Plantation Trail, Miraflores Locks, & Old Gamboa Road
Wednesday, July 17th: We started the day by driving to the base of the hill to walk the Plantation Trail, the remnants of an old road built by the French. However, before we got there we stopped for a Nine-banded Armadillo on the road. Then we spotted some birds and I added Crimson-crested Woodpecker and Cinnamon Woodpecker to my trip list.
Plantation Trail itself also provided good birding, with Black-throated Trogon, Olivaceous Flatbill, the flashy Blue-crowned Manakin and Yellow-margined Flycatcher. Some heliconia by an old building were being visited by a Long-billed Hermit. A flock of Black-chested Jays moved high in the canopy. We found four White-whiskered Puffbirds actively hunting in the understory as a Black-faced Antthrush worked the ground across the ravine. We also found a Slate-colored Grosbeak. On the way back Ann saw a bird, Golden-crowned Spadebill by her description. We searched for it, and found it. Then we headed back to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon, we drove over to the Miraflores Locks. This wasn't on the orginal itinerary, but many of us wanted to see the canal. We spent a couple of hours there at the exhibits and watching ships go through the locks. We also got a Great Black Hawk.
Summit Ponds & Old Gamboa Road
Our next stop was at Summit Ponds (across from Summit Park) and the Old Gamboa Road (now a trail). We found Boat-billed Heron and three species of kingfisher, including Green Kingfisher at the ponds. A lovely Spectacled Owl was found on the trail, near a Whooping (Blue-crowned) Motmot. Although other birds were present, those were the only new ones.
Returning to the ponds, which are located at the trailhead, we found Long-billed Starthroat and Bat Falcon. Then we returned to the lodge.
After dinner we did some night birding. As we drove down the hill, our first bird was a Great Tinamou perched alongside the road. A large owl was next, but it moved away before we could ID. Brian and I thought it was a Mottled Owl, but the guide said Crested Owl. Who knows? Next up was a Fer-de-lance crossing the road. I had seen two dead ones before, but this was a lifer. We also found our first of two Common Potoos. In another area, we heard Tropical Screech-Owl and saw a Common Pauraque. Before we got back to the tower, we added two Kinkajous chasing each other, a Nine-banded Armadillo, and a Hoffman's Two-Toed Sloth.
I ended up with 65 species for the day, 22 of them new for the trip. My trip total is now 183. I also got 6 lifers, bringing my total to 29 for the trip.