Monday, November 26, 2012

That's why we call it "rainforest"!

Two days ago, I went with Osvaldo Quintero to the foothills of eastern Panama province, along the El Llano-Cartí road that eventually reaches the Caribbean coast of the Guna Yala reservation.  We wanted specifically to bird the Ibe Igar trail, which we are not sure if it is in Panama province or in the Guna Yala reservation, in Nusagandi (probably along both).  The sun raise that we saw earlier in Panama City above the Pacific ocean didn't have nothing to do with what was waiting for us!  (ATTENTION: NO BIRDS PHOTOS IN THIS ENTRY... you still have time to read another thing).
Our first stop was at the kilometer 8 of the road, inside Panama province.  It was cloudy, and soon began to rain, so we didn't stay long... only enough to see a group of Brown-hooded Parrots, a Long-billed Hermit and a flock of 15 or more Tawny-crested Tanagers crossing the road.
El Llano-Cartí road at km 8
When we reached the entrance of the Ibe Igar trail, it was cloudy, but not raining... so we began to walk along the -VERY- muddy trail.  The first bird we saw was a noisy wren checking some tangles.  I was able to watch it for 5 seconds, enough to see it general brown coloration with marked wings and black-and-white face and throat: an Stripe-throated Wren... a lifer for me!!!  Then, the things started to go wrong.  We reached the first creek, only seeing a Chestnut-backed Antbird and a female Red-capped Manakin and started to hike in order to reach the second creek... but the slope was to slippery and muddy and we were having problems to keep the pace... Osvaldo broke his walking stick and slipped several times, I grabbed firmly an spiny trunk, and so on... then, a rainstorm struck us... and the former muddy trail became a creek... we were worried about this and started the return... no more birds in this trip.
The rain didn't stop... and we waited... instead, a dense fog covered the forest...and it was time to leave!
Well, not every time you get those 100+ species lists... but seeing the things in another way, 33% of live birds is not bad at all!

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