20 March 2010
Today we were up at 4:50am and on the road by 5:30am heading toward Achiote Road on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal. We arrived at Gatun Locks at 6:30am, thanks in large part to the new two lane highway that has opended since last year. After a short 20 minute wait at Gatun Locks we were soon birding the Caribbean coast. Along Achiote Road we spent most of our time at the two main bridges near the small village of Achiote. At about 10:00am we drove to Pina, an even smaller village on the coast. From there we turned around and went back to Achiote and did another scan around the main bridges for birds.
At about 12:15pm we began travelling toward toward Fort Sherman and Fort San Lorenzo. That meant returning to Gatun Locks and taking another road that paralleled the coast to Fort Sherman, at which point we turned southwest to visit the old ruins of Fort San Lorenzo. We departed Fort San Lorenzo at about 2:00pm and returned to the hotel at 3:30pm. After a quick shower we headed to Albrook Mall in search of gifts and failed miserably; the mall is essentially a conglomeration of box stores that offer nothing remotely local or cultural. We returned to the hotel for dinner and concluded the evening by packing for the long journey home tomorrow. We might spot a few birds on the way to the airport; and I have a few extra hours to waste between dad's flight and mine.
Mike's highlights: Montezuma Oropendola, White-necked Puffbird, Piratic Flycatcher, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Flame-rumped Tanager, Bay Wren, Red-breasted Blackbird.
Dad's highlights: Green Kingfisher, Geoffrey's Tamarin, Red-breasted Blackbird, Montezuma Oropendola, Lineated Woodpecker, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, visit to Fort San Lorenzo, and entry of ship into Gatun Locks at 6:30am that was again seen at Miraflores locks at 3:30pm.
Complete story to follow...
Total species seen today = 65
Total lifers today = 0
Total cumulative lifers for trip = 23
Total species seen at Achiote Road = 49
Total species for trip = 214