26 October, 2011

Island Girl Finally Flies Into Panama

Island Girl decided to continue her migration yesterday flying 100 miles (161 km) into the Bocas Del Toro region of western Panama. She made her move sometime between 2 and 10 PM.

She flew almost exactly SE following the coastline through Costa Rica (and passing by the Kekoldi site an an unknown distance). She must have also gone by thefamous Amistad International Park.

As she traversed the tropical coastal plain, she encountered the huge Laguna de Chiriqui and instead of crossing it, she chose to skirt the southern boundary of the bay. She has been here several times before. It is located on her "normal" migratory route.

She roosted on a forested hilltop (691' elevation) on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide and near the main road connecting northern and southern Panama, Highway 4. It is difficult to tell from the Google Earth image, which is obscured by clouds, but she may have been within sight of  this road.

Don McCall points out that...

"In her previous two southern migrations she reached this approximate latitude on 18 October (2010) and 25 October (2009), so she isn't really that far off her normal schedule despite the layover in Costa Rica."

For those of you that were on the rollicking FRG tour to Panama a few years back, her position was about 31 miles east of Volcan where we stayed (think Resplendent Quetzals) and well within view of Volcan Baru, in fact, nearly on its western flank.

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