Our plan for the day was to go birding at the Metropolitan Park a few miles away. However, the hotel shuttle that will take us there doesn't leave until 10:30 am. Since we had a few hours to spare, Cynthia and I decided to explore the area in front of the hotel. You guessed it - that's where the small pond was located. As we were walking near the golf practice range, I noticed a big bird - about the size of a Green Heron (or Striated Heron in Asia). It was standing on the greens (or more accurately - orange brown grass) and greeting the morning. We slowly approached it and I was dumbstruck. After a few moments and recovering from my disbelief, "Tero! I can't believe it's really tero!" I told my wife. This Southern Lapwing was perhaps one of the friendliest birds we had encountered here. Sometimes a guy driving a golf cart would pass by to pick up the balls used by those trying to perfect their golfing strokes and the "tero" would allow the cart to go past it without even blinking an eye. (Note: "Tero" is the Spanish term for the Southern Lapwing, perhaps derived from its call.)
Across the street from the Lapwing, we saw some big birds again. This time whey were perched on some long skinny branches. The Grey-headed Chachalacas were a welcome addition to our lifelist.
As we were returning to the hotel to wait for our ride, we noticed the unmistakeable hovering of a hummingbird. Rufous-tailed was another lifer for us.
From our research we learned that a good birding place in the area is the Metropolitan Park which is quite close to Panama City. Again, skeptic that I am, I wasn't expecting to see much in an "urban" park. Parque Metropolitano, however, still has a lot of pristine forest within. Here we got 16 more lifers, the best being the Gartered Trogon and the Blue-Black Grosbeak.
That was an awesome icing on an already uber delicious cake.