FRI 2/7/04 Depart from Manchester airport 10 a.m. Continental airlines. Arrive Newark 12.30 p.m. Depart Newark 2.45 p.m.
Arrive Quito 9.58 p.m. NO SUITCASE.
Met Hugo Herrera – to Radisson Royal Hotel.
SAT 3/7/04 Dawn birding near to hotel, then back to airport to claim $150 off Continental airlines. Bought toiletries etc from precinct opposite airport – no clothes shops open! 10 a.m. flight (20 mins) to Coca, where we bought some clothes locally. Three-hour boat-ride up the Rio Napo (lots of birds on the way) followed by a canoe trip round Lake Garzacocha with Roderigo.
SUN 4/7/04 La Selva with Roderigo, Bill and Teddy (from Texas):
A.M. Parrot lick @ Yasuni N.P, a Rio Napo river island, shore trails around a jungle settlement. P.M. Trail beyond our cabin and Mandicocha Lake.
AFTER DARK: Lake Garzacocha for Owls / Potoos / Nightjars.
MON 5/7/04 Trails on opposite side of Rio Napo (Yasuni N.P.),
River island for Umbrellabird. Lake Garzacocha again after dark.
TUE 6/7/04 SUITCASE FINALLY ARRIVED!
Rio Napo river island again for Hummer + Antshrike.
Yasuni N.P. later for a different Parrot lick.
WED 7/7/04 Travelled 5.30a.m. from La Selva back to Quito where hire car (4WD Chevrolet Vitara) picked up. Birded over Papallacta Pass en-route to Guango Lodge.
THU 8/7/04 Guango pipeline trail at dawn, after breakfast up to Papallacta communications tower. Around the lake P.M -saw Condor here.
FRI 9/7/04 Guango Pipeline trail and feeders at dawn. Travelled to San Isidro with Tom & Peter from York.
No Extra fuel available at Baeza and the garage closed in Cosanga, so we arrived at San Isidro almost on empty. Carmen Bustamante came to our rescue with a few gallons of fuel! Trails here quiet.
SAT 10/7/04 San Isidro trails all day with Charlie Voigt.
SUN 11/7/04 Travelled from San Isidro to Quito (where we got lost and employed a taxi driver to take us to the Mitad Del Mundo road ($10) and on to Bellavista where it was pouring with rain, but the birding was excellent until dark.
MON 12/7/04 Bellavista trails with Dorsey Burge , with a visit to Nunnery’s feeders during afternoon rain.
TUE 13/7/04 Birded from Bellavista down the old Nono – Mindo road and the Mindo entrance road, booked in at the Yellow House.
Birded Yellow House trail P.M.
WED 14/7/04 Met Dani Jumbo at 4.30 a.m. who took us to a Cock-of-the-Rock lek at dawn above the Rio Cinto. He came with us afterwards to the south-east road, crossing the Rio Mindo bridge and up towards the Cascadas / chair-lift. Later we birded around the Rio Mindo and Rio Mindo gardens feeders, and Yellow House grounds.
THU 15/7/04 Birded the Mindo entrance road from dawn, visited Los Colibris restaurant feeders, back up the entrance road and then travelled back to Quito, arriving there (via the Mitad Del Mundo Equatorial Monument) around 4p.m. returned car to Budget and booked into Hotel Aerpuerto across the road.
FRI 16/7/04 Departed Quito 7a.m. to Bogata, Columbia (where we had to leave the plane) arrived Newark 4.15p.m.
Stayed overnight in Newark.
SAT 17/7/04 Spent the day around Newark, caught the 8.30p.m. flight
SUN 18/7/04 Arrived Manchester 8.10a.m.
South America is the bird continent.
There are 9000+ species in the world. More than 3000 species, over a third of the world’s birds have been recorded in South America.
That is 1100 more birds than in the Orient, 800 more than Africa and over 2000 more than in the Palearctic, the Nearctic and Australasia.
This spectacular natural treasure is perhaps best represented within the Republic of Ecuador, a tiny country.
Within Ecuador’s boundaries – spanning a mere 1.5% of South America’s land area – over half (1600) of the continent’s birds are found.
This represents more than one sixth of the world’s bird species!
The current David Sibley guide to the U.S.A. (including Canada) lists 810 species. The current Western Palearctic list is around 900. For a tiny country like Ecuador to hold 1600 is quite a staggering statistic!
Ecuador, named after the equator on which it lies, is one of the smallest South American countries. It is just twice the size of England, only half the size of Texas, and a third the size of Venezuela. Hence birding this country involves the minimum amount of travelling and the maximum amount of birding.
Kenya is often thought of as a small country with an incredible avian diversity (1080) but Ecuador supports over 500 more and is only half the size.
Ecuador also has the greatest species diversity of any South American country. This is all thanks to its position, straddling the Andes on the equator.
Worldwide, only Costa Rica and Nepal have a higher diversity.
Such high country lists are only approached outside South America by India’s 1300, a country which is 12 times the size of Ecuador, and China’s 1195, a country 34 times larger than Ecuador.
The Amazonian lowland rainforest once covered an area the size of the USA, but is disappearing fast. In east Ecuador, just one square km may support an incredible 300 species. This is the richest place on earth for birds: the proverbial birder’s paradise.
La Selva Lodge
Amazonian rainforest situated three hours downriver from Coca.
The range of some of the river specialities is extremely limited.
One of the world’s top birding sites. A personal record of 64 new birds logged here on the first full day!
East slope subtropical forest below Papallacta.
High paramo with patches of polylepis. Altitude up to 12,900 feet.
Luckily it was very hot and sunny on our main visit here, but low cloud and rain on the way back from San Isidro made visibility almost zero.
Cabanas San Isidro
East slope lower montane cloudforest. Altitude around 6000 feet.
West slope upper tropical cloudforest. Altitude up to 7000 feet.
Moss and epiphyte-laden trees. Beautiful blue skies and clear views each morning, with heavy rain each afternoon, when we retreated to Nunnery’s feeders.
West slope, altitude up to 5250 feet. Sub-tropical and lower temperate forest. The most famous and most often visited site in western Ecuador.
One of the best birding sites in South America.
Heard early mornings at La Selva.
Heard early mornings at La Selva.
Heard early mornings at La Selva.
HERONS AND EGRETS
Singles in the Mindo area.
Seen on the Rio Napo, Mindo and en-route.
Seen around Mindo.
Striated Heron (5 -2)
Seen daily on Garzacocha Lake, La Selva.
One roosting on Garzacocha Lake.
Zigzag Heron (5-4)
One seen very closely at the nest on Garzacocha Lake on two days.
Andean Teal (8-6)
3 on large lake below Papallacta pass.
Yellow-billed Pintail (8-8)
2 on large lake below Papallacta pass.
NEW WORLD VULTURES
Seen commonly sometimes in large groups around La Selva, Mindo and Quito. Often seen perched at roosts.
Noted around Coca and common at La Selva and Mindo.
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture (9-3)
Small numbers seen at La Selva. Noticeably larger than accompanying Turkey Vultures.
Andean Condor (9-1)
A splendid adult passed overhead at the lake below Papallacta pass. As we watched from the shore track it crossed the lake over our heads, towards a large rocky crag above the main road where it was mobbed by a (tiny!) Black Chested Buzzard Eagle causing it to circle showing its white upperwings. It eventually landed on the crag and stayed presumably to roost as it was still there an hour later at 5pm. All this was watched from twin telegraph poles numbered 172 / 173. There is a sign above the lake on the main road stating that the lake is a Condor watch point area. They bred in this area in 2003 (Sunbird report)
HAWKS, EAGLES AND KITES
Black Hawk-Eagle (14-4)
One perched in a low dead tree very close as we approached the shore at Yasuni Nat. Park (La Selva).
