Yesterday, Island Girl flew 180 miles (289 km) across Panama, eventually winding up at the tip of the Azuero Peninsula near Punta Mala on the Pacific Ocean. This is the first time she has reached the Pacific on her 2011 fall migration.
Several of our satellite-tagged birds have taken this same route in the past. Some have headed across the Gulf of Panama to Colombia from here, others have flown NE towards Panama City. We'll know what she does tomorrow.
The distance over water from Punta Mala to the other side of the bay is about 140 miles, always risky but certainly possible for a healthy falcon.
If she goes this way, it eliminates the possibility of our friend, Guido Berguido, intercepting her as we had hoped. However, we have seen her divert from the water crossing and head for the Canal in the past. We'll just have to wait and see.
It looks like she roosted in a large tree in an open field of an agricultural area at Punta Mala. However, there also seems to be a fenceline running through her position, so I suppose it is just as possible that she may have slept on a fencepost. At any rate, she was only about 300 yards from the surf.
If you use Google Earth, check out the place to the right, tennis courts, swimming pool, boat dock, big house overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
As the fall night time temperatures here in Washington drop down into to the high 30's, I can't help but visualize how idyllic it must be to live in such a warm and beautiful setting.
With peregrines migrating by...........wait.........maybe a banding station!