Bonus Bird for today: Great Pootoo

Great Pootoo: Pipe-line Road, near Canopy Tower, Panama, July 2022 — Birders worldwide know about the Pipeline Road in Panama. It is just a stretch of dirt road up and over a range of hills, alongside the remains of a pipeline that the US started to build during World War Two as an alternative route to get oil to the Pacific Fleet if the Canal should be blocked or taken by Japan. The war ended before it was completed and the project was abandoned, but the road is still there. Most of the traffic on it is birders. Half way up you come to the Rainforest Resource Center, a well known birding destination in itself, but one of highlights of any birding trip to Panama is to walk the Pipeline Road in search of mixed feeding flocks and tropical specialities. If you are at the Canopy Tower for a 7 night bird experience, you will spend at least three mornings on the Pipeline Road, and probably visit the Ammo Ponds (along the road) for night creatures as well. I was only at the Tower for 5 days, and I did the Pipeline Road twice. My own experience of the Pipeline Road was disappointing, as both times it rained so hard we had to hike quickly back to bird-mobile, and then some of us had a very wet ride home in the open back of the truck, but that is the way birding Panama in the green season sometimes. We did manage (or our guide did manage) to find the roosting Great Pootoo along the lower section of the road…not in it usual spot. I have no idea how he saw it were it was, as there was only a tiny widow in the foliage where you get a clear view. He put the scope on it, and after everyone had had a good look, he moved the scope so I could stand in the one spot for this photo. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm, cropped and enlarged to get this image scale, and shot with multi-frame noise reduction to get detail in the low light of the canopy. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Plus .7EV.

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