Panama: A Few Wood-Warblers

October 24, 2011
Bay-breasted Warbler in beach scrub.
Bay-breasted Warbler grazing in the grass near the hard-stand area of Shelter Bay Marina
The Empids continue to be seen and be silent and I have come to grips with the fact that I will probably not be able to add them to my life list.  As if to compensate, the forest spirits have delivered up some easy warbler sightings.  Most of the time the warblers are high in the canopy, behind leaves, buzzing around at light speed with the sun or an eye killing whited-out sky behind them.  Today, they were foraging on the ground in the of best viewing conditions.
Blackburnian hunting on the ground near the beach.
I'm not sure Mother Nature felt sorry for me because I'm covered in Mozzie and chigger bites, or because I'm running on two pints less blood than I should have, or that I'm sluggish from the anti-histamines I'm taking to keep from clawing myself to death.  Whatever the reason, I will gladly take the gift of the ground foraging Bay-breasted, Blackburnian and  Mourning Warblers.  Mourning is lifer #910 for me. I've only seen a Blackburnian once and that was a male in breeding plumage, so I didn't know what this was when I saw him foraging with a flock of Indigo Buntings.  I did think it was strange to see a warbler like that on the ground, just like I thought is was weird to see the Bay-breasted on the ground about twenty minutes before.
One warbler that isn't weird to see on the ground;  Northern Waterthrush.


On the 25th, I was on the beach and got a few better shots of the Bay-breasted. I don't know why, but it seemed strange to be standing on the sand and getting pictures of this Warbler. It went down to the vines in the sand and then up a few feet into the tangled shrubs. Also in the shrubs on the beach were a Yellow-billed cuckoo, and an  Empid.

Panama: Hook-billed Kite, Orioles and a Ringed Kingfisher

October 22, 2011
For the last couple of days, I've walked the road that heads out of Fort Sherman to the Gatun Locks.  It goes through a low, flooded area of the forest.  One side has only a thin band of trees lining the road and beyond them is a cleared grassy marshy area where the airstrip is located.  The other side has streches of grassy areas and stretches of treed forest that is often flooded in the rainy season. I saw the silent Empids, of course, but I got a few other birds as well.  One morning, in the cleared grassy area at my end of the runway, the swallows, martins and swifts were busy dining on their tiny prey.  In the mix were Barn Swallows, Southern Rough-winged Swallows, Gray-breasted Martins and what I think were Band-rumped Swifts.  I should mention that White-collared Swifts have been flying overhead on the San Lorenzo Road this month.  I haven't seen too many this week.
I have seen an American Pygmy Kingfisher a few times on this road and I hoped to see it again and maybe be lucky enough to get a photo. The Yellow-backed Orioles and Yellow-tailed Orioles were out and the sound of the Yellow-backed 'off-key' calls overshadowed everybody.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLES
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE
When we were in Grenada, I went in search of the critically endangered Hook-billed Kite. I got lost, sunburned so bad I blistered, and attacked by wasps, but after several outings, I found it.  Imagine my surprise today when I found one during a very comfortable morning walk. I knew I had a Kite, but I didn't know which kind until getting back and looking it up.  I went online and found that the Genada Kite is an endemic race; Chondrohierax uncinatus mirus. So I got lifer # 909 with Chondrohierax u. uncinatus.  I had much better views of this bird and got some nice photos.
I picked up lifer #908 today too:  Plain Wren, but the photo is not worth posting. I was thrilled to finally get some good shots of a Ringed Kingfisher. This Kingfisher never lets me get close enough for a shot.  There is one that hangs around Playa Diablo and nearly everytime I walk down the path to the beach, I hear him scold me and he continues to complain as he flys off across the bay. I have seen one several times in the mangroves at the marina, but again, fleeting views.

Panama: Playa Diablo

March 2, 2011

The little river that runs to the beach.

