Pipeline Road & Summit Gardens
Monday, July 15th: We started early today for our first visit to Pipeline Road. The Ammo Dump Ponds are on the way, and I added Wattled Jacana, Lesser Kiskadee, and Smooth-billed Ani. We hoped for White-throated Crake, but didn't hear any.
Today we walk the first part of Pipeline Road. We plan to return in a couple of days to walk more of it. Before we'd even started the main part of the road we started finding new birds. Our first new bird was Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher. This was soon followed by Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Panama Flycatcher, and some Short-tailed Swifts swirling overhead. They have some interesting giant signs in this area that are apparently to aid ships navigating the canal.
We continued our birding, getting White-necked Puffbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Great Kiskadee, Thick-billed Seed-Finch, and Black-cheeked Woodpecker. We managed to lure a Black-bellied Wren into view. Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet and Streaked Saltator were fairly easy. A Lesser Greenlet and Golden-fronted Greenlet were in a bush by the side of the road. We found a Dot-winged Antwren on the other side, soon followed by a Plain Xenops, looking much like a tiny woodcreeper, as some genetic evidence suggests it is.
We kept busy on Pipeline road, adding Checker-throated Antwren, and the very melodius Song Wren. Turning our attention to the canopy, we found a couple of Yellow-tailed Orioles. An antswarm was attended by a number of birds including Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Bicolored Antbird, Spotted Antbird, and White-flanked Antwren. We went into the forest in search of more, but that was it. The Bicolored Antbirds were particularly common in there.
On our way back to the tower, we found a Amazon Kingfisher in the canal and Blue-black Grassquit on the side of the road. After lunch, we had a siesta break, then headed out again.
Our afternoon birding spot was nearby Summit Gardens. It formally contained a zoo, but that is being converted to an animal rescue facility. They bought our a baby Two-toed Sloth that is being raised by one of the zoo volunteers. They also have a Harpy Eagle that was born at ZooMiami.
The gardens have a number of native birds too, including Mistletoe (Paltry) Tyrannulet and Thick-billed Euphonia. We also noticed a Variegated Squirrel. A little farther along we found Boat-billed Flycatcher and Yellow-green Vireo, then Giant Cowbird and a flyover Blue-headed Parrot. A Lineated Woodpecker put in an appearance. A couple of Yellow-faced Grassquits near the Harpy Eagle exhibit were a surprise. Several Agoutis were seen out on the grass as we added Yellow-rumped Cacique. Ann and I visited some of the monkey cages. They seemed to think we were the attraction. We also encountered some Gray-headed Chachalacas as we caught up with the group. Fortunately, the group also found some, although not as close.
Before leaving we spoke with the director, his wife, and one of the volunteers. They brought out a baby Tamandua which took a liking Ann, climbing all over her. Our last new bird was Lesser Nighthawk. By then it was time to return to the tower for dinner.
I again ended up with 83 species for the day, but only 38 of them were new for the trip. The trip total is 128. I also got 7 lifers, bringing my total to 18 for the trip.