Sunday, January 31, 2016

It is summer time!

Time to enjoy the sun and the marine breeze!  Well, in Panama you can enjoy them anytime... as I did with my family last weekend in one of the huge all-inclusive beach resorts that abound along the central Pacific coast.

To be honest, I didn't intended to bird extensively... only during the first hours of light while the others were still sleeping, or if something curious or rare appear.  My morning checklists included more than 20 species, most of them common inhabitants of the lush gardens at the resort.  At the sandy beach, the numbers of Laughing Gulls and Sandwich Terns were impressive.  They were fairly confident ... just walking a few steps away when someone approached.
Sandwich Terns
Of course some other marine birds were present too: pelicans, frigatebirds, cormorants and even a lonely Blue-footed Booby dive-bombing near shore.  The only shorebird seen were the omnipresent Willet and Whimbrels... and a tiny group of Sanderlings too.  But no bird was as confident as a curious raptor that visited the main pool.  Some tourists, noticing my binoculars, showed me the bird, and asked me if I knew what it was.
Common Black-Hawk
I said yes, it is a Common Black-Hawk.  I know it sounded obvious... it is a hawk, is black... and certainly common if just appeared in the middle of a huge resort full of bathers.  I didn't want to deepen on taxonomic issues, but this form used to be known as the Mangrove Black-Hawk and I still call it that way when birding alone.  Well, after all the bird was a great show and people seem satisfied with my explanation, so all happy!  Enjoy the summer, and good birding!

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