Panama: Christmas at El Valle's Canopy Lodge
New Year at Panama's Canopy Tower
Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
December 22, 2009 to January 3, 2010

December 22, 2009 (Tuesday)

  • Arrived at Panama City International Airport.
  • Viewed local birds near the Country Inn in the area of Amador and Pelicano Avenues.
    (Black-throated Mango, Crimson-backed Tanager, Keel-billed Toucan, Tropical Mockingbird,
    Yellow-crowned Euphonia, Forked-tailed Flycatcher)
  • Spent night at Country Inn & Suites.

    View from our balcony at the Country Inn & Suites

    View from our balcony at the Country Inn & Suites

    December 23, 2009 (Wednesday)

  • Birded from our balcony overlooking the Panama Canal.
    (Blue-headed Parrot, Yellow-fronted Amazon, Pale-vented Pigeon, Tropical Flycatcher, Variable Seedeater)
  • After breakfast, left with group for Canopy Lodge located in El Valle de Anton, Panama.
  • Birded from the porch area and the balcony of our room at Canopy Lodge.
    (Thick-billed Euphonia, Rufous Motmot, Streaked Saltator, Tawny-capped Euphonia,
    Red-crowned Ant-Tanager,Green Honeycreeper, Flame-rumped Tanager, plus many more)

    Our room (number 8) at Canopy Lodge

    Our room (number 8) at Canopy Lodge

    December 24, 2009 (Thursday)

  • Birded La Mesa, a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province in Panama, after breakfast.
    The area is at 2800' and sits below the crest of the Continental Divide.
    (Hummingbirds: Violet-crowned Woodnymph, Little Hermit, Green Hermit, Band-tailed Barbthroat,
    Tanagers: Silver-throated, Bay-headed, Hepatic, and Short-tailed Hawk.)
  • Birded around Canopy Lodge before and after lunch.
    (Common Tody Flycatcher, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Black-chested Jay, Collared Aracari.)
  • Afternoon birding at Cara Iguana on the opposite side of El Valle from Canopy Lodge.
    (Tropical Screetch Owl, Gray-headed Chachalaca, Snail Kite, Blue-crowned Motmot.)

    December 25, 2009 (Friday)

  • After a very early breakfast, we dove to the El Chiru area in the dry Pacific lowlands for a morning of birding.
    (Roadside Hawk, Panama Flycatcher, Golden-fronted Greenlet, Veraguan Mango,
    Saphire-throated Hummingbird, Garden Emerald, Scrub Greenlet, Gray-capped Flycatcher.)
  • Late in the morning, we headed to Playa Santa Clara and Raul's beachfront property for lunch and respite from the heat.
    (Long-nosed Bat)
  • Bird El Valle Chiquito late in the afternoon.
    (Yellow-backed Oriole)
  • Feasted on a delicious Christmas Dinner at Canopy Lodge.

    December 26, 2009 (Saturday)

  • Birded Cerro Gaital and the highlands and rainforest areas during the morning.
    (Tawny-crested Tanager, Spot-crowned Antvireo, Pale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Common Bush-Tanager, Emerald Toucanet)
  • After lunch, birded Finca Candalareo, a private ranch.
    (Orange-bellied Trogan, Black-crowned Antpita)

    December 27, 2009 (Sunday)

  • After breakest birding at Finca Candalareo.
    (Dull-mantled Antbird, Mottled Owl: seen on Canopy Adventure grounds)
  • Our last lunch at Canopy Lodge.
  • After lunch, shopped at a local market and then drove to Canopy Tower near Panama City. Said goodby to Canopy Lodge birders.
  • Late in the afternoon birded from Canopy Tower.
    (Bat Falcon)
  • Dinner at Canopy Tower with new group of birders.

    Canopy Tower

    Canopy Tower

    December 28, 2009 (Monday)

  • Early morning birding from Canopy Tower (we were disappointed in the number of species seen).
    (Green Shrike Vireo, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Lesser Greenlet, Blue Dachnis)
  • After breakfast birding during a hike down Semaphore Hill (excellent birding location-would have liked more time here).
    (White-whiskered Puffbird, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Red-capped Manakin, Olivaceous Flatbill,
    White Hawk, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Great Potoo)
    (Mantled Howler Monkey, White-throated Capuchin Monkey, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, Red-tailed Squirrel)
  • Before and after lunch birded feeders at entrance and on grounds of Canopy Tower.
    (Hummingbirds seen: Snowy-bellied, White-necked Jacobin, Violet-bellied, Blue-chested, White-vented Plumeleteer)
  • Birded Gamboa area after lunch followed by birding at Carmen's house and Ammo Dump Ponds.
    (Red-legged Honeycreeper, Blue-crowned Motmot, Greater Ani, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Wattled Jacana,
    Lineated Woodpecker, Plain Xenops)
    (Central American Agouti)
    (107 species today)

