Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 First lifer!

Last weekend, my friend Osvaldo showed me a photo of a warbler he found in the Metropolitan Natural Park.  The bird puzzled me a little, but after much thinking I declared it a female Mourning Warbler.  He showed the photo to some local experts later, and some red flags started to appear... Osvaldo photographed a rare (for central Panama) MacGillivray's Warbler!  Not only that, he re-found the bird at the same site last friday and took new photos.
I took advantage of a tiny gap in my agenda and went to the park around 1:00 pm.  In spite of the hour and the heat of our dry season, the place was alive with tons of birds attending a flowering Erythrina tree.  These trees are special for both resident and migrant birds.  In fact, I saw many migrants, including both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, eight warblers species (!) and this Yellow-throated Vireo.
Among the warblers, the most obliging were the Chestnut-sided Warblers.  The bright green back and the lemon-yellow wingbars are distinctive.
Of course, the Golden-winged Warbler wins the prize of the most beautiful warbler in the flock.  A distant male made a short appearance... my distant photo is useful to identify the bird at least.
Then, I saw a bird skulking in the understore exactly where Osvaldo described me.  Soon I notice it was a female Geothlypis (formerly Oporornis) warbler, but most important, in the dark of the forest, the broken arcs above and below the eyes were quite conspicuous.
The call was different to the sweet chip note I'm used for Mourning Warbler, it was harsher and rougher, but still a chip note.  The yellowish throat made me doubt... but then I see that this is quite variable (and some photos in the web show this feature in immature males MacGillivray's Warblers).  The broken eye-ring was definitively more prominent than those of the females and immatures Mourning Warblers, and the gray surrounding the throat made a complete breast band above the yellow belly, all consistent with MacGillivray's Warbler... my life MacGillivray's Warbler

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