Day One : Arrival in Quito from Minneapolis, Minnesota Day Two : Papallacta Pass a.m., Yanacocha p.m. Day Three : Drive to Bellavista Day Four : Bellavista a.m., to Mindo p.m. Day Five : Yellow House trail a.m., Silanche p.m. Day Six : Papallacta Pass a.m., to Baeza p.m. Day Seven : San Isidro road a.m., Cock-of-the-Rock trail p.m. Day Eight : Baeza to Sumaco Day Nine : Sumaco Day Ten : Sumaco a.m., Papallacta Pass p.m. Day Eleven : Return to Minnesota
Doug Stucki and Mark Mulhollam with leader Robert Jonsson
This trip was the third to Ecuador for Mark (your writer) and the first for Doug. Sumaco and Silanche were the only new sites for Mark. All ground arrangements were made by Robert Jonsson, a Swede living just outside Quito in Pifo with his wife and family at their homestead they call Friendship Heights. The trip was very successful with great views of many special birds and generally good weather. Unofficially, 371 spp. were seen by at least one of us three with an additional 36 heard. And there was one controversial bird to liven things up (the Green Manakin/Broad-billed Sapayoa "complex"). Food was excellent throughout. Generally, I will note special birds seen within the daily accounts below, not all birds seen - I will also note a longer list after each day to give a flavor of the birds seen at each site. All bird names are capitalized the first time they are mentioned except for the longer listings at the end of each day. Comments or corrections are welcome. If you want more details please contact Mark.
Mark Mulhollam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Robert Jonsson (email@example.com)
Here is a zipped Microsoft Word version of Rob Innes' and Chris Jones' bird list for Sumaco, Humedal del Yalare, Reserva Playa de Oro, Silanche, Rio Palenque, San Isidro, Tinalandia, Tandayapa Birding Lodge, Quebrada Honda, Podocarpus, Buenaventura and the Cordillera de Guacamayos. (69k)
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August 10 : Arrival
Arrival and transfer to Friendship Heights, Pijo (2700 m). Robert and his wife Kristine Ivarsdotter own a nice place approximately a half hour from the airport. They have a guest cottage with two separate rooms each with its own fireplace. The food was excellent at their family table and the kids were a scream.
August 11 : Papallacta Pass and Yanacocha.
Plans were to go to Papallacta Pass (PP) in the morning and to Yanacocha in the afternoon. All meals at Friendship Heights (FH) this day. Mark's first bird of the trip : STREAK-THROATED BUSH-TYRANT. Also seen at FH before leaving were BLACK-BILLED SHRIKE TYRANT, BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER, TUFTED TIT-TYRANT and VERMILLION FLYCATCHER. PP was cold (~40 degrees), misty and windy. Good looks at ANDEAN TIT-SPINETAIL on road to antennae (4300 m), juvenile ANDEAN CONDOR below PP, also below PP: CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (a wonderful bird), HOODED, BUFF-BREASTED and SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTIN-TANAGERS in the first flock of the day. Scarlet-bellied's would be seen repeatedly throughout the trip. A tern-like GIANT HUMMINGBIRD explored a hillside. RED-RUMPED BUSH-TYRANT. Wonderful looks at a little CROWNED CHAT-TYRANT just beyond the town of Papallacta. Decent looks at SWORD-BILLED HUMMER in Papallacta itself (~4000 m). We birded a few places on either side of the pass itself, other birds seen include:
Scaly Ground-Dove (FH) Shining Sunbeam Buff-winged Starfrontlet Viridian Metaltail Tyrian Metaltail Blue-mantled Thornbill Tawny Antpitta Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet White-crested Elaenia White-throated Tyrannulet Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant Rufous Wren Cinerous Conebill (FH) Blue-and-yellow Tanager Black Flower-piercer Hooded Siskin Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch (FH) Band-tailed Seedeater Plain-colored Seedeater (FH) Paramo Seedeater Rufous-naped Brush-Finch
We went to Yanacocha in the afternoon, unfortunately the weather was warm and sunny so we saw few birds. Yanacocha (~3450 m) is known for its Pufflegs. We went as far as the tunnel. Birds seen at Yanacocha include:
White-rumped Hawk (flying with a Streak-throated Bush-tyrant in its talons!) Red-backed Hawk Mountain Velvetbreast Sapphire-vented Puffleg Golden-breasted Puffleg White-banded Tyrannulet Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Smoky Bush-Tyrant Rufous Wren Blue-backed Conebill Glossy Flower-piercer
Night at Friendship Heights.