It was a beautiful day yesterday and I was out for 6 hours. I walked the San Lorenzo road to Playa Diablo (Devil’s Beach). While I was on the San Lorenzo road, I heard a strange call and stopped to find who was making it. Some warblers flew in overhead, but the call was lower. I finally saw movement and picked up a Southern Bentbill. I’ve only seen this bird twice before, it was a lifer for me last March. As it flew from perch to perch, I saw some movement lower and got the bins on it—Magnolia Warbler-- sorry Dad, I still couldn't get a picture. Just as I was going to check out the higher branches, Glyns rode up on her bike. We talked a bit and when she rode off, the birds had gone. I went on toward the beach.
As soon as I stepped onto the path, I knew I was in for a good day. There was lots of noise. The first sound to greet me was large group of Crested Oropendolas. Their liquid calls echoed in the forest and I caught glimpses of quite a few as they flew on both sides of the path. They seemed to be picking things off the dried leaves in the middle height area of the forest. As I watched one looking for goodies, a Chestnut-mandibled Toucan landed close to it and the Oropendola flew off. The toucan was pretty close and I thought it was my chance to get a really good photo. Unfortunately, my camera refused to focus. I took ten or so shots and not one was good. The bird sat there are cocked his head at me, posing and investigating and the damn camera was worthless. I hate this camera! I never know when or why it will or will not work. Sometimes, the zoom lens gets stuck and the camera won’t do anything. It won’t take a picture in the ‘stuck’ mode, it won’t retract. It won’t even turn off. I just push buttons until it finally goes off and I can turn it back on again. If you are looking for a zoom camera, do yourself a favor and don’t buy a Nikon Coolpix p100.
It is only a short walk to the beach from the San Lorenzo road, but it can offer surprises because the path parallels a small river that empties into the bay. I have seen a caiman in the river and there is a good population of Common Basilisk lizards along the banks. This lizard is also known as the Jesus Christ lizard because it runs on top the water to evade predators. I have startled a few and watched them run for a short spurt to put distance between us. I saw a good sized basilik with most of his tail gone. It looked as though it had been bitten off. Caiman?
There is a resident Kingfisher who always chirrs loudly at me as it flies off. Today for some reason he flew away silently. The path was littered with leaves that seemed too fresh and healthy to have come off naturally. I looked up to see Howlers lazing in to top of the canopy. Some of the trees along the path are very high and the monkeys were hanging out higher than usual.
I heard the soft grating, chirring sound of a Southern Bentbill again and placed myself on the path next to the call. Weird, I haven’t heard it for so long I’d forgotten I’d heard it before and now twice in one day. I need to find out if they move elsewhere during the rainy season, or if I’ve just failed to notice them. I got good views and tried to get a photo. Ha!
A very bad photo of a Bentbill. I sharpened it in Picassa.
I heard manikins snapping their wings in about the same spot they did last year when I finally saw my first. Last year, I heard them multiple times in different areas of the forest, but this walk gave me my first view. Other lifers on this short path are Bi-colored Ant wren and Broad-billed Motmot. Today I added another; Streaked Antwren #853.
Somebody's baby.

Panama: Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet

October 19, 2011
Birded 9:00-12:45
It was gorgeous this morning.  It was a bit windy, but that blew the clouds away and the sky was clear blue and the sun was out.  It was a perfect day for bird watching, and the birds were out to be seen.  I picked up Lifer #907:  Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet near the start of my walk. I knew what it was immediately because the name for it is perfect.  I told you that I got a response on the video for the Alder/Willow ID and the responder named a bunch of other calls on the tape.  One of the calls he/she named was a Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet.  I said to Gene, "Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet? I don't even remember reading about that one."  I've been over and over my Ridgely's guide, but if I haven't studied the bird as a suspect for an ID, I guess I'm glossing over. Funny that I saw it today in all it's tiny glory.  It was sitting on the end of a branch in the sun and it had it's crown up while it called,  "Play here!" It was so beautiful.  It reminded me of the little Firecrest I saw in Italy. (I also saw a Goldcrest in Italy.  There are Regulus, like our American Ruby-crowned Kinglet.) I could hear him calling as he flew away. If I hear the call from now on, I'll know it.  It was around long enough to get pictures, but I blew it. I had the back-light mode on and I got these weird shots with shadows around a fuzzy bird.  I guess I should stop trying to get fancy with the damn camera. I really hope to see him again. 

Dickcissell.  A pretty bird, too bad we don't have them in California. They are wary.
As usual, I saw Empids out the gazoo and none of them talked. For a short time, I had my hopes up.  I got what looked like an empid on video singing away.  "I got you!" I thought.  On the walk home, I'm thinking, "That bird's wing bars weren't bold enough. That wasn't an Empid. I'll bet it's a Pewee."  I hear Pewee's nearly every day though and it wasn't a Pewee call.  My hopes went up briefly again; then I thought again. I knew it wasn't a Wilder. I am becoming more and more convinced that they will not make a good, clear call here. I see them all day long and have never seen one talk.  I figured there must be a more complex song for the Pewee that I didn't know about. 