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle (14-7)
One very low over the road below Papallacta pass where a lorry was broken down and one mobbed the Condor as previously described.
Double-toothed Kite (10-8)
One scoped from the new 45mtr. Tower built around a Kapok tree at La Selva.
Roadside Hawk (13-2)
Common, especially so around Mindo. Often perches low by roadsides, calling.
Slate-colored Hawk (12-6)
Two sightings at La Selva perched.
Swallow-tailed Kite (10-1)
Small groups seen along Rio Napo from the boat to La Selva and at Mindo.
Variable Hawk (12-8)
First seen from the radio towers above Papallacta, 3 en-route to San Isidro and singles in the San Isidro area. Most birds grey / white, only one female with red noted.
FALCONS AND CARACARAS
Black Caracara (16-3)
One perched early morning on the boardwalk to the canoes daily at La Selva.
( yellow-faced juv. on 1st morning, orange-faced ad. next morning)
Other singles noted there.
Red-throated Caracara (16-4)
One noisy bird noted at La Selva.
Carunculated Caracara (16-6)
A party of 16 (ad’s and juv’s) followed a plough by the road up to Papallacta together with Andean Gulls. Also juv’s seen from Papallacta radio towers.
Yellow-headed Caracara (16-5)
One perched at La Selva.
Several sightings of roadside birds around Quito and Mindo.
Bat Falcon (17-5)
One at La Selva, and one perched on a dead tree above pasture on the Yellow House Trail, Mindo.
GUANS AND CHACHALACAS
Speckled Chachalaca (18-6)
3 seen at the Rio Napo boat landing place at La Selva.
Sickle-winged Guan (18-10)
Seen at Bellavista whilst with Dorsey Burger. (10 –12 birds) + others later.
Noisy groups easy to see around Lake Garzacocha (La Selva). Very approachable.
Azure Gallinule 21-11)
Singles seen very well on lily pads at Mandicocha Lake (La Selva).
Southern Lapwing (22-3)
A group of 8-10 at San Isidro were said to be unusual for the area.
Singles seen quite often on sand bars on the Rio Napo.
Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe (19-7)
2 flew around us and then sat below the Papallacta radio towers (10 minutes walk along the ridge Sendero) after much CD playing.
Andean Gull (26-8)
First seen following a plough en-route to Papallacta and also on the lake below there.
TERNS / SKIMMERS
Yellow-billed Tern (27 –9)
Small numbers on the Rio Napo.
2 along the Rio Napo from our boat.
PIGEONS AND DOVES
Small numbers around habitations.
Seen at Guango and San Isidro.
Pale-vented Pigeon ( 28 –6)
Seen at Parrot-lick on the Rio Napo (La Selva)
Plumbeous Pigeon (28-2)
Noted near the Lodge at La Selva.
Noted at La Selva, and Mindo
Eared Dove (29-1)
Seen near the hotel on our first morning in Quito, and on return to Quito at the end of the holiday.
Noted on a Rio Napo island.
Seen on a Rio Napo island and also at Bellavista.
We visited two Parrot licks, both on the opposite side of the Rio Napo in Yasuni Nat. Park. The first one was reached by a short boardwalk up to a hide from which a low cliff-face was viewed (the birds stayed up in the trees here but gave good views). The other was reached via a long muddy trail to a hide overlooking a tunnel mouth and stream where 100’s of Cobalt-winged Parakeets swarmed to lick the rock face or drink. Extremely noisy!!
Many other Parrots were seen in flocks leaving their roosts early mornings or feeding in trees during the day.
2 perched in a tree at Yasuni Nat. Park.
Chestnut-fronted Macaw (30-6)
Flocks overhead early morning whilst on our canoe at La Selva, and elsewhere at La Selva.
Red-bellied Macaw ((30-7)
Flocks overhead early morning whilst on our canoe at La Selva, and elsewhere at La Selva.
Dusky-headed Parakeet (32-2)
Flock at a riverside settlement at La Selva.
Maroon-tailed Parakeet (31-12)
Parties overhead early morning near Mindo after the Cock-of-the-Rock lek.
Barred Parakeet (31-4)
Parties overhead early morning at San Isidro (with Charlie Voigt)
Blue-winged Parrotlet (31-3)
Seen in the trees around the boat landing jetty at La Selva.
Cobalt-winged Parakeet (31-5)
Seen overhead early mornings at La Selva, and hundreds flocking to the Yasuni Nat. Park low Parrot-lick and stream tunnel where they flew through the hide when in a panic!
Lots in the trees around the cliff-face Parrot-lick at Yasuni Nat. Park.
Red-billed Parrot (32-7)
Common at San Isidro, Bellavista and Mindo. Seen regularly perched.
Scaly-naped Parrot (32-15)
Seen with Dorsey at Bellavista.
Yellow-crowned Parrot (32-16)
Lots in the trees around the cliff-face Parrot-lick at Yasuni Nat. Park.
One seen at La Selva, and quite common in the Mindo area.
Little Cuckoo (33-6)
One calling along the Mindo – Lloa track was coaxed out using CD recording.
Greater Ani (33-9)
Seen only at La Selva Lodge at the far end of lake Garzacocha towards the boardwalk (singles).
Seen on Lake Mandicocha (La Selva) and around Mindo.
Spectacled Owl (36-4)
One glimpsed (without flashlight) at dusk on Lake Garzacocha.
Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl (35-4)
Superb views in daylight at its roost at La Selva.
Tropical Screech-Owl (35-2)
One flew into the dining room at La Selva and perched on beams over the tables during the evening.
Black and White Owl (36-6)
A magnificent bird was perched each evening on wires overlooking a bright lamp around which many large moths flew at the Yellow House (Mindo).
It could be heard calling when it arrived at dusk and could be seen flying out to capture moths by lamp light. Its eyes glowed red when we stood below its perch and shone torches.
Great Potoo (37-2)
2 seen very well during after dark excursions onto Lake Garzacocha armed with (very loud) tapes of their grunting and growling calls which prompted them to fly. They were then followed by powerful flashlight beam to their dead branch perches which we paddled up to for excellent views.
Common Potoo (37-4)
The same procedure was tried unsuccessfully with Common Potoo tapes, so after a long session Roderigo paddled the boat right under a lakeside overhanging bush until we could go no further. He then produced the flashlight and shone it onto a Potoo sitting on its (regular) perch – a stump from which it sat giving its quiet down-scale call notes. How he knew where to look in the dark is still a mystery!
Rufous-bellied Nighthawk (38-1)
Whilst at Guango, we got prepared for an after dinner CD session for Owls / Nightjars only to find it pouring with rain. So the following morning, having CD’s ready we went out at dawn and successfully called out a bird from the hillside above. Although no colour could be seen in the half-light its silhouette was distinctive.
Heard at La Selva Lodge.
Band-winged Nightjar (39-4)
One sat on the ground in the open area near the office at Bellavista as we loaded the car to leave at dawn.
Ladder-tailed Nightjar (39-10)
Seen on two visits to a river island on the Rio Napo. Both perched in daylight / scoped.
