Unbelievable! 75 bird species in 6.5 hours. That’s what our little birding party of 3 saw today with Mario Greco (left), ace bird guide. He’s been doing this for 19 years and still gets a kick out of every bird he sees. We stopped at 6 or 7 places on our way to Gamboa Rainforest. This one, a deserted and overgrown parking lot, was probably the richest birding spot of the entire day.
Most of the birds were so far away, we needed binocs and spotting scope to see them, like this pair of bat falcons. Here’s what I saw through the 250 mm telephoto (colorful male on right, larger female top left):
Here’s what the handsome male really looks like (from Wikipedia photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_Falcon)
In the Gamboa Rainforest preserve we stumbled on a feeding frenzy where antbirds were devouring a column of army ants marching along the litter right next to the road. The birds were so intent on capturing ants that they ignored me trying to photograph them and I got quite close.
This is a gray headed tanger (aptly named in this case).
This is the Bicolored Antbird. The black (out of focus) blogs on the tan leaf on the extreme left of the photo are the army ants.
And the last find of the day was this Antshrike, sitting calmly in a tree right above our heads as we walked back to the van.
There was more wildlife than just birds, of course. We saw this guy on the railing of a hotel along side the road.
And there was the usual assortment of agouti, howler monkey, tamarins, and turtles. Panama, what a place! This is my kind of vacation.
FYI for those thinking about retirement homes in sunnier climes, you can buy a really, really nice 3 bdrm 2bath house, with a swimming pool and all the amenities for $200-300 K.