I enjoyed another hour or so of birding before the cloud cover began to white-out the sky. A few of the birds seen today:  Red-eyed Vireos (still a lot), Summer Tanagers, Bay Wrens, Golden-collared Manakins (male and female), Southern Bentbill, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cocoa Woodcreepers, Dickcissells and what I think was a Peregrine flying high in the distance. I also saw Agouti, Two-toed sloth, Howlers and what looked like some kind of Skipper, only it behaved like a hummngbird moth.  I was lucky enough to get a good shot and will try and find the ID and update the butterfly post.

When I got aboard, I downloaded the video.  It was clear and the sound was great.  Too bad it was a Western Wood-Pewee.  My first in Panama.  The other was at my place in California.  I guess I didn't pay much attention to the call then or didn't hear it at home.

Panama: Wood-Warblers and a Woody

Tennessee Warbler
October 18, 2011
I got a few responses on Birdforum regarding the Willow/Alder Flycatcher, both were for POSSIBLE Willow.  Not strong enough for me to list. Also, on the youtube video, someone left a message saying there was a Willow at 1:11. He/she also named the other birds on the tape. I was impressed and amazed by the skill of this person. Still, I'm leaving the bird off the list for now. I continue to look at them and listen, but there are other birds and wildlife to observe; some I can even ID!
Female Thick-billed Euphonia
On Sunday, I went for a walk on the San Lorenzo road, and it was jumpin'.  I got three Lifers: Canada Warbler and Blue-winged x Golden-winged Hybrid and Black-cheeked Woodpecker.  I have seen both wood-warblers before, but my views were too fleeting, or I had a white sky over the canopy blinding me as I looked up. I had great views today.  They are both really stunning birds. It was good to finally get the little blighters.  A first year Canada came down low and was fliting around a few feet from me.  I kept trying to get shots, but the camera wouldn't focus.  What the Hell?!! I should have been getting great shots!  The bird finally left the roadside and went deeper into the woods.  I looked at the camera and realized I had it set on 'food shot' setting rather than the low light setting I thought it was on.  That's what I get for a joking around on the The Twitching Sailor about our cuisine compared to the floating epicureans on Jacana. I took pictures of our Chile Verde dinner. Oh well.
A few other nice birds out the last few days:
Black-striped Sparrow
Female White-tailed Trogon
Red-throated Ant-tanager
Female White-shoouldered Tanager
Female Red-capped Manakin

Confounding Empid III


click photo to enlarge
October 14, 2011
I am not going to go into the painful details of the last few days about finding and observing Willow/Alder (Wilder) except to say that I have now seen several of them and another empid I believe was an Acadian!  I only got a quick view of a yellowish breast and belly and yellowish eye-rings.  I will also mention that I was surprised at how easy it is to see the Wilders.  After the first sighting I thought I would be very lucky to find it again. Now I have seen mulitple birds multiple times.
Today I was out by 7:00.  On my way to the parking lot, it occurred to me that I was missing the migration marvels on the San Lorenzo road by trying to identify a bird I probably never could. And...why wouldn't it be in other areas? Now that I knew there were a few around, who's to say it was only in the parking lot?  If I were a bird, wouldn't I rather be away from the noise of a hardstand work area?  Why listen to all that hammering echoing, metal clanking, horns honking and men yelling? As I'm thinking this I realize I haven't seen an Empid. The no-see-ums are feasting and as I get my spray from my bum-bag, I make an executive decision; I'll bird Kennedy Loop today. The migrants aren't going to be around much longer and I need to move out of the parking lot.. I even decide that tomorrow, I'll walk San Lorenzo road and try to ID the calico warblers going through.

