New Report: Panama
I think I have now caught up with a backlog of trip reports with this one from Scott Flamand
The Canopy Tower, Panama, 2014: Scott Flamand, 4 days & 14 species including Allen’s Olingo and Spectal Bats. Nice photos too.
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I have just come back from Canopy Tower and their foothill site, Canopy Lodge. Agouti was common both places; Olingo I had before at Canopy Tower and again this time — ask them to put out bananas. No kinkajous this time; the lodge staff have changed banana trees as of two weeks ago, and that may be why. Bat colony under the bridge cited in above report was one that three different guides failed to mention to me, even though I kept asking. (Shoddy service, seems to me. I am annoyed.) One night drive at Canopy Tower ($65 a person, brief) had two Central American Wooly Opossums, heard-only potoo, Two-toed Sloth, and Common / Southern Opossum at Summit Pond (which we were turned back from by a type of Frontier Police). Same night drive had Paca as “driver only” (plus a road-killed one). We tried for night monkeys, had no luck at any of the known trees, day or night. Howler monkeys were present two out of two days on Pipeline Road. Capybaras were present this time and previous times at Ammo Ponds. At Canopy Lodge, self-initiated night walks had Wooly Opossum, Nine-banded Armadillo, and Two-toed Sloth, besides also a blue frog and a scorpion. Driver during late dusk had peccary cross road on Tower access road — my wife saw it, most of us did not. (There is known crossing point.) We did not have Tamanadua at any sites (which I did all three previous times). Coatis present on Tower Road and at Pipeline Road. At Canopy Lodge, Great Fruit Bats were on roost about half a mile away; you will need directions. One thing I missed again this trip was prehensile-tailed porcupine, seen at Lodge perhaps every two weeks or so? The Lodge / Tower staff do not actively seek mammals, so hard to get a good survey. The guides do know their birds really well but even if you get the “all inclusive” package (allowing you fulltime guide service during the day), there’s still a problem in that your guide takes out whichever group is at hand, and on this trip especially, there was an appalling lack of field craft skills among some of the other clients. Luck of the draw, really, on that. It reminds me that if a trip is important to you (and they all are, yes?), a private guide may be the wisest investment. / Charles Hood, Palmdale, CA