August 12, 1996 : Quito to Bellavista (2200 m)
Mostly via the "new" road - the old road is reportedly impassable at places. Arrival at B @ 1:30. Across the street from small restaurant near turnoff to Nono from main road saw many birds, including : GOLDEN, BRIGHT-RUMPED and FAWN-BREASTED TANAGERS, CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET and BROWN INCA. Further up this road a SCALED FRUITEATER was seen. Bellavista had lost our reservations but fortunately some large group hadn't shown up. After arrival at B had excellent looks at YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANTS (many), Golden, BERYL-SPANGLED, GOLDEN-NAPED, and GRASS-GREEN TANAGERS. One poor look at METALLIC-GREEN TANAGER. Very good looks at BARRED BECARD, CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (nesting on bedroom balcony), Crimson-mantled WP, STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK, BLUE-WINGED MTN-TANAGERS and one PLATE-BILLED MTN-TOUCAN. Toucan Barbets were heard this afternoon but not seen. A COMMON POTOO was spotlighted while looking for Swallow-tailed Nightjars (no luck). Other birds seen this day include:
Barred Parakeet Red-billed Parrot Squirrel Cuckoo Rufous-bellied Nighthawk Tawny-bellied Hermit Green Violetear Sparkling Violetear Green-crowned Woodnymph Fawn-breasted Brilliant Collared Inca Buff-tailed Coronet Gorgeted Sunangel Violet-tailed Slyph Purple-throated Woodstar Crested Quetzal (female) Powerful Woodpecker Spotted Barbtail Pearled Treerunner Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner Striped Treehunter Green-and-black Fruiteater Streak-necked Flycatcher Flavescent Flycatcher Golden-crowned Flycatcher Turquoise Jay Brown-capped Vireo Tropical Parula Capped Conebll Blue-capped Tanager White-sided Flower-piercer Masked Flower-piercer Yellow-bellied Seedeater Black-winged Saltator
Night at Bellavista - marinade soup for dinner.
August 13, 1998 : Mark gets his YUMBO. Bellavista and Mindo.
In the morning we birded the road above the lodge and the Heliconia trail. In one place and at the same time, we had great looks at TOUCAN BARBETS (3 or 4 individuals), SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (1 at eye level) and the ubiquitous TANAGER FINCH (this bird is my anti-nemesis, I've seen it three times - basically whenever I've been in habitat, without tapes). Oh, and still before breakfast we had great views of OCELLATED TAPACULO, Powerful WP, MASKED TROGON and Crested Quetzal (all along the Heliconia Trail) and Doug vented. At breakfast at the lodge, we added FLAME-FACED, Golden, Golden-naped and Blue-winged Mtn-Tanagers to the daily list (all foraging at eye level and below in the sun). We also heard White-faced Nunbird along the Heliconia Trail. After breakfast we headed towards Mindo back along the same road and saw more Green-and-black Fruiteaters and had so-so looks at YELLOW-BREASTED ANTPITTA. Closer to Mindo we had lots of rain but also BAY WREN, SWALLOW-TANAGER, BLUE-NECKED TANAGER, Fawn-breasted Tanager (much more iridescent than shown in Hilty), COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER, RED-FACED SPINETAIL and Pearled Treerunner.