Chestnut-collared Swift (40-2)
First seen en-route to San Isidro (several with a party of White-collared swifts)
It was noted that fem / juv’s lack the chestnut collar.
Also seen at Bellavista and Mindo.
The most commonly seen Swift.
Noted at La Selva, Bellavista and Mindo.
Gray-rumped Swift (40-8)
Singles noted with the above species flying very low outside the accommodation at the Yellow House late afternoon.
Short-tailed Swift (40-10)
A flock were brought down low by rain as we sheltered by the landing jetty at La Selva.
Neotropical Palm-Swift (40-15)
Singles noted by the landing jetty at La Selva and at Yasuni Nat. Park.
A wide variety of Hummers were seen at feeding stations, such as at:
Guango, San Isidro, Bellavista, Nunnery’s (below Bellavista), Mindo Gardens Lodge and Los Colibris (Spanish for Hummingbirds) Restaurant (Mindo).
Tony and Barbara Nunnery have dedicated their large garden to Hummingbirds with numerous feeders of all shapes and sizes attracting hordes of Hummers: ideal for a rainy afternoon on their sheltered balcony. They reputedly attract the most Hummers of any feeding station in the world!
Hummingbirds reach their greatest diversity in North-western South America.
A number were seen at Papallacta but were too flighty to identify.
Andean Emerald (44-12)
Seen at Tony & Barbara Nunnery’s feeders below Bellavista, also at Mindo Garden Lodge feeders and Los Colibris Restaurant feeders (Mindo).
Black-throated Hermit (41-14)
Seen only around Lake Garzacocha, La Selva.
Booted Racket-tail (42-10)
Seen at the Bellavista feeders and at Tony & Barbara Nunnery’s feeders.
Delicate long tails reminiscent of Motmots (or Drongos!).
Bronzy Inca (45-8)
Seen at the San Isidro feeders.
Brown Inca (45-9)
Seen at Tony & Barbara Nunnery’s feeders.
Brown Violet-ear (43-7)
One at Los Colibris Restaurant feeders (Mindo). A large (drab) Hummer.
Buff-tailed Coronet (45-17)
Seen at Bellavista feeders.
Buff-winged Starfrontlet (45-11)
Seen at Guango Lodge feeders. Easy to ID with its 2 buff wing patches.
Chestnut-breasted Coronet (45-18)
One at Guango feeders.
Collared Inca (45-10)
Seen at Guango (many), San Isidro, Bellavista and Tony Nunnery’s.
Fawn-breasted Brilliant (43-14)
Seen at San Isidro feeders.
Glittering-throated Emerald (44-7)
One at Rio Napo landing stage.
Glowing Puffleg (46-4)
Seen at the Guango feeders.
Gorgeted Sunangel (46-20)
Seen along the trails at Bellavista.
Gorgeted Woodstar (42-16)
Seen at Guango feeders.
Great-billed Hermit (41-8)
One perched along the track to the tunnel Parrot-lick (huge long bill!), scoped, then focused onto a preening Spot-backed Antbird nearby (almost too close for focus). A magic moment!
Seen and heard (frequently calling) on the drive up to Bellavista and along the forest trails there.
Seen at Mindo garden Lodge feeders.
Green-crowned Woodnymph (44-19)
Seen along the Mindo – Lloa track.
Green-tailed Trainbearer (45-14)
One at Tony & Barbara Nunnery’s did not visit feeders, staying in a tree above them.
Long-tailed Sylph (45-15)
Seen daily at Guango, also at Bellavista.
Mountain Avocetbill (46-11)
Seen twice at Guango. It stayed on pink flowers above the feeders and did not visit them.
Mountain Velvetbreast (46-1)
Seen at Guango feeders.
Olive-spotted Hummingbird (44-5)
Seen only on a Rio Napo island. An island dwelling speciality.
Purple-bibbed Whitetip (41-20)
Seen at Nunnery’s garden feeders. Quite a scarce hummer, but easy to pick out, with the white on the tail.
Purple-throated Woodstar (42-12)
Seen on the Bellavista feeders, Mindo Garden Lodge and Los Colibris feeders. Tail-less, tiny and does not land on the feeders, only hovering.
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (44-10)
Numerous at feeders at the Mindo Garden Lodge and Los Colibris.
Bright tail in flight.
Sparkling Violet-ear (43-9)
Seen near the hotel on the streets of Quito on our first morning. Also at the Bellavista feeders. "Ears" stick out behind head.
Speckled Hummingbird (41-24)
Noted at the Guango feeders and in the Mindo area. Numerous and aggressive.
Sword-billed Hummingbird (45-7)
The 4 inch long bill on such a tiny body is out of all proportion!
Seen only at Guango feeders. The first Hummer to be ID’d there (hard to mistake!)
Tawny-bellied Hermit (41-7)
After looking for it elsewhere, caught up with it at Nunnery’s feeders.
Toumaline Sunangel (46-21)
Present at the Guango feeders.
Tyrian Metaltail (46-14)
Present at the Guango feeders. Tiny with short bill and bright green throat-patch.
Violet-fronted Brilliant (43-15)
Seen in primary forest at San Isidro with Charlie Voigt., where we saw Golden-headed Quetzal and Unicolored Tapaculo nearby.
Violet-tailed Sylph (45-16)
Beautiful long purple-blue tails made them stand out at the Bellavista feeders.
Western Emerald (44-24)
Male and female at Nunnery’s came to the middle feeders. Tiny with blue tails. An unexpected Hummer.
White-bellied Woodstar (42-15)
Present at Guango, tiny and tail-less, hovering at the feeders.
White-necked Jacobin (43-6)
Easy to spot the white rear collar. Much white on view inc. tail. Present at Mindo Garden Lodge and Los Colibris Restaurant.
White-whiskered Hermit (41-5)
Present at Mindo Garden Lodge and Los Colibris Restaurant.
Massively long red bill, hovered around light fittings above the tables as well as at the feeders.
TROGONS AND QUETZALS
Amazonian White-tailed Trogon (47-5)
First seen off the boardwalk at La Selva. Seen in the forest daily here.
Amazonian Violaceous Trogon
One only seen from the boardwalk at La Selva.
Masked Trogon (47-11)
A female noted on arrival at Bellavista during pouring rain on the road above the entrance gates.
Crested Quetzal (48-7)
One sighting only of a female at Guango. Whilst watching a mixed flock in the eye-level trees along the pipeline trail, it flew from behind, over our heads and landed right where we were watching, very close. Not seen again: lucky!
Golden-headed Quetzal (48-8)
First at San Isidro on a primary forest trail.
4 seen on the Yellow house trail + 2 near the Cascadas and chair lift on the south-east road (Mindo).
Seen daily on the Rio Napo whilst at La Selva.
One scoped perching on a branch on a sand bar opposite the river island where we saw Umbrellabird (Rio Napo).
One flushed from overhanging branches on Lake Garzacocha as we arrived at La Selva lodge.
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (49-5)
One perched in bushes overhanging top end of Lake Garzacocha as we returned for lunch.
One from the board walk on arrival at La Selva, found whist trying to locate the many calls from the forest which turned out to be frogs!
One sighting in Yasuni Nat. Park.
White-eared Jacamar (50-1)
One perched prominently near to a native settlement we visited which had a great variety of quality birds downriver from La Selva Lodge.
White-whiskered Puffbird (51-12)
One flew in, perched for 30 secs and then departed in the forest below the Cock-of-the-Rock lek.
