Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Well dressed for a lifer!

When I heard from Rosabel Miró that a Cape May Warbler was seen yesterday's afternoon right in front of the Panama Audubon Society office, in Llanos de Curundu (Panama City), I could not believe it! In Panama, this is a VERY rare species... very seldom reported, specially the beautiful males. So today, after finishing my duties at the hospital, I went to the office for a lucky shot. Surprisingly, I was the only one looking for this rare vagrant... probably I was the only dreamer thinking that such a rare bird would remain in the same place for one more day. The day was cloudy, and a light drizzle started falling down... but I was prepared. With my umbrella in one hand, an I-pod in the other, binoculars and camera, I searched in the tree where the bird was seen before. Rosabel took the photo where I appear next to the tree (she was still working at the office). I checked every warbler-like activity, noticing first a Tennessee Warbler and then a Yellow Warbler in the tree. Around 5:40 PM, a third warbler showed up...very active, I only saw first its bright yellow underparts with contrasting black streaks in the chest and flanks... an adult male Cape May Warbler!!! I called Rosabel, but when she went out, the bird flew far away. I only had time to watch it through my binoculars for just few seconds. I walked around the neighborhood, trying to relocate it, but eventually went back to the office, to say good-bye to everybody (around 6:15 PM) when I saw the bird in a distant palm tree and, for my surprise, it flew directly to the same tree where I saw it before (in front of the office). This time, the bird stayed longer, picking up tiny insects from the mossy trunk, and showing well its field marks. Incredible! This time Rosabel was able to see the bird with me and we both were astonished! I managed to take some photos. WOW, those rufous cheeks and black crown are so contrasting, just like the white wing panel that we also saw. Well, I imagine that the insistence, with a little bit of luck, pays!


  1. Wonderful! What an exciting day. Thank you for sharing the event and pictures with us.

  2. You are welcome. We have seen the male for 6 days in a row now, and a female have been seen too! Is so esciting!