Thursday, October 14, 2010

Birding with the sunset

The last high tide of the weekend was a very late one, so I went to the Juan Díaz mangroves (east of Panama City) with Osvaldo Quintero in order to enjoy the flocks of shorebirds that use the site to rest and to spent the night. As I have posted before, big numbers of shorebirds congregate at the entrance to the mangroves, in a marshy zone that is about to become a huge development with golf courses and alikes. We decided to go directly to the mangroves and to check the shorebirds in the way out. We were not the only ones to have that same idea, since we found some others birders at the place checking the ponds, including José Carlos García and Mahelis Rodríguez (both fine guides and participants of the Panama's 600 Club) and José Carlos' mom. Later we also found birder/photographer Itzel Fong, checking the ponds too. Considering the rather small panamanian birders community, this was a nice meeting, specially because it was totally coincidentally... no previous arrangements, no plans, no phone calls, etc... after all Panama is so small! OK, about the birds. The pond at the mangroves forest's edge was full of waders, including several species of herons, mostly Great Egrets, and Wood Storks... but also with an incredible amount of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks (with tons of juveniles... the dark-billed ones in the next photo, which you can enlarge) and three Blue-winged Teals.
There were some shorebirds in that pond too, most of them were Semipalmated Plovers and Black-necked Stilts but also Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Western Sandpipers, Wilson's Plovers and a juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher under heavy molt that was feeding with a group of Least Sandpipers. José Carlos found a nice Merlin perched atop the mangroves while both caracaras were patrolling the area.
The place was so nice that we stayed until it was too dark to photograph something.. so we moved to the more open ponds of the entrance. The numbers were impressive, but not as my last time there two days before. Again, most of them were Semipalmated Plovers with some Wilson's and Collared Plovers, and many Least and Western Sandpipers (notice the warm tones in the next photos, due to the fading light of the afternoon).
It was a great afternoon, sharing our passion for the birds and enjoying the sunset with friends!

No comments:

Post a Comment