Monday, 30 July 2012

Semaphore Hill and Ammo Dump

Sunday July 29
A late breakfast to-day after two 5.00 a.m. ones !! Lie-in until 6.30. We spent the morning 3 hours walking down the steep, moss -slippery, 2K track from the Tower to the road. After overnight rain, everywhere was dripping. We saw some good birds but, typical of forest birding, not often and not in any number.

It's steeper than it looks here.......
I'm so behind with writing this Blog that I'm having trouble remembering the day and what we did, let alone the birds. I need to consult my day list... I see that we added Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Checker-throated Wren, both Chestnut-backed and Spotted Antbirds, Olivaceous Flatbill, White-breasted Woodwren, Buff-breasted Wren, Grey-headed Tanager and Brown-hooded Parrot to the trip list. Fancy that ! Both Red-and Blue-crowned Manakins were disappointingly drab.

In the afternoon we drove to the Ammo Dump Ponds and its environs in the Shrike-vireo Birdmobile.

 It was - and still is - a real Ammo storage facility the other side of Gamboa, across a very rustic looking bridge across the river. the railway line running alongside between us and the canal.

 It was a very dull, murky afternoon

Another view

A short walk towards the forbidden entry, gated dump, birding as we went. A Yellow-tailed Oriole was a new trip bird, digiscoped a t least 200 metres away. Alexis' small Leica scope is good.

Returning towards the vehicle, a movement in the grassy verge became the normally shy and elusive Grey-necked Wood Rail, making the most of an ant swarm. It was very briefly joined by its mate and, briefer still, two chicks.

Amazing shots with my small point and shoot.
I really wanted to see a White-throated Crake found beside the small lake, it called well but remained hidden. A Rufescent Tiger-heron showed neck only, wading in the tall vegetation.

We saw several Flycatchers, including Rusty-margined, Panamanian, Fork-tailed, Lesser and Greater Kiskadees, Social and Streaked. The diminutive Common Tody-flycatcher which I saw in the lakeside bushes was a trip tick.

A Ruddy-breasted Seedeater female swayed atop tall railside reeds.
It started to rain so Pam and I turned down the open air option and hoicked ourselves into the truck for the short trip back for supper. It poured down all evening.
We spent their last evening here with Ron and Kate, laughing mostly, both very good company. They go on to the Lodge to-morrow, David went yesterday. We shall join them on Wednesday.

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