Wednesday, February 6, 2013

They're back!

Almost one year ago, I visited an artificial lake in the middle of a field four miles west of Penonomé (Coclé province, central Panamá) after hearing about a wintering flock of diving ducks.  Last sunday, I visited the lake again early in the morning to see if I was lucky enough to watch some Ring-necked Ducks.  Eventually, I saw the silhouette of two ducks swimming exactly at the other side of the lake... diving ducks for sure, but which one?
Well, the birds don't appear in the previous picture, it only shows the habitat where I saw Anhingas, Neotropic Cormorants and some Killdeers.  The two ducks were against the sun, too far away and not getting closer... and I was unable to id them correctly.  I was about to give up when a guy on a motorcycle approached me.  The kind man introduced himself as Aurelio, the keeper of the lake and the surrounding sugar cane plantations.
After knowing my interest in photographing birds, specifically those distant ducks, he offered me a ride to the other shore where he guided me through overgrown pastures, a little creek and a hidden trail leading right to the spot where the ducks were swimming in front of.  I hurried up to have closer looks without noticing the flock of Blue-winged Teals resting at the shore... they got away immediately, just like teals like to do!
By that moment, the two ducks were already starting to swim away of us.  I was close enough to have a positive id through my binoculars: a pair of Lesser Scaups.  Unfortunately, they were still a little bit far for photos... but I shoot them anyway.
Hey, at least are better than my previous Scaups photos of that site!   It is great to know that they still visit the lake in the middle of a field four miles west of Penonomé!

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