Paraiso Miramar (San Blas area), Jan. 26 - Feb. 15

Mangroves Birding


        Nowhere was birding more visually intense than on our boat trip through the mangroves.  In addition to the main morning cruise from nearby Mantanchen, Carolyn and Charlie joined Jim and Pat Coe for an afternoon cruise, and another group took a cruise from San Blas lasting into the night.
Mantanchen landing
Early risers waiting for the boatmen
First boat
Our boatman
Second boat
"What's that up there?"

        Even the familiar North American wading birds were a treat when seen at such close range and in such abundance.
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
White Ibis

        Especially interesting were some of the rarer and more bizarre denizens of tropical marshes.  Unfortunately the Northern Potoo, an owl camouflaged to resemble a rotting tree snag, was seen only on the night trip and could not be photographed.
Bare-throated Tiger Heron
Boat-billed Heron

       There were also plenty of interesting non-water birds along the way..
Great Kiskadee
Grey Hawk
Lesser Nighthawk

       Birds were not the only intriguing creatures present.

        This faunal spectacle unrolled against a backdrop of marshy variety.  The pleasant waterside cafe at bucolic La Tovara Springs, our halfway turnaround point, offered a brief respite for overtaxed senses.
Mangrove jungle
Into the tunnel
Fishing huts
La Tovara Springs
La Tovara cafe
Egret roost

Photographs copyrighted 2004 by Carolyn Merchant