Monday, June 23, 2014

Quick trip to the highlands. Part I

In order to increase my life list, I went with my family, my sister in law and her son to the western highlands of the Chiriqui province last weekend.  This was a quick trip, we only spent one night in the quiet town of Volcan after driving five hours from Penonome in central Panama.  We arrived to Volcan after noon last saturday, and after a quick check in at a modest hotel, we went to a coffee farm and shop to enjoy the cool breeze, some amazing views and great coffee.
The cousins, Kevin and Gabrielle
The grounds of the coffee shop had many common birds, and I tried to ID as many as possible.  The purple flowers around the shop attracted Rufous-tailed and Scintillant Hummingbirds, while some Bronzed Cowbirds were feeding in the ground at the garden.
Female Scintillant Hummingbird
Male Bronzed Cowbird
I really like those flaming red eyes.  After enjoying some coffee beverages, we decided to go the town of Guadalupe.  The main avenue of this tiny town was full of tourists visiting the little shops and cafes... the strawberry desserts are highly recommended.  We hiked a short, but steep trail to a lookout at 1990 meters above sea level, enjoying nice views of the surroundings.
In the way down, this Slaty Flowerpiercer allowed some photos.  Notice the specialized bill, upturned to pierce the flowers in order to steal the nectar.
Male Slaty Flowerpiercer
After the hike, we ended in a comfortable restaurant where we had a pasta dinner and a pizza next to the fireplace.
This was a relaxing day, enjoying with the family and doing some "internal" tourism.  Panama has a lot to offer, even for the Panamanians!  I planned to bird with a local guide and friend the next morning... and the result of using the local expertise was awesome... stay tuned and you'll understand what I mean!

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