Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rainy day in Pipeline road

Some days ago, I received the nice visit of a great friend of mine from Colombia. Rafael Cortes came attending a seminar, but somehow we organized a short walk along the famous Pipeline Road in central Panama, just to remember old times. The day was particularly dark, and a heavy rainstorm quickly change the original plan of walking deep inside the road. Instead, we waited at the Rainforest Discovery Center, enjoying some cokes and snacks, waiting for the rain to stop, and watching wet Yellow-rumped Caciques essentially doing the same (waiting). Eventually, the rain stop, and we were able to walk a little. The activity was low, the day dark, and the percentage of humidity in the environment was so high that we almost felt the water in each breath. Most of the birds recorded were by calls, and Rafael recalled very well many of them despite he is now used to a different set of birds in the Colombian Andes. But we did saw some birds! The first of many of them were a flock a Brown-hooded Parrots, with a pair lovely taking care of each other. They are quite colourful if you got close looks as we did, usually you found these parrots flying swiftly above you. At the bridge over the Frijoles river, I spotted a very distant woodpecker, a pair of them actually. Despite the distance (they were VERY far away), we both recognized the parallel white lines in the back, making them a pair of Lineated Woodpeckers because the other possibility, the Crimson-crested, have white lines in the back forming a "V". My photo shows a female, of course is from my files (notice the clear skies and the proximity of the bird). We walked all the way to the Limbo river, and a little beyond... but it was getting late and it was clear that the road deteriorates after that point, becoming really muddy. In the way back, we crossed an antswarm with all the usual ant followers: Spotted, Bicolored and Ocellated Antbirds, Plain-brown and Northern Barred Woodcreepers, Gray-headed Tanagers, and a group of Song Wrens. At this point, we already recorded two species of trogons, including a male Black-throated Trogon calling from an exposed perch. Later, I heard a White-tailed Trogon... three, of five trogon species found along this road. It was a great day, not only had a good walk through the forest, but also the company of a great friend make it unforgettable. Hope to see you soon Rafael!

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