[Tweeters] Off topic: A birding trip to Ecuador

Byers byers345 at comcast.net
Tue Apr 16 09:44:21 PDT 2019

Hello Tweeters,

Bill and I returned from an 18-day birding trip to Ecuador
early in April. We have been processing photos ever since, and I have
finally finished putting together a set of pictures on Flickr for those
interested to view:


This was our second birding trip to Ecuador, covering mostly
new territory for us and emphasizing birding in the Andes, so we spent a lot
of time at altitudes we do not normally encounter! We spent the first day
at about 10,500 feet at Yanacocha Reserve. This is near Quito, which is
itself at 9,000 feet. From there we flew south to spend several days
birding around Podocarpus National Park. We visited both sides-Cajanuma in
the west and Rio Bombuscaro in the east (I love these names!). It rained a
lot, maybe even more than usual because there were lots of landslides and
several rivers looked like they were near flood stage. From the Podocarpus
area we drove north to the highlands above the picturesque town of Saraguro.
This day and the following day were almost rainless! From Cuenca, farther
north, we visited Cajas NP, at between 12 and 13 thousand feet.

After flying back to Quito, we spent 3 nights on the west side of the Andes
near the birding mecca of Mindo. Still raining. Our last 3 days were in
San Isidro. Still raining, but good birding overall. One our final day we
went up on the dirt road above Papallacta Pass to see what we could find

There are over 300 photos. This time I have arranged them by day and put a
title picture at the beginning of each day as a sort of waymark. There are
some pretty good photos and great birds scattered throughout this
collection, so I decided to mention a few:

Day 2, Yanacocha (not far from Quito)-lots of hummingbirds, along with a fun
picture of a Swordbill Hummingbird

Day 4 Podocarpus NP from Cajanuma side-Little Sunangel and Gray-breasted

Day 6 Podocarpus NP from the Rio Bombuscaro side-Laceolated Monklet

Day 8 Huashapamba and Acanama highlands above Saraguro-Red-faced Parrot

Day 9 Ecuadorian Hillstar and Tit-like Dacnis

Day 10 Picture of tarantula-Visit to Pacha Quinde. At about 7500 feet,
this hummingbird sanctuary has had about 50 species of hummingbird visit.
This is probably the most hummingbirds observed at any one site anywhere in
the world.

Day 12 Picture of Buddha-a visit to Rio Silanche at a lower elevation.
Warmer and it didn't rain! Three species of trogon along with Barred
Puffbird, and Purple-necked Fruitcrow

Day 13 Refugio Paz de las Aves-This internationally famous bird sanctuary
is where Angel Paz and his family take care of an Andean Cock-of-the-Rock
lek and also lure in various species of antpittas by calling them in and
then feeding them worms.

Day 17 Papallacta Pass. When you get to the radio antennas here you are at
about 14,200 feet, almost as high as Mount Rainier. One our second visit we
succeeded in seeing the Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe. At slightly lower
elevation we also saw Paramo Tapacula and Giant Conebill.

As dessert for all these fabulous birds, our guide found us
a Spectacled Bear as we headed down the main highway back to Quito.

As always, I am happy for anyone to point out mistakes or
typos I have made in entering these birds. I hope you enjoy looking at

Charlotte Byers, Edmonds

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