In the reeds at the side of the road to the loop, a Wilder sits on a low clump of dead stalks. He looks at me and smiles, silently.
I go past the old church and head for the loop. I hear a Northern Waterthrush and sure enough, one comes out onto the road.  As I begin to enter the loop, a machine-gunned guard is walking out.  We recognize each other and he begins to talk. I know by his gestures that he is saying he has seen me walking around the forest, and I have run into him near the chruch a few times. He speaks no English and I still can't understand Spanish.  I wish we had a little town nearby where I could go and practicar.  If it is written, I don't do too badly, but I just can't follow when it's spoken. Anyway we manage to exchange as few niceties.  As we're talking a couple of cruisers come up for their morning walk around the loop, and then a couple more.  I realize that birding might not be too good, so I walk back to the old church/guard house with my uzi toting friend. (I don't really know if it's an uzi or a shotgun, they all look alike to me.)  I say hasta luego and head for the old complex on the San Lorenzo road.  As I turn onto the road, a Wilder lands on a reed stalk, looks at me and flys off. They are taunting me.  When I come up to the buildings, I hear a call that sounds a lot like the calls I've been listening to on xeno-canto (a bird call site).  I have played the Willow and Alder a few times in case I ever heard a call. I immediately turned on the camera for sound and start aiming at the source.  I'm looking through the viewfinder, but I know I'm not going to see the bird that way, so I let the camera hang, still on, and get the bins ready. A bird flys low onto the chain link and I put the bins on it--a flycatcher! A Wilder! I put the bins down and swing the camera up.  Got him!  He's far, but it's obvious that it's a small flycatcher and you can see the tail lifts.  I have the voice! 
I get back to Pergrine and download the video. I listen and listen and go online and listen to the taped call posted there, and back to mine.  I can't tell. I think it's an Alder, but I can't list it. I opened a youtube account and posted the video on Bird Forum hoping someone would be able to name the call. That was hours ago and I haven't got a response.
It's late. I'm going to bed.  Here is a link to the video.  If anybody reading can ID this, please leave a comment.
http://youtu.be/xqYbW0aM5sw

Confounding Empid II

October 11, 2011
Although the Willow/Alder Flycatcher can't be safely identified in the field without vocalization, I have decided to keep notes on it when I am lucky enough to see it. 
I got two views of a few seconds each.  I was watching a group of a about a dozen Tennesee Warblers feasting on White-flies under the leaves of a crecopia when I noticed a movement near the ground through the corner of my eye.  I slowly lowered my bins to look and there was the Flycatcher with a huge, mangled bug in its mouth. I think we both saw each other at the same time and the element of surprise made him take off.  I think he may have even dropped his dinner. I felt pretty bad about that, but it wasn't as if I had seen him eating and kept encroaching. He didn't fly far, only a few feet and I saw him again through a tiny frame in the undergrowth. He saw me watching took off again. Rain kept me from an attempt to see him again that evening.

October 12, 2011
It rained all day today, but a break at the end of the day allowed me to get out for about an hour and a half before it got too dark.  For the first 45 minutes he was nowhere to be seen. I was afraid he was gone for good; had migrated south. 
 I should explain the site. It appears to be an old parking area next to where the hardstand for boats is now. The circumference is the jungle slowly taking over. One area is mainly big grasses and it flows into a treed area.  I really don't bird here much. I meant to walk the old Battery Trail and found it overgrown, so I wandered down to the edge of the hardstand.  I didn't go on San Lorenzo road or Kennedy because rain was threatening and I wanted to stay close. Once I started walking around, I was amazed at all the action. It is so close to people and noise and yet I saw more going on here than I had the last walk on San Lorenzo!  Gene has a theory about parking lots and I am beginning to think he is on to something.  He is always telling me I bird the hard way and I shouldn't be out walking goat trails or marshes or barren, rocky hillsides getting scraped up, bug bitten, sun burned and par-boiled. He thinks that the best birding can be done in the parking lot of any birding destination. We have seen a lot of good birds that way, I will admit. Once, when were in Australia, we met some British birders on the Birthday Creek Falls trail.  They were there to find a particular finch that was quite rare. After we walked the creek area, Gene and I drove to another area close by that I wanted to check out.  We stopped the car at the end of a dirt road, and I got out to bird.  Gene put down the tailgate, got out a camp chair, took a beer from the cooler and told me to have a good time.  I came back a bit later and he told me that if I had stayed and birded with him, I would have had the finch. He watched it feed and fly around while he had his beer. But I digress..back to the Empid.
I saw low movement on the hardstand side and scanned. There he was! He flew onto the stalk of the big grasses in the area. I watched him flying from stalk to stalk, and then flew high into a tree. No sound.

