18 December 2014

Better Trains than British Rail!...ECUADOR (1st Nov.)

I had only been away for a short time, but had managed to miss a Mourning Warbler slinking around the Quito Botanic Gardens. I headed down there full of enthusiasm as to what else may have dropped in for my arrival back in Ecuador's capital. Unfortunately, during an afternoon visit, migrants were not too plentiful, with the best I could muster being 4 Eastern Kingbirds wolfing down berries by the entrance; a single Snowy-throated Kingbird;  a handful of Swainson's Thrushes; and a male Summer Tanager, which gave itself away with its incredibly distinctive "chituk" call.

So, the star performers turned out to be not the migrants that I had headed down there for, but a resident species, which gave me its best ever showing. Each and every visit to these wonderful gardens is punctuated with sightings of the resident Black-tailed Trainbearers; a stunning hummingbird, the males of which exhibit a barely believable long tail (the "train" of the name), that trails behind them. However, they are invariably high in the trees, doing dazzling display flights up high and out of camera range. However, on this day I bumped into a resting male, which unlike most hummingbirds, rested for a solid five minutes allowing me to reel off a series of photos. The same area held a marvellous, boisterous, punk-haired, Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet too; another resident of the area.

Thus, the migrants may have let me down, but the resident Andean birds stepped up to the plate, and gave me yet more great photographic memories of the park to look back on.

Next up, I was returning to another "patch" of mine, the Tandayapa Valley for a day trip out of Quito, which was packed with some of the best birds in the area...

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