Blue-throated Goldentail at Tranquilo Bay

Blue-throated Goldentail at Tranquilo Bay

Last week, when some guests and I where preparing to go for a hike, we started by enjoying the hummingbird activity outside their cabin.   To our great surprise, in the group of hummingbirds feeding was an uncommon species for this part of the country, a gorgeous male Blue-throated Goldentail, also known as Blue-throated Sapphire (Hylocharis eliciae).

The bird stayed around the entire day feeding on the same plant, and everybody that wanted to see it, got to enjoy it and photograph it. And off course, after the hike I came back with my camera to get some pictures.

This species has been observed on the Tranquilo Bay grounds only one time before.  This time we have been allowed to enjoy it for a long time, because it is still coming back to the same plant to feed.  It is chasing away the Crowned Woodnymphs, Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds and Stripe-throated Hermit, that are feeding on the same plant.

Blue-throated Sapphire

New sightings for our Western Caribbean Slope bird-list

Last month while I was birding with some guests we had the great fortune to find two species of bird in areas out of the range reported for these species. While we were birding around Tranquilo Bay’s grounds, we observed two hummingbirds on a tree, I got to ID the first one with my naked eye, it was a Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii), then, when I look through my binoculars, a bright red beak of the other hummingbird stand out, and immediately knew it was a “lifer” for me (lifer: specie of bird never seen before by the observant), it was a male Blue-throated Goldentail (Hylocharis eliciae) for a moment it perched on a little branch and then flew to fight the Green-breasted Mango, that was perched on the same tree. Fortunately one of the guests had a camera, and got some good pictures for identification, thanks a lot Chris for the pictures!Hummingbird PanamaPhoto credits Christopher Ng. Male Blue-throated Goldentail (Hylocharis eliciae)

Panama HummingbirdsPhoto credits Christopher Ng. Male Blue-throated Goldentail (Hylocharis eliciae) fighting a Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)

The following day, we went birding on the Snyder Canal, at the San San Pond Sak wetland, and there we had the other unusual encounter (another lifer for me). In front of us a big bird flew from the forest to the edge of the forest, so we slowly approached with the boat and to our surprise this bird perched on a branch, out in the open.  It was a gorgeous Black-collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis).

Birding PanamaBlack-collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis)

After enjoying this hawk for some time we continued the boat ride, and I noticed a strong smell of dead fish, which I probably had not noticed previously due to the excitement with the Black-collared Hawk.  Looking around, and for the next 100 meters, along the canal, there were hundreds of small dead fish. Jay helped me to ID them (back at the lodge), they are commonly known as shad, and apparently are very susceptible to changes in their environment.

deadshadOne of the many groups of dead fishes at the Snyder canal

If you want to know the different species of birds we saw during the two birding experiences, you can check on my e-bird:

Species seen while we where birding around Tranquilo Bay: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25332931

Birding trip to the Snyder Canal (this excursion includes different locations):

Canal: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25348643

Mouth of the river: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25349342

Bird Island: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25349367