(Written by Dave Klauber, Janos Olah, Mike Watson, Jonas Nilsson)
I had the good fortune to spend 45 days in Ecuador from late January through early March. 30 days were spent as part of a small group with Jonas Nilsson of Andean Birding as our guide. The rough trip itinerary was determined mostly by Janos Olah, who with Mike Watson comprised the other 2 participants. They were both very good birders, and Janos in particular is one of the better field birders who I have had the pleasure to bird with. He works as a guide for Saker Tours in Hungary. It was Mike’s first trip to South America and he had an obscene number of lifers, over 550 I believe. Jonas has an excellent ear and knows almost all the calls and sounds, essential in this part of the world. The trip was expedition style – we stayed mostly in basic hotels, camped a bit, and endured a couple of rough muddy trails, eating most of the day meals from Jonas’ jeep.
REFERENCE MATERIAL & CONTACTS
The Birds of Ecuador – Ridgely & Greenfield – 2 volumes, I only have the field guide
Lonely Planet – Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands - 6th edition, Aug 2003
Good for hotels, meals, and general information
Neotropical Rainforest Mammals – Louise Emmons – good for mammals, of which we saw very few, unfortunately
Trip Reports taken from
Andean Birding website – www.andeanbirding.com Roger Ahlman has a trip report here with maps and logistics information that Jonas used throughout our trip
Yuturi Lodge – www.yuturilodge.com, also see Lonely Planet for contact info
Mindo Loma – Hernan Herrera, 234-0410 (Quito), cell 097322850 (Spanish only)
I did not do much planning other than the Yuturi portion, since the outline of the trip had been determined, subject to change – which it did. My biggest disappointment was the group’s decision to skip Canande in the western lowlands (pricey at about $90 per person), which had the potential for some rarities, including Rufous-crowned Antpitta. We tried for the antpitta elsewhere with no luck.
MONEY & LOGISTICS
The US dollar is used for currency, supplemented by local coins of the same denomination as US coins. Traveler’s checks in US dollars were difficult to cash in many towns, excepting Quito & Loja. A few larger places will accept payment in traveler’s checks, but have plenty of cash. There are ATMs in the larger cities.
The cab fare from the airport in Quito is $4 - 5, $6 in the evening or early morning. Cabs around Quito are $1.50 – 2.00 for most places.
We generally stayed in moderate to low budget hotels. Room prices ranged from $3-$20
A Bell South telephone card can be useful, sold in denominations of $3, $5, and up.
My estimate is that the total cost for me was about $5,000 dollars. Biggest expenses were my portion of the guide fees ($2,300), about $530 for Yuturi, and another $650 for Jonas on my own for 3 days. As a group we averaged about $40 a day each for all expenses - food, lodging, gas and entrance fees. Gas was about $2.10 a gallon, but varied.
A note on entrance fees:
Most places have entrance fees – parks, private hummingbird feeders, etc. They ranged from about $5 - $15 per person. Most of this money goes to a good cause, preserving habitat, but it was a surprise to me as I had not experienced so many entrance fees in a country before. The national parks do not have a pass for multiple entrances – each entry is separate. Note the excellent work being done by the Jocotoco foundation in buying land for endangered species, but their lodges are expensive – over $100 per person at most, regardless of the quality of the accommodation.
There are several Amazonian lodges to choose from in Ecuador, all very expensive. Most do a Monday to Friday program for about $900-$1100 dollars from Quito, including airfare to Coca (about $120 RT). I chose Yuturi because I had been told it was the most reliable place for Black-necked Red-Cotinga, which I saw, and was considerably cheaper than Kapawi, La Selva, Sacha, etc. Their Monday to Friday program was $520, including the round trip airfare to Coca. The lodge was basic, but OK. My biggest complaint was that I only had 2 full days in the area, and I was pretty much rained out one afternoon. It takes a full day to get there, and you arrive around dusk on Monday evening. I had been told that they leave Thursday for Yarina lodge (only 45 minutes boat ride from Coca), but I thought it would leave after lunch, not 7 AM. If you plan to go there I would recommend trying to do a Friday to Friday stay, which would be worth the extra money, or at least stress that you want to bird as much as possible in the Yuturi area, including Thursday morning, opting out of the planned visit to an indigenous house and the monkey island (although Rufous-headed Woodpecker is supposed to be there). The Quito office did suggest that I could stay at Yarina all day, catching a late afternoon flight to Quito, which I decided to do. Unfortunately I was rained out most of the morning.
The species total was 873 by Ridgeley’s taxonomy, including my extra 2 weeks, including heard birds (71 species). My personal totals using Clements were 754 seen plus78 heard. The object was not a big trip list, but antpittas and hard-to-find species. The group total for the 30 day trip was about 700, including heard birds. We probably set a record for antpittas with 15 species seen by the group, with another 3 heard, and another 3 heard by me afterwards at Yuturi Lodge. Highlights were many and myriad – stunning looks at Giant Antpitta perched in a tree like a heron or huge chicken, Jocotoco Antpitta, Crescent-faced Antpitta, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Chestnut-bellied Cotinga, Black-necked Red-Cotinga, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Henna-hooded Foliage-Gleaner, all 3 iridisornis tanagers… the list goes on. I have attached a trip list copied from Excel. Biggest misses were probably Chestnut-naped Antpitta, which is apparently regular at the Tapichalaca feeders, Rufous-headed Woodpecker at Yuturi, and Ecuadorian Piedtail, seen by everyone but me. Inquiries about specific species will gladly be answered at:
Jan 24, Monday – flight to Quito from New York via Miami
A big snowstorm delayed my planned departure on Jan 23, and nearly delayed this flight. I arrived in Quito at 8:30 PM, temperature in the 60’s and rainy, and got a cab / van for $6 to the Hostal Zentrum (listed as the Palm Garten in Lonely Planet) for $15 a night including breakfast. The German owner is renovating the main building and I stayed in a small, dark room where I could feel the box spring supports through the mattress. Not recommended as it was during my stay.
Jan 25 – Quito
A decent breakfast at the Zentrum, then to the Yuturi Lodge office on Amazonas near Cordero, where I paid for my stay at Yuturi Lodge. The rest of the day was spent walking around, getting acclimatized. I met Jonas for a good lunch at the hotel for $2.50 each, and we arranged a pick-up for the morning. Mike and Janos were due to arrive late that evening via Venezuela & Colombia. I had a mild altitude headache all day.
