The last two days or so of my trip to Panama in March of 2017 have been sitting on my laptop languishing, never processed… perhaps just waiting for the depths of a testy winter to remind me of warmer climes. I can’t think of a better time to revisit the tropics, at least vicariously. And I am looking forward to visiting western Panama next February.
So here are some pictures from the last day at the Canopy Lodge and then from the hotel grounds in Panama City where I had several hours before my flight home. For the most part the tanagers and the Wood Rail above were at the lodge and all the rest of the pictures were my last day in Panama City.
It’s been an exhausting two weeks, but things are getting back to normal, except perhaps for the weather. Getting used to the new car, busy with work and choir rehearsals… thinking a lot about my book but not getting much writing done. Watching the days getting ever-so-slightly longer!
Juvenile European Starling in the Black Mulberry Tree
I went back to the Chicago Portage last Saturday and figured out the three big trees with berries. After seeing the berries in my photos, they looked like mulberries to me. Sure enough, the trees are Black Mulberry, which can get up to 50 feet high, and at the Portage over the long period of time, they look like they have.
My history with mulberries is brief, but years ago one tree made an impression on me. There was a White Mulberry (Chinese) in my yard when I first moved in, and I quickly tired of the Starlings leaving a berry mess all over the place, not to mention the fact that you can never entirely get rid of mulberry trees, so I had the tree removed but I have to remain constantly vigilant, cutting down shoots here and there, if I can’t dig them up. More pictures of a Black Mulberry Tree below.
Maybe it was too early in the day for butterflies as there were absolutely none, but there were dragonflies and damselflies.
Female 12-Spotted Skimmer
possible Female Powdered Dancer
Predictably, many of the birds were juveniles, like the Red-Winged Blackbirds below.
And most of the birds were quite far away. For the record, a Cedar Waxwing and a Northern Flicker.
The Mourning Doves below were at first a bit closer but didn’t wait for my shot (left) and then were cautiously distant (right).
It was nice to see an Osprey fly over, for a change.
And a flying cigar (Chimney Swift).
And quite unexpectedly for both of us, a young buck White-tailed Deer on the trail ahead of me.
Wildflowers still captured my attention.
In particular I was glad to see the Jewelweed (impatiens capensis, Spotted Touch-Me-Not) starting up again. I’ve been seeing a couple hummingbirds at the Portage the last few weeks but not close. There’s always the possibility Jewelweed will attract them when it’s in full bloom.
And sure enough, Burdock and Pokeweed are on the chopping block.
More unfinished Starlings below…
And Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and a Baltimore Oriole.
House Wren and Gray Catbird… Indigo Buntings abound.
Female Indigo Bunting
Juvenile Male Indigo Bunting
American Robin in the Black Muberry
This coming Sunday, my flutist friend Linda and I are playing flute-and-piano music for the service at the Second Unitarian Church in Chicago. Not sure I will be able to venture out again this Saturday morning. I slept in last Sunday…
I got so excited thinking about how much better I was going to see after cataract surgery, I completely forgot to ask about the length of time and inconveniences of recovery. My timing could have been better, perhaps, like after fall migration, not during. As it stands right now, my current prescription does not work with my right eye, so in between trying to figure out which eye to read with, I have been working on eye-hand coordination with my left eye behind the camera lens and my right index finger on the shutter button. I keep imagining headaches but I’m too lazy to indulge.
Beyond inconveniences like staring too long at name-tags trying to read them and place them with faces on Saturday night at my 50th high school reunion (well, if I had cataract surgery, you probably already deduced I’m not a spring chicken), I’m finding at least my distance vision is improved and I think I can still see with binoculars. After a visit to the eye doctor this morning, I go back for another checkup in two weeks and then I think I can get another right lens for my glasses which will fit with my new vision and then I will quit complaining about all this. “All the better to see you with, my dear.”
Donacobius – If you saw my post from the Colombian Andes last year this bird might look familiar.
Luckily these pictures were all taken the last day and a half in the Ecuadoran Amazon when both eyes were working about the same. This completes my recap of the Amazon trip.
On the way to the Wire-Tailed Manakin, accessed by walking a boardwalk trail directly adjacent to our rooms at Sacha Lodge, we stopped by Mariposa Lodge, a butterfly house where butterflies are actually raised and shipped to butterfly enclosures all over the world. Below are a few I was able to photograph.
