, manakins, monkeys, and so on...), and then completing the circuit through La Cieneguita trail. Most of the migrants are gone by now, so the activity was slow. In the other hand, the first rains of the season probably explain the hungry mosquitoes that I found during my walk... specially in La Cieneguita trail. I found a big mixed flock by the entrance of the trail, close to "The Castle", attended mostly by Red-throated Ant-Tanagers and lots of flycatchers, including Yellow-olive and Panama Flycatchers, Yellow-bellied and Greenish Elaenias, Southern Bentbill and Beardless-Tyrannulets and a pair of Common Tody-Flycatchers. Also, a lonely Rufous-breasted Wren accompanied the flock while singing, followed by a Yellow-green Tyrannulet. This active, smart and gnatcatcher-like tyrannulet is a national endemic for Panama, and Metro Park is a reliable site to find it, specially if you know its call. Close to the flock, but not exactly with it, was a pair of Blue-crowned (Whooping) Motmots flycatching. After the flock passed, the things turned quiet... only finding a handsome Orange-billed Sparrow skulking in some bushes. My photo shows the bird just like you usually find it in the field... with tons of tangles and branches in front of it! With patience it is possibly to attract them by "pishing", as I did. In my experience, the only birds that are usually attracted by my "pishing", apart of some warblers, are the Ant-Tanagers. They rapidly approach scolding me and that day was not the exception. The common one in most of Panama is the Red-throated Ant-Tanager, but in Metro Park you have great chances to find the Red-crowned Ant-Tanager as well... just like I did! I found a pair close to a flock of Red-throateds that responded to my "pishing" (I usually don't "pish", nor use play-luring techniques... I only tried this time to get a picture of the sparrow... instinctively it came out from my mouth while holding the camera!). The males differ in its more uniform brick-red coloration, while the female are safely told apart by its yellow crown (both species have red or yellow throats, both males have red crowns). In the way back I found some interesting mammals, including a Central American Agouti, a White-nosed Coati and a group of Geoffroy's Tamarins (the monos titíes), detected by its bird-like calls. A short walk after all, I only stayed for a couple of hours, but found great birds and wildlife!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the photo of the Greenish Elaenia. I've been checking the field guide wondering if I've been seeing them. Your photo clinches it for me.