Jan 26 – Yanacocha
Jonas picked me up at 5, drove to his apartment and picked up Janos and Mike, and we arrived at Yanacocha Preserve at 6:40. Admission was $5 per person. We drove in a short way, then walked about 2 km to where there was a bathroom and hummingbird feeders, and a trail down into the forest. Barred Fruiteater and many hummers that included Sword-billed, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill and White-bellied Woodstar were seen, but no Black-breasted Puffleg. Tawny and Rufous Antpittas were the first antpittas seen. Night at Jonas’ flat in Quito.
Jan 27, Thursday – Bellavista
4 AM start arriving at Bellavista around 6:15. We did the research station road and the R trail all morning, seeing Tanager Finch, Ocellated Tapaculo and lots of hummingbirds at the lodge. In the afternoon we visited Tony & Barbara’s place for more hummers ($5 per person entrance). We stayed at the Bellavista research station, a building with bunk beds, hot water showers, and cooking facilities for $10 per person, seeing Band-winged Nightjar on the road after dark. No luck with Giant Antpitta. Dinner at Bellavista. Barbara told us reports from other groups were that it was still dry in the south, so we decided to alter our route to visit the north first, hoping that the rains would start by the time we arrived south. Jonas said it would be more difficult for some species otherwise.
Jan 28, Friday – Bellavista
5 AM try for owls, hearing Rufescent Screech-Owl but never seeing it, although we did see Rufous-bellied Nighthawk. During the day we did Bellavista, the old Nono-Mindo road down to near Santa Rosa, and Tandayapa Lodge ($5 per person). Yellow-breasted Antpitta was seen well eventually by all of us. Dinner again at Bellavista, which was pricey and not all that great, although the atmosphere and drinks were nice.
Jan 29 – Bella Vista and drive north
We went to Bellavista and lucked out with an outstanding long look at Giant Antpitta on the D trail, off the C trail. It flew up into a tree on a steep slope at eye level, looking like a big chicken or a heron with its huge bill, calling softly and staying perched for several minutes. When it called the bill remained closed, but the neck feathers moved slightly. It was dark rufous underneath with a slaty crown, but otherwise not strongly patterned. This was a trip highlight, #2 for us after the Jocotoco. We eventually left the area and drove north towards the La Bonita Road, staying in the small town of Julio Andrade at the Residencia Julio Andrade for $4 per person. It was basic and somewhat noisy, being on the main road, with a shower that gave shocks when you tried to adjust the hot water. This was a contender for worst hotel of the trip.
Jan 30 – La Bonita Road to Tulcan
4:30 departure for the La Bonita Road in Succumbios, arriving at a forested section along the road a bit past Santa Barbara 2 hours later. We struggled to finally get looks at Bicolored Antpitta, until recently thought to be a Colombian endemic and first found here by Jonas. We found a small entrance into the forest on the downward slope, and had an excellent look at Tawny-breasted Tinamou. Along the road were interesting variants of Spectacled Whitestarts with different degrees of yellow on the face, some having almost completely yellow faces, lores, and foreheads. Also seen were Red-hooded Tanagers and White-capped Tanagers. Weather was cloudy with some light rain. We drove to Tulcan in the evening, seeing a Short-eared Owl perched in a tree along the way. Hotel Alejandra on Calle Sucre, $5/person.
Jan 31 – Tulcan to Chilma Alto
We left Tulcan at 5:30, but spent almost 30 minutes at the police checkpoint while they phoned someone to clear us. The drive goes through paramo and frailejones plants, then descends to the village of Chilma Alto, where Jonas had spent some time previously. We arrived around 7:30, had breakfast, then walked in on a path to the left next to a house. This was a steep, very muddy and slippery path, chewed up by the horses that transport timber along it. A short distance along the path, maybe half a kilometer, Jonas tried the tape and we finally saw 2 Purplish-mantled Tanagers, very skulking for a tanager and not easy to see well. It’s worth the effort, as it’s a beautiful bird seen in decent light. Further down the trail Jonas has seen Black Solitaire, Hoary Puffleg, and White-faced Nunbird. We saw the Nunbird at 2,100 meters, near its upper limits. No solitaire or puffleg, but we had excellent looks at Powerful Woodpecker, and Yellow-vented Woodpecker was along one path. We paid $10 per person to a local official for a community fund. The weather was fairly hot and sunny, and we encountered some light rain returning over the pass in the late afternoon. In the paramo region we had Blue-mantled Thornbill and Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant. We drove to Ambuqui and the very nice Oasis Hotel on the outskirts of town for $10 per person.
Feb 1, Tuesday – Cerro Mongus
Leaving the Oasis before dawn we heard Burrowing Owls, and drove to Cerro Mongus, also near the Colombian border. This is described in Ahlman’s trip report on the Andean Birding website, and took us about 90 minutes from Ambuqui. After the town and the mud football field, amazingly surrounded with tall light poles, the road ascends a steep 1.7km, probably impassable by vehicle in the rain, although they were grading the road while we were there. We stopped where the road tapered to a path and you couldn’t drive, and camped there. Flammulated Treehunter was here, and the next day Janos found Black-thighed Puffleg in the area while Mike and I were up higher. We walked about 10-15 minutes up the path until we reached a clearing where you could see open habitat bordered by forest. We walked a couple of minutes to the right where we heard Crescent-faced Antpitta and were treated to excellent looks at one perched in branches. Janos got some good photos as well. We continued walking higher to about 3,500 meters, keeping along the forest edge to our left. A short ways after a lone large tree on the right, a trail enters the forest on the left, going through the forest along a ridge for about 1-2km before exiting onto an open area. There are 3 or 4 open areas where you can scan the slopes. This forest has some good birds, but can be variable. It was warm and mostly sunny with some clouds, and bird activity was low while we were there (10 – 4). Mike and Janos descended around 2, and Jonas and I stayed until about 4, seeing Masked-Mountain Tanagers. We pitched our tents, drank some wine and had dinner. In the evening we walked up the path and after much effort were rewarded with good looks at White-throated Screech-Owl. Rufous-banded Owl was heard by the campsite.
