Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blue Crowned Motmot - Panama 2008

Blue Crowned Motmot, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

My brother Tim and I saw many Motmots thanks to his exceptional eyes. The most numerous species we saw in the Canal region of Panama was clearly the Blue Crowned Motmot. We were able to get pretty close on many occasions and I was able to snap this nice shot which shows the crown quite nicely. Here is a nice video of the Blue Crowned Motmot.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Unidentified Panama Bird - 2008

Unidentified Panama, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

We can't quite figure out what bird this is. It was seen in the canal area of Panama in January. Can you help us? I have posted on a few forums but no answers yet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Song Wren - Panama 2008

Song Wren, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

I have been away at my cottage in Northern Ontario the last few days and didn't have access to a computer so I missed my blogging.

I am now back so I thought I would share this picture of the Song Wren from Pipeline road. He popped his head up and once the photograph was taken he was gone. The picture should really be cropped however I really like the natural framing of the shot so ended up leaving it like this.

I remember this moment as if I was still there - the joys of photography.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Slaty Antshrike - Panama 2008

Slaty Antshrike, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

Yet another catch for us on the Pipeline Road. This guy was gone as soon as I took the picture. Quick pose and whew - I am outta here. Here is a video of another Slaty Antshrike on Pipeline Road.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Turkey Vulture - Panama 2008

Turkey Vulture, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

Although not your typical bird to highlight in a photography blog or a Panama birding trip - I do have to say this is a favorite photograph of mine. It was at the end of a long day of birding and the late afternoon light was just perfect as was the branches of this tree. Normally we all see the Turkey Vultures soaring in the sky but rarely do we see them sitting on a branch in perfect light!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Red Lored Parrot - Panama 2008

Red Lored Parrot, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

First morning of our trip we come running (as fast as 2 old guys can) out of our villa and headed to the resort grounds to start our birding. We were pretty excited. Lots of birds everywhere, however we were very disorganized. I was looking in one direction telling Tim to look at this bird and he was doing the same looking at other birds. It took us a good 30 minutes to get our system working. During that time of chaos I was able to get this decent shot of the Red Lored Parrot. I really love morning light!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dot Winged Antwren - Panama 2008

Dot Winged Antwren, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

Yet another catch from Pipeline Rd. We saw many of them. By the time the week was up this poor guy wasn't getting any of our attention. Now these guys really split up the chores equally between male and female birds. This includes all the activities around raising its chicks. Here is the song of the Dot Winged Antwren.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thick Billed Euphonia - Panama 2008

Thick Billed Euphonia, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

We wanted to spend a morning at the Summit Ponds, a local birding spot in the Canal region of Panama. I had the GPS location as I picked it up from Google Maps before I left. We took a taxi but quickly realized that the driver didn't know English and we didn't know Spanish. We managed to get fairly close to the Ponds when we finally gave up and walked the last mile using the GPS. The GPS came in so handy for all of our birding in Panama. I would never go birding again without it. It was also a great help in deciding when to head back to meet our ride. It would inform us to speed up or slow down as we heading back to our start point(and awaiting Taxi) from a long day of hiking.

We caught this shot of the Thick Billed Euphonia just after getting to the Summit Ponds. Lots of canopy birds there too however we didn't have our scope with us that morning so missed many of them.

Here is a wonderful video of the Thick Billed Euphonia shot at the Canopy Lodge - a few miles from the Summit Ponds.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Collared Aracari - Panama 2008

Collared Aracari, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

While staying at our resort we saw numerous Collared Aracari. They can be confused with one of the larger Toucans at first but they are much smaller and indeed are a type of Toucan. Seeing them eat the fruit they so desire is amazing to watch. They would ignore us as long as they were eating. They moved around from fruit tree to fruit tree in groups of 6-12. Here is a great video of the Collared Aracari having lunch!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

American Pygmy Kingfisher - Panama 2008

We sat down by a small lake to rest from our hiking through the rainforest when this small Kingfisher came to pose for us. I was right by the edge of the water and I had to keep looking at the water's edge as I saw a few Alligators near us. But heck - birding and photography come first and it certainly wasn't the first foolish thing I have done.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tropical Kingbird - Panama 2008

Tropical Kingbird, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

This Tropical Kingbird looks so elegant. He seems to be telling me he is the King and he is looking out over his kingdom. I couldn't have staged this picture any better then fate provided me. We saw this guy on the grounds of the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Here is a short video of a Tropical Kingbird catching a dragonfly.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chestnut Mandibled Toucan - Panama 2008

We saw Toucans almost every day as we were walking. We never tired of seeing them and always stopped to take pictures. Such beautiful birds. They came right up to the resort entrance one early morning when we were waiting for our taxi to take us to Pipeline Road. There is something about seeing a toucan up close that can just make the trip regardless of what other birds we would see. You can hear it here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fasciated Antshrike - Panama 2008

Ok, now who doesn't think he is trying to talk to me? Yes, this guy was checking us out on Pipeline Road. We were also checking him out too. Here is a great video of a Fasciated Antshrike taken from the surfbirds site. Pipeline Road certainly kept up to its reputation as one of the premier birding locations in the world.

White Necked Jacobin - Panama 2008

We were heading up Pipeline Road and stopped at the newly built Panama Rainforest Discovery Centre. There were many of these rather large hummingbirds all around the centre. There was a very nice trail system around the centre as well. It deserves a lot more of our time on our next trip. As we were leaving to meet our Taxi, a fellow came running up to us - all excited - telling us to go back to one of the trails as a rather large ant swarm was attracting many birds. We looked at our GPS and realized we didn't have time to go back. It was a missed opportunity. I have yet to see my first large ant swarm. Next time!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Red Legged Honeycreeper - Panama 2008

Now this guy does not look too pleased with me. I was only a few yards away. He kept darting around the branches hiding from me until finally I was able to get this picture. Part of the fun for me is the hunt to get the perfect picture. I am a lister as well. So first priority for me is to see the bird so I can go "tick", second priority to to secure the perfect picture - one that brings the emotional magical moment back again and again. Sounds sappy but very true for me. This photograph was taken on the Gamboa Rainforest Resort grounds.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rufous Motmot - Panama 2008

We saw many Motmots on our trip to Panama. My brother Tim was the expert Motmot finder. I was almost running into them before he would say - "stop stop". This is a favorite pic of the Rufous Motmot we saw on Pipeline Road.

Blue Cotinga - Panama 2008

My brother Tim and I went to Panama in January, 2008 for a week of birding. This was such a wonderful trip!!! We were out birding every morning by 6:45am. We stayed at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Although we hiked for many miles into the rainforest, we saw perhaps our rarest find within 5 mins of our resort. Here is a wonderful photograph of the Blue Cotinga. It was the end of a long day of hiking and we were heading back to the resort only to find this fellow fly right beside us on the trail. We raised our cameras and were thrilled with the shots we were able to capture. This is my favorite.