We stayed the night at the Hotel Bijau in Mindo and had lunch and dinner there as well. The trout was excellent, as were the figs and cheese in honey sauce. Other birds seen this day in the Bellavista/Mindo area and not already noted for previous day include:
Bronze-winged Parrot (perched) Smooth-billed Ani Chestnut-collared Swift Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Speckled Hummingbird Golden-olive Woodpecker Azara's Spinetail Slaty Spinetail Rufous Spinetail Red-faced Spinetail Pacific Hornero Slaty-capped Flycatcher Golden-faced Tyrannulet ("Loja") Yellow Tyrannulet Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant Bran-colored Flycatcher Black Phoebe Rusty-margined Flycatcher Sepia-brown Wren Three-striped Warbler Dusky Bush-Tanager Black-eared Hemispingus Thick-billed Euphonia Bay-headed Tanager Metallic-green Tanager Orange-billed Sparrow Tricolored Brush-Finch Buff-throated Saltator Black-winged Saltator
August 14 : Quetzal and nature call at same time. Mindo and Silanche to Quito.
The trail beyond the yellow house in the a.m.; Mindo road (1250 m); Los Bancos and Silanche p.m. First real birds of the a.m. were PALE-MANDIBLED ARICARIS, closely follwed by such as STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER, ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCKS (2 or 3 at an apparent small lek, another in the forest by me while the others looked at BARRED FOREST-FALCON), RUFOUS-BREASTED ANTTHRUSH, RED-HEADED BARBET, ESMERELDAS ANTBIRD, CHOCÓ TOUCAN, TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER, EMPRESS BRILLIANT, PACIFIC-STREAKED ANTWREN (an almost whitish bird with fine black streakings). And perhaps my trip highlight, a COMMON POTOO I found in the daytime. I've seen many at dusk the usual way, but never a daytime find. It was doing exactly as shown in Hilty, with head upstretched - a vertical bump along a horizontal branch. It slowly, slowly swiveled its head to look in our direction. The fun part was saying to Doug and Robert while they were looking elsewhere (probably at some dusky tyrannulet) "You'll never guess what I am looking at - [pause, pause] - a Potoo!". I would have strung them out a bit, but if it would've flown I would have felt bad, of course, the odds of it flying were about nil.
Doug and Robert got excellent looks at GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZAL while Mark attended to the remnants of the morning's coffee. Mark got only "brief" looks.
Not bad for the a.m. highlights, so we tried for and got MOSS-BACKED TANAGER! at a tree Robert knew near Los Bancos (1000 m). Silanche in the afternoon was very birdy and well worth spending two or more days at rather than the one afternoon we had. This spot was about 45 minutes from Mindo and about two hours from Quito. Its elevation is 400 m. The bird list includes such gems as SILVER-THROATED and RUFOUS-WINGED TANAGERS, ROSE-FACED PARROT (perched), RED-CAPPED and WHITE-BEARDED MANAKINS and as we were leaving, the Chocó endemic ORANGE-FRONTED BARBET.
Also our first difficult bird: Robert and I saw, very close, a bird I first called a female manakin because it was that shaped, I thought, and all olive-green with no other distinguishing marks other than light buffy feather edges on the wings, but it was definitely large for a manakin. I would be happy to call it a GREEN MANAKIN but Robert thought it was too large and had the wrong posture and shape and much prefers to call it BROAD-BILLED SAPAYOA. Further research seems to indicate that the feather edgings point toward the Sapayoa, as does the "apparent" absence of a contrasting lighter belly. I would welcome any comments, especially about the buffy feather edges. Other birds seen this day (M=Mindo, S=Silanche) include:
Ruddy Pigeon (M) Dusky Pigeon (S) Pallid Dove (M) Maroon-tailed Parakeet (S) Red-billed Parrot (M) Bronze-winged Parrot (M) Striped Cuckoo - heard only Band-tailed Barbthroat (M) Green-fronted Lancebill (M) Green Thorntail (M) Andean Emerald (M) Brown Inca (M) Stripe-throated Hermit (S) Barred Puffbird (heard M) Crimson-rumped Toucanet (M) Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (heard S) Smoky-brown WP (M) Chocó Woodpecker (S) Spotted Woodcreeper (M) Lineated Foliage-gleaner (M) Buff-thrpated Foliage-gleaner (M) Great Antshrike (heard S) Russet Antshrike (M) Slaty Antwren (M) Dot-winged Antwren (S) Western Slaty Antshrike (heard M) Rufous-rumped Antwren (where?) Black-headed Antthrush (S) Barred Becard (M) Cinnamon Becard (M) Black-and-white Becard (M) Masked Tityra (M) Ornate Flycatcher (M - reminds me of a manakin) Masked Water-Tyrant (M - at the yellow house) Streaked Flycatcher (S) Whiskered Wren (M) Bay Wren (M) Ecuadorian Thrush (M) Lesser Greenlet (S) Olive-crowned Yellowthroat (M) Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager (M) White-shouldered Tanager (S) Rufous-throated Tanager (M) Golden-hooded Tanager (S) Blue-necked Tanager (M) Scarlet-thighed Dacnis (S) Green Honeycreeper (S) Purple Honeycreeper (S) Yellow-tufted Dacnis (M) Variable Seedeater (M) Blue-black Grassquit (S)
Lunch at Hotel Bijao (trucha frita); night at Friendship Heights.