Feb 2 – Cerro Mongus to Quito
Jonas woke us early (5 AM?) because Rufous-banded Owl was calling nearby, and we all had good looks at it. Mike and I set off at 6:30 to try for the cotinga and Masked Mountain-Tanager, reaching the trail into the forest at 7:20. The weather was cloudy and overcast, and the difference was striking, as there was much more bird activity. Golden-crowned Tanager, Masked Mountain-Tanager, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, and Rufous Antpitta were seen. Mike and I staked out different clearings, and Mike’s sharp eyes spotted a distant Chestnut-bellied Cotinga about 9:30 in either the second or third clearing. It showed its chestnut crown patch in flight. A short while later in the next clearing nearer the entrance of the path, 2 or 3 birds showed much closer, allowing us outstanding looks. One seemed to be a female or immature bird. We hiked back down and left camp about 11, rain appearing imminent. Janos had seen a Black-thighed Puffleg while Mike and I were watching the cotinga. When we hit lower elevations and drier habitat we saw Scrub Tanager and a female Blue-headed Sapphire. We took a detour before reaching Otavalo for a White-rimmed Brush-Finch location, but the rear gate on the jeep broke and we returned to Quito without seeing it. Mike and the snoring Janos stayed at Jonas’, and I stayed at the more luxurious apartment of Charlie Vogt.
Feb 3 – Papallacta and San Isidro
A well deserved sleep in while Jonas checked on his vehicle, which would take several days to fix. We used Charley’s car for a couple of days, and left around 11 AM for Papallacta Pass. On the radio towers road I was lucky enough to spot a Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe from the car, which we all got excellent looks at in spite of the fog and rain. We descended to the hummingbird feeders at Guango – admission $5 / person. Field Guides were there and were watching the end of a good flock that was just disappearing as we arrived. Gorgeted Woodstar and Mountain Avocetbill unfortunately were not present, but we watched the other hummers in light rain as we drank tea &coffee, also walking a short ways to the forest to watch a small flock. We arrived at San Isidro in the late afternoon and stayed at the Yanu Yacu research station ($15/person with dinner), usually not open to the public, so we were lucky. Harold Greeney has been working there for years and found a Peruvian Antpitta on the nest a couple of years previously. He has an amazing talent for finding nests. We were encouraged to learn that Harold and his researchers had found another 2 nests, one of which they thought had the possibility of being active. We found out later that it wasn’t. It was still raining so we had dinner and chatted with the researchers before retiring.
Feb 4 – San Isidro, Guacamayos Pass, to Quito
Harold had graciously agreed to show us where the Peruvian Antpitta nests and territories were, and we set out at 6AM in light rain on very muddy trails and deep stream crossings, which flooded into all our hiking boots. Harold showed us 2 nests, but there were no Peruvian Antpittas seen or heard while we were there. Along the main road we heard White-bellied Antpitta but only Janos got a glimpse of it. In the afternoon we drove to Guacamayos Pass, arriving about 4 PM. We lucked out with a calling Barred Antthrush that came into the tape, giving us a good luck at this rare antthrush. It was overcast and cloudy, although visibility was adequate. We drove back to Quito where again I stayed at Charlie’s and the others at Jonas’ flat.
Feb 5 – Quito to Alausi
We had a late start due to getting laundry and the car repairs running late. This was Saturday, the first day of carnival, and we hit lots of traffic leaving Quito. We had a short stop at Hacienda La Cienaga to try for Subtropical Doradito (no luck) and Ecuadorian / Virginia Rail, which we did see, along with Giant Hummingbird. After a wrong turn and some delays we stopped at a hotel in Alausi for $20 a room.
Feb 6 – El Cajas, through Cuenca, to Yunguilla
4:40 departure in very thick fog through Cuenca arriving at Las Cajas Park around 9:30 AM. Entrance is $10 / person good for a couple of days. It was overcast with visibility poor for raptors, but OK for land birds. At the park HQ next to a small lake there was Tit-like Dacnis and Paramo Tapaculo, and just by the second guard station we birded the surrounding fields and forest, seeing Giant Conebill, Ecuadorian Hillstar, and Violet-throated Metaltail. We departed about 1, lunching in Cuenca. Carnival was in full swing as we drove through towns, with water being thrown at cars, especially those sitting in the back of uncovered pickups. Enrique, caretaker for the Yunguilla Reserve recently purchased by the Jocotoco Foundation, met us at the road junction, and we drove him to the reserve. We birded the reserve from 4:30-7:30 PM, seeing Dull-colored Grassquit, the first of many Pacific Pygmy-Owls, and only briefly heard Buff-fronted Owl, which we never did see. Enrique let us sleep on the floor of an open room in his house. Fernando, a student working there, was also living there in his tent pitched on his porch.
Feb 7 – Yunguilla to Loja
We got up early, but there was some delay with Jonas, and we left at dawn, too late for a serious attempt for the Buff-fronted Owl, although we did try unsuccessfully. There was fog and mist until about 8, and after a couple of hours we lucked out with good looks at Pale-headed Brush-Finch, the only known location for this very rare species. We saw some other species – Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, Rufous-chested Tanager – and the next highlight was Blue Seedeater, a bamboo specialist that has eluded me over the years. I think the admission was $10 or $15 per person, but I forgot to note it. On the way back to Loja we stopped at a spot for the inexplicably very local White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, which we saw. Mike spotted Bearded Guan along the road. Night at the pleasant Bombuscaro Hotel in Loja on 10 de Agosto street, large rooms for $15/person. They also do laundry. Almost everything was closed for carnival even though it was Monday.
Feb 8 – Loja to Cajanuma to Tapichalaca
Heavy rain and fog welcomed us at Cajanuma Park, not far from Loja. After waiting a while we conceded defeat and headed towards the main trip target area, Tapichalaca for the Jocotoco Antpitta. We stopped in the town of Malacatos, which had a flock of Chestnut-collared Swallows at the church. On the outskirts of Vilcabamba we stopped at a marshy area along the road to see Plumbeous Rail, one of the few spots for it in Ecuador. We arrived at the Tapichalaca Preserve, the premier property of the Jocotoco Foundation, about 1. Jonas knew the staff and they graciously let us eat inside their facility. It’s a nice place, but quite pricey at over $100 per person. Admission to bird the property is $15 per person. After watching the hummingbird feeders (highlighted for me by Rufous-capped Thornbill) we walked along the muddy trails with off and on rain, hearing the Jocotoco Antpitta once in the distance. We saw Orange-banded Flycatcher and Golden-plumed Parakeet, and White-capped Tanager along the main road while walking back. We drove south to the small town of Valladolid, finding a basic hotel just off the town square for $3/ person with shared bath. This place won for most basic/worst hotel of the trip, but was certainly preferable to $100 plus per night, and was only 30 minutes from Tapichalaca. The foundation property has an antpitta feeder just behind the lodge which gets Chestnut-naped Antpitta, and once had Jocotoco Antpitta. Unfortunately during our short stay we did not see it, a big miss for the trip.
