Birdwatching in Panama - 2019
In November 2019, we had a stop-over in Panama en route to Colombia for a short birdwatching tour. We flew from Montreal to Panama City and then went by car to Canopy Lodge located at El Valle de Antón in Coclé Province. We found that this is a good to way to break a trip to South America, as Panama City is a central hub for flights connecting incoming flights from North America to many South American cities. With close to 1000 species of birds, Panama has much to offer to the birdwatchers.
The spring migration in 2019 in Lake Erie was a bit unusual for us as the warblers and other migratory birds came in slowly. We started our journey on the USA side in late April at Maumee Bay and Magee Marsh and then headed north to Point Pelee National Park, Ontario (Canada) until mid-May. The species we used to see in numbers in previous years were sparse and trickling in slowly. However, our days were rewarded by a number of species new to us...
In April 2019, we visited four ecolodges in Ecuador for birdwatching. We had made arrangements directly with the lodges which are part of the San Jorge network of ecolodges and botanical reserves. From Canada, we flew from Montreal to Panama City, and then to Quito. A car took us to the first lodge, an 18th century Spanish hacienda called San Jorge Ecolodge/Quito in the upper Andean Forest Reserve.
In November 2018, we visited Big Island with the aim of seeing some of their endemic species. Indeed, the palila, apapane, iiwi, amakihi, omao, akialoaau, Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian goose (locally called the Nene) and the akiapolaau were found with the help of a local guide... .
A selection of photos from our trip to Manitoba, Canada, in the summer of 2018 for bird and nature watching. During this trip, we visited Oak Hammock Marsh, a wildlife center north of Winnipeg and FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg with its population of black-tailed prairie dogs. We also visited Portage La Prairie for birdwatching before taking the plane to Churchill on the shore of Hudson Bay.
A selection of bird photos from our stay at the ASA Wright Nature Center on Trinidad Island and at Cuffie River Nature Retreat on Tobago Island in April 2018. Because of their location and facilities for birdwatching, Trinidad and Tobago provide a good introduction for neotropical birds.
After a first birdwatching trip to the Panama last fall, during the rain season, we returned to see Panama during the dry season, hoping for better weather and perhaps an easier birdwatching experience. It was indeed dryer but also warmer (in fact, hot) and humid, making the walks difficult because of the intensity of the heat.
Birdwatching in Panama during the wet season
With a total count of 978 species of birds and many species of mammals, Panama is a good destination for bird watching and wildlife photography. Given that Panama is a relatively small country, many species can be found without having to travel too far. In November 2016, we stayed at two different locations known to offer a variety of habitats and good birding.
The approach to safaris in Tanzania is centered on small groups for a more personal and enjoyable experience. In August 2005, we visited parks and reserves of Tanzania through a travel agency specialized in world expeditions. Camping was an option and, while we are not avid campers, we decided to give it a try. In addition, this was our first African safari.
South Africa offers unique opportunities for photography with its abundant and much different wildlife as well as interesting landscapes. While a number of safari tours are available through travel agencies, it is relatively easy to organize your own visit to parks and reserves and either go on safari on your own or join outings organized by the parks. In the fall of 2014, we had the opportunity to visit Kruger National Park, on the east coast of South Africa, where wildlife was varied and relatively easy to see and to photograph.
The road from Tadoussac to Kegaska on the Quebec North Shore offers breathtaking scenery on the Saint-Lawrence. In August 2016, we visited the region with the goal of reaching “the end of road”, i.e. the end of highway 138 in Kegaska. This is as far as you can go by car along the north shore. The distance between Tadoussac and Kegaska is 844 km and the itinerary brings you through Baie Comeau, Sept-Iles, Havre-Saint-Pierre and Natashquan where Gilles Vigneault was born.