13 August 2011

Ecuador Firsts...ECUADOR (1 August)

Having enjoyed a thrilling day with the very best of what the Chical Road has to offer we reluctantly had to bid farewell to this hot birding site and turn the car towards Quito for the end of our long weekend in the Choco. However, on our way out Andrew and I had some unfinished business with a couple of species which we were both looking to add to our increasingly important Ecuador lists. Both species are widespread birds with large ranges, although in Ecuador have very limited distributions.

First off we stopped in a tiny village nearer the start of the road to look for seedeaters in a good looking patch of grassland. Not long later(and after both Variable Seedeater, Yellow-bellied Seedeater and Yellow-faced Grassquit had given us a scare) up popped a richly-colored male Ruddy-breasted Seedeater (in the very same garden I had seen it or another 6 months or so earlier).

This was the one that Andrew wanted and was new to his substantial Ecuador list, now onto what I was searching for. For this we needed to be right near the start of the road and again our efforts were focused on a village. Not the ideal birding venue but a great venue for the recently moved in pair of Tropical Mockingbirds that appeared on an overhead wire right on cue, and were added to my Ecuador list immediately.

We then sadly had to give up the ghost and return to Quito, after a weekend of 5 lifers (for me), some Ecuador lifers (for my list anyway), and whole swathe of quality Choco birds. Here are photos of some plus a poor photo of the Semicollared Hawk-rarely seen and downright difficult to photograph!


JRandSue said...

Stunning collection Sam,superb images.
Hope to bird there one day.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Never knew there was a tropical Mockingbird, what a handsome bird too. Have fun on your journeys, enjoy your shares~