Feb 9 – Tapichalaca to Loja
5:30 departure in rain, which fortunately was much lighter at Tapichalaca. We walked a trail behind the lodge over a hill which eventually led to the preferred site for the Jocotoco. About 8:30 we were treated to an excellent look at one on a log in the open, staying long enough for us to see it well with Janos getting off one rear view photo. On the way back we saw Slate-crowned Antpitta in a bamboo patch. Elated, having seen the main target bird, we returned to the lodge and ate (our own food), and I checked out the feeders in vain for Chestnut-naped Antpitta. We did get a good look at Chusquea Tapaculo feeding along the trail near the feeder the previous day. Leaving Tapichalaca around 1, we detoured up Cerro Toledo to intermittent rain and wind. We finally saw the Neblina Metaltail, and Paramo Tapaculos flying over the scrub, a behavior we had never seen before in tapaculos. Back to Loja, the Bombuscaro Hotel, and an Italian meal with cheap sangria that gave some of us headaches the next day.
Feb 10 – Loja to Zamora
Second try at Cajanuma with the same results – rain and few birds. There is an entrance fee but I forget how much. We drove back to Loja mid-morning where I managed to change some traveler’s checks. After stocking up at a local bakery, we hit the Zamora Road, with a stop at the Romarillos entrance to the park. A raptor scan was not productive, and a walk downhill on the trails didn’t yield much, so we continued to Zamora, checking into Hotel Orillas de Zamora about 12:30. Rooms were $12 per single, $18 for a double. This was the first hot weather we experienced, and by the end of the day Mike had succumbed to something. We birded the Bombuscaro entrance to Podocarpus Park in the afternoon, seeing Black-streaked Puffbird and Blue-rumped Manakin en route, and the recently described Foothill Elaenia with a small flock at the park headquarters. It had been raining a lot and was quite hot and humid. Back to a local restaurant (Restaurant Don Pepe?) where we ate all our meals while in Zamora. Mike retired early, feeling ill.
Feb 11 – Podocarpus Park to Loja to Catamaya
Mike had a bad stomach bug, and stayed in. The three of us got to Bombuscaro Park about 6:30. Just near the carpark Janos spotted a Lanceolated Monklet, much sought after by both of us. Further down the trail he spotted another, two outstanding sightings as they are difficult to spot while perched and silent. A female, then male Amazonian Umbrellabird were along the trail within the first few hundred meters of the parking area. The weather was cool and overcast, perfect birding weather. Other species of note were White-breasted Parakeet, Ash-browed Spinetail, Yellow-breasted Antwren, possible Plain-winged Antwren, Black-billed Treehunter, and Coppery-chested Jacamar by Janos. It started raining about 11, so we returned to the hotel, picked up Mike, still feeling badly, and went for lunch and an internet stop. We drove slowly back to Loja with a couple of stops along the way, arriving about 3:30. We picked up our laundry at the hotel, and drove west over a ridge to Catamaya. Now started the Tumbesian specialties, and we had Chapman’s Antshrike, Red-masked Parakeet, and Bay-crowned Brush-Finch at a roadside stop. We stayed outside of town at the resort-like Hostal Los Almendros for $12/person. The rooms were large and there was a swimming pool, but the workers were still recovering/celebrating carnival and hadn’t cleaned up much. Dinner in town.
Feb 12 – Catamaya to Macara
18 lifers for me today, as we hit the Tumbesians, a new avifauna for me. We left the hotel before 6 driving about 15 minutes outside town along the road. It was still dark so we had breakfast while it got light, after which we had Tumbes Sparrows and Elegant Crescentchest. We drove slowly to Macara, on the Peruvian border, seeing a small flock of Saffron Siskins and Watkin’s Antpitta by the highway. Locals informed us that it had only started raining 3 days earlier, so it was good that we had not come here directly, as originally planned. There was some light rain at 12 when we arrived in Macara, so we had lunch and checked into the Hotel Espiga de Oro ($7 single, $12 double, no hot water) and had a siesta. Around 3 we drove towards Sosorango, birding along the road, and the rain got much heavier. Our hotel lobby was thick with mosquitoes after dark, although fortunately my room was OK, probably helped by the fan.
Feb 13 – Macara to Sosorango
5:45 departure for the Jorupe forest, a property along the road newly purchased by the Jocotoco Foundation. The first part of the trail was too steep and muddy to drive, so we walked in, spending the morning there (about 7 – 12). It was hot with mixed sun and clouds. Mike was still sick, and he turned back at 10:30, accompanied by Janos. Jointly we saw Pale-browed Tinamou, Henna-hooded Foliage-Gleaner – another highlight-, Ecuadorian Piculet, Blackish-headed Spinetail and Gray-breasted Flycatcher. Jonas and I saw Gray-barred Hawk and Rufous-necked Foliage-Gleaner. This is a recent acquisition, and there was no headquarters or admission fee instituted yet. Jonas drove us up to Sosorango for lunch, then up to Utuana in fog, mist, and light rain. Night in Sosorango - didn’t note the details but the hotel was cheap and just off the town square. Dinner was at a local restaurant on the square, with no choice. It was a good, solid meal.
