07 January 2010

Wild, Wild Sumaco…(Sumaco, E Ecuador): December 22, 2009

While the Black-billed Seed-Finch along the way was bird of the day for rarity value, I think Bruce and terri were more impressed with the hummingbird action onc ewe arrived at WildSumaco. On arrival their least impressive hummer feeders on their large deck that views over the rainforest canopy brought one of Terri’s stated targets: Golden-tailed Sapphire, many of which were swarming the feeders. This is one of the commonest of the Sumaco hummers so it felt good to have that as a major target! However, the best action for the hummingbirds came at another set of feeders hidden within the forest. Up to 17 species of hummingbird have been recorded at these feeders, including many rare and difficult ones. Our afternoon arrival also timed with the peak of hummer activity at the feeders in the forest so we settled down and kept a close eye on the many species flitting in and out. We did not manage 17 species, but were very happy with 13, that included all the special ones we were after: Gould’s Jewelfront nipped in and out a couple of times, Napo Sabrewings, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Black-throated Brilliants, Violet-fronted Brilliants, Green Hermit, Gray-chinned Hermit (rare at the feeders itself), Many-spotted Hummingbirds (see top photo), more Golden-tailed Sapphires (see bottom photo), and the eastern, “buff-booted” form of Booted Racket-tail (a familiar face from Tandayapa Lodge where I often work, where they have clean white boots/puffs). We rounded out the day after this hummingbird extravaganza checking the beginning of a small trail where we all managed to clap eyes on a superb close calling Plain-backed Antpitta. Nice finish to our first day at Sumaco that held the promise of much, much more…

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