Confounding Empidonax I


I have been thinking of splitting my blog, The Twitching Sailor, for some time and it’s ironic that when I finally do, my first post is going to be on a difficult bird and a difficult call as to whether I should have included it on my Life List.  I have not put a bird on my list if I wasn’t 100% sure of what it was, until now. There is room for error here and I wonder if that margin should keep me from listing. I began this sailing adventure with virtually no birding skills or knowledge so I have seen my share of birds that I could not list. In fact, I may have the biggest ‘not listed’ bird list in the world! My birding skills have improved greatly over the eleven years I’ve been out on Peregrine, but I am constantly being challenged, and I still come across birds that take me some time to ID.  Maybe that is part of the reason so many get obsessed with this hobby; it challenges us on many different levels. 
Here is my current dilemma:
 The bird is an Empidonax and I believe it is an Alder Flycatcher. In my copy of Ridgely’s , Birds of Panama, he lumps the Alder and Willow together under Traill’s because they are ‘essentially indistinguishable in the field’, although he does say that Alder is said to show more of an eye-ring than Willow.  The eye-ring thing is one of the points I have used to validate listing. It doesn’t really show well in the pictures I post here, but I when I saw the bird again this morning (unfortunately, I couldn’t get photos during my 2.5 second and 1.0 second encounters), I saw it in light that allowed me to clearly see an eye-ring.   I have gone back several times since the original sighting hoping it would vocalize, but I’ve heard nothing.
I should point out that I have ruled out Eastern wood-Pewee for several reasons.  The primary projection doesn’t appear long enough.  I have never seen this bird perch higher than a few feet off the ground.  It hunts at near ground level, it does not sally out and return to the same perch, and it isn’t vocal. I have encountered Eastern Wood-Pewees here on several occasions and I am confident this is not a Pewee.
Another reason for my going with Alder is the San Lorenzo/Fort Sherman list I often refer to. The list is part of a comprehensive natural resource list of the San Lorenzo Protected Area compiled by Peter L. Weaver and Gerald P. Bauer for the US Forest Service. A note at the end of the bird list says the table was compiled by George R. Angehr and W. Douglas robinson of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. It lists Alder, but not Willow. I know the list is missing things—I’ve found a few myself--Pale-vented Thrush, White-throated Thrush and Variegated Flycatcher, but on the whole the list is a great and reliable source.
I will continue to visit the site in hopes of getting a sound, but the bird is a passing migrant and I don’t know how long he will be around.
Any opinions or advice?

Update:  Took off life list.
Sue

Panama: Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Ochre-bellied Flycatcher

October 10, 2011
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
I may have decided not to list the Alder Flycatcher, but I had no problem listing two other the lifers on Oct. 9th.  The Yellow-billed Cuckoo was especially sweet because I saw a glimpse of one in 2008 while on a guided bird walk in Arkansas.  Three new birds were pointed out to me on the walk and I decided not to add them to my list.  All were fleeting views pointed out by the guide.  I didn't feel right about listing them. They were a Little Blue Heron, Prothonotary Warbler and the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.  I have all three now. The heron and warbler many times over but first seen in St. Lucia and Panama, respectively.

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
The other lifer was an Ochre-bellied Flycatcher. I had seen it on several occasions last week.  Each time, I thought, "What was that?"  I convinced myself it was a female White-shouldered Tanager, even though the little voice kept saying, 'That was not a Tanager."  The last sighting, I had great views and enough time for a few lousy photos. I thought at first it was a thrush of some kind.  Just when you start to feel cocky about your id skills with this hobby, you get a comeuppance. It really didn't take long to ID when I got back aboard Peregrine, but I was a bit confused about it for a short time.