Brown Nunlet (51-15)
One noted in Yasuni Nat. Park deep in the forest where Screaming Pihas called nearby.
Black-fronted Nunbird (51-17)
Tape lured out at the landing stage at La Selva: a whole gang arrived very noisily bringing a host of other birds with them.
White-fronted Nunbird (51-18)
Hot on the heels of seeing Black-fronted (above) a party of these were along the boardwalk. Very noisy and conspicuous.
Yellow-billed Nunbird (51-19)
One in forest on the trail beyond our room on the way to the peaceful Mandicocha Lake.
Swallow-winged Puffbird (51-20)
Common and obvious, perching usually high on bare branches over the Rio Napo.
Scarlet-crowned Barbet (50-11)
A male and female together were part of the fine haul of birds from the native settlement down river from La Selva.
Gilded Barbet (50-13)
One at the La Selva landing stage on the way back from the above outing.
Red-headed Barbet (50-14)
A male and female together, then lower down another male on the road to the Cascadas and chair lift on the south-east road (Mindo).
Toucan Barbet (50-16)
Pair at Bellavista on a fruiting tree on the road to Mindo where the Research Station road turns right. Distantly heard birds were drawn closer by CD and gave splendid views in a fruiting tree, later flying over the road to the other side where they perched again. Remarkably on the way back from this outing, Plate-billed Mountain Toucans were seen in the same fruiting tree!
The following day a pair were seen well above the village of San Tadeo en-route to Mindo. Heard also in the Mindo area (duetting).
The song is a strange, far carrying duet of loud honking notes on two different pitches (given by the two sexes), either in syncopation or - more often - not.
Crimson-rumped Toucanet (52-1)
One perched on a fruiting palm tree on the road up towards the Cascadas from Mindo.
Lettered Aracari (52-11)
2 near La Selva Lodge early morning whilst on the way to a Parrot lick.
Many-banded Aracari (52-8)
One near La Selva Lodge early morning whilst on the way to the same Parrot lick as above. Also 3 scoped from the 45mtr tower.
Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan (52-12)
First seen in the same fruiting tree where Toucan Barbets had been earlier, and several more sightings on the trail past the Research Station at Bellavista.
Golden-collared Toucanet (52-4)
One perched on overhanging bushes early morning on Lake Garzacocha.
Choco Toucan (52-18)
Several sightings from the Yellow House trail, and again the following day on the road up to the Cascadas.
Channel-billed Toucan (52-16)
One perched in Yasuni Nat. Park on the track to the tunnel Parrot-lick. A smaller version of White-throated Toucan.
White-throated Toucan (52-15)
Scoped along the boardwalk at La Selva and seen during most outings there.
Chestnut Woodpecker (53-7)
One from the boardwalk at La Selva.
Cream-colored Woodpecker (53-10)
Female perched on lake Mandicocha as we paddled quietly around.
Crimson-crested Woodpecker (48-2)
Seen below our cabin at La Selva on the way to Lake Mandicocha, one from the 45mtr tower there, and one at San Isidro.
Guayaquil Woodpecker (48-3)
A female behind the bus-stop area at top of the entrance road to Mindo on our final morning before retuning to Quito.
Lineated Woodpecker (48-1)
One noted at the native jungle settlement downriver from La Selva.
Little Woodpecker (54-9)
First seen on a Rio Napo river island, and one in Yasuni Nat. Park.
Powerful Woodpecker (48-6)
A female behind the bus-stop area (a surprisingly productive place) was distinctive in this type of woodpecker in having a black head.
Ringed Woodpecker (53-12)
One early morning on Lake Garzacocha.
One after the Cock-of-the-rock lek on the Mindo to Lloa track.
Spot-breasted Woodpecker (54-6)
One on a Rio Napo river island and another in Yasuni N.P.
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (54-16)
First seen at the very productive native settlement downriver from La Selva, with several other sightings elsewhere, the best being at the nest-hole right outside the bar at the Lodge. A very distinctive ‘pecker.
Yellow-vented Woodpecker (54-8)
One at San Isidro. A scarce ‘pecker.
Bar-winged Cinclodes (59-3)
One at a pull-in (1st stop-off) at Papallacta en-route to Guango, and also seen on the road up to the radio towers the following day.
Stout-billed Cinclodes (59-2)
More numerous than the above at Papallacta, with many sightings.
Pacific Hornero (59-4)
Common and loud at roadsides and in the town at Mindo.
Struts around like a Courser. First seen by the Yellow House gates.
Horneros are named after their mud nests shaped like an oven (Hornero in Spanish is baker).
Rufous Spinetail (56-9)
Several sightings including birds across the road at San Isidro.
Azara’s Spinetail (56-1)
Brought out with tape at San Isidro and also seen well without tape at Bellavista.
First seen on the Yellow House trail, and quite common on the road to the Cascadas above Mindo. Also seen on the entrance road.
Seen from the Cascadas road and the entrance road at Mindo.
Many-striped Canastero (57-2)
First seen in roadside bushes above the Papallacta lake with a Tufted Tit-tyrant, and in paramo below the radio towers there the following day.
Orange-fronted Plushcrown (57-11)
One at the Rio Napo landing stage as we sheltered waiting for rain to go off.
One at San Isidro and several at Bellavista in mixed flocks.
Pearled Treerunner (57-6)
Present in mixed flocks at Guango daily, at San Isidro and at Bellavista. Very bright and easy to identify.
Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner (58-7)
Present in mixed feeding flocks along the Cascadas road above Mindo, also at the bus-stop area on the Mindo entrance road.
A tubby bird easily ID’d with a distinctive foraging action, picking off leaves.
Streaked Tuftedcheek (59-8)
Present daily in mixed flocks at Guango, also seen at Bellavista.
White cheeks stand out well.
Lineated Foliage-gleaner (58-4)
One noted on the last day at the bus-stop area on the Mindo entrance road at very close range.
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner (58-12)
One from the Cascadas road above Mindo with a mixed feeding flock.
Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner (58-11)
One foraging in the canopy as we waded across a stream near the tunnel Parrot-lick at Yasuni N.P.
Buff-throated Woodcreeper (55-14)
First seen at the Rio Napo landing stage, and daily at La Selva.
Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper (55-8)
Seen on trails through Yasuni N.P.
Montane Woodcreeper (55-23)
Several sightings from San Isidro, Bellavista and the Cascadas road at Mindo.
Olive-backed Woodcreeper (55-20)
One sighting at San Isidro from the road.
Plain-brown Woodcreeper (55-2)
Present in mixed foraging flocks on the Cascadas road above Mindo and from the entrance road.
Spot-throated Woodcreeper (55-5)
One noted in Yasuni N.P.
One in a mixed party on the Cascadas road above Mindo.
Tyrannine Woodcreeper (55-1)
Seen daily in mixed flocks along the Pipeline trail at Guango.
Castelnau’s Antshrike (60-9)
Seen on a Rio Napo island. A river island speciality of the area.
One seen in Yasuni N.P.
Long-tailed Antbird (62-2)
Brought out with tapes at San Isidro. Heard a lot throughout the day, and several more glimpses. A skulker.
Pygmy Antwren (61-25)
2 together at the Rio Napo landing stage during a "purple patch" on the 4th.
White-flanked Antwren (61-14)
Noted in Yasuni N.P.
Bicolored Antbird (63-11)
One perched on the steep trail up to a Golden-headed Manakin site above the tunnel Parrot-lick at Yasuni N.P.
