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PANAMA & DARIEN

Saturday 17th January - Sunday 8th February 2009

Matt Denton

Panama offers some of Central America’s best wilderness birding, and this year’s tour excelled in many ways. We visit the western, central and eastern parts of this narrow republic, making for a single comprehensive tour unequalled by other companies. All of the Pirre endemics, Beautiful Treerunner, Pirre Warbler, Pirre Bush-Tanager and Green-naped Tanager were seen well in addition to the many Darien specialties seen that included Russet-crowned Quail-Dove, Rufous-cheeked (Pirre) Hummingbird, Dusky-backed Jacamar, Varied Solitaire and Viridian Dacnis. Our total for the trip of 525 species includes many range-restricted and threatened species, over 20 birds confined to the Costa Rica and Panama highlands Endemic Bird Area (this EBA is more extensively covered on our Costa Rica tour), and quite a few species largely ranging in Panama and hard-to-access parts of Colombia and north-western Ecuador. Some of the other many memorable birds included country endemics such as Veraguas Mango and Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, spectacular birds such as Great Green Macaw, Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Ocellated Antbird, Thicket (Fulvous-bellied) and Streak-chested (Spectacled) Antpittas, Black-tipped and Blue Cotingas, Black Oropendola and Blue-and-gold Tanager as well as some little known birds such as Green Manakin and the enigmatic Sapayoa.