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RAC Feb 25th, 2014 05:50 AM

Photos from Panama (Chiriqui, Canal Zone) February 2014
Recently I wrote up a trip report:

Here are the pictures that go along with that report (if you can't view them on FB I will dust off my Flickr account and post them there). Warning: lots of birds.

Soberania National Park (Pipeline Road) and grounds of Gamboa Rainforest resort

Chagres River, Panama Canal (including our tour of Miraflores locks), and Lake Gatun:

Cerro Azul:

La Amistad international park/Los Quetzales Cabin 8 area:

Resplendent quetzal that landed 10 feet from our cabin:

Cerro Punta, including Baru Nat'l park, Lagunas Volcan, and Finca Hartmann:

Ancon Hill:

mlgb Feb 25th, 2014 09:01 AM

From one "bird nerd" to another, thanks for sharing. It's interesting to see the overlap with Costa Rica and Ecuador. I was lucky to see both the ocellated antbird and the toucanet at Arenal Obs Lodge. Maybe some day I will try Monteverde for that bellbird.

I love your "musmuqui" pics too.

RAC Feb 25th, 2014 09:10 AM

Costa Rica/Panama highland and lowland EBAs have all kinds of great birds.

the Arenal Observatory Lodge provides all kinds of good sightings--we saw the orange bellied trogon and emerald tanager there.

was there an ant swarm while you were there?

We saw the bellbird in Corcovado. Pure luck as it turns out.

snorkelluvn Feb 26th, 2014 03:54 PM

Wow, thanks for sharing!! You really have me excited about our trip to Panama in a few weeks. I will try to share our photos and trip report also. Have you seen the Mountain Toucan in Ecuador? Just a gorgeous bird that we got a few good looks at in the Bellavista Cloud forest reserve. Then you have to visit Angel Paz and his cock in the rock lek and stunning, unique property--he went from actually hunting toucans to being at the forefront of becoming a bird sanctuary instead of farming and hunting. And his wife makes an awesome breakfast!!

mlgb Feb 26th, 2014 06:05 PM

Yes, there was an army ant swarm and it had the mixed flock of ant-associated birds, including the ocellated and that one with the spotted breast.

I was just in Ecuador last fall, snorkelluvn. We saw the
Plate-billed Mountain Toucan at Bellavista. There was another toucan that I was looking for at Guango but never found it.

I did finally see the Emerald Toucanet which I missed in Costa Rica.

I have a very boring trip report from Ecuador if you click my name but I lost my SD card!

RAC Feb 27th, 2014 07:03 AM

We really have to put Ecuador on the top of our "to visit" list. We're so used to Central America because the dry season there coincides with the pit of winter in the US.

Definitely need to see Bellavista.

Ironically, one of the first birds we saw in Costa Rica was the emerald (now blue-throated) toucanet. It was at the feeders at La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

mlgb Feb 27th, 2014 08:31 AM

Hummingbird heaven!

volcanogirl Feb 27th, 2014 09:10 AM

Wow, beautiful pictures, RAC. I especially love the quetzals and honeycreepers. Those colors are just fantastic. What is the animal that looks sort of weasley, like a tayra. I don't think I've seen that one before.

RAC Feb 27th, 2014 09:36 AM

That is the cacomistle (ring-tailed cat). Supposedly there are kinkajou that come around too, but I suspect the cacomistles have claimed the cabin as their turf. They're clever little critters.

volcanogirl Feb 27th, 2014 09:48 AM

Very cool!

snorkelluvn Mar 16th, 2014 05:45 PM

Was there any problem with water level at Gatun Lake when you were there? Jose has informed us that it is at a record low now, and may not be good for doing the birding by boat tour?

glover Mar 16th, 2014 05:56 PM

Really nice pictures, RAC, thanks for sharing!! Sure makes me long to be again in all those great places. Did you stay in that little cabin at Finca Hartman?

Bet you would enjoy India, where we saw more than 200 species of birds this winter!

RAC Mar 17th, 2014 08:37 AM

No, we just visited FH from Cerro Punta. Crazy amounts of birds in the one big tree near the visitor center/museum. We must have seen 20 species of bird in that tree.

India, maybe some day. We haven't even scratched South America yet.

artiejay Mar 17th, 2014 12:46 PM

Enjoyed your report and Pics. - gotta love those Quetzals! Cloud forests have to be one of the most awesome places to visit - they are truly a gem to behold. Just posted a trip report on the Ecuador forum - the birding was crazy good even with extremely bad weather.

RAC Mar 17th, 2014 01:09 PM

If you had to choose between May and August to visit the cloud forests of Ecuador, which is better?

artiejay Mar 17th, 2014 02:55 PM

I would get as far away from rainy season as possible, so probably August. To get an even better point of view you might e-mail the guide we used, Marcelo Arias at [email protected]. He usually responded to e-mails very quickly and was very helpful to us during our planning phase.

RAC Mar 18th, 2014 07:23 AM

I may have to email him some time next year . . .

xyz99 Mar 30th, 2014 04:56 PM

Great pictures, so many birds...I think I need to add Panama to the list. Thanks for sharing.

RAC Mar 31st, 2014 07:12 AM

If you love birds, Panama is a must I would certainly say. On one end you have the highland and lowland endemics it shares with Costa Rica, and from the canal zone east you have South American birds and wildlife.

mlgb Mar 31st, 2014 08:11 AM

Hi RAC, I was told that some of the hummingbirds I did not see on the east slope are present in August.

Also see this BBC article.

After my week around Mindo, I spent a night in Guango, and another two at Cabañas San Isidro

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