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Photos from Panama (Chiriqui, Canal Zone) February 2014

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Feb 25th, 2014, 06:50 AM
  #1
RAC
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Photos from Panama (Chiriqui, Canal Zone) February 2014

Recently I wrote up a trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/mexi...-highlands.cfm

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

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=37656d0b9f

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

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=2a0bfcbd9b

Cerro Azul:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=5615f05b6a

La Amistad international park/Los Quetzales Cabin 8 area:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=e7b1bc9f0e

Resplendent quetzal that landed 10 feet from our cabin:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=3d216b0ce4

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

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=4e49a78f5c

Ancon Hill:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=e347bf488a
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Feb 25th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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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.
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Feb 25th, 2014, 10:10 AM
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RAC
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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.
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Feb 26th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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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!!
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Feb 26th, 2014, 07:05 PM
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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!
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Feb 27th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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RAC
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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.
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Feb 27th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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Hummingbird heaven!
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Feb 27th, 2014, 10:10 AM
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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.
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Feb 27th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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RAC
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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.
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Feb 27th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Very cool!
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Mar 16th, 2014, 06:45 PM
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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?
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Mar 16th, 2014, 06:56 PM
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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!
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Mar 17th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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RAC
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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.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 01:46 PM
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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.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 02:09 PM
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RAC
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If you had to choose between May and August to visit the cloud forests of Ecuador, which is better?
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Mar 17th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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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.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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RAC
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I may have to email him some time next year . . .
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Mar 30th, 2014, 05:56 PM
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Great pictures, so many birds...I think I need to add Panama to the list. Thanks for sharing.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 08:12 AM
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RAC
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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.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 09:11 AM
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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.

http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20...s-in-ecuador/2

After my week around Mindo, I spent a night in Guango, and another two at Cabañas San Isidro
http://cabanasanisidro.com/index.php/rates-programs
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