Feb 14 – Sosorango to Alamar
Back to Utuana, where we stopped at a bamboo patch along the road to see the very local Gray-headed Antbird, Rusty-breasted Antpitta (not mentioned in the Birds of Ecuador), and Piura Hemispingus. Utuana had better weather this time – mixed sun and clouds-, Jelski’s Chat-Tyrant, one of the nicest in a nice genus, and Black-crested Tit-Tyrant. We returned to the Jorupe Reserve to find the hawk and foliage-gleaner for Mike & Janos, which we did. Fortunately road conditions allowed us to drive all the way. The preserve is surrounded by fields and seems to be an oasis in the middle of agricultural development. The preserve ends at a gated fence, but the road continues up the mountain. We also had Gray-cheeked Parakeet, but never found Slaty Becard, only One-Colored. (Aside – At an ornithological conference March 4, Jonas met Niels Krabbe, who had 2 singing Slaty Becards sometime after our visit). A very interesting example of bird behavior was witnessed as a Striped Cuckoo was moving along the road edge, sometimes partially spreading a wing and fanning its black alula. Jonas finally guessed it was hunting, possibly using the wing to startle prey in a manner vaguely reminiscent of Reddish Egret spreading its wings, although not nearly as dramatic. When we arrived back in Macara we found out there was no gas, as the Peruvians come over to buy the much cheaper Ecuadorian gas. Here followed something quite unusual. We explained the situation to the border guards and they let us in, no passport stamps, no nothing. We had to drive about 30 minutes until we reached a town with a gas station (Suyo), but they would not accept dollars. We went into town to change money, and were treated to Tumbes Hummingbird and Short-tailed Woodstar feeding on flowering trees in the town square. We drove back to the border, birding a little, and were let through again with a friendly wave. At the border is a marsh over which 3 Comb Ducks flew. We started driving towards Pinas, stopping at Alamor for the night at the Grand Hotel Sica, $7/person in doubles. They have phone cabins on site.
Feb 15 – Alamor to Pinas
The original intent had been to bird outside Alamor, but it was raining hard in the morning so we went straight to Pinas, arriving at the hummingbird feeders outside town about 12. We checked into the Hotel Capitol in Pinas, large, nice rooms for $12/person. After lunch we went to the Jocotoco Foundation’s Buenaventura Preserve, where we paid $15/person that allowed us 2 days. They had more hummer feeders, allowing good close views. Darwin, a local caretaker, took us to a site where we saw a very long wattled male Long-Wattled Umbrellabird in the rain. The bird seemed unperturbed as it looked down at us, and on occasion stretched its neck and leaned forward, as in a display pose. This completed my sweep of all 3 umbrellabirds, and was a major find. Dinner at the Chinese restaurant near the hotel, large portions of decent food.
Feb 16 - Pinas
We left at 5 AM to try for Black&White Owl, which can sometimes be found at the virgin monument by the road, but not today. There is a dirt road right next to it which goes in for a few kilometers. We spent half the morning here, seeing Scaled Fruiteater, Club-winged Manakins displaying, White-tipped Sicklebill, Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher, and Ochre-breasted Tanager. Jonas took us to an upper area where Janos found perched El Oro Parakeets. On the way out Mike spotted Ochraceous Atila, the first of 3 that he was to find. Back to the Chinese restaurant in Pinas for lunch, a siesta ( I hadn’t been feeling that good for the last 2 days), and back to the virgin shrine, where Jonas found a poorly marked trail opposite and a bit before the shrine, with a Tapaculo de Oro sign. We never did see or hear one, but there was a Scaled Antpitta singing nearby, and Spotted Nightingale-Thrush. This trail goes in and out of forest into clearings. Night in Pinas, where we picked up laundry at the hotel and ate Chinese food for a change.
Feb 17 – Pinas to Quevedo
6 AM departure for the Tapaculo de Oro trail – no tapaculo, but Jonas & Mike spotted the Scaled Antpitta on the trail, which I saw fly away. It was a hot, sunny day, and the bird activity slowed down quickly, so we left at 8:45. We collectively decided to forego the west coast and Ayampe, and continued on our long drive north. In the afternoon we stopped at a reserve, Manglares Churute, that is noted for Horned Screamer and waterfowl. The screamers were seen well and close, as well as both Whistling-Ducks, but not the hoped-for Masked Duck. There were lots of mosquitoes and it was unpleasant in spots. We also tried a trail a bit past the reserve and to the left (west) where we saw Jet Antbird and our first Ecuadorian Ground-Dove. We finished the evening northeast of Guayaquil in Quevedo at a noisy hotel on the main road (Central or Grand Hotel?), $37 for 3 rooms with fan and no hot water. The heat wasn’t making me feel any better.
Feb 18 – Quevedo to Mindo Loma
Sometime during the last day it was decided that we would not go to Canande, an expensive lodge in the western lowlands that had the potential for Rufous-crowned Antpitta, and a very long shot for Banded Ground-Cuckoo. We had another possible site for the antpitta. We spent our last week here and in the Lita-San Lorenzo area looking for a few key species. We left Quevedo at 6 and arrived at the Rio Palenque reserve at 7. I had been here in 1999 and the changes were impressive. The fields as you enter are now planted with small trees and the main building is much improved. You can stay here for $25 a person without food – they have 8 beds. There is a food option but they also have kitchen facilities including a microwave. We birded the grounds for $15 a person, stopping when it rained at 10:30. In those few hours we had Barred Puffbird, Rufous-headed Chachalaca, White-thighed Swallow, and a few others. Next stop was Santo Domingo where I could not change my traveler’s checks, despite visiting 5 different banks. We had an internet stop, then departed for Mindo Loma, private property not far from the turnoff to Mindo. They have hummingbird feeders, and banana feeders for tanagers, and are in the process of building a hotel/guest house. This is an excellent place, and Black-chinned Mountain-Tanagers came in for the bananas, along with the more expected Blue-winged. The Herrera family let us sleep in their dining room in our sleeping bags and provided us with sleeping pads. It was raining hard that afternoon.
Feb 19 – Mindo Loma & Milpe Road
Dawn search for Moustached Antpitta. Playback would not bring them in, although we heard 3 different birds. Mike got a quick look at one along the upper part of the path towards the waterfall. The weather was rainy, making the trails muddy and slippery in parts, and visibility not that good. After a 9:30 breakfast, Janos tried for the antpitta again while Jonas and I tried for Orange Breasted Fruiteater, both unsuccessfully. Janos saw 2 male Cock-of-the-Rocks. After lunch we tried to escape the rain, which we did lower down on the Milpe Road. Within a kilometer there was a new reserve on the right run by the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation (www.mindocloudforest.org), admission $5/person. There are several trails that descend towards the river. We had Esmeraldas Antbird, Choco Warbler, and kicked up a Choco Poorwill with a juvenile that hit Jonas in the head as it flew across the path. We located them and had great looks at the adult perched on a branch. Janos ran back to the vehicle to get his camera and lucked out with a Plumbeous Forest-Falcon that flew in briefly and left, unfortunately not seen by the rest of us. Searching for Moss-backed Tanager was fruitless and we returned to Mindo Loma for another unsuccessful attempt for the antpitta. Night with the Herreras. Their son Boris is a bird guide who was away, but their other son Patricio is also starting as a guide and accompanied us most of the time. The family was very good to us and did not charge us for accommodation, only meals and a daily admission fee.
