Yesterday, many "auduboners", birdwatchers and nature lovers waked up early and went around the town of Gamboa and the Pipeline road in order to watch or heard as many species of birds possible for the Central Christmas Bird Count, organized by the Panama Audubon Society... many, except me! For previously acquired duties, I was unable to participate in the morning... but then, I went to Gamboa by noon with Gloriela and Gabrielle, accompanied by Gloriela's sister Teresa and her son Kevin.
Actually, the town of Gamboa is a very nice place to spent a couple of hours with your family, enjoying wildlife, lush forests and, why not, HUGE SHIPS transiting in the middle of these forests!
Usually, when birding alone, I have a bottle of water and some snacks and that's all... of course, that is unacceptable when traveling with your family, including young kids... that's why our first stop was the restaurant at the resort marina, conveniently overlooking the Chagres river, where I counted the waterbirds present there (oh yes, Kevin helped me).
To be exact, we counted in that place before lunch 5 Brown Pelicans, 1 Neotropic Cormorant, 1 Royal Tern, 1 Franklin's Gull, 11 American Coots and 131 (!) Common Gallinules.
We also saw 12 Lesser Scaups... much less than some weeks ago in the same place, but definitively an excellent record for the CBC!
We drove slowly through the streets of the town, counting many common species, reaching eventually the Ammo Dump ponds, where we saw an Osprey (the third of the day).
But there were the unfeathered creatures that impressed more my companions... including the hordes of Central American Agoutis all over the town and, specially, the big American Cocodrile sunbathing in the other shore of the pond (thanks to God, as Teresa would say).
We ended the day visiting a great friend of mine, Guido Berguido, and his beautiful family. Did I mention that he has some of the best feeders in town... if not the best?
With action like this, it doesn't matter if you're birding with kids... trust me!