Black-and-white Antbird (62-18)
2 seen on a Rio Napo island. A river island speciality.
Dot-backed Antbird (63-16)
2 brought out with tape and seen well on Lake Garzacocha early morning, the canoe was paddled along side the over hanging bush they were in.
Very handsome well-marked birds.
Plumbeous Antbird (63-4)
Heard early mornings from the canoe across Lake Garzacocha.
Silvered Antbird (62-19)
Painstakingly brought out using tape from a canoe pushed in under the overhanging bushes on Lake Garzacocha. 2 showed very well after half an hours persistent tape playing during which they sang back very loudly but stayed in the dense lakeside undergrowth.
Sooty Antbird (63-6)
One sighted on a downward-sloping path in Yasuni N.P.
Spot-backed Antbird (63-15)
Scoped at ridiculously close range as it sat and preened with a Great-billed Hermit nearby along the muddy trail to the tunnel Parrot-lick at Yasuni N.P.
A very handsome Antbird.
Spot-winged Antbird (62-13)
One strutted around showing well on and off outside the hide at the tunnel Parrot-lick at Yasuni N.P.
White-shouldered Antbird (63-5)
Heard from the canoe as we crossed Lake Garzacocha early mornings.
ANTTHRUSHES AND ANTPITTAS
Black-faced Antthrush (54-14)
Heard more than seen. One responded to tape and showed briefly at Yasuni.
Heard from the tower towards dusk but not seen: an atmospheric sound at La Selva.
Giant Antpitta (65-2)
At Bellavista one was watched within half an hour of arrival stalking along the trail next to the smelly kitchen waste compost bins. Minutes later the next species turned up…..
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (65-6)
Still recovering from the shock of seeing the Giant Antpitta so easily, this bird appeared perched on the wooden walls on the compost bins and began a lengthy feeding session in the 3 compartments of the smelly waste.
The following day at 5pm this bird was again present at the compost, together with 2 Spillman’s Tapaculos in the first compartment and the Giant Antpitta nearby on the Trail! We were walking the trail anyway and ended up pushing the Giant Antpitta further and further along in front of us, at times down to 20 feet before it would run away around the next bend. After about ten minutes of this it eventually flew up into trail-side vegetation and sat there in full view until we walked by and it disappeared into the jungle where it belonged to commence skulking as it should do!
Tawny Antpitta (65-12)
Heard many and saw 2 well at Papallacta, on the way up to the radio masts in the paramo. Not recognising their loud calls initially, I recorded and played it back until two eventually came out in full view, one even perching on a bush right in front of us!
Thrush-like Antpitta (64-8)
Heard early morning at La Selva.
White-bellied Antpitta (65-9)
One called a lot and showed briefly by the roadside at San Isidro. It walked along always partly hidden by foliage giving only short unobscured views when it reached a gap. Recorded and played back to it.
Ash-throated Gnateater (66-2)
Brief views of one In Yasuni N.P. on a very steep muddy trail.
Ocellated Tapaculo (66-6)
Very frustrating bird!
Long CD sessions led at one stage to 2 birds calling from dense cover right by the trail (having drawn them from some distance), down to just feet away, only for them to just go silent and not show at all. AAAgh!!
Spillman’s Tapaculo (66-14)
Regularly heard around Bellavista, first seen from the dome balcony on an open area left by workmens sand etc Seen well at the compost bins also.
Unicolored Tapaculo (66-9)
Seen with Charlie at San Isidro. Whilst trying to call out an Antpitta on a primary forest trail this bird came out and walked across a log.
Equatorial Rufous-vented Tapaculo (66-10)
Drawn out by Charlie with a tape at San Isidro. It came towards us and was crawling around on the rear of a big succulent leaf until it eventually crawled round to our side and showed itself!
Green and Black Fruiteater (76-9)
Showing in a mixed flock at Bellavista,on the trail to the Research Station, it appeared briefly, then CD was used to lure it back to give better views. A fine bird.
Scaled Fruiteater (76-15)
One showed very well with a Tanager flock, calling a lot, on the entrance road to Mindo on arrival there.
Dusky Piha (73-10)
Seen in the trees right by the lodge at Guango early morning, and another the following day at San Isidro.
Screaming Piha (73-11)
The classic call which is very loud, can carry 1Km or more and is deafening at close range. It is one of the best known and most powerful voices occurring in Amazonia, but often it is a frustrating bird to see even when one is calling right in front of you.
Several, all in the same area of Yasuni N.P. couldn’t be missed once their very loud ringing call was known. Recorded and played back to them with great success: two seen very well.
Plum-throated Cotinga (76-6)
One over the canoe early morning at La Selva, on Lake Garzacocha.
Bare-necked Fruitcrow (77-7)
Several seen perched up at the tops of trees on a Rio Napo river island where we also saw Amazonian Umbrellabird. Also seen flying across the river: they appear not to be totally island dwellers. Mostly seen on river islands.
Purple-throated Fruitcrow (77-1)
Several noisy birds heard on the trail back from the tunnel Parrot-lick, one located in a tree above us sat and gave stunning views. It’s throat patch was unbelievable as it turned its head in the sunlight, flared out and iridescent like a Hummer. The field guides don’t do it any justice!
Amazonian Umbrellabird (77-5)
Another Rio Napo river island speciality.
Once on the island, Roderigo and the boatman both started the search of the trees whilst imitating their calls: like a booming Bittern! It was quite comical following them around as they gave the oooomph calls every few seconds whilst looking like natives hunting for food staring up into the trees!
2 heard, one seen well.
Andean Cock-of-the-rock (77-6)
A 4.30 a.m.start was needed with Dani Jumbo to reach the lek prior to dawn. We drove on the Mindo – Lloa road for 40mins in darkness, crossing the Rio Nambillo ( above which there is another lek, but with a longer steeper climb) and on to the Rio Cinto which we crossed on bamboo poles and on through forest, then up almost vertically for half an hour in darkness to reach the spot. After 10 – 15 minutes wait the silence was broken by the first bird’s loud raucous calling. This gathered momentum and as light was coming into the sky the number of calling birds had increased to about 15 and it was pretty noisy!
The sight of them displaying, bowing and "fighting" in front of us was to say the least amazing and unforgettable.
We saw 2 males very well later the same day on the road to the Cascadas, but wouldn’t have missed the lek for anything.
Golden-headed Manakin (78-1)
A male was called out with a tape by Roderigo after visiting the tunnel Parrot-lick at Yasuni N.P. It sat out and showed well.
Green Manakin (78-13)
One along the trail at Yasuni N.P.
Wire-tailed Manakin (78-6)
A male at a traditional site in Yasuni N.P. showed full tail-wires and was said by Roderigo to be his favourite bird (he must be spoilt for choice at La Selva!)
We sat with Bill and Teddy (Texans) and ate our boxed lunch while it sat nearby.
Ashy-headed Tyrannulet (67-8)
Several on the Yellow House trail, easy to ID with their black crescent face pattern.
Common on or near to rivers.
Black-and-white Becard (75-8)
One sighting of a distinctive male on the road to the Cascadas above Mindo.
Black-tailed Tityra (75-13)
One at the Rio Napo jetty area as we sheltered from a downpour and another the following morning seen from the restaurant balcony at La Selva Lodge.
Bran-colored Flycatcher (71-19)
One acting like a Spotted Fly along the Mindo – Lloa road in pastures opposite where the Little Cuckoo began calling.
