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Posts Tagged ‘White-necked Jacobin’

Sunday morning, April 23, was one of the luckiest of the trip.  We started right outside Canopy Tower on Semaphore Hill Road.  Our guide, Domi, soon heard a bird on everyone’s target list – a Pheasant Cuckoo.  They are very secretive birds and difficult to find when they are not calling.  But, the bird was off the road and back in the forest.  Domi and the two other birders scrambled up the hill on the side of the road and through the thick vegetation to find the bird.  Diane and I hesitated.  I didn’t know if I could make it up the hill without help and certainly they were just going to push the bird deeper into the forest anyway.  Well, they came back smiling and excited; they had had wonderful looks at the bird.  And, then, instead of saying we made a bad choice, too bad, they all encouraged Diane and me to go see the bird.  So, Domi helped us up the little hill and we scrambled into the jungle.  Amazingly, the cuckoo was in the same place the others had seen it.  There are no words to describe how thrilled I was to see this bird and to even get a photo.

Pheasant Cuckoo

Pheasant Cuckoo

The day continued to be charmed.  That afternoon we had great looks at another skulky bird, a gorgeous Rosy Thrush-Tanager.  Domi led us off the trail and under the tree where the bird was perched.  We saw little pieces of the bird as we moved one way and then another to peer through thick branches.  I must have taken 200 photos and luckily the one below shows most of the beautiful bird.

Rosy Thrush-Tanager

Rosy Thrush-Tanager

There were seven of us that afternoon, but the larger group didn’t stop this beautiful Golden-collared Manakin from sitting in the open for over five minutes right in front of us, unusually bold behavior for this species.  While we got incredible close looks at the manakin, we were not privileged to see a courtship display, one of the most amazing sights in the avian world.  This very interesting article from Audubon, Do a Little Dance, Make a Little Love: Golden-collared Manakins Get Their Groove On to Woo the Ladies includes a short video of the courtship display.  The picky females judge the performances of the males and mate with the one that they perceive to be the most attractive and the best dancer.

A Golden-collared Manakin looks at us with more curiosity than fear

A Golden-collared Manakin looks at us with more curiosity than fear

Another fun experience that afternoon was watching a pair of Yellow-throated Toucans right above our heads.  That’s a tree frog that it is chowing down for lunch – yum!

Yellow-throated Toucan

Yellow-throated Toucan

April 24 was our last full day at Canopy Tower.  Our group had missed White-throated Crake on our first trip to the Ammo Dump Ponds, so Domi took us there again early in the morning before we went to Pipeline Road.  Crakes are in the rail family and most are very shy birds.  But, this time we were successful and got good looks at several birds.

White-throated Crake

White-throated Crake

A potoo was the highlight of Pipeline Road again, but on this section of the road it was a Common Potoo.  An adult potoo with a baby had been reported at this location for several days, but we were the first to see the baby without one of its parents.  This young one will still be fed by mom or dad for a while longer, though.  The bright pink gape (inside of the mouth) functions as a highly visible guide to show the parents where to deposit food.

A Common Potoo on its first day without a parent.

A Common Potoo on its first day without a parent.

We also saw this beautiful snake, a South American Forest Racer.  It moved fast, so I was happy to get any photo at all.

South American Forest Racer on Pipeline Road

South American Forest Racer on Pipeline Road

Panama has fabulous butterflies, but I didn’t have enough time and attention to focus on both butterflies and birds in the same trip as much as I would have liked.  I tried to sneak in a photo of a butterfly when I could, though.  I especially liked this Many-banded Daggerwing that we found on Pipeline Road.

Many-banded Daggerwing

Many-banded Daggerwing

That afternoon, it was back to Gamboa, where one of my favorites was this Gray-headed Tanager.  This photo is unique as it’s the first time that I ever used my camera before my binoculars.  I usually look first and then shoot.  But, I was trying to photograph something else when I heard “Gray-headed Tanager” behind me, so I just turned around with my camera still poised and clicked.  I was lucky; although he was close, he did not stay long and I would have missed the photo if I had indulged in a binocular look first.