A First For Panama; Variegated Flycatcher

Variegated Flycatcher
February 27, 2011
I was organizing my photographs and sending them to my Picassa Web site when I came across the photo a bird I saw here a year ago: January 18, 2010.
When I saw this bird, we had not been in Panama long and most birds were still new to me. I was confused by the bird and finally thought it must be a Streaked Flycatcher, but an insolens race, because of the unmarked undertail coverts. Maybe, it was a young bird? I didn’t have illustrations or images that allowed me a positive ID. I looked in on that photo quite often for a few months afterward and remained confused.
A year later, I am more comfortable with the Flycatchers and when I went to transfer this photo, I realized that the bill was not big enough for a Streaked. I went back to my Ridgley’s but could not stretch the illustration for the Piratic Flycatcher (Legatus leucophalus) into my bird; maybe the illustration was a little off? I was thinking it was too bad my Sibley’s didn’t have an illustration of this bird for comparison and I suddenly remembered seeing a Piratic Flycatcher illustration in my National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. I dug it out. I was even more convinced my bird was not a Piratic. The Piratic's bill was too small and the wing coverts were not edged. However, the bird illustrated next to the Piratic sure looked like my bird: Variegated Flycatcher (Empidonomus varius). I found the ID to my bird serendipitously.  I got Ridgely out and looked in the index for both common and scientific names and it wasn’t there. I even looked in the ‘additional’ illustrations near the back for the fun of it.
I thought I must be wrong. The bird had to be a Piratic and I was just not seeing things right. I went on the net and searched. I read what I could find, and I looked at images. I read that the Variegated had a flesh colored base on the lower mandible, which my bird has, but I could not find text that told me the Piratic DIDN’T ever show that and I found images labeled as Piratic that did show a flesh color on the lower mandible. I know that images are often labeled wrong on the net and I wondered if what I saw in some instances of ‘Piratic’ were actually Variegated.
I have posted a few photos of my bird on Bird Forum for identification and am anxiously waiting for responses.
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=193482

February 27, 2011  9:30 p.m.
The consensus on BirdForum is positive for a Variegated Flycatcher. I was advised to contact several Bird Organizations in Panama; which I did. I got a message back from one. The responder is passing my photos on to experts, but he did say that a Variegated Flycatcher has never been seen in Panama.  Woo-Hoo!
Later...
I have heard back from the records committee in Panama and they have accepted my bird as a Variegated Flycatcher and a first for Panama.

An Afternoon Walk in Fort Sherman


Blue-gray Tanager
click photo to enlarge

September 30, 2011 Fort Sherman, Panama
I had such a good morning walk that I went out again in the afternoon.  I took a notebook for the afternoon walk and wrote a 'bird species seen' list:

Eastern Kingbird--one of the most numerous birds right now--it's migrating.
Magnificent Frigatebird
Grey-breasted Martin

Gray-breasted Martin
Great-tailed Grackle
Southern Lapwing
Black Vulture
Great Kiskadee
Social Flycatcher
Spotted Sandpiper
Lesser Kiskadee?
Tropical Mockingbird
Blue-gray Tanager
Turkey Vulture
Brown Pelican
Greater Ani
Black-chested Jay
Lesser Elaenia
Variable Seedeater
Tropical Kingbird
Short-tailed Swift
Blue-headed Parrot
Red-crowned Woodpecker
Northern Waterthrush
Clay Colored Thrush
Chachalaca
Lineated Woodpecker
Crested Oropendola
Sapphire-throated Hummingbird
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Mangrove Warbler
Palm Tanager
Prothonatory Warbler
Orange-chinned Parakeet
Gray Kingbird
Giant Cowbird
Keel-billed Toucan
Lesser Greenlet
Collared Aracari
Crimson-backed Tanager
Unidentified Hummingbird
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
House Wren
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow

The Little Tyrants of Fort Sherman

October 6, 20011
click on the photos to enlarge
 It is not always easy to see the little guys in the forest. Many times they are up in the canopy and if there is cloud cover I often can't see anything but white glare. I have only knowingly seen the Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus) twice. The bird is also known as the Misletoe Tyrannulet, which I think is a much nicer name.  It is only four inches long, has pale irises and no wing-bars so ID is not as difficult as many of the Tyrants can be. I think the MISTLETOE Tyrannulet is a beautiful little bird and I was so happy to get these shots.  It was weird that so many of the flycatchers I saw on the day I got this shot (October 2, 2011) had their tail feathers spread, sure made a pretty picture.
Another tiny tyrant is the Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher. I was out fairly early this morning and got a few shots of one.  This guy is only about three and a half inches long and his coloration makes for another easy ID.  I got Lifer #900 today! It was another small flycatcher--Olivaceous Flatbill.  At six inches he's a bit bigger.  I saw him well but was unable to get a good shot due to lighting, sometimes it's just too dark in the forest for good shot.
 Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, an apt name.
All the birds mentioned in this post were found on the San Lorenzo Road in the Fort Sherman area of Central Panama.