Brownish Twistwing (71-13)
The call of this was recognised in Yasuni N.P. by Roderigo and recorded / played back with great success bringing the bird in for close views.
Cinnamon Attila (73-4)
One flycatching from waterside vegetation at Lake Mandicocha.
Seen first near the Yellow House buildings and for the next two days singles around Mindo.
Cinnamon Flycatcher (70-8)
Seen and heard daily at Guango. A bright prominent Flycatcher which was also noted at San Isidro and Bellavista. Much brighter than the field guide.
Crowned Slaty Flycatcher (74-13)
Seen at the Native jungle settlement downriver from La Selva and one seen perched from the viewing tower there.
One showed well on a fence up the Yellow House Main Trail.
Distinctive "Pewee" type head shape and colouration made ID easy.
Noted in Yasuni N.P.
Golden-crowned Flycatcher (74-21)
One at Bellavista and one along the road to Mindo Gardens Lodge.
Golden-faced Tyrannulet (67-23)
Golden "Spectacles" and face pattern and white belly distinctive. Seen on the Mondo – Lloa road.
Seen daily at la Selva.
Lesser Kiskadee (74-24)
Several perched on low vegetation over "lily-pads" at Lake Mandicocha.
Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant (67-1)
Speckled face pattern distinctive on one along the road at San Isidro.
One perched on top of a big tree in pastures on the Yellow House main trail.
Masked Water-Tyrant (72-23)
One at the pond opposite the Yellow House main buildings on arrival there and one along the road to Mindo Gardens Lodge.
One-colored Becard (75-10)
One in a mixed feeding flock on the road to the Cascadas above Mindo.
Ornate Flycatcher (70-7)
Several sat very prominently on close fence wires / posts on the Yellow House trail and also on the road to the Cascadas above Mindo.
A very bright beautiful Flycatcher which the field guide does no credit.
Paramo Ground-Tyrant (72-6)
Several high up the slopes at Papallacta walking around the stunted vegetation.
Pink-throated Becard (75-12)
Pink throat just about visible on one on the muddy trail to the tunnel Parrot-lick at Yasuni N.P.
Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant (72-13)
The first bird seen at Papallacta when starting the ascent to the radio masts.
Initially unable to place in a family as it looked rather like a Roller!
Ringed Antpipit (67-25)
An unexpected bird, it did its best not to show, but ended up on view as we followed it down towards a stream at Yasuni N.P.
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant (72-17)
The nicest of the Flycatchers? A superb bird showed well early morning at Guango as we did our "rounds" on the Pipeline trail.
Rufous-breasted Flycatcher (68-6)
One at San Isidro was at first thought to be Handsome Fly until it showed better. Quite a skulker (in the undergrowth).
Rusty-margined Flycatcher (74-25)
2 called distinctively on wires over the pool outside our room at the Yellow House. We went back and played the CD to confirm ID. (Their calls are like Golden Plover). Better views later revealed the rusty wing panels.
One sang loudly and showed in primary forest on trail No 1 at the Yellow House and another showed well half way up the entrance road to Mindo.
Short-crested Flycatcher (73-15)
One viewed on a river island on the Rio Napo.
Sierran Elaenia (68-26)
One along the road to the Research Station at Bellavista.
Smoke-colored Pewee (71-7)
First seen in the trees along the Pipeline trail at Guango, also seen at Bellavista and Mindo entrance road on the last morning.
Smoky Bush-Tyrant (72-12)
One in the trees along the Pipeline trail behind the Lodge at Guango early morning.
One at the first Parrot-lick and another on trails at Yasuni N.P.
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet (67-13)
Tall crest, overall grey with prominent wing-bars, one in a hedge along the Mindo entrance road on the last morning was easy to ID.
One at the Native jungle settlement downriver from La Selva Lodge.
Streak-necked Flycatcher (68-2)
A highly streaked bird at Bellavista along the road to the Research Station.
Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet (67-6)
One along the road at San Isidro. Rich yellow underparts and very bold broad wing-bars.
Seen on most suitable fast flowing rivers on both slopes.
The most commonly seen and widespread large flycatcher. Perched prominently on phone wires / posts throughout. Seen in all areas visited.
Tufted Tit-Tyrant (69-20)
Seen with a Many-striped Canastero in a hedge above the lake at Papallacta.
White-banded Tyrannulet (70-23)
Commonly seen on the Pipeline trail behind Guango Lodge and also at San Isidro.
Very boldly marked wing-bars and much brighter / paler than the guide.
White-crested Elaenia (68-22)
A dull grey / brown Flycatcher seen only at San Isidro.
White-tailed Tyrannulet (70-22)
Smaller duller version of White-banded Tyrannulet, seen at Bellavista.
White-winged Becard (75-7)
The dark form seen at the jungle settlement below La Selva and the paler form seen on the road down from the Cascadas above Mindo.
Yellow Tyrannulet (67-20)
Very bright yellow bird in thin densely leaved bamboo above the Rio Mindo.
2 viewed from the car as we drove back from the Cock lek in tall grass / bushes were easy to ID with their shaggy crests showing some white.
Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher (69-2)
2 at the Rio Napo landing stage as we sheltered from a downpour.
Bright yellow / black.
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet (67-14)
Small bright Tyrannulet seen at the native jungle settlement below La Selva.
Brown-chested Martin (79-1)
First seen at Coco airport on arrival flying low over the road, then at the landing stage. Unusual bow-winged gliding made it appear un-Swallow like.
Seen commonly along the Rio Napo.
Gray-breasted Martin (79-2)
Seen on a Rio Napo river island and also 2 perched on aerials at Coca airport.
White-winged Swallow (79-8)
Commonly seen low over the Rio Napo, also seen perched on twigs on Lake Garzacocha. Much white in flight.
Noted en-route to San Isidro and daily from then on at Bellavista and Mindo.
Brown-bellied Swallow (79-5)
Seen in good numbers in the Highlands. A dark Swallow visiting the tops of roadside embankments all over Papallacta pass.
White-banded Swallow (79-10)
Small numbers seen along the Rio Napo. Easy to ID.
White-thighed Swallow (79-11)
2 perched on phone wires along the Mindo – Lloa road showed their white thighs on close views.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Noted at La Selva and common in the Mindo area.
Large numbers roosting on river islands on the Rio Napo.
White-capped Dipper (81-22)
One visiting its nest / food carrying below the Rio Mindo bridge showed very well.
WRENS AND DONACOBIUS
Seen and heard at La Selva and Mindo.
Heard more than seen around Mindo, but one seen well on the entrance road on the final morning.
Black-capped Donacobius (81-3)
A perched bird watched closely at Lake Mandicocha. A very smart bird.
Gray-breasted Wood- Wren
Seen at San Isidro and heard daily at Bellavista and Mindo.
Mountain Wren (80-15)
Several seen / heard at Guango (Goldcrest-like song). Also heard at San Isidro.
Plain-tailed Wren (80-7)
2 brought out with CD at Guango (very explosive loud song) showed well.
Also heard at San Isidro and Bellavista.
Rufous Wren (80-4)
One below the kitchens in a large area of dense undergrowth at Guango.
Thrush-like Wren (80-1)
A very noisy family party of 7 behind the bar at La Selva at 6am showed well.