Feb 20 – Mindo Loma area
5 AM departure for kilometer 106, where a local named Felipe owns a property that has Rufous-crowned Antpitta. We spent the morning there with no sign of the antpitta, although there is good forest. We did see a female Tiny Hawk, Plumbeous Hawk, Black-headed Antthrush and a few others. We returned to Mindo Loma for lunch and a short hike at 2 for Hoary Puffleg, which we saw excepting Mike, who opted out. Another try for the antpitta, an obsession of Janos. This time we walked all the way to the waterfall, a beautiful site, seeing Olivaceous Piha and Tawny-throated Leaftosser. Janos descended before us and really lucked out with Dark-backed Wood-Quail, only seen by him. No luck with the antpitta though, although we saw Uniform Treehunter along the main path. Last night with the Herrera family.
Feb 21 – Mindo Loma to Quito to Ibarra
Divide and conquer (or not). Patricio and I tried for the fruiteater while the others made another unsuccessful attempt for Moustached Antpitta, although they did see Ochre-breasted. I found a female Orange-breasted Fruiteater, but no male. After a late breakfast we left at 11:30 for Quito, where we did a laundry (most of our clothes were wet and dirty), showered at Jonas’, and waited while we switched cars with Charlie, as Jonas rear gate had broken again. We left at 6:15 for Ibarra, arriving about 8:30, staying at Hostal El Zarape on the main road for $8/person.
Feb 22 – Ibarra to Lita
We drove from Ibarra to Lita with some roadside birding, with a couple of false alarms, mistaking distant Swallow Tanagers for Blue Cotinga, which we never saw. En route we saw Stub-tailed Antbird, Large-billed Seed-Finch, and Choco Tapaculo. A ways past Lita before Alto Tambo, I think, there is a cliff face on the right. A few hundred yards earlier is a good spot by a stream for tanager flocks, and we saw Rufous-winged, Tawny-crested and some others. There is an ornithologist that lives about 10 km from Lita by a stream crossing. We found out he had just left, but tried getting up the ridge, where Nils had told Jonas that he had heard Rufous-crowned Antpitta. After crossing a stream with very slippery rocks we reached a house, and the trail seemed to disappear. Jonas found a “remnant” of a trail, and we climbed a rough, slippery, shit excuse for a trail in light rain to the ridge, where there was a trail that traversed it. No antpitta of course, but we had Scarlet&White Tanager. We descended before dark and stayed outside Lita at Siete Cascadas, pricey at $30 for 4 in a large room with cold showers. Note there is an interesting rest stop 23 km from Lita and 53.5 from San Lorenzo run by Irma de Morales. She has a tent pitched on the porch where guests can stay. There are rest rooms and it looked neat and clean. She also has a trail behind the rest stop that goes for about 3 km.
Feb 23 – Lita to San Lorenzo to Los Bancos
Leaving at 6 we arrived at Irma’s rest stop and birded her trail in light rain. After crossing some fields it enters forest and reaches a stream. There were lots of big fallen logs and we declined to go further. Apparently further up is a stream crossing that is deep, maybe waist high. We finally saw Moss-backed Tanager, although not in the best light. On the way out we saw another at the edge of the clearing, and had breakfast at Irma’s about 9. We returned to the tanager spot by the cliff face, seeing Black-tipped Cotinga, Golden-chested Tanager, and better looks at Scarlet&White Tanager. We descended to San Lorenzo to a mostly deforested region. Yalare is a former preserve where the office is now closed and majority of the big trees have been logged out – quite depressing. It was early afternoon, hot, and humid, which didn’t help, and it was quiet. Cutting our losses, we drove through the outskirts of Esmeraldas on to San Miguel de Los Barrios, not far from Mindo Loma. En route we stopped and saw Chestnut-throated Seedeaters and a couple of shorebirds. In Los Bancos we stayed at a hotel whose name I forgot on a side street off the main drag for $5/person with warmish water.
Feb 24 – Mindo Loma to Quito – last day of the “tour”
Suckers for punishment, we arrived at Mindo Loma again at dawn. Mike and I went separately, trying the upper reaches with Patricio, while the 2 J’s tried the lower parts. Mike saw a Moustached Antpitta on the trail which I missed. At the waterfall, they heard one call. We sat down and played a tape, and one came in very close without vocalizing. Unfortunately my view was blocked and I missed it hopping along a log, but I got a look at one in the trail, with its head blocked by foliage. At the same time White-tailed Hillstar flew in. We returned for breakfast at 9 to learn that Janos had finally seen his antpitta, estimated time about 14 hours over several visits. Mike stayed behind to see the Hoary Puffleg he had passed on previously while the three of us left for Pedro Vicente Maldonado, a known area at km 126 that unfortunately is getting logged out. The weather at Mindo Loma had been sunny with a few clouds, and it was more cloudy here. We hit a small flock in a remnant forest patch that continued for at least an hour – Scarlet-thighed & Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Black-striped Woodcreeper and more. Back to Mindo Loma about 3 where we tried for Orange-breasted Fruiteater, this time seeing a lovely male. We had a late lunch/dinner and returned to Quito. Many hotels were full, and we finally found the Residencial Loro Verde for $9/person, single or double. The rooms were large, there was hot water in the sink as well as the shower, and this became my base in Quito for the remainder of the trip. They do not have phones in the room, but there is a pay phone in reception that takes quarters.
Feb 25 – Quito, no birding
I had originally planned to leave for Yuturi this Friday, but delayed it because I thought Mike and Janos might extend our trip by a day, which they did not. We all relaxed and worked on our lists. I confirmed things with the Yuturi office, delayed my return to New York to March 11, and changed some money. Jonas joined us for dinner and we ate at a Mexican restaurant on Mera opposite Papaya.net. Regular margaritas disappointed, but the Passionfruit ones were good.
Feb 26 & 27– Quito, no birding
I spent the weekend in Quito. Saturday morning I picked up a birdlist and location description for Yuturi from Steve Howell’s visit in 1995. Note that Steve mentions a canopy tower, long since collapsed. There is a Vivarium in Parque La Carolina on Amazonas that has live snakes, which was interesting. My big meal splurge was the Mare Nostrum restaurant where I had eaten in 1999. It’s expensive by Ecuador standards, but the mixed seafood plate was excellent. Otherwise an uneventful weekend.
