Slooooow day, but great when it was great-Nov 27

27 11 2010

Had my slowest day so far today. Only shot 75 images! (That compares to most days when I shoot 500 or so….but then of course on some of those days I delete 425!)

Went to the tower at Panama Rainforest Discovery Center at first light…..it was painfully slow up there today. Had one hawk waaay far away (painfully poor shots at 1456mm effective focal length using my Mark IV, the 800mm and the 1.4x teleconverter) that nobody could ID (a juvenile…later id’d by Marcial as an immature Gray Hawk), a couple of howlers perched up in a tree waaaaaay far away. Did get some passable shots of a Blue Dacnis and his wife who came looking for breakfast in the treetops.

So I headed down and took the trails to the water in hopes of seeing the Sun Grebe (VERY tough bird to see) for no joy. However, when I got down there I heard that ‘crunching’ sound again, followed it into the forest, and got more views of another Pheasant Cuckoo. Not bad, not bad at all.  There were a couple of pretty serious birders I’d just met at the tower who I was hoping would come down the trail while I had him. I know they’d have loved to see the bird. Unfortunately they didn’t come down until about 15 minutes after he’d gone so I was unable to share the experience.

That pretty much killed the morning so I headed back to town. As I came into the center of the village I saw a good sized hawk on the ground, which flushed when I pulled over. After chasing round the arboles (trees) for awhile with my monster lens in a manner that I’m sure amused the local residents to no end, I was able to get a nice shot of the bird. Looks to me like a young Broad Winged Hawk–but I’ll appreciate a correction on that if those with more inclination to bird ID’s can help.

Some of my photog friends ONLY shoot birds ‘bigger than a breadbox’ and will not, under any circumstances, lower themselves to taking an image of smaller species such as warblers, etc. (Please Note: I, personally, think they just lack the high degree (ninja level) of patience and skill necessary) They especially like the raptors…I think it’s because the hawks, kestrels and kites EAT the small birds, giving them some sick satisfaction since they can’t seem to get those small birds to sit still for a minute for a photo. That’s what I think anyway. So, Ken Hamada, this hawk is for you! ‘-)

Pheasant Cuckoo, Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, Gamboa Panama

Broad Winged (?) Hawk, Gamboa town, Panama

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