We arrived in Quito on the 16th and stayed the night at Hotel Sebastian. Since it was practically in the middle of the night, it was easy to fall asleep knowing we weren’t missing any birds.
The following morning came early and we were met by our guide – Nick Athanas and local driver Vladimir. We were soon on our way to Yanacocha Reserve on the slopes of Volcan Pichincha. Our first bird came before light – a Great Thrush walking down a sidewalk, which was soon followed by multiple Rufous-collared Sparrows. Both of these birds are considered ‘trash’ birds to most.
We spent the whole morning walking down the road at Yanacocha getting a taste of our first South American birds Including Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Superciliaried Hemispingus, Blue-backed and Cinereous Conebills, Smoky-bush Tyrant and this Tawny Antpitta.
As we approached the hummingbird feeders, it became apparent that feeders in Ecuador are fantastic. We had ten species including:
And this Sword-billed Hummingbird
Besides hummingbirds, the area around the feeders were also great for other birds including Ocellated Tapaculo, Streaked Tuftedcheak, Rufous-naped and Stripe-headed Brush-Finches, Bar-bellied Woodpecker and this Barred Fruiteater.
After a quick lunch we headed off to Tandayapa Bird Lodge, our lodging for the next few nights. Along the way we continued adding birds to our list including Turquoise Jay, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Sickle-winged Guan, Western Hemispingus and lekking Andean Cock-of-the Rocks.
We eventually arrived and were automatically glued to the feeders. Tandayapa Bird Lodge probably has the world’s greatest hummingbird feeders, but that will be another blog post…
Here was our list for the day:
Violet-tailed SylphPurple-throated Woodstar