17 November 2012

Tale of Two Antpittas...ECUADOR (8 Nov)

A group from the Cape Bird Club (South Africa) arrived frazzled after a 27 hour journey, but keen, and we were soon on our way to the "standard" stop-off point on the way to Tandayapa Bird Lodge, the Jocotoco Foundation reserve of Yanacocha just outside Ecuador's capital, Quito. Not long after our arrival, and the group having burst out of the bus with excitement, we were eyeballing Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, and a pair of oh so friendly Tawny Antpittas bouncing around below the picnic tables. Indeed, it was a good day for antpittas, with a pair of equally friendly Rufous Antpittas which greeted us at the opposite end of the "Inca Trail". Other highlights at Yanacocha were a confiding, and atypically unshy Andean Guan, the usual dramatic Sword-billed Hummingbirds stealing the headlines at the feeders (which also supported a fine Golden-breasted Puffleg), and a Bar-bellied Woodpecker. However, it was the two male Torrent Ducks barreling their way down the Alambi River that won the hearts of the group, which resoundingly voted this as their "bird of the day".

More blogging to come from this exciting Ecuador trip, when I return from the final leg of the trip...at Sacha Lodge in the steamy jungles of the Amazon...

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