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  1. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Sadly its going to be awhile before I can confirm anything, as I need to get a better sense of my financials first. Worst case scenario, if I still want a tropical getaway I can always hit up El Valle for a full week.
  2. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    I had been thinking about Tropical Birding's Andes Introtour actually.
  3. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Yeah...rewatching the feeder and writing up the report has made me crunch some numbers on the possibility of Ecuador next summer...
  4. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Final Thoughts! Obviously I had a blast on this trip and left pretty satisfied. While the time of year made it humid and not pleasant at times, and the rain dampened (pun!) some activities, I still think summer is a good option for those who teach (like me) or who have more limited budgets...
  5. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    6/2/21 Today would be my last morning at the Tower, before transferring to my hotel in Panama City. Not my last morning birding in Panama, but my last at the Tower. Fidelino had originally wanted to go out to hit up some more spots, but I told him I really was more interested in observing birds...
  6. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Hi Peregrine, Sapayoa is damn near impossible to get in either the Canal Zone or up near El Valle (The go to Panama location for this species if Burbayer). It's technically on the list but I think only a few records, and none recently. Wren-Thrush is only found in the western highlands, which I...
  7. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    6/1/21 So at this point in the trip, my energy levels were definitely taking a bit of a hit. Lack of sleep (I never sleep super well outside my own bed), constant activity in hot and humid environments, and diminishing numbers of new birds were all taking a bit of a toll. So I slept in a bit...
  8. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    5/31/21 IIRC, this would be the last morning with Jorge, and the goal today was to do the further reaches of Pipeline road, past the wooden bridge. First, we started the morning on the Tower. Slower than prior days, and I think the bird of most significant note was better views of Mistletoe...
  9. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    The afternoon would be somewhat slower, with the eventual plan to revisit Summit Ponds, this time walking further down Old Gamboa road to visit a reliable roost for Spectacled Owl. Before that, we visited a place not currently listed on the current itinerary of places they take folks, a section...
  10. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    5/30/21 Today would be another day, heading out of the Tower around 6:00 am. Today I would be spending the entire day with Jorge, which I was more than happy to do. The major goal this morning was to bird around the Rainforest Discovery Center. This private preserve is located in the pipeline...
  11. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    In the afternoon I would be with Jorge, and the destination today would (eventually) be Summit Ponds. Unfortunately, once again rain delayed us from heading out there, as the rain seemed to be centered on that location. However, taking advantage of some intel, we drove over to the entrance of...
  12. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Another day, another morning at Fidelino. Like I did the first day, this morning started on top of the tower. We saw a good variety of species, many the same as the day before, including another female Blue Cotinga and Green Shrike-Vireo. New however for the trip were Brown-capped Tyrannulet and...
  13. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Yep, I had them I think practically daily after my first encounter, and found them to be quite common in the Canal Zone, and sometimes seen away from ants. Antwise, the real prizes here are Occelated Antbird and Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo Andy, have you been to Panama? If not I strongly...
  14. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    I think the Tower folks often know of a roost for this species, although its not as reliable as Mottled or Spectacled Owl. However the downside of the slow number of tourists is that the guides really don't have the leads they normally would on owl roosts
  15. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Noon saw the advent of more rain, which meant another hour delay in when we would go on our afternoon trip. I did spend some time around the tower and at the base, where the hummingbird feeders were located at. Spending some time here allowed me to see Long-billed and Stripe-throated Hermits, as...
  16. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    5/28/21 Today was an early morning start, as the plan was to hit Pipeline road early. This area basically has 3 sort of major birding areas that the guides will focus on during different trips: the drivable first part up to the bridge, the less drivable part past the bridge, and then the...
  17. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    While my first trip wasn't too productive, later trip were, so I can agree it's a good spot. Wouldn't surprise me if Canopy Family wasn't helping out in some manner. They seem to be actively doing a lot of maintainence on trails for property they don't own (Summit Ponds, Pipeline, etc).
  18. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Interesting. Seems like it should do well, but I suppose we should be fortunate they didn't just try to make it private homes. At least the pandemic seems to have kept the garbage down?
  19. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    As mentioned in my last post, It had already started raining before the morning trip had even completed. This would not be a good omen for today, and sure enough, rain became and issue off and on in the afternoon. This would be my first afternoon with Fidelino, and I would be lying to say if the...
  20. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    5/27/21 First morning at the tower saw me up top sometime before 5, soon to be joined by Jorge, my guide for the morning. It was still pretty dark out which made visibility a bit more limited. Activity was a bit slow to warm up, but once it did, it was almost a nonstop parade of new birds. In...
  21. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    I arrive at the Canopy Tower sometime around lunch hour. The canopy tower is an old US radar station converted to a ecolodge. The height of the lodge and its location on a hill means that one can get a good view of the canopy from the top. Located in the middle of Soberania National Park, the...
  22. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    For check in luggage, you are not allowed to bring aerosol cans aboard a flight. I think its fine if you check luggage? I hate checking luggage because I am always worried something will get misplaced. It's not a rule specifically from Panama, just while flying to Panama.
  23. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    Nope...the entomologist at campus said it was too small for a bullet ant. That was my first thought, but between my colleague and another birder who remarked that my arm would not even be usable afterward, I think it was just a nasty ant. really bad bee sting level of pain, not "I've been shot"...
  24. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    5/26/21 Last morning at the lodge! Since the lodge transfer wouldn't occur until 10:30 ish, breakfast was pushed to 8, allowing a little more time to sleep in and bird the early morning hours. And by sleep in I probably slept like...and extra half hour. Oh well...sleeping in other places has...
  25. Mysticete

    Panamania! May 23-June 3 2021: My first visit to the Neotropics

    The afternoon would see both of the other guests join me again, this time hitting an area called Mozas, which seems to be a new site as it's not mentioned on the Canopy Lodge website. This is largely private property, but contains dryer forest habitat, and so is home to a different set of birds...
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