Sunday, March 13, 2016

Panama trip: personal favorites

Doing what I often do on a Sunday morning, especially in winter - and it is still winter despite the fact that we began daylight savings time today - that is, sitting up in bed, coffee on bedside table and computer in lap.  I delete my email, read the NY Times and, for the past several weeks, have entered Panama blog posts or tweaked the narrative. Sounds nice, doesn't it?  It's raining now so this morning I have even more leisure time.

I did write that I had completed my Panama blog entries but find that I can't quite let it go.  I keep going back to look at my favorite photos, videos and stories just to recall the trip.  This blog entry came to me this morning.  So, here goes.

My best photograph of the trip

Band-winged Dragonlet

I've searched Google images looking at photos of this dragonfly, and there are many good photos, but none a whole lot better.  Second place probably goes to my photo of the golden orb silk weaver spider and same for my Google image search of the golden orb.  Many good photos, but none a whole lot better.  Just saying ... from one who does not take many really good photographic images.

My best bird photo

Gartered Trogon

This was a more difficult selection.  As readers well know, none of my bird photos turn out truly well - but in the end I guess the gartered trogon is it.  Second place would go to one of my white-whiskered puffbird photos.

My favorite video

Hands down - my streak-chested antpitta video - so cute and so memorable; finding a sweet spot under the canopy, sitting on the ground (not being stung by a bullet ant), trying not to move or breathe - just a great memory.  Second place would go to my three-toed sloth with baby video except for my unfortunate narration see what gooda mama's they are.  Believe me, as soon as I can learn how to edit this out, the video will be better for it.

My favorite bird photo

Not particularly good although not a bad photo either but, again, like with the streak-chest antpitta, the cuteness of the bird and the memory of the moment bring it right to the top.  I recall my struggle with even finding the bird in the viewfinder.  When I finally found it, my first attempts were blurred images where a bird would not even be recognized.  Then a couple of blurred, but recognizable images and then this, my very last chance, just before the bird flew.  Second place goes to our white-whiskered puffbird experience and the photo opportunity it gave us.

My most unexpected sighting of the trip

Here repeating the narrative from my Spectacled Owl post.  We did not do one second of owling on this trip.  The only suggestion of seeing an owl was Jose (our guide) muttering something about looking for an owl after we saw the Tody Motmot.  That guy knew how to keep a secret. We arrived at this spot five minutes after the Tody Motmot flew.  In fact, we could still hear the Tody Motmot calling while looking at these birds.  When I saw which owl, and that there were a pair, it took my breath away.  Second place tied:  two-toed sloth crawling along the utility wire in the town of El Valle vs. seeing an anteater on our first day.

Will this finally be my final Panama blog entry?  Probably.  No, truly, it will be.  It's mid-March and birding around here will soon pick up. This spring I plan to get out more - that is, if I can avoid working so much. There will be the days when I can't keep this promise to myself, but it is my number one goal.

The End

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