Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Sticky in the Pipeline

Tuesday July 31
Breakfast at 6.00, first stop Ammo Dump lakes to try to view the White-throated Crake. Success. It was carefully building a nest, standing deep in a reed clump, pulling the reed fronds into a neat hole. Never wholly visible but good for a crake. Digiscoping practice again.

Michael  (guide) loves using my Powershot, it's a job keeping it to myself. Pam and I had him to ourselves to-day, in the open topped Birdmobile - blown to a mess as we drove along the main road and across the one way bridge before Gamboa.

Gamboa one way wooden bridge across Chagres River. Panama Canal and railway on left.

The Birdmobile parked  at the Ammo Ponds. Saw a 3 metre long Nile Crocodile there to-day.

Signs of storm damage everywhere after yesterday. Wet, muddy red puddles along the 'world famous' Pipeline Road. Why world famous? We'd never heard of it. Probably because it gives access to deepest rainforest ,otherwise inaccessible. To-day, it was very wet too. The pipeline was built by the Americans as an insurance policy in case the canal became unusable for some reason. It was never used. All we saw of it was a rusty metre long length hidden in leaf mould. It's only about 18 inches in diameter. Very good birding though.
The strategy was, walk a mile or two, Michael went back for the vehicle, we drove a mile or two and repeated the pattern. Michael doen't use a recorder, he whistles everything in himself. He's fantastic - especially at Howler Monkey noise. Ron recorded him doing it, wish I had. My baby recorder was another piece of equipment I didn't carry in the cause of lightness in the heat. My waistcoat with its myriad useful pockets was a layer too far, one small shirt pocket had to suffice - Powershot camera and tissues.
We saw some great birds to-day, including new ticks, Grey-headed Kite

Very dark in the forest. Sorry!
Slaty-backed Forest Falcon, Whooping Motmot, Black-breasted and White-collared Puffbird, Brown-capped Tyrannulet and Mangrove Swallow.
A chance to photograph Common Potoo to-day, high on a dead stump, peering down its nose at me.

Pam on the Pipeline Road
The afternoon expedition was to Gamboa Resort Village where we spent an enjoyable couple of hours wandering around seeing some lovely birds, lizards and bugs.
I think I'm going to have to finish this disjointed entry another time. We're both very tired, Pam's already retired to the bedroom - at 8.45 - we're leaving for the Lodge at 10 in the morning and have a roof top date here at 6 a.m. !
Some additional photos.

Gartered Trogon, split from Olivaceous.

Basilisk Lizard in tall grass but with erect crest and back.

Grey-breasted Martins and Bay-headed Tanager

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