Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More sunset birds

This is a kind of second part for my previous post about birding the savannas to the south of the town of Penonome (Cocle province, central Panama), along the road to El Gago.  I have to accept that I still have some problems for setting the camera for those light conditions... I hope this will improve soon.  This time I went earlier, so the the light was pretty good when I photographed this Killdeer.
This bird (part of a pair) was very quiet... I never heard the characteristic call this time.  This species is an uncommon migrant to Panama, and once a nesting attempt was documented in this part of the country.  In the other hand, the Eastern Meadowlark is an abundant resident of these savannas.
For some reason, I've always had the impression that these birds await you're near them to start singing!  However, were other singers who caught my attention.  When these birds vocalize, I noticed that they weren't the usual Groove-billed Anis I expected.
In fact, they were a pair of Smooth-billed Anis.  I'm not used to see this species in that road, so now I must be more careful to identify these birds if they are not vocalizing.  Other bird with which I am very careful to identify is the Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture.
In spite of the unmistakable multicolored head, they can be pretty tricky to separate from the Turkey Vulture; although, the Yellow-headed's low flight is characteristic.  Another species that characteristically flies low is the Northern Harrier.
This is also an uncommon migrant to Panama... but seems pretty regular in these fields.  This female was far away, so the above photo is cropped.  Notice the angled wings, long tail and white rump.  By the end of the day, I found the pair of resident Aplomado Falcons perched exactly in the same bare tree.
I swear these photos are different from my previous post.  The size difference indicates these are male and female (the female is the bigger one).  Along the road I saw another pair flying together, but there is no way to know if they were different birds.
After all, that was a nice sunset birding!

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