Friday, January 8, 2016

More birds this 2016!

It is not a secret that I'm an avid birder... but during the last years my birding activities have dropped a little bit due to "lack of time".  The truth is that you don't need to organize a one-week expedition to exotic forests or mountaintops to watch birds... you can bird everywhere, anywhere!  One of my new year resolutions is to "watch" more birds... more accurately, to record more birds.  So far, I'm recording everyday the birds that I see from my home and from the office... and I have even taken the time to go to hotspots within Panama City, like Costa del Este and Panama Viejo.  In fact, today was the third day in a row visiting the mudflats and mangroves of Panama Viejo (at Panama City's waterfront).
Ruins, skyscrapers and birds mix in Panama Viejo
How can I ignore that?  This place holds a bird list of more than 270 species, with some rarities regularly recorded.  These last days, the place was filled with tons of Laughing Gulls and some shorebirds (godwits, willets, whimbrels, dowitchers and black-bellied plovers, among others).  A closer to look to the flock revealed some Franklin's Gulls too... and a Ring-billed Gull too!
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed and Laughing Gulls
As I have mentioned on other occasions, you can expect only one gull species in Panama: Laughing Gull... so, three species is not bad at all.  But after checking eBird, I knew that at least two other species have been reported from the same site recently.  The next two days produced both of them... a first-year Herring Gull flying away and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull today.
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed and Laughing Gulls
Rare species so close to home... priceless.  Of course, more widespread species were present too, like cormorants, pelicans, frigatebirds, lapwings and many more... ah, and don't forget the American White Pelican that continues wandering around!
American White Pelican
So, this year I hope to watch more birds, use more eBird, get some lifers and add some new species to the Panama list this year... ambitious?   I don't think so!

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