A Travellerspoint blog


Days 11-13: Last Few Days in Paradise

overcast 80 °F

Hi all,

Sorry I have not posted in a while, but like I said, the wifi is spotty here on the beautiful Bastimentos Island in Panama. Despite that one downside, it is truly paradise here, with an ever-lapping sea, sunny skies, and enjoyable 80-degree temperatures. Yesterday was probably the most exciting day in this entire Panama trip because our family took a tour around the surrounding bay with a knowledgable guide and another fun family. We did a number of wonderful things, like eating at a restaurant above a coral reef, seeing two other coral reefs that were simply outstanding, and bouncing up and down in the boat over big waves! Today we had a huge pot luck party with our new friends to celebrate the end of our Panama trip.

I have seen a few birds, although most of the time spent here was for swimming, studying the intriguing sea creatures, and relaxing.

Here are a few bird photos:

Spotted Sandpiper (nonbreeding plumage)

Montezuma Oropendola (male)

Green Ibis

I have gained three life birds since my latest post:

Gull-billed Tern
Sandwich Tern
Green Ibis

This means that I have now seen 428 species of birds in my life, up from 425 three days ago.

Tomorrow, we go back home to frigid Chicago, but stay tuned for a couple of wrap-up posts on the Panama trip, and in a few days, I will announce our travels for the rest of the year which will start next January.

Happy birding!


Posted by skwclar 16:47 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Days 9 and 10: Bastimentos Island!

sunny 80 °F

Hi all,

Yesterday we travelled in a car, in another car, in a bus, in another bus, in a boat, in another boat, and FINALLY to the secluded Bastimentos Island near Bocas del Toro. We are renting a wonderful open house right on the beach with the Gulf of Mexico right at our fingertips! NOTE: Wifi is very spotty here so I may not be able to post on this blog every day.

Other than birds, I have seen creatures in the water such as sting rays (!!), lobsters, electric eels (!!), crabs, sea urchins, sea sponges, and starfish.

Now, to the birds. I have seen quite a few birds in these last two days, including the following that are pictured, and then listed. Enjoy!

Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush

Lesser Goldfinch (male)

Flame-colored Tanager (male)

Brown Pelican

Solitary Sandpiper

Yellow-throated Warbler (male)

Bananaquit (isn't that a funny name?!)

American Pygmy Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Montezuma Oropendola

Prothonotary Warbler

Here is the bird list. I am going to list the raptors first because I saw a great amount of them yesterday.

  • **Indicates a life bird

RAPTORS (birds of prey)

  • **Semiplumbeous Hawk

Roadside Hawk
Common Black-hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Bat Falcon
Yellow-headed Caracara

  • **Laughing Falcon

Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture


Great-tailed Grackle
Ringed Kingfisher

  • **American Pygmy Kingfisher
  • **Least Grebe

Tropical Kingbird
Great Kiskadee
White-tipped Dove
Great Egret
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

  • **Bananaquit

Yellow-throated Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
House Wren

  • **Gray-breasted Martin

Blue-gray Tanager
Brown Pelican
Magnificent Frigatebird
Franklin's Gull
Laughing Gull

  • **Montezuma Oropendola

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

This means that now I have seen 425 species of birds, up from 418 two days ago.

Stay tuned and happy birding!


Posted by skwclar 04:31 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Day 8: The Quest for the Quetzal, Part II

sunny 80 °F

Hi all,

Today my dad and I took an intense birding tour with a knowledgable guide in hopes of sighting a Resplendent Quetzal. Here are pictures from the trip, and results from the day can be found at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

Gray-headed Flycatcher

Baltimore Oriole (male)

Yellow-crowned Euphonia (female)

Blue-gray Tanagers

Blackburnian Warbler (female)

Violet-headed Hummingbird (male)

Tufted Flycatcher

Red-faced Spinetail

Spot-crowned Woodcreeper

Violet-headed Hummingbird (male)

Prong-billed Barbet

Black-and-Yellow Silky-flycatcher

Yellow-thighed Finch

Collared Redstart

So, it was a fabulous day of birdwatching, but the Resplendent Quetzal was a no-show. I will have to come back to Panama again when I'm older.

Here is the bird species list for today.