August 15 : Mark sees a ghost. Papallacta to Baeza.
Once again we stopped at Papallacta Pass (PP) because the weather was so bad the first time and we saw few birds. This time the weather was clear (very nice views of Antisana) but very windy and cold. Thus no seedsnipes, thistletails or Giant Conebills. But we did see Many-striped Canastero better this time, Andean Tit-Spinetail again and GRASS WREN. We also saw SILVERY GREBE and ANDEAN DUCK at the Conebill spot but from very far. After trying briefly for Sword-billeds again in Papallacta (I get greedy), we stopped at several places on the way to Baeza (1900 m), our destination for the night. At one stop where Robert has had Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, we had GOLDEN-CROWNED TANAGER - a pair furtively foraging in thick scrub. Anything on plate 50 is a joy. At another stop we had what may have been the looks of the trip - LONG-TAILED SLYPH. Not an uncommon bird, but this guy was at eye level in the sun, perching at all angles and hovering at flowers also in the sun. This is simply an incredible bird. We also saw Mountain Velvetbreast at this place. At another stop, in hillside-streamside bamboo we had good looks at the SLATY-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT, which completed the possible chat-tyrants, one of my favorite groups. We tried hard for Torrent Ducks (Pato Torrentera) and White-capped Dippers at most of the river crossings but with no luck. Other stops at various altitudes produced PALE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH and SLATY BRUSH-FINCH in the same flock, Hooded and LACRIMOSE Mtn-TANAGERS, GREEN JAYS (with an almost white top of head here), STREAKED XENOPS, EMERALD TOUCANET, WHITE-CAPPED PARROT, and WHITE-THROATED HAWK.
The ghost Mark saw was an unusual Blue-winged Mtn-Tanager with a very green back and the yellow on top of the head which appeared to go all the way down to the bill. From Hilty, there is a green-backed form of the Blue-winged but it shouldn't occur here. It also appeared to be chunkier than the smaller mtn-tanagers, more like the larger forms. Mark was the only one who saw this bird. The altitude was ~2275 m. and the bird was with MOUNTAIN CACIQUES, Green Jays, and Turquoise Jays. The light was good, the bird was fully exposed for a reasonable length of time and I called out the description as I was looking at the bird (I do this not only for others but it helps me to remember what I am saying). I would love to hear any comments on this bird you may have.
Other birds seen this day include:
Yellow-billed Pintail Andean Condor (immature) Puna Hawk Mountain Avocetbill (Robert only) Rufous Antpitta (heard) Barred Becard Green-and-black Fruiteater Sierran Elaenia Tropical Pewee Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant Mountain Wren Russet-backed Oropendola Cinerous Conebill White-capped Tanager (what is it doing down here? This was a very high flyby of a single bird identified by its vocalization. Fortunately, Mark was lucky enough to have seen a group of these quite well in one morning at San Isidro last time) Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager (it was everywhere) Blue-winged M-t Saffron-crowned Tanager Golden-naped Tanager Glossy Flower-piercer Plumbeous Sierra-Finch Night at Hotel San Rafael (not too noisy at all) in Baeza. Dinner at Restaurant Gina.
