Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First day in Panama

My mom and I arrived in Panama last night with a mostly uneventful flight, only having a 30m delay in leaving Miami. As we stepped off the plane we were hit by a gust of warm hot air: welcome to Central America. As of 10am this morning the temperature was already over 85 and rising. 
After making it through customs we got a taxi to take us to our imagined destination, Luna's Castle, which we were mildly disturbed by, judging by the partially clad people hanging over the balcony on the second floor, playing on guitars, singing, and generally carousing. Not a bad place, but we imagined that the amount of sleep gotten wouldn't be as much as we required. So our very nice taxi driver took us to another place, Hotel Latino, which is pretty crude, but at least has wifi downstairs and hot showers. It worked for one night. Of course now, we had to meet up with Andrew and Ethan who were headed for Luna's, unknowing of our abandonment of that hostel. When I got online I found out that Ethan had been stranded in Atlanta by inclement weather, so all that we had to get was Andrew. Luckily he had his wits around him, and checked his voicemail when he got to Luna's, and managed to hitch a ride with the National Police to Hotel Latino for a cool $2. 
After all that was all gotten out of the way, and we were finally together, all was good. 
This morning we got up at 0645 to head off to the Metropolitan Park in Panama City, and got a taxi there, and after paying the entrance fee to the park, the fun started. We managed to tally about 60-70 species, not sure of the exact number, but we got some great stuff. Some of the tougher birds that we got were Crane Hawk, very rare in the canal zone, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Indigo Bunting, which is not on the list for the park, and Southern Bentbill. Some of my personal favorites, although not hard, include Green Shrike-Vireo, SEEN, Crimson-backed Tanager, upwards of 15 Bay-breasted Warblers, Lance-tailed Manakins, Slaty-tailed, Violaceous, and Black-throated Trogons all seen from one spot, and Rufous-breasted Wren wasn't too shabby either. There were some fun mammals too, we had Coatimundi, Howler Monkeys, and unidentified Tamarins, an Agouti, and some squirrel.
This afternoon we're heading off to pick up the car, enough taxis for now, and heading off for some more afternoon birding before picking Ethan up tonight at 7:15 from his rescheduled flight. 
After that, Pipeline Road tomorrow, most likely Nusagandi the day after, picking up Caity, and then off to the west and to DavĂ­d!

Take it easy, 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there Ian. Sorry that the fun and carousing on our balcony scared you guys away because we would have loved to have you! Next time, just stop in and maybe we can convince you that a good rest and fun can be had under the same roof! Or maybe at least stop in and tell us that we an give the beds to someone else as we turned several people away to make room for your group. Hope the rest of your trip goes well...

Luna's Castle Hostel