Birding Ecuador - 2008


Just a little over a year since my first birding trip to Ecuador, my friend Terri (who you may remember from the 2002 China and 2004 Trinidad trips) and I spent the 2008 Christmas holiday there on a self-organized trip. This time, Delta did pretty good on the way out (even kicking me up to first class), but a hassle getting home at the end. Other than that, however, another excellent trip and a total of 383 birds (including 30 new lifers for me).

We were met at the airport late at night by Jose from San Jorge Eco-Lodges, who patiently waited while we worked through the customs line to get in the country, and then drove us the short distance to San Jorge Quito, minutes from the airport but a world away from the city. The next morning after an excellent breakfast, we met Dr. Jorge Cruz, who would be our birding guide for the next week, and along with his wife, Irina, would become friends as he introduced us to the birds, trees, and other fascinating aspects of his home. During our visit, we stayed at their delightful lodges in Quito, Tandayapa, and Milpe. The new lodge in Tandayapa involves a bit of an uphill hike, but has great views of the valley below and is full of hummingbirds and other cloud forest birds. We were fortunate to be the very first overnight guests and had a most enjoyable visit. Irina is a fabulous cook (you must try her 'Sopa del Colibri') and we were glad she came along with us. Their lodge at Milpe was my favorite, however. Very comfortable, great birds,fabulous trails to multiple waterfalls, and of course, more of Irina's excellent food.

On Christmas Day, we traveled on to Banos, where we met a friend working at the recently rumbling Tungurahua Volcano Observatory. Due to all the activity, things were getting a little busy at the observatory, so we next spent a night in the nearby town of Banos at El Marques Posada before heading in a loop back to Quito via Misahualli and Papallacta Pass. One more night and it was off by plane and motor canoe back to Sacha Lodge to celebrate the New Year and more fabulous birding, led this time by the extraordinary resident guide, Oscar Tapuay. Then it was back to Quito for some souvenir shopping, a visit to the orchids at the Botanical Garden in Carolinas Park and to Old Town, staying at the Hotel Sebastian, before winging it home.

So here's some of the pictures (and a couple of short videos indicated by the graphic) from the trip. Some are a little fuzzy, dark, and/or out of focus, but so it goes.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger view of any of the pictures in a new window.


Our host, JorgeHosteria San Jorge and Botanical Reserve - QuitoJorge & Irina

Little guy
San Jorge Quito

Tandayapa
View

Tandayapa
Lodge

Milpe
Lodge

Log at
Milpe

Milpe
Waterfall

Milpe
Fog

Another
Waterfall

Pedro Vicente
Maldonado

Red
Berries


Sparkling
Violetear


Green
Violetear


Sparkling
Violetear


Rufous-tailed
Hummingbird



Fawn-breasted
Brilliant


Fawn-breasted
Brilliant




Green-crowned
Woodnymph

Green-crowned
Woodnymph

Violet-tailed
Sylph

Violet-tailed
Sylph
Booted Racket-tails
White-bellied Woodstars

Red-headed
Barbet (f)

Ornate
Flycatcher

Piratic
Flycatcher

Red-billed
Parrot

Masked
Tanager

Emerald
Toucanet

Golden-headed
Quetzal

Golden-rumped
Euphonia

Gray Hawk
(imm.)

Green
Honeycreeper

Choco
Toucan

Choco
Toucan

Strong-billed
Woodcreeper

Ivory-billed
Aracari

Long-tailed
Tyrant

Toucan
Barbet

Guayaquil
Woodpecker

Broad-billed
Motmot

Poison Frog

video

Tayra

Tayra

video

Toad

Poison Frog

Orchid

Red-tipped Leaves

Orchid

Leaf

Moth

Coffee

Ginger

Mushrooms

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(Return to My Travel Page.)
For more bird pix, check out my Trinidad, Peru, Panama, 2007 Ecuador, or Birds of New Mexico pages.