August 16 : San Isidro (2000 m) road a.m.; Cock-of-the-Rock trail p.m.
We birded the road into San Isidro in the morning after breakfast at Restaurant Gina which opened at 5:00 a.m. This was an excellent morning of birding highlighted by Doug finding a very cooperative BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN which foraged nearby for as longed as we wished. We also saw a splendid HIGHLAND MOTMOT (similar to the Blue-crowned and large), Crimson-mantled WP (I can't get over how beautiful this bird is, and common too), Streaked Tuftedcheek (long looks while it checked out mossy clumps), Streak-necked Flycatcher (another subtle but stunning bird), RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-TYRANT, WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER, BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE, SUBTROPICAL and Mountain CACIQUES, PLUSHCAP (seen by me while looking for another bird altogether - one of those put the binocs up expecting to see bird x but its bird y instead), and the tanager flocks included Saffron-crowned, Beryl-spangled, Blue-necked, Flame-faced, Blue-winged Mountain- and GOLDEN-EARED TANAGERS.
Feeling quite satisfied with the morning, and greedy, we decided to try for Rupicola peruviana again on the Cock-of-the-Rock trail (which has a lek near the river about 45 minutes straight walk from the cabins). Prior to starting the trail, the feeders near the main building drew Speckled, FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT, Bronzy Inca and Long-tailed Sylphs. We also saw an ANDEAN SOLITAIRE near here. Unfortunately, it rained most of the afternoon and the Gallito de las Peñas never showed. Robert did see a male GOLDEN-COLLARED HONEYCREEPER along the trail, but Doug and I only saw a female or immature. Because of the rain, we did not try for Lyre-tailed Nightjars or Rufous-banded Owls at a spot Robert knows near Baeza.
Other birds this day include:
White-capped Parrot Collared Inca Emerald Toucanet Olive-backed Woodcreeper Azara's Spinetail Spotted Barbtail Bicolored Antvireo (heard) Barred Becard Rufous-breasted Flycatcher Ashy-headed Tyrannulet White-tailed Tyrannulet Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet Torrent Tyrannulet Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant Handsome Flycatcher Pale-edged Flycatcher Golden-crowned Flycatcher Sepia-brown Wren Mountain Wren Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Glossy-black Thrush Brown-capped Vireo Russet-backed Oropendola White-sided Flower-piercer Bluish Flower-piercer Masked Flower-piercer Olivaceous Siskin Yellow-browed Sparrow
August 17 : Baeza to Sumaco INEFAN station.
This day we drove from Baeza to the INEFAN station. The early portion of this is along the Loreto road, the final two hours is along the Sumaco road. The INEFAN station is at 1100 meters and is poised below the Sumaco volcano. Small groups can stay at the station where they were very accommodating; you will need to bring your own food. Reservations may not be necessary, but can be made in Quito with INEFAN (about 50 people had signed the guest book in 1998, apparently only one group of six Swedes of whom were birders). The road along which we birded, above the station, extends for only a short way (~ 2 miles) to a little settlement, from which extends a trail up to the volcano itself, but it is at least a half-hour steady walk to good forest along this trail and perhaps more (we turned back at that point) and there is plenty to see along the road. A rough estimate puts the station about two hours from the turnoff from the Loreto road down a poor road.
