Monday, September 10, 2012

Now they're everywhere?

I have said before that the main reason for my many visits to the Aguadulce Salinas (Coclé province in central Panamá) was to find a vagrant American Avocet.  It seemed to be logical... it was the site with more reports until a group of avocets was found in Costa del Este (Panama City) last march.  I was fortunate enough to watch this group (here, with my daughter Gabrielle) more than 20 days after they were first reported and then I found a lonely individual in full breeding plumage in the same site (you can read more about it here... the next photo is of that day).
So yesterday was the first time that I was going to the saltponds NOT thinking on finding an avocet.  I left Penonome with Gloriela and Gabrielle and 30 minutes later we were at a restaurant having breakfast by the main plaza.  I took my time to cross the town in order to reach the saltponds... it was sunny and hot, and, since Gabrielle is only 8 months-old, I decided to drive with the air conditioner on, stopping the car and watching from my window if any interesting stuff was appearing.  That's how I got these (and many other) photos of a nice Pearl Kite preening on a telephone cable by the access road.
We found more raptors, including a vibrant Aplomado Falcon perched nicely on a telephone cable too, and a Common (Mangrove) Black-Hawk, which I think is probably the same bird that I photograph each time I visit the saltponds (it seems to like exactly the same telephone pole).
Eventually, we started to see scattered flocks of shorebirds and waders along both side of the road crossing the ponds.  The highlight was a pair of Wilson's Phalaropes swimming in a pool very close to the road.  A huge flock of more than 30 Least Terns was also noteworthy; however, they were too far away for photos.
While checking one of these flocks, I noticed a bird standing alone in the background.  I quickly recognized its white-and-black pattern and even the upturned bill characteristic of a non-breeding American Avocet!!!  The bird flew a few meters, just to land farther away of us.  Once my nemesis bird; now, it is the third time I found this species this year (and curiously, all those times I was with my family... lucky amulets?).
Great way to confirm that the Aguadulce Saltponds are still a vagrant magnet!

No comments:

Post a Comment