18 March 2010
Today was a late rise at 5:30am. We were on the road by 6:10am and arrived at Old Gamboa Road at 6:30am. The birding was excellent here today, and despite being told to leave the area by a very nice Panama Canal Authority guard, we did manage to hike almost all of what I had planned to do. Once back at the car we went to Plantation Road, and although the bird activity was substantially lower than Old Gamboa Road, we did manage to find some good species. From there we went to Ammo Dump ponds, then to Gamboa Park. Overall the species tally was going very well, and so we decided that after a quick shower we would try and target a few more spots.
At 2:15pm we left the hotel for round two - although fully-scaled back and more sight-seeing than anything. First we went to the Smithsonian Institute to visit the bookstore and purchase a few gifts; I got a good deal on Howells' Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico. From there we tried to go up Ancon Hill but it closed exactly when we arrived, at 4:00pm - we'll visit tomorrow. After that we went out on the Amador Causeway, then returned to cross the Bridge of Americas and visit Playa Bonita. We then returned to the Amador Causeway for dinner and watched grackles steal food off our table (actually, we let them take it). We returned to the hotel for 7:00pm, ready for another early night - tomorrow we visit Metropolitan Park as dad didn't get to go on Sunday because of his flight delay.
Mike's Highlights: 2 lifers including Bran-colored Flycatcher and Yellow-billed Cacique; other highlights include Black-striped Sparrow, Boat-billed Heron, Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Common Black-Hawk, Barred Antshrike, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, and Red-capped Manakin.
Dad's Highlights: Blue-crowned Motmot, Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Green Kingfisher, Summer Tanager (male), Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Greater Ani.
Complete story to follow...
Total species seen today = 90
Total lifers seen today = 2
Total cumulative lifers = 22
Total species seen at Old Gamboa Road = 60
Total species for trip = 190