Out of Baeza we first stopped at the Guacamayos ridge ("SG", 2000 m) which has a few specialties of its own. Unfortunately, the weather was bad. Nevertheless, we managed to tape in SLATE-CROWNED ANTPITTA and WHITE-RIMMED BRUSH-FINCH. We also saw RUFOUS-HEADED PYGMY-TYRANT with its manakin-like wing snaps and Hooded Mtn-T. Below the ridge we made some stops which yielded a lifer for Robert, the OLIVACEOUS PIHA, this bird was actually close to the road and below eye-level, and a glimpse of a CHESTNUT-BELLIED THRUSH. The Piha is a beautiful olive, mossy-green, a perfect deep forest bird. We headed for Sumaco, but were forced to overshoot the turnoff to get gas. The gas station east of Baeza is closed. So we made for lunch and gas at Archidoña (only a half-hour too far). The fancy new lodge/restaurant (the Paradiso Hotel) is extravagant and of course we were the only people there. Doug had Tilapia. This extra trip did yield the first TURQUOISE TANAGERs of the trip, GREATER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE, GREAT-BILLED HERMIT, BLACK-FACED DACNIS and GRAYISH SALTATOR.
In Sumaco that afternoon, we had CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAWS, LEMON-THROATED BARBETS (getting close to a Barbet sweep), THRUSH-LIKE WREN, BRONZE-GREEN EUPHONIA, ORANGE-EARED and PARADISE TANAGERS, and GOLDEN-EYED FLOWER-PIERCER. That evening, Robert taped in LINED FOREST-FALCON and a pair of BAND-BELLIED OWLS. These owls have an undulating duetting call. Other birds seen this day (all are Sumaco unless noted otherwise) include:
Little Tinamou (heard) Squirrel Cuckoo Smooth-billed Ani Short-tailed Swift Violet-headed Hummingbird Fork-tailed Woodnymph White-tailed Hillstar Collared Inca (SG) Black-streaked Puffbird (heard) Red-headed Barbet Highland Motmot (east of Baeza) Crimson-mantled WP (east of Baeza) Olivaceous Woodcreeper Olive-backed Woodcreeper Dark-breasted Spinetail (Archidona) Rufous Spinetail (SG - heard) Pearled Treerunner Striped Treehunter (below SG) Flammulated Treehunter (SG) Lined Antshrike (heard) Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (heard at SG) Black-and-white Becard (somewhere) Green-and-black Fruiteater (SG) Streak-necked Flycatcher Olive-striped Flycatcher Rufous-breasted Flycatcher (near Baeza) Common Tody-Flycatcher Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet Ashy-headed Tyrannulet Golden-faced Tyrannulet ("Loja" split?) Ornate Flycatcher Cinnamon Flycatcher Cliff Flycatcher (below SG) Smoke-colored Pewee (SG) Black Phoebe (near Baeza) Smoky Bush-Tyrant (SG, 1900 m) Lemon-browed Flycatcher (heard) Social Flycatcher (Archidona) Great Kiskadee (Archidona) Spotted Nightingale-Thrush (Robert only) Black-billed Thrush Olivaceous Greenlet Bananaquit (Archidona) Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager (S) Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager (S) Silver-beaked Tanager Orange-bellied Euphonia Golden Tanager Saffron-crowned Tanager Flame-faced Tanager Golden-naped Tanager Blue-necked Tanager Blue-and-black Tanager (SG, 1900 m) Black-capped Tanager (SG, 1500 m) Black-and-white Seedeater Chestnut-bellied Seedeater
Night at the INEFAN station, no cold beer although Robert tried.
August 18 : A phantom barbet. Sumaco.
Full day at INEFAN. Fairly sunny and hot all day but the birding was still quite good. Highlights included RED SCYTHEBILL, FIERY-THROATED FRUITEATER!, WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL, GREEN-AND-GOLD TANAGER, BLACK-SPOTTED BARBET (completing the barbet sweep), lots of good looks at Red-headed Barbet, ECUADORIAN PIED-TAIL, BLACK-EARED FAIRY, SPOTTED and YELLOW-BELLIED TANAGERS, NAPO SABREWING, LAFRESNAYE'S PICULET, FOOTHILL ANTWREN, GRAY-MANTLED WREN, RUFOUS-NAPED GREENLET, tons of Golden, Blue-necked, Paradise and Green-and-gold Tanagers, ORNATE and YELLOW-BREASTED ANTWRENS and even a few SWALLOW-TAILED KITES. To cap off the evening, Robert taped in a RUFESCENT SCREECH-OWL. I must admit to cheating on the Spadebill, Robert and Doug had spent 10-15 minutes looking for it while I watched a flock which yielded the first Green-and-gold and a WHITE-WINGED TANAGER. Then I walked over and immediately saw the Spadebill from a different angle which I think they never actually did see. The White-winged Tanager was an immature male which has a reddish-orange head blending into a golden body with white wing patches on black wings. We also had close focus looks at a female WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN, perhaps the only female manakin that rivals the male. Dark gray head, olive body, a fire eye and seen at eye-level!
