Yesterday was this year last Christmas Bird Count organized by the Panama Audubon Society, in the Caribbean side of the canal. With the new highway from Panama City, it is only mere 45 minutes to Colon city and many of the count areas, so Osvaldo Quintero and I drove in the dark in order to be at the Galeta Island Protected Area by sunrise.
Since none of the counters actually lives in the Caribbean side, this count have less participants than the others... so each count area is huge. Ours included Galeta Point, Colon City, Margarita, Mindi and the Diversion creek. At Galeta, the main habitat is coastal and mangroves.
However, it was in the forested area of the protected area where we saw the best day of our day... a beautiful Capped Heron by the road... the autofocus of my camera got confused and the result is the worst photo ever of this species... thanks God, this one is unmistakable!
We checked all the areas in a quick succession, finding many sites with degraded habitat, which is a shame. Some common birds, like House Sparrow and Royal Tern are probably only reliable found in these areas. The same is for the Sapphire-throated Hummingbird... readily identified in this shot by its forked tail and slightly downcurved bill.
The only photographic opportunity that we took was with a little flock of Plain-colored Tanagers feeding in a Cecropia tree. Not so plain after all!
Probably not the best count in terms of numbers anymore... but still a great experience!