  • **Indicates a life bird

Cattle Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk

  • **Barred Hawk

Great Black-hawk

  • **Black Hawk-eagle

Ruddy Ground-dove
Green Violet-ear

  • **Violet-headed Hummingbird
  • **Snowy-bellied Hummingbird
  • **Stripe-tailed Hummingbird
  • **Purple-throated Mountain-gem
  • **White-bellied Mountain-gem
  • **Magnificent Hummingbird

Scintillant Hummingbird

  • **Prong-billed Barbet

Red-crowned Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Smoky-brown Woodpecker

  • **Red-faced Spinetail
  • **Spotted Barbtail
  • **Ruddy Treerunner
  • **Streak-breasted Treehunter
  • **Lineated Foliage-gleaner
  • **Spotted Woodcreeper
  • **Streak-headed Woodcreeper
  • **Spot-crowned Woodcreeper
  • **Yellow-bellied Elaenia
  • **Paltry Tyrannulet
  • **Tufted Flycatcher
  • **Dark Pewee
  • **Yellowish Flycatcher

Black Phoebe
Great Kiskadee
Social Flycatcher

  • **Gray-capped Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

  • **Brown-capped Vireo
  • **Rufous-browed Peppershrike

Plain Wren
House Wren

  • **Ochraceous Wren
  • **Gray-breasted Wood-wren
  • **Black-faced Solitaire
  • **Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush
  • **Mountain Thrush

Clay-colored Thrush
Tropical Mockingbird

  • **Black-and-Yellow Silky-flycatcher

Tennessee Warbler
Flame-throated Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Slate-throated Redstart

  • **Collared Redstart

Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler

  • **Black-cheeked Warbler
  • **Common Bush-tanager
  • **Cherrie's Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Silver-throated Tanager

  • **Spangle-cheeked Tanager

Red-legged Honeycreeper

  • **Slaty Flowerpiercer
  • **Yellow-thighed Finch

Summer Tanager
Flame-colored Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole
Thick-billed Euphonia

  • **Yellow-crowned Euphonia

Elegant Euphonia
Yellow-bellied Siskin

  • **Lesser Goldfinch

81 species, 41 life birds. This means that I have now identified 418 species of birds in my life, up from 377 yesterday.

So, a great day of birding, and now I will list my nemesis-bird-of-the-day and my best birds-of-the-day.

The nemesis bird for today was definitely the Resplendent Quetzal, with Three-wattled Bellbird, Snowcap, and Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher close behind it as conspicuous no-shows. At least I will get a chance to see the Three-wattled Bellbird in Bocas del Toro.

My best birds of the day were Black Hawk-eagle, Purple-throated and White-bellied Mountain-gems, Red-faced Spinetail, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Black-and-Yellow Silky-flycatcher, Flame-throated Warbler, Collared Redstart, Canada Warbler, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Yellow-thighed Finch, and Yellow-crowned, Elegant, and Thick-billed Euphonias.

What a wonderful day of birdwatching.

Stay tuned--tomorrow we travel to our beach house near Bocas del Toro.

Happy birding!


Posted by skwclar 18:44 Archived in Panama Comments (5)

Day 7: Zip-lining!

semi-overcast 75 °F

Hello all,

Today was a break from the birding, so I will attempt to make this post short and sweet.

My family and I went zip-lining over the rainforest today. It was very, very fun, and even my little sister Pearl went!

Back at our place in Boquete, I saw a few interesting avian species and gained two life birds: Tropical Parula and Yellow-bellied Siskin. My life list (list of birds that I have seen in my life) is now up to 377 from 375 yesterday.

Here are a few photos of the birds. Enjoy!

Yellow-bellied Siskin (male)

Yellow-bellied Siskin (female)

Tropical Parula

Tomorrow will be a full morning of searching for the Resplendent Quetzal.

Stay tuned, and happy birding as always!


Posted by skwclar 18:04 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Day 6: The Quest For the Quetzal: Part I

rain 76 °F

Hi all,

After watching Panama's biggest Independence Day parade in Boquete this morning, our family went on our first quest for the marvelous Resplendent Quetzal.

The hike was at a beautiful coffee plantation that contained a large tract of old-growth cloud forest, perfect habitat for the quetzals. My mom and I hiked the quetzal trail while my dad hiked with Pearl to a waterfall, which they never found because the trail was in bad condition.

Suddenly, a large, quetzal-like bird popped out on front of us! I inspected it through my camera, but it turned out to be a female Collared Trogon, a close relative of the quetzal. Here is the picture of it:

Even after almost three hours of slowly hiking through the forest and inspecting every single tree, we had no luck finding the quetzal. However, we did find a few interesting birds. Here is a photo of a Flame-colored Tanager:

Other interesting avian species seen on the hike that happened to be life birds for me were Silver-throated Tanagers and Flame-throated Warblers, which area both very beautiful birds.

Here are some photos from back near the house in which we are staying:

Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush

Common Tody-flycatcher

Slate-colored Redstart (male)

Blue-gray Tanager

I am not up for doing a bird list tonight, although here is my current number of bird species I have seen in my life:

375 species

Before this trip to Panama, I had 265 life birds. Yesterday I had 361 life birds, and now I have 375 birds! You really get to see a lot of avian life in Panama.

So, no quetzal today. Strike one. On a happier note, the birds of the day were Collared Trogon, Common Tody-flycatcher, and Flame-throated Warbler.

The hunt for the quetzal will resume on Monday,

Show this blog to your friends and happy birding as always,


Posted by skwclar 16:29 Archived in Panama Comments (3)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 10) Page [1] 2 » Next