10 March 2010

Podocarpus NP...(SE Ecuador): 31 Jan - 2 Feb, 2010

For these days we were based out of the excellent Copalinga Lodge, perched on the edge of the Rio Bombuscaro sector of Podocarpus NP, in the eastern foothills of the Andes. The lodge itself provided excellent birding, with Spangled Coquette, the punk-haired Wire-crested Thorntail, and a marvelous Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher all seen within an hour of our arrival! The park itself boasts a massive list of tanagers, and one magical flock of tanagers there contributed to an amazing day where we recorded 23 species of tanagers alone in a single day, including a male Golden-collared Honeycreeper among them. The mega flock around the park HQ also hosted the recently described Foothill Elaenia (only discovered in 2000), Equatorial Graytails, and several Blue-naped Chlorophonias among a host of colorful tanagers of course! Other highlights from our time in the eastern foothills included a Black-streaked Puffbird, a pair of Blackish Nightjars, Striped & Blue-rumped Manakins, and a perched up Semicollared Hawk along the Old Loja-Zamora Road, where at the very death we found a troop of the near-endemic White-breasted Parakeet (photo) perched quietly in the treetops, just as the thought of dipping this flagship bird was looming large! Next up: The high Andes in El Cajas NP...

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