Feb 28 – Flight to Coca and Yuturi Lodge
I arrived too early at the airport and my 10:15 flight was delayed by about 45 minutes. I arrived in Coca before noon, and found out on the plane that my fellow traveler to Yuturi, Sharon, who had been living in Ecuador teaching English for 6 months, didn’t like birds, bugs, or very much that I would associate with the Amazon. Our guide Juan Carlos was late meeting us at the Coca airport, and we waited in light rain for a few minutes while he hailed a pickup/cab. If it were raining hard our uncovered luggage would have been soaked. We drove to the Oasis Hotel, selected our rubber boats, and shortly departed around 12:15 for what would be a 6 hour plus journey. There was some rain along the way – make sure you’re wearing a poncho or something waterproof, as their canoe did not have roll down sides. The river was low, and we got stuck a number of times, once for about 30 minutes while everyone but the two passengers got out and pushed. Along the Napo were Swallowwing, Cocoi Heron, Pied Plovers, Yellow-billed Terns, and swallows. We got to the lodge at dusk, and it was hot and humid, more so after the cool boat ride. Yuturi has a generator that is on from about 6 to 10 in the evening only. The lodges were basic, in need of some repair, but OK. The beds had mosquito nets, essential since the local style is to have the roof meet the outside front porch rather than the inside wall, leaving a big gap. The beer was only cool, as the generator can’t keep them very cold for only 4 hours a day, but reasonably priced at $1 apiece. The good news for me was that the local bird guide Jaime was present. There had been some doubt as to his availability even though I had been assured he would be there in January when I paid. I told Jaime my main target was Black-necked Red-Cotinga, and he planned our itinerary.
Mar 1 – Yuturi – Manduro Trail
Jaime met me at 5:30 and he paddled up the Yuturi River in the dark to the beginning of the Manduro River Trail in varzea and terra firme forest. A Margay Cat was heard calling, a strange sound I would not have associated with a cat. We heard then saw Plumbeous Antbird while paddling, and Hoatzin are very common throughout this area. We had to scramble through fallen logs where we parked the canoe, and heard a Bartlett’s Tinamou after we finished our breakfast. The rest of the day was spent here walking the trails and searching for my targets. Weather was hot, humid and overcast. Jaime found me a male Black-necked Red-Cotinga, and shortly after I saw another. This was my personal trip highlight, and I was fortunate to have long good looks at both birds. Also seen were Ringed Antpipit, Scale-breasted Woodpecker, White-chested Puffbird, several antshrike species, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Banded Antbird, Striated Antthrush, Orange-crested Manakin, and others. A couple of hours were spent unsuccessfully trying to lure out Ochre-striped Antpitta, which remained out of view. On the way back in the canoe we had an Agami Heron. We returned to the lodge before dusk. I was soaked in sweat, but happy after a good day’s birding. Shower, a coolish beer, and dinner. Sharon had turned back on her morning walk due to the trail being swampy, and was generally uncomfortable.
Mar 2 – Yuturi – river islands
Jaime told me he knew a small river island where nearly all my targets could be found. Just before dawn I heard Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl calling, and with a tape and Jaime’s help saw one at the entrance of a trail behind the cabins. We set out about 6 with the boatman in a motorized canoe, arriving around 7. We heard spinetails calling in the nearby scrub and in fairly short order saw Dark-breasted, Parker’s, and White-bellied. Within an hour we dug out the elusive Castelnau’s Antshrike, with a male feeding the female, Black & White Antbird, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant and Mourning Warbler, rare for Ecuador. Gray-breasted Crake called almost at our feet, but I didn’t see it or try to tape it in. River Tyrannulet still eludes me. Next stop was Isla de los Monos, or Monkey Island, where Jaime says he always gets Rufous-headed Woodpecker. We were there from 9:30 to about 11:30, and it was fairly dead. White-lored Antpitta lived up to its former name, staying hidden in the thickets. It was cloudy and windy with a feeling of imminent rain. We went to Jaime’s house, arriving about 1 just as it started to rain hard. Jaime said he sometimes sees the woodpecker near his house, as well as Reddish-winged Bare-Eye. The rain did not let up, however, so I enjoyed a siesta in his hammock while he and the others relaxed and chatted. I tried a brief excursion in the rain with an umbrella, but it was a waste of time. We left Jaime’s at 4:15 to return to the lodge about half an hour later. After a short wait we paddled out in a canoe (the rain had stopped) to look for Casqued Oropendula. We finally saw a couple around dusk with the more common Russet-backed and one Green. We also saw a small flock of Sand-colored Nighthawks, which we had also seen the previous evening. I tried to arrange a return to the Manduro Trail in the morning and learned that we would be leaving the lodge at 7 AM for a trip to an indigenous family and the monkey island, then to the Yasuni Lodge. This was very disappointing, as I thought I would have at least the morning at Yuturi.
Mar 3 – Yuturi Lodge to Yarina Lodge
A little birding around the lodge, breakfast, then we packed and departed for a visit to an indigenous house. A surprising highlight was a pet Gray-winged Trumpeter that ran up to us like a puppy, “purring” and quite affectionate. The visit was interesting, and wasn’t the typical tourist nonsense I had envisioned. After a little while we departed for the monkey island. Sharon and Juan Carlos went to look for monkeys, while the boatmen (Lorenzo?) and I went on another fruitless search for Rufous-headed Woodpecker. This was one of the biggest misses of my trip. We set off for the 4 hour ride to Yarina Lodge, less than an hour from Coca. This is nicer than Yuturi, and also has a canopy tower, although no varzea forest. I was given Ricardo as a guide, a nice enough kid, but he knew very little about birds. We set off about 4 for the tower, along a less-used path. I found a Yellow-browed Antbird, my only lifer here. We spooked a Ruddy Quail-Dove from her nest and 2 eggs about a meter off the ground against a tangle in a tree. The tower is 35 meters high with 115 steps, and you are greeted by swarms of sweat bees at the top. We stayed until 6, seeing a Spangled Cotinga in nice sunlight but little else of note. After dinner Ricardo and I paddled a short way on the river to try for Spectacled Owl with no success. Yarina has some cages with animals and birds being rehabilitated, which is interesting.
