Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween !

Also, on our drive to Portobelo for lunch we saw one witch at the restaurant.  And no, she wasn't the waitress!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How It Was Done

The crew is gone now. I sort of miss them - but it is nice to have the place all to ourselves again, and the birds seem quite excited to be rid of the many disturbances that prevented them from chowing down at the feeders all day long. We are enjoying our new terrace even more than we could have imagined. For the past week, we have been putting things back in place, getting everything set up just as we want it, planting some trees and greenery in the formerly devastated areas of the yard, building a trail, and moving some feeders around. Next month we'll share video of the finished scene. Meanwhile, here is some footage that Marco shot while the crew was pouring the rails on the balusters.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rufous Motmot Trains Cindy

A Rufous Motmot frequents the yard and comes quite close where Cindy has been able to throw pieces of banana as a treat. The bird sits quietly, keeps an eye out, and pounces when a morsel is offered. Usually only one bite is sufficient. Cindy is learning fast.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Magnolia Warbler

On the 2nd of October 2010 we saw this little beauty in the U.S.A. during a visit to Bodega Bay, California. It was so cooperative while the camera was rolling, we decided it deserved its own post.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pectoral Sandpipers

During fall migration, Panama is treated to thousands, or more probably millions, of birds traveling on the way to their winter habitats. One of the best represented groups of travelers is shorebirds.

A local construction site for a residential/golf course development contains a couple of depressions holding shallow water. Which looks like perfect mudflat and there can be flocks of birds proving it. Cindy and I have stopped by a few times and seen individuals of different herons and sandpipers. The video shows a good sampling of those we've seen including two confiding Pectoral Sandpipers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hungry Sloth

The day before we left Panama for a visit with friends in California, our Cerro Azul friends Bill and Claudia stopped by the casita to wish us safe and happy travels. As we stood on the terrace chatting, Claudia casually said, "You have a sloth." Sure enough - a Three-toed Sloth was in the Higueron tree not more than 10 feet from the terrace, hungrily munching on the fresh, new leaves. Marco's video shows what a cute and cuddly animal this is (if you don't mind the algae growing on and the bugs in its fur.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sit Sightings

On Sunday, October 10, 2010, we participated for our first time in The Big Sit.

It turned out to be a pretty good day to stay home and watch the activity in the yard. We had a strong start (Canada Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler!), slowed during the morning, and languished throughout the afternoon. Although it could hardly be considered bad, the weather was not cooperative for high bird activity. It started with rain, continued with overcast, clouds, fog, and a few more rain showers through the day. We did have occasional patches of blue sky and several periods consisting of a few minutes of sun.

But we had a good time - this is the first full day we have ever stayed home and done nothing but keep an eye on the wildlife activity in the yard. So many chores and projects beckon during the usual day at the casita.

Marco shot video to document some of our sightings:

In order:

Crimson-backed Tanager
Baltimore Oriole (we had seven of them with us all day)
Palm Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Thick-billed Euphonia
Cocoa Woodcreeper
Clay-colored Thrush
Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Rufous Motmot
Hepatic Tanager (it's Psycho Daddy!)
Summer Tanager
White-tipped Dove
Blue-chested Hummingbird
Tennessee Warbler
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Lineated Woodpecker (notice how he has to continuously renew his grip on the slick Cecropia trunk)
White-necked Jacobin