    December 29, 2009 (Tuesday)

  • 0430 departure for Bayano Lowlands. These lowland forests are located in the eastern part of the Panama Province,
    a two hour drive from Panama City. Trail we took at this location was overgrown and had lots of ticks.
    (Black-tailed Trogon, White-flanked Antwren, Blue-black Grosbeak, Black Antshrike, Forest Elaenia)
  • Lunch by the Bayano River. Drove back to Panama City.
    (American Kestral: Columbian Race, Gray-breasted Martin).
    (Saw butterflies puddling. By sipping moisture from mud puddles, male butterflies take in salts
    and minerals from the soil to aid in the development of sperm.)
  • Late afternoon birding along Camino del Oleoducto in Parque Nacional Soberania.
    (Gray-necked Woodrail, Squirrel Cuckoo, White-shouldered Tanager)

    December 30, 2009 (Wednesday)

  • After breakfast, birded along Pipeline Road, Parque Nacional Soberania.
    (Slaty-tailed Trogon, Purple-throated Fruit-Crow, Bay Wren, Crimson-crested Woodpecker,
    White-tailed Trogon, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Black-breasted Puffbird, Blue-crowned Manakin)
    (Tent-making Bat)
  • After lunch, birded the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center area and from tower
    (disappointing, few species seen)
    (Fasciated Antshrike, Golden-hooded Oriole, Blue Cotinga (scope view), Band-rumped Swift)

    December 31, 2009 (Thursday)

  • Another very early start after breakfast. Drove to the Gatun Locks on the Carribean side of the Panama Canal.
    Morning birding along Achiote Road.
    (Savannah Hawk, Yellow-headed Caracara, Black-breasted Puffbird, White-tailed Trogon, Vaux Swift,
    Fulvous-vented Euphonia, Black-headed Saltator, Streaked Flycatcher, Pied Puffbird)
    (Good birding along Achiote Road, lots of heavy traffic on road)
  • Light lunch in the town of Achiote at the Parque Nacional San Lorenzo visitor center.
    Birded one trail in park.
    (Yellow-rumped Cacique, Pygmy Kingfisher)
  • About 1330 left Colon for transcontinental train ride on the Panama Canal Railroad back to Panama City.
    The train ride was one of the highlights of the trip and should not be missed. Enjoyed the train ride,
    Gatun Lake scenery, free coffee, and goodie box given to each rider.
    (Snail Kite, Black Tern, Mangrove Swallow, Variable Seedeater).
  • Pre-dinner birding on the property of a Gamboa golf and spa hotel near Canopy Tower.
    ((Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Thick-billed Euphonia, Snail Kite)
  • Delicious New Year's Eve Dinner.

    January 1, 2010 (Friday)

  • Pre-breakfast birding from Tower.
    (Brown-capped Tyrannulet)
  • Post-breakfast birding along Plantation Road.
    (Yellow-backed Oriole (nest with young), White-bellied Antbird, Spotted Antbird, Dot-winged Antwren,
    Long-billed Antwren, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-throated Trogon)
  • After lunch birding at Summit Pond.
    (Amazon Kingfisher, Spectacled Owl, Boat-billed Heron)
    (White-nosed Coati)
  • Post-dinner ride to look for owls and mammals (didn't attend).

    January 2, 2010 (Saturday)

  • Another early morning with birding at Parque Natural Metropolitano, a park within Panama City's limits.
    (Black-striped Sparrow, Orange-billed Sparrow, Black Tityra, Southern Bentbill)
  • Quick stop at Parque Municipal Summit, Summit Nature Park, to see their Harpy Eagle. It was worth the stop.
  • Post-lunch visit to the Mira Flores Locks, Panama Canal. Worthwhile trip to visit the museum and watch
    the ships traverse the Panama Canal.
  • Last dinner at Canopy Tower.

    January 3, 2010 (Sunday)

  • Drive to Tocumen Airport for departure to Houston.