Andean Solitaire (82-1)
Heard first at Bellavista (but not seen). On leaving there a bird was singing in a roadside valley, and was coaxed across to our side using CD. It then performed admirably on each side of the road showing very well in response to the recording. Heard also around Mindo, including one above where we viewed White-thighed swallows. A special, beautiful song / smart bird.
Glossy-black Thrush (82-11)
Several seen en-route up to Papallacta on a hedge where Carunculated Caracaras were following a plough. Also seen the following day on the way up to Papallacta and at San Isdro.
Great Thrush (82-10)
First seen near our Hotel on the streets of Quito on the first morning. Also seen around Guango and Bellavista.
Pale-eyed Thrush (82-8)
One noted on the main trail at the Yellow House.
Inca (Green) Jay
Noisy birds seen only at San Isidro where they are common.
Violaceous Jay (49-14)
Noisy birds seen commonly along the Rio Napo in flocks.
Turquoise Jay (49-12)
Common at Guango. Also noted at San Isidro.
VIREOS AND ALLIES
Brown-capped Vireo (81-14)
First seen (in song) by a farm at San Isidro, also at Bellavista and daily around Mindo.
One at Guango and daily around Mindo.
Black-billed Peppershrike (81-10)
One heard in a large tree behind the restaurant remained out of view.
Black-crested Warbler (83-22)
One in a mixed flock at Guango early morning.
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat (83-20)
One along the Mindo – Lloa road on the way back from the Cock lek.
Russet-crowned Warbler (83-27)
One early morning at Guango and one at Bellavista.
Several at Bellavista and daily around Mindo, seemed to take over from the next species on the West slope.
Spectacled Whitestart (83-19)
Common at Guango and numerous, with small parties at Papallacta Lake,
where we parked to eat lunch by a waterfall (up to 6).
Also common at San Isidro.
Seen at Bellavista and around Mindo.
Singles at San Isidro and Mindo.
TANAGERS AND ALLIES
Many mixed parties of Tanagers and others such as Woodcreepers , Treerunners, Flowerpiercers, Fruiteaters, Flycatchers, Tyrannulets etc seen.
When a flock go over they look no bigger than Siskins or other small Finches.
Only the Mountain Tanagers were bigger.
Mindo area was best for number of species seen.
No other family contributes so much color to Tropical American birdlife, and the largest genus, Tangara, seems to exhaust the color patterns possible on Sparrow-sized birds.
Cinereous Conebill (84-4)
2 – 3 sightings at Guango. This sp. was not on their checklist.
The white panel on the wing is fuller and more prominent than in the field guide.
Capped Conebill (84-6)
Several (males and females) in with mixed feeding flocks at Guango.
Giant Conebill (84-7)
One very bright large bird with a flock which included a Many-striped Canastero at Papallacta below the radio masts. The group worked their way up the hillside but the Conebill drew most attention, resembling an oversized Dartford Warbler with a white moustache!
Bay-headed Tanager (86-15)
One up the Yellow House main trail, and one later near the horse paddocks there. Also one the following day above Mindo.
Beryl-spangled Tanager (87-14)
One below the cabins at San Isidro, also at Bellavista, 2 en-route from there down to Mindo and on the Mindo entrance road in mixed flocks.
Black-capped Tanager (87-16)
One as above in a mixed party at San Isidro and others on the way down to Mindo from Bellavista with other Tanagers.
Black-eared Hemispingus (90-20)
One only at San Isidro with Charlie Voigt.
Black-headed Hemispingus (90-23)
One in an early morning mixed flock at Guango.
Blue-and-black Tanager (87-15)
One at Bellavista with Dorsey Burger on a steep section of track above the lodge early morning in a mixed flock.
One at La Selva was the Eastern race with large white wing-bars.
Others at the Yellow House and around Mindo were the Western race without them.
Blue-necked Tanager (86-10)
Singles on the Yellow House trail and behind the horse paddocks there.
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager (88-6)
First seen along the trails at Bellavista, several on the road down to Mindo from there, and at the top of the Mindo entrance road ridiculously close at eye-level behind the bus-stop area (which attracted a surprising variety of birds – probably due to the street lights there attracting moths, a huge one of which I photographed).
Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia (85-6)
A female noted at San Isidro with Charlie Voigt.
Dusky Bush-Tanager (90-13)
One from the balcony at Bellavista at 6am with Spillman’s Tapaculo nearby.
Also seen at the bus-stop area of the Mindo entrance road.
Fawn-breasted Tanager (87-1)
Fist seen at San Isidro late afternoon by the car parking area (very smart!),
a soggy one in the pouring rain on arrival at Bellavista and one above Mindo with Dani Jumbo.
Flame-faced Tanager (87-9)
First seen in mixed flocks as we worked our way down the entrance road to Mindo on arrival and regularly noted in pairs in flocks around Mindo.
Golden Tanager (87-5)
Probably the most common Tanager of the Mindo area. Seen from the road below Bellavista onwards. Present in all flocks.
Golden-naped Tanager (87-12)
First noted en-route from Bellavista down towards SanTadeo / Mindo and others on the entrance road to Mindo.
Grass-green Tanager (88-18)
A stunning bird at Guango early morning (as big as a Mountain Tanager) also one on the track above Bellavista Lodge.
Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager (90-15)
One in a mixed flock at Guango on arrival there.
Hooded Mountain-Tanager (88-8)
One as above at Guango in the same flock.
Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager (88-5)
Commonly seen at Guango in mixed flocks and one near San Isidro.
Lemon-rumped Tanager (89-7)
Very common and noisy (males and females) from the Mindo entrance road downwards. (mistook for a Casique initially)
Numerous around the Yellow House.
Magpie Tanager (89-19)
One at the native jungle settlement downriver from La Selva.
Looks better than in the guide!
Metallic-green Tanager (87-11)
Several in a large mixed flock on the Yellow House trail, also on the track up to the Cascadas above Mindo.
Oleaginous Hemispingus (90-19)
One just above Bellavista along the road towards the Research Station road early morning with Dorsey.
Orange-bellied Euphonia 85-10)
First seen at the jungle settlement downriver from La Selva, also at Bellavista and around Mindo on two days.
Orange-crowned Euphonia (85-13)
One behind the horse paddocks at the Yellow House in a big mixed feeding party.
Orange-headed Tanager (90-7)
A very bright bird (unlike the field guide) on a Rio Napo river island.
One behind the horse paddocks at the Yellow House with a mixed flock.
Paradise Tanager (86-4)
One shared a treetop at La Selva with a Black-faced Dacnis and a Green Honeycreeper in bright afternoon sunshine. A very colourful trio!
Whist watching the Dacnis and Honeycreeper a crimson rump appeared and confused the issue, and the Tanager crept out from where the Dacnis went in!
Viewed from the tower, these were the last birds at La Selva and the last ones
Rufous-bellied Euphonia (85-15)
One from the canoe at Mandicocha Lake (La Selva) also seen from the canopy tower there.
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager (88-4)
Superb birds viewed in the daily mixed feeding parties at Guango.
Silver-beaked Tanager (89-6)
One noted at the Rio Napo landing stage and one on a river island there.
One seen on the Yellow House trail in a large roaming flock around the pastures just above a smallholding.
Swallow Tanager (86-1)
First sighting was a pair perched in Yasuni N.P. above the landing place where the Black Hawk-Eagle was perched, from a farm "house", also 2 males and a female (together) scoped on the Mindo entrance road on the last morning.
One on the Yellow House trail in a mixed flock and one on the Mindo entrance road.
