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Bird list from our Port of Call - Colon, Panama. We birded Gatun Locks, Gatun Spillway (Dam) and then the majority of the day in Achiote (San Lorenzo National Forest). eBird took all the entries, except 1 - it did not have the Western Slaty Antshrike in the database
Gonzalo Horna was found via "birding pal" and he was really great!
I'm back to Jamaica in 2 wks and have hired Wendy Lee again to bird Cockpit Country. She tells me there are two of us on the Independence booked with her that day. So, Bruce if you are out there lurking, I'll see you on the 12th.
Birding through the Panama Canal – Azamara Quest, Jan 5-17, 2014. Miami to San Jose, CR
Stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn a couple miles from the airport, and up early for the vultures, kestrel ,starlings, Blue Jay, grackle, Mourning Dv, Ring Billed Gull in the field behind the hotel. Laughing/Ringbill/Herringl gulls off the ship, Royal Tern, Double crested and Neotropic Cormorants both, soaring Black Vultures.
Nothing across the water, until we got about 30 miles offshore from Cartagena, when the Brown and Masked Boobies started riding the air currents around the ship and diving on injured /stunned fish.
Cartagena: hook a ride on one of the shuttles to the visitor center behind the Duty Free at the end of the dock, or walk it – a good quarter mile on the hot concrete. There is a couple of acres of woods behind, a beer stand out front for when you get dehydrated birding, and internet access – 5 bucks for 2 hours. The woods had 3kinds of parrots, grackles, some kind of chicken sized Tinnamou?, brown throated parakeet flock, keel-billed toucans, Macaws, some kind of sparrow sized bird I never got a good look at, a flock of flamingos with a Double Stripe Thickknee hanging around. Last time I had a spotted Woodpecker pair to watch. There’s a cage of off limits birds – this time a Ring necked Pheasant, a few Black bellied Whistling Ducks, more thickknees, and a great orange bird that I forget…. Bring a couple of rolls from breakfast to use for bait – they put out some fruit for the toucans and parrots. Peer under the bushes. Develop a rhythm – go through the woods slowly, have a 2 dollar beer in a shady chair facing your bait, then repeat. A couple of hours of this, and you’ll be good. Down by the water, you’ll generally see mangrove swallows and some swifts.
Panama Canal: both vultures and Frigate Birds, Brown Pelicans, some parakeets, Great tail grackles, half a dozen swallows (Mangrove, Purple Martins, Gray, Rough winged). Snowy Egret, great blue heron, Black crowned night heron, little blue heron, 8 white pelicans soaring over Gatun Lake, some kind of medium hawk hovering, a yellow head Caracara, and a lot of pigeons with not one single dove in there. Saw all of these hanging over the rail (veranda room). In Panama City: another Yell Caracara, social flycatcher, boat bill flycatcher, tropical kingbird, reddish egret, both pelicans, frigates soaring, both vultures, grackles, Laughing Gulls. Had some King Vultures last time….
Golfrito: not bad birding. Up early and got flycatchers and swallows off the balcony, a couple of egrets, one lonely flyby of a big Ringed Kingfisher, and the usual grackles and doves. Walked down to the end of the pier, through the fence, and up the road a hundred yards to a two tracks going to the left down to a creek. The creek had Black Vultures and another Yell Caracara picking up scraps. I scared up a Bare necked Tiger Heron next to the road at a distance of 15 feet, had a variated Seedeater perched on the fence, and was passed several times by Cherie’s Tanagers flying around. Heard several birds in the bushes, but no luck pishing, etc.
Quepos: tour of Manuel Antonio Park with knowledgeable guides. Saw the camo frogs, a hummingbird nest with 2 young, a Buff-Throated Saltator, a Pygmy Kingfisher near the pond, then when we were having a little snack, I looked up and a Hoffman’s Woodpecker landed on a dead palm stump. Not bad…. All the official guides are college grads and pretty good – the official tours will bring a spotting scope.
Gidewey52, you made me pull my diary out for St. John (USVI) - back in 2006, I saw bananaquits, black-necked stilts, white-cheeked pintails, ground doves, brown boobies, frigatebirds, and several Antillean crested and green-throated Carib hummingbirds.
Returned from our RCCL cruise on Enchantment of the Seas. Went to Cococay (RCI's private Island) and to Blue Lagoon Island on our stop at Nassau.
I took a two-hour walk on the Nature Trail. Weather was great - sunny and not too hot. I have pictures of everything except the Bananaquit, Hummingbird and Mockingbird. There were also a couple of other species that flew by and hid in the bushes. Too fast to get an ID.
UNK Hummingbird (flew by me pretty fast)
UNK Mockingbird (heard but couldn't locate in tree)
Blue Lagoon Island
I just wandered around for about an hour. They have a boardwalk that wraps around the lagoon/beach and goes to an un-improved part of the island (woods), but they had it closed off. I spoke with a worker and he said that they closed it off because of possible liability issues. It is a bit remote and they were afraid that someone could get hurt and nobody would know. Oh well. He said that they have counted 13 or 18 (can't remember exactly what he said) species on the island - some woodpeckers, hummingbirds, etc., that would be found in the wooded area that was closed off.
Ruddy Turnstone (all over the place - fun to watch)
Common Ground Dove
Had a good time - the Indian Peafowl, and Ruddy Turnstone are lifers for me.
On to Labadee, Falmouth and Georgetown in October!
Well, I did something I never thought I would do. I joined a 'Carefree Birding cruise' with Ken & Linda on the Equinox last March. James Currie was along with his cameraman Jeff filming episodes for his Nikon Birding Adventures which is on Destination America channel. He also was the Enrichment Speaker. We hit 6 ports and 6 birding sites. It is not your usual birding group. There were 18 of us and we birded: Cartegena on a private ranch, Colon on the old US Fort with Carlos Bethancourt from Canopy Towers, Puerto Limon rural area with local guide; Queen Elizabeth Botanical Park, Grand Cayman; Cozumel; and Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize.
It was a blast and I may do it again someday.
Celebrity Equinox Ultimate Caribbean/birding 2/23/2015;Celebrity Silhouette Rome TA 11/1/2014;Pride of America Hawaii 6/21/2014 Independence of the Seas Caribbean 2/9/2014;Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean 10/26/2013; Allure of the Seas E. Caribbean May 5,2013; Adventure of the Seas Southern Caribbean 4/7/2013;Liberty of the Seas TA 10/27/12; Rhapsody of the Seas Alaska 7/27/12; Mariner of the Seas W.Carib/40th 3/25/2012; Navigator of the Seas E.Carib/ Dia N Dec. 12/10/11; Liberty of the Seas E. Caribbean 3/5/11; Voyager of the Seas TA 11/7/10; Majesty of the Seas Bahamas 9/3/10; Grandeur of the Seas Cozumel 5/27/10 Serenade of the Seas Panama Canal 11/1/09 Majesty of the Seas Bahamas 2/23/09 Splendour of the Seas TA 4/23/07 Grandeur of the Seas W.Caribbean 12/4/04 Grandeur of the Docks MardiGras/Gulf 2/21/04
Seeing the world one cruise at a time!