El Valle de Anton-Dec 4th

10 12 2010

We headed up above El Valle today, to La Mesa and the road down the Caribbean slope.

First stop on this very rough uphill road was a finca (farm) with fruit trees and some feeders. The farmer makes a few bucks by allowing photographers and birders to stop and use them ($3 per person tip expected). I visited here last year with Canopy Lodge, and these feeders were even hotter for us today.

The ‘treat’ bird is the Spot Crowned Barbet, and we’d hardly put a few bananas out and have four of them all over the feeder.

Spot Crowned Barbet, Diggin those nanners! "La Mesa", above El Valle De Anton, Panama

The usual (higher elevation) suspects also appeared in good numbers, Thick-Billed and  Tawny Capped Euphonia, Lemon-Rumped Tanager, Golden Hooded Tanager, Crimson Backed Tanager, and a slew of Honeycreepers (Red Legged, Shining, and Green)

Thick Billed Euphonia, La Mesa above El Valle de Anton, Panama

I kept an eye on a small tree that was behind us, as last year it produced a couple of Bay Headed Tanagers (who wouldn’t come to the feeder) for me last year. This year, the Bay Headed’s were there. along with a White Ruffed Mannikin who stopped by for a berry–and only allowed me one marginally acceptable shot (Mannikins are proving tough this trip…..methinks medoth bedoing mesomething about that!)

We decided to work on down the road, hopeful to find Barred Puffbirds and possibly Spotted and/or Emerald Tanagers further down the Caribbean slope so we packed up and headed down some pretty rough roads. About 20 minutes down the road I was suddenly struck with an urge to notice my gas gauge….gulp!! Guess who didn’t fill er-up last night as intended!! After alerting my compatriots of my blunder, and our immediate peril, we pulled a high-G ‘U-ey’ and headed right back up those rough roads.  I figured if I could get us to the top of the continental divide, we could coast back to El Valle.

We made it to the devide, and I started to relax, and we spotted a tree near the road that seemed birdy. Sure enough, it was bearing fruit (little berries) and the birds were all over it. That’s where I picked up this shot of a Bay Headed Tanager going all upside-down for a meal.

Bay Headed Tanager-La Mesa near El Valle de Anton, Panama

After that, it was back to town for a shower and a nice meal at the Anton Valley Hotel (nice place-quite reasonably priced, GREAT service, and the attached restuarant (Bruschetta) was excellent and inexpensive.

Tomorrow we head to Altos de Maria–a highlands private development to the east of El Valle.



2 responses

3 01 2011
Mike Liskay

Enjoying all your shots John!! The variety is awesome! thanks for the lessons amigo!

16 05 2012
Mary Ann G

Those are the same berries I photo’d a Bay-headed eating, also on La Mesa Rd–maybe the same small tree 🙂 (ha)–your photo’s a real money shot though!

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