Other birds for the day not already noted on yesterday's list included:
Gray Tinamou (heard) Bat Falcon Collared Forest-Falcon (heard) Ruddy Pigeon Maroon-tailed Parakeet Chestnut-collared Swift Green Hermit Wire-crested Thorntail (female) Yellow-ridged Toucan (heard) Yellow-tufted WP Smoky-brown WP White-throated WP Lineated WP Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Buff-throated Woodcreeper Ash-browed Spinetail (heard) Montane Foliage-gleaner Streaked Xenops Lined Antshrike (heard) Russet Antshrike Blackish Antbird (heard) White-backed Fire-eye (heard) Plain-backed Antpitta (heard) Wing-barred Piprites (heard) Olive-striped Flycatcher Ecuadorian Tyrannulet (heard) Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant Crowned Slaty Flycatcher Social Flycatcher White-thighed Swallow Wing-banded Wren (heard) SLATY-CAPPED SHRIKE-VIREO (a sharp bird which deserves to be capitalized) Brown-capped Vireo Buff-rumped Warbler Subtropical Cacique MAGPIE TANAGER (ditto) Blue-naped Chlorophonia (tiny green guys in the treetops) Bay-headed Tanager Beryl-spangled Tanager Black-faced Dacnis Golden-eyed Flower-piercer Yellow-browed Sparrow Blue-black Grassquit Gray-chinned Hermit Slate-colored Grosbeak
Night at INEFAN station.
August 19 : Sumaco a.m., Papallacta p.m.
Last day birding. Sumaco area till 9:30, then hightail it for last chance at Papallacta specialities. This morning's highlights included COLLARED TROGON, LINED ANTSHRIKE (finally seen well), YELLOW-CHEEKED BECARD, WHITE-WINGED BECARD, MUSICIAN WREN, and Slate-colored Grosbeak (seen well today, striking red beak). The gaudy Red-headed Barbet and Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo were seen well again. Birds seen this morning and not mentioned before for Sumaco include:
Ocellated Woodcreeper Masked Tityra Lemon-browed Flycatcher Coraya Wren (heard) Purple Honeycreeper
Then it was back to Friendship Heights with stops at Guacomayos ridge, the Baeza area and Papallacta Pass. Before Baeza, Robert spotted ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON for us at his stakeout with Cliff Flycatcher nearby. In the Baeza area we finally got a pair of TORRENT DUCKS on what must have been the twentieth attempt.
Between Baeza and the pass, we saw our old friends the Sunbeam and Velvetbreast, and even saw the Golden-crowned Tanager again at the same spot as before. Robert saw BAR-BELLIED WOODPECKER here as well. Mark finally got his WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL here (long study - less of a white chin than I expected). Of course we saw the Scarlet-bellied Mtn-t once more, with Buff-breasted Mtn-t's.
At the Conebill stop, we got our best views of a CARUNCULATED CARACARA flying low. Earlier views had been soarers. The Giant Conebills were heard once but never seen.
The weather was finally good at the pass and we had better looks at Bar-winged Cinclodes and STOUT-BILLED CINCLODES, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant and Tufted Tit-Tyrant. At the pass itself, on the third try, four RUFOUS-BELLIED SEEDSNIPES, the last new birds for the trip, and worth the jog Mark endured at 4300 meters.
Please send any comments or corrections to Mark.