Ecuador: The Northwestern Andean Slopes Nov 11—19, 2017
Posted by Paul Greenfield
Our Northwestern Andean Slopes tour explored the Pacific Andean slope from high temperate zone forest at Yanacocha Reserve, down through the lower temperate zone, subtropical forest, and through foothill cloudforest and humid lowland forest. Highlights were many, as we sampled so many distinct sites in this bird-rich land. Our first of many hummingbird experiences was at high-Andean Yanacocha Reserve, enjoying close looks at so many wonderful species—Tyrian Metaltail, Sapphire-vented and Golden-breasted pufflegs, Shining Sunbeam, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, the incredible Sword-billed Hummingbird, and the oversized Great Sapphirewing. We watched as plantain banana feeders drew in a group of Andean Guans, a Yellow-breasted Brushfinch, and an onslaught of Glossy and Masked flowerpiercers. A mixed foraging flock included White-banded Tyrannulets, Spectacled Redstarts, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanagers, several Blue-backed Conebills, and a few Superciliated Hemispinguses. Later that morning, a chance stop as we descended in elevation afforded us close looks at a stoic Masked Trogon and a pair of handsome White-capped Dippers.
Our first early morning walk around Séptimo Paraíso’s grounds really brought home the notion that we were amidst mega-biodiversity; what an amazing number of birds surrounded us! A Uniform Antshrike came into view, and Spotted Woodcreeper; Plain Xenops; Buff-fronted, Scaly-throated, and Lineated foliage-gleaners; Red-faced Spinetail; Chocó Tyrannulet; adorable Ornate Flycatchers; an inconspicuous Orange-crested Flycatcher; Acadian Flycatcher; Dusky-capped Flycatcher; Rusty-margined Flycatcher; a Scaled Fruiteater; Golden-winged and female Club-winged manakins in fruiting Miconia; Cinnamon and One-colored becards; Red-eyed Vireo; Gray-breasted Wood-Wren; Tropical Parula; Blackburnian and Three-striped warblers; Slate-throated Redstarts; Lemon-rumped, Fawn-breasted, Blue-gray, Palm, Beryl-spangled, Metallic-green, Bay-headed, Golden, Silver-throated, and Swallow tanagers; Variable Seedeater; Buff-throated and Black-winged saltators; Yellow-throated Chlorospingus; Tricolored (Chocó) Brushfinch; Summer Tanager; and Thick-billed and Orange-bellied euphonias were among the multitude of species we encountered before breakfast!
Read Paul’s full report in his Field Report.