06 January 2010

More from San Isidro...(E Ecuador): December 22, 2009

As well as the frenzied feeding around the lights just after dawn at San Isidro, that attracted this male Masked Trogon (top photo), and this Subtropical Cacique (second photo) glaring at us with its sky blue eye, we also watched two species of antpitta coming in to feed on worms laid down for them by the local ranger. First up we waited and fixed our stares down a muddy forest trail, where the usually ultra shy White-bellied Antpitta hopped on and off the trail for worms. The more common species ironically, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (third photo) was not quite so cooperative and required significantly more whistling and a little more waiting (five whole minutes!), before it hopped out of the flowerbeds and stood on the open path in front of us, while we watched on open mouthed.

After all this excitement in merely our first hour and a half on site we relaxed by one of their sets of hummer feeders, where the action was far from relaxing as hummers zipped in and out and frequently took time out to fight with one another. As usual the Chestnut-breasted Coronets were some of the most aggressive on the scene, regularly having a pop at the glistening Long-tailed Sylphs, sharp-dressed Collared Incas (see fourth photo), Bronzy Incas (bottom photo), and Speckled Hummingbirds in attendance. Rain started to lash down, a sign of a wet few days in the foothills to come, although the hummers were unconcerned and went on busily feeding, before we finally had to leave them after our short stopover here, and head downslope to the foothill forests in the shadow of Volcan Sumaco...

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