Tiger Trail

December 31, 2012
This afternoon, Glyn and I drove to the Tiger Trail.  According to George Angher and Dodge & Lorna Engleman's book, WHERE TO FIND BIRDS IN PANAMA, the Tiger Trail is a good place for Scaly-throated and Tawny-throated Leaftossers and Streak-chested Antpittas. I don't have any of those birds and would love to see any one of them.
I say, Tiger Trail, but I don't think I've really ever found the trail referred to in the book. I think I have simply been on a truck trail. The Tiger Trail may start farther down the truck trail than I've gone.  It has always been too muddy for me to go to the end.  Anyway, for my blog, I will refer to the area in general as the Tiger Trail.

To get to the Tiger Trail, you take the Escobal Road and after passing the Spillway at the Chagres, look for a pull off area just after the road straightens after a long, gentle curve. There is a sign saying San Lorenzo National Parque, but it is usually obscured by vegetation.  Above is a map showing the Tiger Trail in orange. The red semi-circles show where you can park.  The lime green line represents a new cut since my first walk on the trail (unless it was an old one and got overgrown and it was re-cut). The new cut is a great walk through some low, damp areas and ends up on a bluff overlooking the Chargres. There is no trail (so far) down to the river. I can understand a new trail being cut to the river, but I am at a loss to understand the other seemingly senseless cutting elsewhere along the Tiger Trail.  There must be some master plan, but as an outsider looking in, it looks like random hacking away at the forest.  Along the trail that is marked orange on the map, there are trail width, half done, machete and saw (?) swaths cut into the forest. There were three of them in a row every 25 feet going off both sides of the truck trail. I have come across workman several times, but I was not able to understand what they were saying. They did say these were for walking and not cars.  Some trees are numbered with orange paint. I don't know what's happening and it seems a shame, but, maybe there is a good reason.

I got a brief glimpse of a bird with a scaly throat and thought I had a Scaly-throated Leaftosser, but, I couldn't list it due to the poor view. It looked brown overall, but I didn't see the face and crown, just the throat and part of the chest. I'm pretty sure it was a Leaftosser, but maybe it was a Scaly-throated Antwren. It was feeding with White-flanked Antwrens.

It wasn't the liveliest birding day, but we managed to see a few good birds near the end of the day.

Some terrible shots of a Blue-crowned Motmot. The forest was dark and it was tough getting decent shots.
Scarlett-rumped Cacique
I would really love to see a Long-tailed Woodcreeper before we leave Panama, and that has been my target bird since we got back, but, I was still happy to see this Barred Woodcreeper. I am really going to miss these guys.  It wasn't long ago that I just looked at them and tried to get a shot, but didn't even try to ID them because they were too fast and similar; now I can differentiate if I get a good view.
Obviously, the snappy displays given by the male Golden-collared Manakin require big energy.
I went birding twice today; once in the morning and then again in the afternoon to the Tiger Trail.  On my early walk, I saw a Boat-billed Flycatcher eat a flower, which kind of surprised me. He just swallowed it whole.  One of these:

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