Sunday, December 9, 2012

More birds at Gamboa

After a very successful twitch, finding the Lesser Scaups at the marina in Gamboa (Colon province, central Panama) this morning,  Osvaldo and I decided to visit the Gamboa Ammo Dump ponds... after all, it was still very early and we expected a great activity, considering the beautiful day.
And we were right!  First of all, this young Broad-winged Hawk welcomed us by perching completely exposed in good light for us.  At the ponds, we found many common species, but I focused at the Mangrove Swallows perched at the barbed wire, shining with the sun... definitively my favorite swallow in Panamá!
The swallows were so pretty and cooperative that none of us noted at first the dull gray bird at the fence facing the opposite side.
It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it was a Gray Catbird, nicely in the open taking a sunbath.  This bird is not only an uncommon migrant in this part of Panama, but also a hard-to-see skulker... but this guy was simply amazing... it responded to Osvaldo's tape and we got great views!
Very happy with our luck, we headed to the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, were more than 30 (!) White-necked Jacobins, among other hummers, were trying to drink of the many hanging feeders.
However, it was the antswarm passing right behind the building that attracted our attention... most of the regular ant-followers were attending, like Spotted and Ocellated Antbirds, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Red-throated Ant-Tanagers (weird, in spite of their name) a Greater Ani (weirder) and a gang of Gray-headed Tanagers.
However, the most cooperative followers were the omnipresent Bicolored Antbirds, jumping just feet of us.
Not bad at all for just half day!


  1. What a wonderful place to visit, I have been there myself. I love the Gray-headed Tanager and the beautiful Jacobin. Lovely birds and photos. Happy Birding!

  2. Hi there! Great pictures! Maybe you can help me with something? We are living in Bugaba, and last week we were traveling up to Volcan, and saw an interesting bird, but having searched online, I still have no idea what it was. It was rather large, and stood like a falcon. Its upper half was black, and its lower half was bright yellow. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

    1. The Yellow-headed Caracara, a common raptor in the falcons family, is Dark-brown in the upperparts and buff-yellow in the underparts (and head). I think this species is the one that you probably saw in that area.