Mar 4 – Yarina to Coca to Quito
Ricardo was supposed to meet me at 5:30 but overslept. One of the staff got him and we left at 5:45, arriving at the tower 6:10. Ricardo headed back to get breakfast while I watched the overcast sky and fog. Visibility was not very good. The Spangled Cotinga returned briefly, but there were few birds all morning. Just after 8 it rained hard for 90 minutes. I finally gave up at 10:30, descending in light rain. We walked some forest paths but saw nothing, and it kept raining. I returned to the lodge at noon, fairly wet. I had lunch, birded from the restaurant terrace, then left at 2:45 for the 45 minute ride to the Hotel Oasis in Coca. They took me to the airport at 4, and my 4:45 flight was over an hour late, so I finally got to Quito after 7, returning to the Loro Verde where I had left some luggage. I immediately realized some money and possessions had fallen out of my luggage either at Yuturi or Yarina.
Mar 5 & 6 – Quito, no birding
Amazingly, they found my money at Yuturi and the office said I could be reimbursed on Monday. There was a resident painter from Chile at the Loro Verde, and both he and the woman who also cleaned were constantly painting, either canvas or the walls of the hostal. There are many internet places in the Mariscal Sucre area, all cheap, but the Papaya.net seemed to be a big hangout, always full of people. They serve meals and have cheap international phone rates – only 10 cents a minute for the USA. I had made prior arrangements with a local guide to go out birding Monday through Thursday, but I had not heard from him, and had no way to contact him except e mail. I decided to contact Jonas, who agreed to take me out for three days, leaving late afternoon Monday at no extra cost to ensure 3 solid days’ birding.
Mar 7 – Quito, drive to Archidona – no birding
I had to wait until noon Monday to get my money from the Yuturi office in Quito, and Jonas picked me up before 4 for the eastern foothills. It was raining, and large parts of the road after Papallacta Pass are in terrible shape. At Baeza it was still raining hard, so we decided to push on to Archidona and hope for better weather. We stayed at a hotel on the right at the beginning of town for $8/person with fan, TV, but no hot water. It was still raining. Jonas cheerfully informed me that we had picked up a parasite during our trip – the “good” amoeba yoda amoeba – and had taken pills for it. I got checked out when I returned home, but New York doctors had never heard of it. Nonetheless I tested negative but took some pills (Alinia) anyway for 3 days.
Mar 8 – Archidona to Sumaco Road
It was only about 15 minutes drive to a spot where Jonas has seen Black Bushbird and Hairy Crested Antbird. Emphasis on HAS, because there was no response in this remnant patch of forest. We birded along the road and had some new birds, including a flock of the warbler-like Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Olive-chested Flycatcher, and Black Antbird, with Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher and Black-banded Crake being heard only. By 10:30 it was getting warm and the activity had lessened, so we went back through Archidona to a roadside stand on the Loreto Road turnoff for lunch - $3 for two, soup and meal. We had a brief stop by the asphalt mining area, then spent an hour by the km 13 lookout. Yellow-throated Tanager completed my iridisornis sweep of Ecuador, and we had decent looks at a Spot-winged Parrotlet that flew by fairly close. We arrived at the Sumaco turnoff, about 50 km down the often rough road, in late afternoon. We visited the Inefan Park headquarters and were able to stay there for $3/person in bunk beds. They have cold showers and kitchen facilities, but we opted to eat at the local restaurant at the turnoff. We drove up the Sumaco Road to where the first patch of forest began. Yellow-cheeked Becard was in the trees in the field, and at dusk we heard Band-bellied Owl, which never did show itself. We stayed an hour after dark trying for owls with no luck, so returned to the park office and had dinner nearby.
Mar 9 – Sumaco Road
We left before 6 for the same forest patch, and it started raining by 7. The rain would be with us all morning, with occasional breaks. There were 3 large patches of forest between logged out fields, where we spent most of our time. The road more or less ends in a village, after which the preserve proper begins, I think, with limited access. Timber harvesting was clearly the cash cow here. I don’t know how much comes from the protected forest. Going back to birds, we had Napo Sabrewing, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Black-billed Treehunter – my last for Ecuador- a beautiful male Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Black & White Tody-Tyrant near bamboo, Ecuadorian Tyrranulet, Gray-mantled Wren, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Bronze-green Euphonia, and Blue-browed Tanager. Ecuadorian Piedtail flew by me but I didn’t get a tickable look. We had returned to the park headquarters to find it locked (we had said we would not be returning), but fortunately found Diana the caretaker present at 7. I had decided to stay here again since the birding was good and this was my last chance for Fiery-throated Fruiteater, which I never did see. Shortly after leaving the park headquarters in the dark we saw an unusual looking small cat along the road, which we later decided was a gray phase Oncilla. In the evening we tried for owls, hearing both Rufescent and Foothill Screech-Owls calling at the same time, although they never showed. At the park HQ a Tropical Screech-Owl called very close, but probably flew away when I walked out the door. Night in the park bunks.
Mar 10 – Sumaco Road to Baeza to Quito – last day
This was my last try for the 2 fruiteaters I needed – Fiery-throated and Black-chested, but it was not to be. We first tried some bushes just before the first patch where we saw Dusky and Dark-breasted Spinetails, then returned to the Sumaco Road forest patches. I had a better look at the Jacamar, and we had Yellow-breasted Antwren along with some of the birds we had seen previously. We left late morning and stopped at a known spot for Orange-breasted Falcon, where I again failed to see it. Jonas lured out a Wing-banded Wren along the road, my last lifer for the trip. We stopped at Guacamayo Pass, where we saw almost nothing, then a short stop at San Isidro where I again only heard White-bellied Antpitta. The last stop was open fields with trees along the highway near Baeza in a fruitless search for Black-chested Fruiteater. Dinner at a nice pizza place on the outskirts of Quito and back to the Loro Verde.
Mar 11 - Home
6 AM departure for the airport and some minor grief in Miami where a snowstorm was hitting New York again. I had an 8 hour scheduled wait in Miami (the down side of changing schedules with frequent flyer miles) to New York but managed to get an earlier flight and arrive by 4:30
Oncilla (small cat) – Sumaco Road
Margay Cat – heard only at Yuturi
Golden-mantle Tamarin - Yarina
Common Wooly Monkey – Monkey Island near Yuturi
Misc bats and rats