Wednesday, September 15, 2010


You are a bird-addict if after an intense birding-weekend, with 11 hours-long trips to the deep Pacific ocean or to remote, almost inaccessible, mountain ranges you want more birds; and guess what? Rafael Luck, Euclidos "Kilo" Campos, and your blogger host wanted MORE!! So, after a quick lunch in Santiago city, we headed to the Aguadulce Salinas (saltponds) in coastal Cocle province (central Panama). Not happy with that, we had enough energies not only for birdwatch from the road, but also to actively search the birds, walking INTO the saltponds! We had a nice afternoon at the saltponds, finding many of the now-usual species. However, something new for me there were the Wilson's Phalaropes. At least four individuals of this delicate shorebird were scattered in the different ponds that we checked out. Other Wilson's bird, the Wilson's Plover, was trying to hide itself, but we got nice shots of it. Of course, the most common peeps were present too (Western, Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers), among both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Willets, Whimbrels, and Short-billed Dowitcher all around. The plovers were also well-represented, with Black-bellied, Semipalmated, Wilson's (as I mentioned) and Collared Plovers all over the place. Our intensive search with Kilo's scope produced several Stilt Sandpipers. These birds are only passage migrants, so this is the time to enjoy them in Panama. They were easily picked up among the birds present by their bigger size. We tried to reach the distant mangroves that were full in egrets and pelicans, but each time, the shorebirds stopped us... who can resist to appreciate cooperative shorebirds feeding only some meters from your feet? Anyway, we inspected the mangroves with the scope, finding several Wood Storks and Roseate Spoonbills, plus a flock of migrants Blue-winged Teals that took off as soon as they detected us. There were also several terns species, including Gull-billed and Royal terns patrolling the area, and a group of at least twelve Least Terns in winter plumage (like the one pictured here), but also some with part of its breeding plumage, with mostly yellow bills. As usual, the noisy Black-necked Stilts were everywhere. Later, we also found hundreds of Black Skimmers resting in one of the ponds in the way to the beach, which was crowded in people thanks to the sunny day and the high tide. We stayed until it was too dark for photographing, so we left very happy after satisfying our addiction.


  1. It is neat to think that birds I have seen in the last few months in Idaho are possibly being seen by you in Panama! It shows the importance of having healthy habitat all along the entire migration path.

  2. @ Idaho Birder: you are right, it concerns to all of us!

  3. Very cool list. Yes, you are a birding addict. :) That is quite OK :)))
    How was about the numbers of shorebirds?

    Cheers, Szimi