Thursday, October 27, 2011

Common, as its name suggest

Last week, I wandered around Panama City with my camera and binoculars reaching, eventually, the Coastal Beltway in high tide. The first bird I noticed was a lonely Gull-billed Tern (the whiter tern in Panama), but then I saw many common birds like Laughing Gulls, Royal and Sandwich Terns (black bill with yellow tip, the most common in the place) flying around, but a little flock of medium sized terns caught my attention. Very elegant when flying, with a stylized figure and forked tail, plunging to feed from the surface... Common Terns! Eventually I realized that the site was full of them, even with some individuals resting in the beach! You may ask why I seem to be so excited by a bird with the adjective "common" as part of its name. Because in Panama, this bird is common only during a short period of time, while migrating... and october is the perfect month to see them here. All of them had the winter plumage, characterized by the dark carpal bar at rest, the black cap with white forehead and a characteristic flight pattern. I checked almost all the birds present looking for rarer species, like Forster's or Artic Terns... but all seemed to be Commons. Judge by yourself!

It is always great to find these little guys in the city... a personal addition to the Coastal Beltway list of birds!

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