Joppa Flats Volunteers Trip to Panama
From the Canal to the Highlands
July 2006

Our annual Joppa Flats Education Center Volunteer trip,
organized by Mass Audubon Tours and the Joppa Flats staff, visited Panama this summer.

Our trip started at the Canopy Tower on Semaphore Hill in Soberania National Park.

Carlos and Bill were discussing the plans for the day

while the rest of the party was looking for birds and enjoying a morning coffee.

Birds included this Collared Aracari,

Keel-billed Toucan, and

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

Our introduction to the area was a hike down the hill on the access road.
Highlights included:

White-nosed Coati,

getting up-close and personal with an Army Ant soldier,

a Broad-billed Motmot,

a Rufous Motmot,

and Mantled Howler Monkey. At other times in the lowlands, we picked up
the rest of our monkey trifecta -

Geoffrey's Tamarin

and White-throated Capuchin.
A Cecropia Tree next to the Canopy Tower hosted

a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, and other sightings around the Tower included

Thick-billed Euphonia and

Black-breasted Puffbirds.

While visiting Pipeline Road, we saw

White-whiskered Puffbird,

Common Tody-Flycatcher,

Purple-throated Fruitcrow,

Semiplumbeous Hawk,

and Streak-chested (Spectacled) Antpitta (to name a few).

On Old Gamboa Road, we noted

Spectacled Owl,

Slaty-tailed Trogon,

and Amazon Kingfisher.

In Gamboa, we saw

Blue-gray Tanagers,

Purple-crowned Fairy,

and Orange-chinned Parakeets.

The Ammo Dump Pond area delivered, as usual, with

Rufescent Tiger-heron,

Barred Antshrike,

Black Vulture,

and Green Iguana, and a visit to Summit Park included

Harpy Eagle (okay, it was in an enclosure, but wicked cool anyway),

Yellow-headed Caracara (free-range),

and a distant Blue Cotinga.

A visit to the Miraflores Locks in the Canal

was interesting and also produced a few birds.

Leaving the Tower was tough....

Here's the group with super-guides Carlos and Jose.

We flew to David and then drove into the Chiriqui Highlands, seeing

Brown-throated Parakeet

and Pearl Kite along the way. Upon arrival at

Los Quetzales Lodge in Guadalupe, we were greeted by

Rufous-collared Sparrows,

Slaty Flowerpiercer,

and Magnificent Hummingbirds.

On the grounds of Los Quetzales' cabanas (about 7000' elevation) were

Yellow-thighed Finches,

Chestnut-capped Brush Finch,

Black-cheeked Warbler,

Golden-bellied Flycatcher, and lots of hummers

including Violet Saberwing, White-throated Mountain-gem, etc., as well as
fabulous cloud forest plants.

Other birds in the area included

Black-capped Flycatcher,

Black-faced Solitaire,

and Silver-throated Tanagers.

The visit to Finca Dracula

(over 2000 varieties of orchids) was a stunner.

A visit to the shade-coffee plantation of Finca Hartman was great too -

Cherrie's Tanager,

Boat-billed Flycatcher,

Speckled Tanager,

Fiery-billed Aracari,

Pseudoxychila tarsalis Bates (Tiger Beetle),

and some curious kids.

It was a great trip!
We saw 223 species of birds (counting only those seen by most participants),
11 species of mammals, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Thanks to all of the participants!

Here is the consensus top ten birds of the trip:

 1. Spectacled Owl
 2. Blue Cotinga
 3. Violet Sabrewing
 4. Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher
 5. Cherrie's Tanager
 6. Fiery-billed Aracari
 7. Streak-chested (Spectacled) Antpitta
 8. Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
 9. Speckled Tanager
 10. Flame-throated Warbler


Leaders: Bill Gette, David Larson, Melissa Vokey

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