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

Inland Birding


        Most of our time in the San Blas area was devoted to inland birding.  These pictures suggest the variety of habitats and species.
Reservoir where flocks of Magnificent Frigatebirds wheel and spritz-bathe
Birders near the reservoir just after seeing the prized bird in the following frame
A distant and loudly calling Laughing Falcon, observed and photographed by spotting scope
First light on Mecatan Road
The nearby Strangler Fig, where 27 species have been seen in a single hour
Citriolene Trogon in the noble Fig
Great Black Hawk beside a farm road near the San Blas sewage ponds
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl perched fifty yards away
White-collared Seedeater, in reeds beside the lagoon at Spoonbill Junction

       On February 11, shortly before we left Paraiso Miramar, Chris Tenney led a Big Day effort to see how many species we could record collectively in 24 hours.  Organized into teams, we revisited all the places we had birded in the San Blas area.  Our collective total for the day was a satisfying 207 species.

Chris checking with the mangrove boat team

        The residents we have encountered in the countryside have been unfailingly courteous and friendly.  Although a surprising number ride horses, we have also been impressed by the prevalence of modern trucks in remote area
Lower Bajada Road
Outskirts of San Blas
Upper Bajada Road

        Yet one has to wonder at the tolerance of a poor rural populace for troops of strange Yankees tramping boldly through their farms and around their houses, armed with elaborate optical gear, in pursuit of BIRDS??

        A new era in birder/resident relations may be portended by the village of Singayta (pronounced Sing-guy-ta), the best known and longest used inland birding destination around San Blas.

Along Singayta's unpaved main street

        This year we encountered a new deal in Singayta.
Welcome station
The new regime
20 pesos = less than $2
Friendly resident (JW)

Photographs copyrighted 2004, that  initialed (JW) by Jim Woodhouse, all others by Carolyn Merchant