March 14, 2012
Fellow nature lover and sailor, Glyn, from the South African sailboat, Dignity, and I got a lift to the Chagres today and had a great walk back. Glyn's husband, Dave, is the hard stand manager and arranged the drive for us. It's about 20K round trip and that's a bit much, but it's perfect to be dropped off and walk it one way.
It really isn't only 10k back because Glyn and I take side roads that add a few K. On February 28th we got dropped off at Fort San Lorenzo, but his time, we decided to start just short of the fort at the entrance to the short road that goes down to the fishing dock (pale orange line).
At different times of the year, I'm sure that different paths off the main road could be the best, but today this was our favorite. The first treasure of the day was the baby anteater.
click photo to enlarge
I have only seen one other Southern Tamandua since I've been here. The other one was an adult and about the size of a Beagle, this one was very young and was about the size of a cat. What a treat to see this little guy! To learn a bit more about the anteater, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_tamandua
Glyn is into butterflies and this little road offered both of us some good finds. Glyn chased and clicked butterflies and I listened for, sighted and clicked birds. We were not always visible to each other, but occasionally, I would hear a , "Sit!" in the midst of the cheeps, brrts, treeets, tsps of birds and the howls and scoldings of the howler and capuchin monkeys.
On this trail, I got Scarlet-rumped and Yellow-rumped Caciques, White-necked Jacobin and another hummer. The hummers were having a disagreement over who got to feed and I didn't get a good look at both of them before they took off. The second one had a long rufousy brown moustache or eye-line and that was about all I got. They didn't come back while I was there so I didn't get another chance. (I know they were back by the time I got back on San Lorenzo Road.)
Others on this road:
Turkey and Black Vultures, Snowy Egret, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Southern Rough-winged Swallows, Short-tailed Swifts, Brown Pelican, Green Kingfisher, Tropical Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Crested Oropendola (heard), Slaty Antshrike, Black-chested Jay, Southern Bentbill (heard), Chestnut-sided Warbler, Slaty-tailed Trogan, Common Black Hawk, Olivaceous Flatbill, Dot-winged Antwren, White-flanked Antwren, Plain Xenops, Plain Brown Woodcreeper, Magnificent Frigatebird. ( On February 28, I also saw, Yellow-rumped Warbler (at the Fort), Broad-billed Motmot, Song Wren, Great Blue Heron, Laughing Gull, Spotted Sandpiper and an iguana).
The road to Hidden (Tortuga) Beach is about 1 1/2Ks and gave us some butterflies, but not much else. (Red line on map) A Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher about halfway and a pair of White-shouldered Tanagers were in the trees just before the beach. On February 28, this dirt road and beach also had Ospreys, Northern Waterthrush, Tropical Kingbirds, Great Kiskadees, Broad-billed Motmot, Spotted Sandpiper.
The walk home was quiet and we saw Mealy Parrots, an agouti, White-tailed Trogons, Yellow-headed Caracara, Blue-gray Tanagers, Palm Tanagers, Social Flycatcher, Gray-breasted Martins, Great-tailed Grackles, Tropical Mockingbirds, Mangrove Swallows.