Saturday, August 28, 2010

The 100th Blog

Welcome to the 100th blog! I've just spent the last 4 days in total bird-bliss... 3 days with 11 other Boquete Birders exploring the wilds of Santa Fe National Park and Las Macanas Refuge, and today on a lovely mangrove system near the town of Santo Tomas. I've been looking for the access point to this particular mangrove system for the past year. Jim (with the fishing pole) stumbled upon the "dock" and boat owner (Oscar pictured with Jim) quite by accident when he was wondering back roads near Alanje. One picture shows the ocean breakers from the mangrove system. The surfing is suppose to be pretty good here. Another picture shows a large male howler monkey, his harem hidden in the leaves.
While hiking the jungle in Santa Fe National Park, we didn't find the elusive Bare-necked Umbrellabird, but we were most definitely in his territory. I'm glad I didn't crash into any large Golden Orb Spiders.... or their webs. The night before our hike (as we socialized in our $8/per person hotel), our guide (his hand in a picture holding a glass-winged butterfly) showed slides on his computer of a Jaguar Study currently underway in the park. Several cameras mounded in strategic locations flash/take a picture when an animal trips the camera. Besides pictures of many beautiful jaguars, there were pictures of margay, ocelot, cougar, jaguarundi, Baird's tapirs, paca, agouti, nine-banded armadillo, anteaters, river otter, and raccoons. Even though they had pictures as evidence, none of the guides/scientists have ever seen any of the cats that use the park.
In Las Macanas Refuge, we saw at least 15 Snail Kites. Ridgely's 1989 Birds of Panama book states that the Snail Kite is "Apparently rare, uncertain and perhaps erratic". One can only wonder if the Snail Kites have always been here (undiscovered until recently) or did someone introduce some snails (from a French restaurant) to the area? We also witnessed a Savanna Hawk capture a mouse and swallow it in under 30 seconds. The view from the observation tower was enchanting as I watched one of my favorite birds, the anhinga.
Long Live Panama Wildlife!!

1 comment:

TJ said...

Just blogwalking and looking for some nice photos. Cool blog indeed. Are they such great beautiful postcards of Panama?
TJ (Malaysia)