21 February 2011

A Landslide of Tanagers & Hummingbirds...ECUADOR (21 Feb.)



Our day did not start well. We had a plan to visit the antpitta refuge Paz de las Aves, but after the heaviest nights rain in living memory the river swelled and our day with cock-of-the-rocks and antpittas was on stony ground and had to be abandoned. Fear not I thought we'll just drop back Tandayapa Lodge and the photographers who I was with would be happy to shoot the many hummers buzzing around their balcony. Unfortunately the night of heavy rain brought chaos to the region in the form of many poorly placed landslides meaning we simply could not get there. Eventually after several attempts thwarted by numerous landslides, broken machinery, and so forth we retreated to a spot in Mindo for some hummer/tanager "therapy". This worked to perfection, as the feeders brought a constant flow of tanagers coming and going from the neon-blue Golden-naped Tanager (top) to the hulking endemic Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager to the blackburnian-warbler like Flame-faced Tanager, there always seemed to be a glowing Andean tanager on offer. As if that was not enough the usual hummers vied with tanagers for the most colorful birds at the "table" with gleaming Velvet-purple Coronets (bottom), powerful Empress Brilliants, and the bee-like Purple-throated Woodstar a constant buzz at the feeders. The landslide just did not feel quite so bad after this colorful Andean performance that continued unabated all day long.

1 comment:

Roger said...

Great news Sam! I'm starting a west slope tour tomorrow...sic!