Saturday, 28 July 2012

Boy, Was it Hot

Thursday July 26

Our day started awaiting dawn on the top deck of Canopy Tower - 6 a.m.
Keel-billed Toucans greeted the light but we were too late for the Bat Falcon perched on top of a nearby tree. David from Yorkshire has wonderful photos and a video of it. He carries a giant lens and several cameras with him everywhere.

We set off at 7.30 with guide Alexis, David and a lovely American couple, Ron and Kate, from Oregon. They've already been here a few days. We all got on famously.
Metropolitan Park  was the first stop, a flurry of birds greeted us on the first flat, not so heavily wooded section. The track then climbed...and climbed...through dense forest. We saw some good birds but they were few and far between. This, added to extreme heat and humidity on our first day made it rather uncomfortable. But.. we coped. Pam and I stopped before the summit ,the others added nothing to the list for their efforts. They all said that it was all really rough and much more difficult than their first couple of expeditions. Good company made it bearable. Alex is a good guide and very knowledgeable.
The best bird for me was a Great Potoo, sitting quietly in the shade, as they do, and a juvenile Short-tailed Hawk. The latter was well hidden high in the trees, Alexis is a marvel with his scope.

Juvenile Short-tailed Hawk
Back to the Tower for pizza and salad lunch, then Summit Ponds and Old Gamboa Road. Still very hot and humid and now overcast. Michael, a newer guide, joined us for the afternoon session.

Kingfishers at the ponds, viewed from the bridge and digiscoped through Alex' Leica scope.

About a kilometre later, the object of the walk. A superb Spectacled Owl perched in the shade behind a palm.

 Digiscoped again.
On the way home, an apparently oblivious Nine-banded Armadillo snuffled and busily dug its way, along the road verge - it tried the tarmac but gave up.

We got back to the Tower tired but happy.

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