A Trip to the Chagres, July 4, 2012

Turkey Vulture hanging out at the Chagres.
July 4
Big rain and wind and lightening last night. This morning the rain gauge read 1.5 inches; hard to believe it wasn't 5.  10:00 75.2 degrees  Full Clould Cover  0 wind

I drove to Fort San Lorenzo and then walked the road to the dock on the river.  I was a bit nervous about the walk because about a month ago (while I was in California), a sailor/photographer was stabbed and robbed there.  Apparently, the assailants came from the river in a dinghy. The sailor was anchored in the river and had taken his dinghy ashore.  He was with another guy, but told him to run for it.  I don't think anybody was arrested or questioned so I assume the bad guys are still doing business. The sailor's boat is now in the marina, but he is not here right now.  I don't know how bad the wounds were, but they weren't life threatening.  As usual, the most dangerous thing in the jungle (and anywhere else) is man. Several cars passed me, people on their way to the dock to fish.  One mini-van with an open sunroof sprouted three kid's heads.  They stopped and talked for a bit and the passenger asked in perfect English if I was looking for birds.  He was a guide, but the monument type, not avian; very nice guy named Eddie.
My birding day was short.  After the meander at the Fort and the dock road walk,  I drove behind the old, abandonded Sea Breeze Complex and got the usual suspects. I also stopped to see the White-tailed Trogon family I saw yesterday.  I don't think they have nestlings after all.  I think the 'cute' talking was to each other and I think they are excavating the termite nest to create their nest. The male had termite mound dirt on his bill.  I will not bug them so that they continue at that site and I will be able to observe them through a clutch.  They are so beautiful.  The guide book says they are 10-11 inches, but when you get close, they seem so small and delicate.  I will have to get a short video of them talking and post it so you can hear them. They are enchanting birds and I will miss not seeing them when I leave.  Sure wish we had Sulfur-crested Cockies, Trogons and Blue Tits in California.  Speaking of Cockatoos makes me think of OZ and a weird conversation I had with a Tasmanian sailor at the Friday Night Yacht Luck and BBQ.  He claims the government has told them to shoot Kookaburras because they are not native.  I asked, "In Tasmania?" He said all of Australia.  He claims they are Papua New Guinea birds and the government has instructed shootings.  I said I found it hard to believe that Kookaburras aren't natives as I thought they and Budgies are the quintessential Aussie birds. I knew the guys was nuts, but I looked in one of my Aussies guides anyway and found that only the Laughing Kookaburra is in Tasmania and both the Blue-winged and Laughing are on the mainland.  There are three races of Blue-winged and two of Laughing. I hope to see him again and ask that he please check with birding authorities in Oz before he shoots such treasures or advises others to do so.
Eurybia sp.
Glasswing moth?
As always, click on the photo to enlarge.
Got two new butterflies and saw another I've seen before but still haven't identified.
Goodnight,
Sue

Bird List for Today:
Brown Pelican
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Common Black-hawk
American Kestrel
Long-tailed Hermit
White-tailed Trogon
Collared Aracari
Woodcreeper  Must have been Cocoas?  There was a pair. Call was not typical; it was a two syllabled chew chew, kids laser gun call
Dot-winged Antbird
White-flanked Antwren
Great Kiskadee
Social Flycatcher
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Southern Bentbill
Tropical Kingbird
Bay Wren
Clay-colored Thrush
Tropical Mockingbird
Thick-billed Euphonia
Blue-gray Tanager
Crimson-back Tanager
Variable Seedeater
Chestnut-headed Oropendola

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