09 June 2009

What a Beautiful Day!…(Tandayapa, NW Ecuador): June 2, 2009

Our final full day of this intense birding trip was spent checking the trails around Tandayapa Bird Lodge (1750m), and later birding the Upper Tandayapa Valley (2250m). The trails produced two separate Ochre-breasted Antpittas that we just walked onto feeding beside the trails, a White-throated Quail-Dove that walked brazenly out onto the open trail after a little tempting with my I-pod, several Golden-winged Manakins “burping” at us in display mode, the chicken-like Rufous-breasted Antthrush that strutted off trail, and a single Olivaceous Piha grabbing fruits out of a tree above us on the “Antpitta Trail”. However this all paled into insignificance compared to the dashing Beautiful Jay (see photos) that came in to check us out while we stood on the lower deck bird observation platform just before lunch. This is a scarce bird only found in parts of northwest Ecuador and in southern Colombia (the Choco region), so any encounter with it is a good one, although this one performed with distinction, giving us all “eye-damaging views”!

The afternoon was not half bad either, with a dapper looking pair of Plate-billed Mountain-Toucans up on the “Tandayapa Ridge”, a bright scarlet male Andean Cock-of-the-rock on the way up the valley, a striking Crimson-mantled Woodpecker in a silvered cecropia tree, a female Powerful Woodpecker battering the bark of a roadside dipterocarp, and a couple of Turquoise Jays to add to the deeper-blue beautiful jay that performed so perfectly around the lodge during the lunch recess.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Some truly fantastic birds. Thanks for the constant updates.