Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Birding 17 Mar, 2010

17 March 2010

Today we were up at 4:55am and on the road by 5:30am and headed to El Valle, a small village nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano. We hiked two trails: Cerro Gaital and Cara Iguana. Cerro Gaital was quite steep in places, but the view was spectacular - we were literally on the rim of the volcano looking down at the village below. Overall, birding was rather slim today - both trails were relatively quiet; the best birding was on small dirt road about 300m long where we say at least 20 Snowy-bellied Hummingbirds. We departed El Valle at 3:30pm and arrived back in Panama City at 5:30pm.

Mike's Highlights: 6 lifers including Black-faced Grosbeak, Plain Antvireo, Tawny-crested Tanager, Tawny-capped Euphonia, Rufous-crested Coquette (very small hummingbird), and Scarlet-thighed Dacnis. Other highlights include finding my very fisrt Coral Snake - not certain of species and I wasn't about to pick it up.

Mike's Un-highlights: at least 5 species "got away"; one was almost certainly a new species - 99% certain it was a Sabrewing Hummingbird, but the 1% error won't let me count it!!!

Dad's Highlights: view of El Valle from crest of Cerro Gaital trail; birding along unnamed road with lots of birds, especially the abundant Snowy-bellied Hummingbird; Scarlet-thighed Dacnis; Tawny-crested Tanager; Lance-tailed Manakin (mostly because dad found it on his own and I didn't see it), Smooth-billed Ani.

Complete story to follow...

Total species today = 54
Total lifers today = 6
Total cumulative lifers = 20
Total species for trip = 171

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