Friday, February 5, 2010

Birds We Will Miss

Birds are one of the big reasons we chose to move to the Republic of Panama. We have been ardent and active birders for 23 years. Most of our birding adventures have been in the 58 counties of California, but we have also traveled to Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Nevada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Belize, the Galapagos Islands, Argentina, South Georgia Island, the Falkland Islands, the Antarctic peninsula, New Zealand, the Sub-Antarctic Islands of Australia & New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago specifically to see birds. Our first visit to Panama was in December of 2008. We knew then that the birdlife of Panama could keep us occupied and excited for decades. It is almost like starting our birding lives over again.

Nonetheless, we are going to miss the birds in our Northern California neighborhood. On February 1, 2010, we took a spin around Golden Gate Park in San Francisco with our friend Lisa Hug. Lisa has shared some of her photos with us - below are a few common, familiar birds that we will really miss when we leave California.

All photos © Lisa Hug 2010

The most colorful bird we saw was this Townsend's Warbler - he glowed from within and was a flash of pure brilliance amongst the muted tones of his Bushtit companions.

The only other warbler species we saw were Yellow-rumped Warblers.

In the wintertime here, when there is not much around, the Yellow-rumps keep things lively.

Sparrows are hard to come by in Panama. California is rich with them by comparison. The local winter sparrows include

White-crowned Sparrow,

Golden-crowned Sparrow,

Lincoln's Sparrow,

Song Sparrow and Fox Sparrow. The latter two did not cooperate for the photographer.

Ducks! Panama is really short on ducks. Ridgely lists barely more than a dozen species, including winter visitants. By contrast, one Christmas Day a few years ago in Marin County, California we managed to see about 25 species. Ducks love California in the winter, and who can help but love ducks?

This male Hooded Merganser was in excellent plumage.

Ring-necked Duck - another handsome guy.

We will just have to return to coastal California for a duck hit every so often - ducks will be the bonus when we return to visit our human friends.

All photos © Lisa Hug 2010

1 comment:

  1. Just came across your Blog - fantastic. I too am running a Blog on Panama birds, so thought I would share the link with you:

    I have added a link to your blog on mine.

    Cheers, Mike