Chestnut-headed Oropendolas at Fort San Lorenzo

The Chagres.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I rode my little fold up bike to the Chagres River today. It’s only about 18 K round-trip, but it was a rough with a bicycle with wheels the size of dinner plates. The road was slightly uphill both ways and I was whipped when I got home.
The vehicle for the great (or common)Potoo hunt.
I thought I might see a Potoo if I went into the National Park and I wanted to scope out Fort Lorenzo. It is cleared with good trees on the periphery and it is right next to the Charges. I thought it might be a good prospect but I didn’t see any Potoos. I did see a Yellow-rumped Warbler that looked very unlike the Yellow-rumps we get at home. At first I thought it was a Cape May Warbler, which would have been a lifer, but I suspected Yellow-rumped. I got help on Bird Forum to nail it down as a Yellow-rumped. Not a lifer, but not a common bird here. The Chestnut-headed Oropendolas were noisy and beautiful and had their nests made. They were in the same spot last year. The Crested Oropendolas that nested near the marina on the road to Kennedy Loop last year did not make their nests here again. I have heard them off the San Lorenzo road though, so maybe they just moved to a quieter spot?
Chestnut-headed Oropendola nests.

I really didn’t see much today which didn’t seem fair after peddling my arse off. One great sight was a Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Keel-billed Toucan and two Red-Lored Parrots perched near each other in a tall, spreading tree that was just getting new leaves so the birds were easy to see. I got two new butterfly species; Crimson Patch and Thaos Swallowtail, and I saw a big walking stick bug at the park administrative building. I took a gazillion pictures of the stick bug and none of them turned out. I really wish I hadn’t broken my old Sony; I can’t seem to get sharp photos no matter what I do with the Nikon, and it has more pixels. I would have gotten another Sony, but, of course, they didn’t make the same kind anymore.
Playa Diablo was still closed and I asked the park guys about it again. This time I was told that two swimmers have died and that’s why it’s closed. I told them I only wanted to bird, and they said it would be ok.

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