Saturday, February 7, 2009

What Happens When Two Birders Get Together??

Two see many more species of birds than one! Hence, Carol (my latest guest & from WA) and I have been seeing incredible number of birds and other wildlife. She flew into Panama February 27 and it's been non-stop birding since. We saw a Slaty-tailed Trogon on the Pipeline Road (Panama City famous birding area), my first Panama Anhinga (water turkey) in the mangroves, and a Pearl Kite (the smallest raptor in the Americas and relatively new to Panama) very near my condo. Our first mangrove kayak trip together was a few days ago and Carol went wild looking at birds and animals. After the first bend of the river, all Carol could say was "mammals!" She was ahead of me & saw 4 crab-eating raccoons high in a tree above the water! It only got better. We got deeper into the mangroves and both saw what looked like a seal poking its head up. When the huge head (I'm talking 10" tall with a diameter of 5") dropped back into the water, we both wondered if there was a Loch Ness monster in the Panama mangroves. A few minutes later, a head came out of the water again, this time looking like a large turtle head. He (or she) was definitely curious about us. I finally figured out the species of turtle (surely he wasn't a sea turtle) when I looked on the Internet for snapping turtles. By the way... I took none of these pictures as they were pilfered off the Internet. Upcoming adventures include 3 nights at a rustic cabin on the slope of Volcan Baru and 3 nights at the Pacific Bay Resort (a lone island in the Pacific). More Later...!


Ralph said...

Hi Elaine, Loved the bird photos. In 1992 we went to Costa Rica and bought Skutch's "Birds of Costa Rica"; it was the highlight of our trip. Your blog brought back the memories of hunting for the Quetzal bird in the jungle. Keep up the blog!!!

Susan Lawson said...


I follow your blog and look forward to your new adventures. My husband and I are moving to Volcan in about a month and will be bringing two kayaks with us. I connected with you right away with all your adventures. We have done some great kayaking although not much in the last few years while we've been preparing for moving. We've done lakes, the San Juan river in Utah, the Colorado River out of Moab and the lower Colorado by Lake Havasu City in Arizona. My husband has done some sea kayaking but I wasn't with him on those trips. We'd sure like to meet you when we get settled and have a vehicle. We were just in Panama in January with eight of our friends and went to some of the same places you had been on your trip. We stayed at Hooked on Panama Aqua Adventures which is past Puerto Armuelles on the way to Limones past the oil storage facility. They really have a great facility that was really fun with a group of people. They cooked all our meals and they were great. The guys went out fishing and my husband got a 350 lb. 7-8' Blue Marlin that he caught and released. The other four guys caught Dorado, Red Snapper and some other long skinny fish. From there we went to Volcan, where our new house is, and stayed three nights. We went whitewater rafting with Boquete Outdoor Adventures. That was a blast. We also went to Boquete and did the zip lining. Then it was off to Bocas and we stayed on Shepherd Island at the Starfish Reef Resort. We tried some snorkeling there. When we returned to Panama City some of our friends went off to San Blas. They said the snorkeling was great there and there weren't the noseeums that we had in Bocas.

We met and got to know a great birder in Panama City. His name is Jacobo and he took us out to the Discovery Center off Pipeline Road. He is a real professional and showed us birds we would have never seen on our own. If you're interested I can get you his number. He does visit Chiriqui and takes people on birding tours. He has called in 17 quetzales in one day.

I look forward to meeting you some day.

Susan Lawson