Monday, February 13, 2017

Darién Province, Panama

We went and are now returned.  Departure for me was a sad event.  It was too soon.  I could have stayed longer.  Of all of my international birding trips - I think eight before Darien - this was my favorite.  That's not an easy assessment for me to make because I can't think of one trip that I didn't enjoy.

Above:  Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazona ochrocephala) perched on a billboard light in the hotel parking lot.  I haven't really figured out a strategy for presenting our trip on my blog.  It was so action packed, so full of activity, locations, sights, sounds, birds and more.  I may have to just take it day-by-day and I hope the narrative comes to me.

We saw and heard Keel-billed Toucans (Rampastos sulfuratus) daily, but this distant pair of Yellow-throated Toucans (Ramphastos ambiguus), formerly chestnut-mandibled toucan, very infrequently.

Unidentified orchid

Matt Hysell spotted the bird in this photo for our first big sighting.  Can you find the bird?

The rainforest of Nusagandi - where it did actually rain - quite hard.

After lunch at a nice little roadside restaurant in Torti we walked around the property.  There were good birds here but my best photo is of this [quite large] lizard.  Saw much smaller such lizards in Colombia but can't recall the name now.  I will work on identifying.

Upon arrival at Canopy Camp I saw many new hummingbirds; its only that this photo of the most common Rufous-tailed (Amazilia tzacatl) is my best from our first day.

To my delight, cracker butterflies (Hamadryas februa) were relatively abundant.  Here a gray cracker.

Above:  Thick-billed Euphonia (Euphonia laaniirostris).  Even though we also saw Yellow-crowned (E. luteicapilla) and Fulvous-vented (E. fulvicrissa), I think this is the only euphonia of which I have a photo.

White-headed Wrens (Campylorhynchus albobrunneus - now there's a name) sand bathing.

Not all, but most, of my photos will end up being cropped - sometimes significantly.  I struggled with my Lumix FZ300 for most of the trip. The focusing, lighting and distances were all a challenge for me and this will be evident in my photos.  I did not use the 4K burst option even once - although there were a couple of times when I should have tried. I will try to show only my best photos, but there are a couple of our best days when sharing pixelated photos cannot be avoided.  You'll see.    

The man who made it all happen.  Much more on Domi Alveo as I progress.

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