From the canoe, an Osprey and some Large-Billed Terns.
Also from the canoe, this Hoatzin, looking simply fabulous.
Here are a few pictures from the boat down the Napo River as we were leaving the lodge. I was saddened by the fact that this once pristine wilderness is now, of course, exploited for oil. There aren’t too many places left on earth that have not been touched by drilling or fracking, I’m afraid. I was encouraged to hear the Amazonian Ecuadorans protesting further drilling at Yasuni National Park and I hope they succeed in stopping it. Ecuadorans have also joined the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect the Missouri River. The world is shrinking rapidly and we are all in this mess together.
On our last morning, we saw our last Trogon, the Collared Trogon below on the left, and after trying to find a White-Chinned Jacamar all week we finally did see one, on the right.
Below, an Oriole Blackbird and a Grayish Saltator. And two Blue-Grey Tanagers.
There were two of the Wire-Tailed Manakins, this is likely just another picture of the same one. They weren’t displaying or dancing but they’re still awfully cute.
I think I just found a new profile picture for Facebook.
I’ll be back as soon as I can, in between eye drops.
Springlike weather is still far enough away for me to feel like I can put myself back in Nicaragua with a few more pictures. But it’s getting harder and harder to go backward! One more of these posts and I’m going to have to move on to spring migration.
The bird above and in the pictures below is a Tri-Colored Heron. We took a boat ride around Lake Nicaragua and managed to see some really nice birds. And despite the rocking of the boat I managed to get some pictures.
I feel like this trip cemented the difference between Snowy Egrets (below) and Great Egrets in my brain so I don’t have to think about it anymore.
Below, Southern Lapwings.
We pulled up to an island in the lake that has been devoted to a habitat for monkeys. Below are pictures of one Howler Monkey, a Spider Monkey and a Capuchin Monkey.
Sadly we discovered that people were feeding these monkeys bad things like the lollipop the Spider Monkey on the left below is clutching in his hand. I couldn’t tell exactly what one woman was offering to the Capuchin but it appeared to be something like a potato chip.
Back out on the lake, among perched birds were an Osprey and a Black Vulture.
Below, a Northern Jacana.
We came upon a colony of nesting Montezuma’s Oropendolas. Their nests alone are fascinating.
Below is a Little Blue Heron.
I will be back with one more post from Nicaragua. I hope soon!
This post will feature flying birds as I continue to soar through pictures from the Memorial Day Weekend. It’s been a busy week at work and the only antidote is swimming, which means I have spent less time sitting with the laptop.
On the Chicago Ornithological Society (COS) Kirtland’s Warbler Memorial Day trip, the second day we spent the morning at Tuttle Marsh. Above is a picture of one of the Ospreys that nests there.
Below is a sign describing the wetland restoration project at Tuttle Marsh. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge the view.
I saw my first American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh last year, in the reeds. This year, we had two flying across the marsh. Above is one of them. Not a great shot but the profile is distinctive.
There is a viewing area across from the Osprey nest, where these pictures were taken.
I can’t resist the “Honey, I’m home” sentiment to the last picture above although her reaction indicates that he forgot the milk.
I never tire of seeing Turkey Vultures, even after being in Virtual Vulture Heaven about a month ago in Texas. I promise to get back to those pictures as soon as I am done with these!
I can’t remember if we saw any Green Herons on the ground, but we certainly had them in the air (six!). As I recall (memory being what it is two weeks later), we made some stops along the way to the Marsh and by the time we got there it was perhaps a bit later than we had been last year, mid-morning and a bit quieter. But we got great looks at a Broad-Winged Hawk that flew over. Below are my first-ever photographs of a flying Broad-Winged, which is a less-common buteo to see. I am thrilled to have these pictures to study and imprint on my brain, so I might be able to recognize the next one I see flying by, which will probably not hang around so long.
We went back to Tuttle Marsh in the evening to hear, if not see, the American Bittern. We did hear one call once, but I did not manage to record it. However while we endured swarms of mosquitoes that eventually subsided as the temperatures cooled, I did manage to get a picture of the sunset, and a recording of a very vocal Eastern Whip-Poor-Will.