Thursday, 19 January 2012

Panama bound!

In late November to mid-December of 2006, I had the pleasure of joining Tom Plath and Mike Bentley down in Panama on a birding trip.  We visited some legendary birding spots, such as Pipeline Road, Metropolitan Park, the Ammo Ponds, El Valle de Anton, Cerro Jefe, Finca Hartmann, and Parque Internacional La Amistad.

I had been trying to figure out what to do for a trip this year and my mind soared off as far as Borneo.  I then found out that there won't be the normal lull in the office and heading off for nearly a month would create a bit of a pinch.  I had to downsize the scale of the trip, so I focused on Central America.  I was thinking of going to Costa Rica as I am quite familiar with the country and the infrastructure is very good there.  After watching flights for nearly two weeks, I was getting a little frustrated with a combination of the cost and fluidity of connections.  I randomly decided to check Air Transat for flights and saw Vancouver has direct flights to Panama City.  Intrigued by this notion, I plugged in some dates and found the price was staggeringly low, too!  I rejigged my brain to start thinking about Panama and my 2006 trip came flooding back.

Here is a little sample of a select set of birds I encountered on my last trip:

Great Jacamar: seen along Pipeline Road near Gamboa
White-tailed Nightjar: found on a gravel road through an agricultural area outside David
Southern Lapwings: found near Gamboa
Snowy-bellied Hummingbird: sighted along road up to Cerro Campana

Crested Owls: a walk down a stream along Pipeline Road revealed two of these beauties staring down at me

Mentally replaying the adventure of 2006 has served to ignite my excitement for the next installment of Panama, which is set to take place from late February to mid-March.  That's right - the flights have now been booked and Janean and I are slowly starting to plan our itinerary.  Hard to believe I'll be back in the neotropics that soon!

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