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BATV Darien episodes

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Old Sunday 8th March 2015, 14:59   #1
gdhunter
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BATV Darien episodes

James Currie's "Birding Adventures" television series (currently airing in the U.S. on Discovery America) may have just offered its best episode yet, the first of two documenting a stay at Canopy Camp in the Darien. Some superb HD videography of (among other things) nest-level Harpies (almost certainly the product of a drone-mounted camera). A few of my friends consider the presentation style employed by Currie a bit over the top, but I've rarely viewed an episode that is without redeeming value. According to the episode guide the next episode covers army ant swarms.

Gary H
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Old Wednesday 11th March 2015, 20:43   #2
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I hope James got a break from the $477 per night they charge for the high season birding tour at Camp Darien! Then again, being James Currie, he probably didn't need any discount...

Steve
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Old Wednesday 11th March 2015, 22:23   #3
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I hope James got a break from the $477 per night they charge for the high season birding tour at Camp Darien! Then again, being James Currie, he probably didn't need any discount
Steve: I hadn't inquired about rates yet & am now much less likely to do so. But I did enjoy the episode and look forward to the next, and am more likely to explore other options for affordable lodging that might get me within reach of a destination that shares attributes of Central America and South America. If James motivates others to do the same, then he's done some good not just for Canopy Camp but for locals. Let's hope so, anyway.

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Old Thursday 12th March 2015, 18:14   #4
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There should be alternatives, but probably nothing that would be cheap. If you want to go to Darien and also experience the higher elevation areas, it does take on some elements of "expedition" as far as I know.

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Old Thursday 12th March 2015, 19:37   #5
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A total of ten days onto Cerro Pirre from Yaviza with a (for me too slim) chance of the high elevation tanager and treerunner (the best altitude is just too far to manage logistically) should cost about $1250 per person for a group of four when organised by Isaac Pizarro. This includes porters, the disturbingly expensive taxi (from Panama City) & boat transport! You should take all your food from Panama City though (eight days of rice, lentils, onions, canned meat, instant noodles; your first and last day give a chance of visiting a restaurant, but the local food is not terrific either). Recommended if you like a bit of suffering!
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Old Thursday 12th March 2015, 22:49   #6
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Paying for suffering is nothing I haven't done before. Just ask my dentist!

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Old Saturday 23rd May 2015, 16:37   #7
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Me, and a group of friends, all birding guides from Costa Rica just came form a trip to Pirre ridge at Darien NP, we used Isaac Pizarro as our guide (and seems he is "the guide" for this). and can say it has been the best birding experience of our life. Many elements made this trip unforgettable, not only the quality of birds but also the sacrifice, the tremendous hike to get there, the limited sources of food (as suggested above plenty of rice, pasta, lentils and more lentils) the feeling to be in such a remote area with nothing but your friends is explainable, when you get to Pirre ridge, you'll forget about your job, your possessions, your debts, only few things matters there: the ones you love, who you are and the birds of course!

The 7 us must had spent about $800-$900 per person and covered bus from San Jose CR to Panama city (yes we enjoy that pain of siting on a bus that long), private van from Panama city to Yaviza and back, permits, park fees, hotels in Yaviza and EL real, Isaac services, the porters, fees to enter the properties when the harpy and crested eagles were nestling (harpy was $140 for the group, crested was $100, smaller eagles was less money haha ),piragua rides, food, etc.

So, in resume, visiting the Pirre ridge at Darien National park via El Real is not for the faint of heart, the hike from Pirre 1 to Rancho frio was easy, from Rancho frio to rancho plástico was harder/longer, but the one from Plastico to Pirre ridge is another 5 cents, parts you hike, others you crawl

Currently working on the trip report on my blog manuelantoniobiridng.wordpress.com


Johan

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Old Saturday 23rd May 2015, 19:54   #8
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Looking forward to the trip report, Johan. How many days did you spend in the Darien?

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Old Thursday 28th May 2015, 02:05   #9
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we were in Pa a total of 9 days, we were at Darien 7 days total. Currently working on the trip report on my blog manuelantoniobirding.wordpress.com but I hope to also write one here in BF eventually
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Old Saturday 30th May 2015, 21:29   #10
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Got through Part One, Johan. Looks good. Do I see one female member in that group?

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Old Monday 1st June 2015, 11:51   #11
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Got through Part One, Johan. Looks good. Do I see one female member in that group?

Steve
After finishing your blog posts on visiting the Darien, I see that your wife joined you for the trip. She must be a special person to put up with a bunch of smelly males!
The trip report was very informative. The Harpy Eagle picture was impressive; the individual feathers are huge. I especially liked the pictures of the trails, the group of birders and camps. Any more you could publish would be appreciated as I would love to repeat your trip someday. It will have to be soon though. My knees are getting old and the hike up to Pirre ridge sounds especially tough!

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Old Wednesday 3rd June 2015, 01:56   #12
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After finishing your blog posts on visiting the Darien, I see that your wife joined you for the trip. She must be a special person to put up with a bunch of smelly males!
The trip report was very informative. The Harpy Eagle picture was impressive; the individual feathers are huge. I especially liked the pictures of the trails, the group of birders and camps. Any more you could publish would be appreciated as I would love to repeat your trip someday. It will have to be soon though. My knees are getting old and the hike up to Pirre ridge sounds especially tough!

Steve
Thank you Steve! Yes, I will continue working on it, I plan to post at the end all handy info needed, contacts, aprox money spent and other details I know will help birders repeat our journey.
My wife is a brave birder, she never gave up and got to admit she cheered me up to continue on, still remember her saying "common! we must get that wing-banded antbird!" The group is really nice, we all know each other for years and had birded a lot here in CR, she is part of our "gang"
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Old Wednesday 3rd June 2015, 21:44   #13
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Yes, in the end, a birder is a birder, si? One of the gang.
I'm looking forward to the contact information. This kind of trip requires a good deal of planning.

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