Passerini’s Tanager 

Passerini’s Tanager. Snyder Canal, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Before we got to Swan Island and the Red-billed Tropicbirds yesterday, we spent most of the day motoring quietly along Snyder’s Canal… the first Panama Canal…built to move bananas from Plantation to port. It was only used for about 5 years before the United Fruit Company built a railroad that was much more efficient. Along the shores of the old canal today you can get close views of many of the lowland and forest species. This Passerini’s Tanager came right out to the edge to take a look at us as we floated a dozen feet off-shore. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. Processed and cropped slightly in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet. 

Red-billed Tropicbird

Red-billed Tropicbird. Swan Island, Bocas del Toro, Panama.

At the end of a long day in a boat in the Snyder Canal in Bocas del Toro, Panama (as part of the ZEISS VICTORY SF Experience at Tranquilo Bay Lodge) we chanced the off-shore waves to go out to Swan Island to the Red-billed Tropicbird rookery. Sea bird rookery is more accurate as Brown Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds also nest and roost there. The Tropicbirds, however, are certainly the stars of the show. Super elegant, graceful, impressive in every way. Today there had to be a hundred birds circling the island and the nests in holes in the cliffs. It had clouded over but there was still enough light for effective photography. 

My Sony RX10iii actually did a pretty good job with the fast moving birds…better than I expected. My custom bkrds-in-flight mode…ISO set to auto, minimum shutter speed 1/1000th, and wide area focus to pick up the birds against the background. This shot was processed in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet. 

Golden-collared Manakin

Golden-collared Manakin, Tranquilo Bay Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

There are two reliable lecking areas quite near the cabins at Tranquilo Bay Lodge in Bocas del Toro, Panama where we enjoying birds, butterflies, reptiles, etc etc. This is a Golden-collared Manakin. I sat and perspired for an hour in the rainforest before two males came 🙂 They did not do their lecking dance, probably because there were no females nearby. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. Processed in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet. 

Gartered Trogon. Panama

Gartered Trogon. Above the Changuinola Valley. Panama.

High above the Changuinola Valley in Northern Panama, right up against the Costa Rican border, above Bocas del Toro, we spent a half hour watching a Gartered Trogon, waiting for it to turn so we could see the color… without success. Then we walked across the highway to the small restaurant where we were going to eat our lunch, and found this one sitting over the parking lot. 🙂 That is the kind of trip we are having based in Tranquilo Bay Lodge…one of the best birding destinations in Central America. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. Processed in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet. 

Poison Dart Frog: Panama

Poison Dart Frog, Bocas del Toro, Panama.

There are two species of Poison Dart Frogs here in Bocas del Toro,  Panama. Most are small and various shades of red, orange, and light yellow. This is the other species 🙂 It is maybe three times the size of the little ones. No two frogs have the exact same pattern of green and black. We found lots of these frogs near the bases of trees and in the litter under the low cocco trees and the tall Rainforest canopy at a shade grown cocco Plantation… Green Acres Chocolate Farm on the mainland across from Tranquilo Bay Lodge. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program with auto flash. Processed in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet. 

Glass-winged Butterflies 

Glass-winged Butterflies, MOU trains overlooking Bocas del Toro Panama.

These might just be my favorite butterflies in the whole world…and they are even more special in that I only see them when visiting the highlands of Central America…in this case the mountains just below the continental divide overlooking Bocas del Toro,  Panama. This is both of the species possible in these mountains. We are at Tranquilo Bay Lodge for a week of birding and photography in this amazing corner of the tropics. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. Processed and cropped for scale in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet. 

Tranquilo Bay Lodge Official Greeter 

As we got out of the boats and walked the boardwalk through the mangroves toward the stairs up to the Lodge at Tranquilo Bay we were greeted by the official greeter, just like at Walmart 🙂  This is a Three-fold Sloth. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. Program Mode. Processed in PhotoShop Express on my Android tablet. 

Nest Building Verdin

Verdin. Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, Tucson AZ

Though I am in Panama for a short night’s sleep before a 5am pick-up for our flight to Bocas Del Toro and Tranquilo Bay Lodge, I will take a moment to post this shot from the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson. There are,  of course,  a lot of wild Desert birds who call the grounds of the ASDM home. This Verdin, building a nest,  is one of them. 

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom. 

God’s Dog

Coyote, Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, Tucson AZ

I am up early tomorrow and headed for the airport for the first leg of my flights to Panama…I will get to Panama City by 7:30PM tomorrow, to the hotel by 8:30, and then we have a 5AM pickup for the flight to Bocas del Toro. My posting schedule will be off for the next 9 days…but I will attempt to post at least to my Facebook and Google+ Pic for todays. This post is for tomorrow, 8/20.

God’s Dog is what the native Americans of Southern Arizona called the Coyote, and in this pose it is easy to see why. Such a beautiful animal. Again, I don’t post zoo shots that are obviously zoo…but who can resist the Coyote in its natural setting?

Sony RX10iii at 534mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.

Woody the Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker, Ash Canyon B&B, Sierra Vista, AZ

Yet another shot from the Ash Canyon Bed and Breakfast south of Sierra Vista, Arizona. The Acorn Woodpecker is the archetypal house breaker, hammering on any solid surface, destroyer of aluminum siding and cedar shingles indiscriminately…made famous by the Disney cartoons of Woody the Woodpecker. They are the most common woodpecker in the foothills of Arizona’s Sky Islands.

Sony RX10iii at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/320th @ ISO 100 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.