Turquoise Tanager (86-13)
One at the Rio Napo landing stage with a flock including Tanagers, Barbets, Nunbirds and Antwrens.
White-lored Euphonia (85-16)
One along the riverside trail at the jungle settlement below La Selva.
White-winged Tanager (88-16)
Male and female together and othersingle sightings on the Cascadas track above Mindo with Dani, who had just mentioned them as a possibility.
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager (90-10)
One along the Mindo Gardens Lodge road by the Rio Mindo.
Black-faced Dacnis (85-3)
One viewed from the canopy tower at La Selva with Green Honeycreeper and Paradise Tanager.
Yellow-bellied Dacnis (85-4)
Male and female seen at Lake Mandicocha, on lakeside bushes.
A male seen in Yasuni N.P. also one from the La Selva canopy tower with Blue Dacnis and Paradise Tanager!
Purple Honeycreeper (84-17)
Two seen at La Selva, at the Rio Napo landing stage.
White-sided Flowerpiercer (84-14)
Seen at Bellavista along the Research Station trail with Dorsey, along the Research station track. Shows white in flight.
Glossy Flowerpiercer (84-11)
One early morning at Guango in a mixed party. White shoulder patch distinctive.
Bluish Flowerpiercer (84-9)
One noted at San Isidro along the roadside trail with Charlie Voigt. Darker than fieldguide.
Masked Flowerpiercer (84-10)
Several around the feeders (and on them) regularly at Guango, and several at San Isidro. The most common Flowerpiercer seen.
One along the Research Station trail at Bellavista with Green-and-Black Fruiteater nearby!
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch (92-24)
At Papallacta, first seen by the hut overlooking a stream before ascending to the towers. Plump, blue-grey.
Commonly seen around the Mindo area, at roadsides etc. Males & females.
Yellow-bellied Seedeater (92-6)
First seen on the entrance road to Mindo on arrival there and generally in the area over the next couple of days.
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (92-13)
A pair first noted on a Rio Napo island and also on wires outside the Andanatel office in Baeza from where we phoned Jodi.
Red-capped Cardinal (91-9)
A superb adult close by in overhanging bushes from the canoe on Lake Garzacocha on arrival at La Selva.
Pale-naped Brush-Finch (93-1)
One at Guango early morning in a mixed flock along the Pipeline trail.
Tricolored Brush-Finch (93-3)
First noted with Dani after the Cock-of-the-Rock lek near Mindo and also on the Mindo entrance road on the last day and another behind the bus-stop.
Slaty Brush-Finch (93-5)
2 noted at Guango in an early-morning feeding flock. Distinctive moustachial face-pattern.
Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch (93-10)
2-3 seen at Bellavista soon after arrival near the compost bins.
One Noted on the Mindo entrance road on arrival there.
Yellow-browed Sparrow (93-19)
2-3 seen on a Rio Napo island, scoped, on the flattest island.
Very common everywhere other than La Selva which they were (thankfully!)
SALTATORS AND GROSBEAKS
Grayish Saltator (91-3)
One seen on the flat Rio Napo island, near to a perched Ladder-tailed Nightjar.
Black-winged Saltator (91-2)
One showed well on the Yellow House trail on the lower part by the pastures.
Slate-colored Grosbeak (91-7)
One noted in Yasuni N.P.
BLACKBIRDS, ORIOLES, CACIQUES, OROPENDOLAS
Shiny Cowbird (95-12)
Around habitations in the Mindo area. Scruffy looking birds.
A flock sat on a sandbar on the Rio Napo, also noted at San Isidro.
Orange-backed Troupial (95-7)
A bright bird seen near the habitations at the native jungle settlement
downriver from La Selva, together with many other bright splendid birds.
Yellow-rumped Cacique (94-1)
Flocks seen daily at La Selva.
Sub-tropical Cacique (94-5)
Seen only at San Isidro on the morning we left there, several parties.
Mountain Cacique (94-2)
One by the bridge just before Guango Lodge, and others in the area.
Crested Oropendola (94-12)
Flocks seen around La Selva, first noted at the native jungle settlement.
Noisy, but not as common as Russet-backed Oropendola.
Olive Oropendola (94-15)
2 sat on a tree-top, viewed from the canopy tower at La Selva on our final afternoon there.
Russet-backed Oropendola (94-13)
Very common along the Rio Napo, also common and noisy at San Isidro.
Oriole Blackbird (95-4)
A river island speciality.
A pair of big bright birds seen on the flat river island – Rio Napo.
ADDITIONAL BIRDS SEEN AT AIRPORTS:
Many alongside runways
??Dark brown doves (with red tail-tips?)
?? Dark swallows
Small parties alongside the runways.
Newark Liberty Airport (New York):
Double Crested Cormorant
One flew over departure lounge window.
Great Blue Heron
One flew over departure lounge window.
American Herring Gull
Many sighted from outside airport whilst awaiting flight.
2-3 seen as above
Plenty around airport
Plenty around airport
We spent many hours studying the field guide prior to the trip and this proved very useful once in the field where the birds sprang to life and we could even remember the position on the plate of some species! We also picked up checklists at each site which proved invaluable and marked the field guide with sites where expected species occur to narrow the possibilities down.
Guides were used at most sites for one day apart from La Selva where the guide was in with price of the package. More tourist-type visitors there used Naturalist guides who were not bird specialists: we had Roderigo virtually to ourselves and could request birds / sites (such as the Rio Napo island-only specialities) and he was only too pleased to take us to them.
Rodrigo - La Selva (Native guide inc. in cost of booking)
Used throughout our stay at La Selva ("The Jungle" in Spanish)
Extremely sharp guide who knew every call and most importantly the whereabouts of his "local" birds. He stayed at the lodge when working but lives in a riverside settlement along the Rio Napo.
Charlie Voigt - San Isidro ($80)
Very high-tech guide using CD’s, tape record and playback (huge microphone!) and minidisks. (No lap-top though!)
Used for one day here.
Dorsey Burger - Bellavista ($150)
Rip-off price which was arranged via the lodge. It transpired that Dorsey only got $80 of this and the rest went to the lodge.
Used for one day here.
Dani Jumbo - Mindo Tel: 2765455 ($30) - wanted $20!
(was recommended by Charlie Voigt) Very competent young man who knew the whereabouts of Mindo area birds very well. Cheap too!
Used for one day here.
Ecotourism is alive and well in Ecuador and in many ways this country is showing the way to sustainable use of its resources. In some cases, indigenous people have been employed to build and maintain lodges, as well as to act as guides once they are up and running. These people (like Roderigo at La Selva) who are as much a part of the habitat as the trees and birds, seem happy about this, since their home, the forest, is preserved and not destroyed as happens with logging, mining, ranching and so on. This seems to be the way ahead, and many countries would do well to follow Ecuador’s example.
Rusty-tipped Page (Mindo)
Blue Morpho (La Selva)
Monarchs - Mindo
Many unidentified species seen (some very beautiful)
Also various moths.
Black-mantled Tamarind – La Selva
Kinkajous – La Selva
Agoutis – Yellow House trail.
Fireflies – La Selva
Leafcutter Ants – La Selva
Lemon Ants – eaten in Yasuni N.P. (from inside a plant)
Green Iguana – La Selva (huge)
Cotopaxti volcano - seen from Quito, covered in white volcanic ash.
Kapok trees – tallest and most huge jungle trees at La Selva.