Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Panama Audubon Photos

Panama Audubon hosts a Christmas pot-luck dinner every December where the upcoming bird counts for the season are described. Cindy and I are in our third year of enjoying the Christmas Bird Counts here in Panama.

We've already completed the Pacific Count which must have been the best ever, at least for us. Our assignment was to walk the Old Gamboa Road to the north, which has been off-limts due to the canal operations. With our authorization letter in my pocket we walked the forested road to more open habitat.

There were a couple of houses and some barking dogs which didn't mind us as we counted birds. There was nothing rare to report, but it was an excellent, mild day (it had rained the entire night before) and we finished with 93 species. Our companions were Alfred Raab from Altos del Maria and Paul Roth (search for his name in this article) from Switzerland. They are both top-notch birders and the four of us made an efficient team. This area of Old Gamboa Road holds a lot of allure for us and we hope to return.

Back at the pot-luck dinner earlier in the week, this year's winners of the annual photo contest were introduced. As you would guess, they are all active birders and talented field photographers. The winners are:
1st Place - Jan Axel found a Cinnamon Woodpecker foraging on a fallen truck and got the image.
2nd Place - Ralph Dessau captured a Scintillant Hummingbird on a nest.
3rd Place - Rafael Luck stopped the wing stretch of a Royal Tern.
Honorable Mention - Celeste Paiva took a short pause with a Volcano Hummingbird.

All are wonderful photos and we want to see more. In fact, I am lobbying for there to be a gallery showing of all the submitted photos for the year. That would make for a fine evening!

The video below gives a "taste" of the dinner and the awards.


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