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.

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