Gray-headed Tanager

Gray-headed Tanager

We were soon back at the Tower, happy with all of the wonderful birds we had seen in the last five days, but also sad that our birding trips there were done.  We had a little time on our own before our departure the next morning.  Sometimes I used my free time to check out the moths that had come in to the lights the night before.  Here is just one of the beauties I saw there, tentatively identified as Synchlora gerularia.

Moth at Canopy Tower tentatively identified as Synchlora gerularia.

Moth at Canopy Tower tentatively identified as Synchlora gerularia.

In between birding trips, I also tried to get photos of the several species of hummingbirds that can be seen at the Tower.  White-necked Jacobins were common; here is a female below.

Female White-necked Jacobin

Female White-necked Jacobin

Blue-chested Hummingbirds were also plentiful at Canopy Tower.

Blue-chested Hummingbird

Blue-chested Hummingbird

And, then, all too quickly as usual, it was time to spend one more morning on the observation deck and say goodbye to Canopy Tower.  But, our Panama adventure was only half over.  We were going to Canopy Lodge next.

Diane and me in front of Canopy Tower

Diane and me in front of Canopy Tower

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I really liked Sachatamia Lodge, but I think that dinner the second night made me sick. They tried to accommodate my request for low-carb meals by serving me asparagus in a rich cream sauce instead of the spaghetti main course. I had diarrhea that night which forced me to stay at the lodge the next morning while the others went to see the Long-wattled Umbrellabird.

Sachatamia Lodge

The bird feeding area at Sachatamia Lodge. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

I had tea and crackers, got some extra sleep, and spent a couple of hours alone at the feeders. I loved the luxury of indulging in long lingering looks at the gorgeous tanagers. I also saw a just-fledged Buff-throated Saltator right in front of the entrance to the lodge.

Buff-throated Saltator

Buff-throated Saltator fledgling

Buff-throated Saltator and

Buff-throated Saltator and Blue-gray Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager

Golden Tanager

Golden Tanager

Dusky Bush-Tanager

Dusky Bush-Tanager

Strong-billed Woodcreeper

Strong-billed Woodcreeper

The rest of the group returned for lunch and Jeannie took this photo of the view from the lodge.

View from Sachatamia Lodge

The view from Sachatamia Lodge

Jeannie got photos of Golden-naped Tanagers and hummingbirds, too.

Golden-naped Tanagers

Golden-naped Tanagers. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

Violet-tailed Sylph (female)

Violet-tailed Sylph (female). Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

Booted Racket-tail

Booted Racket-tail. My favorite hummer of the trip! Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

White-necked Jacobin

White-necked Jacobin. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

That afternoon we headed to San Jorge de Tandayapa Lodge where we spent the night after birding the area.

Birding in the Tandayapa Valley

Birding in the Tandayapa Valley. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

Dinner at San Jorge de Tandayapa Lodge

Dinner at San Jorge de Tandayapa Lodge. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

Day five brought more wonderful birds in the Tandayapa upper valley, including this Powerful Woodpecker and the hummingbirds below.

Powerful Woodpecker

Powerful Woodpecker. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

Collared Inca

Collared Inca. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

Gorgeted Sunangel

Gorgeted Sunangel. Photo by Jeannie Mitchell.

We did not see many butterflies during any part of the trip, but there were a few like this beauty.

Butterfly

Photo by Jeannie Mitchell

IMG_7125

Photo by Jeannie Mitchell

IMG_7126

Photo by Jeannie Mitchell

The drive back to Quito for the night was quite interesting. While searching for a Giant Hummingbird, we met these two girls in a small village. The oldest girl appeared to offer us (or just show?) a bird nest with an egg in it. Ted, fluent in Spanish, taught Jeannie how to say “no más nidos” (no more nests) which she sweetly said to the girls. Jeannie then gave them a small toy that she had just bought and the girls appeared to put the nest back where they found it.

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