20 December 2009

Tanager Finch The Sequel...(Tandayapa Valley, Ecuador): December 17, 2009

Having finished up in the foothills around Milpe by early afternoon, we headed back to the Tandayapa Valley, climbing back into the subtropics as we did so. Our mission was to find a Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan that on this day, (with heavy cloud hanging over the higher sections of the valley, interspersed with heavy downpours), failed completely. However, the afternoon was very far from a failure. In one part of the valley we chanced upon our second Tanager Finch in as many days, a different bird from the day before, singing its heart out in the rain while raindrops shimmered on its back (see photo). We then braved the rain and came up with a fine Grass-green Tanager for our efforts which was popular among all. As if that was not enough we then very nearly ran into a White-throated Quail-Dove casually walking down the road in front of our van (see photo), that we stalked for a while before we had to gently bump it off the road to get by! A final late afternoon stop was made at Bellavista Lodge where the endemic Gorgeted Sunangel slipped in among the more common hummers at the feeders on several occasions. We also got a tip off to check the compost heap that came up trumps with our second White-throated Quail-Dove of the afternoon, and better still a Chestnut-crowned Antpitta lurking in the shadows.

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