Archive for March 8th, 2010
After a few days of terrific, if sometimes rainy, birding in the Volcan area, we shifted to the eastern side of Volcan Barù National Park, and Finca Lerida above the village of Boquette. Finca Lerida is a coffee farm – excellent coffee, by the way – but it has preserved the majority of the property as native forest. Most is second growth but there are some areas that have virgin tropical forest. Like Volcan, this is cloud forest, but perhaps slightly drier.
Finca Lerida is a very nice just as a destination. Beautiful rooms, excellent food and quite good birds just on the coffee farm itself. But if you get back in the old growth just a ways, the birding is outstanding. This Three-wattled Bellbird was one of the best species we got.
The loud call – not very much like a bell at all, I’m afraid – has ventriloquism-like qualities. We’d have never found it, let along gotten the outstanding views we had, without the able assistance of our guide, young Cesàr Caballero. Birds that prefer the margins of field and orchards were also abundant, including the lovely Flame-colored Tanager:
On the grounds themselves we found this Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush peeking out of the hedges:
and the ubiquitous Red-crowned Woodpecker:
We also picked up a few more sightings of Resplendent Quetzal and a variety of Trogons. There were also old friends from home: Hairy Woodpecker, Wilson’s Warbler and Spotted Sandpiper. All told, good birding, good lodging, good food and, in young Cesàr, and outstanding guide. We very much wish we could have stayed longer. Finca Lerida should be on a birder’s short list of terrific destinations in Panama.