Saturday, August 30, 2014

9 August 2014

And so it fifth trip to Panama...13 days of hot, humid, sticky, amazing birdwatching. This time, the trip includes my wife Joanna, daughter Amelia, birding friends Simon and Howard from the UK, their wives Joanna and Jane respectively, and Simon's daughter Melissa.

My portion of the trip began at the un-Godly hour of 3:30am. Fortunately, all we needed to do was load the car and scoop Amelia up (she didn't even wake). My dad picked us up at 4:00am and we were on our way five minutes later to Victoria airport. Our flight departed on time at 6:00am and we landed in Seattle just 35 minutes later. After clearing security we had a nasty breakfast (scored 2 out of 10), then headed for our connecting flight to Atlanta which departed on time at 9:00am. We each passed the time watching movies, reading, and playing games.

We arrived in Atlanta a little before 5:00pm, where once again we had to clear security and continue on to our connecting flight to Panama. We had a little less than an hour to make the connection, so we were relatively rushed given we had never been to this airport before and had to get from Gate A to Gate E. We arrived at our gate with about 5 minutes to spare, so quickly bought some sandwiches and drinks and then boarded the flight.Two and a half hours later we were in Panama, a little past 8:00pm. We cleared security, picked up our luggage, and got our car in record time...just one hour. I quickly programmed the GPS to get to the resort, and 45 minutes later we were there. By the time we were in our room it was a little after 10:00pm...we had been on the go for 16.5 hours; 17.5 hours by the time it was lights out. Fortunately for Joanna and Amelia, they had the luxury of sleeping in the next day. As for me, I was meeting Simon and Howard in the lobby at 6:00am to go birding down Pipeline Road; yes, a birding vacation is more work than work itself...oh, the sacrifices.

Birding highlights today were, well...Northwestern Crow and Glaucous-winged Gull. Hard to pick the best of those. Tomorrow's birding should be somewhat better...I determined about a week ago that if I saw 40 lifers on this trip, the trip would be a huge success; time will tell.

2014 Panama Birding Summary
Total species today: 0
Total cumulative species for the trip:  0
Total lifers today:  0
Total cumulative lifers for the trip: 0

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