TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT
30th October - 16th November 2003
Mauricio Garcia (Galápagos)
Norby Lopez (Ecuador)
Thursday 30th October Arrival
Cloudy & c.16°C
An early start from Heathrow to Madrid to pick up our direct flight then to Quito, arriving at dusk. Night fell characteristically quickly here in the tropics and it was dark by the time we had collected baggage and exited the airport. Transfer to the hotel and most then had a light dinner before retiring after a long day's travel.
Friday 31st October Transfer to Galápagos
Sunny and warm, clouding over during pm with strengthening wind from N.
Another early start for the airport and we arrived at Baltra in the Galápagos by 10am, to be met by Mauricio. Having transferred to Beluga, we set off on the short voyage to the nearby island of North Seymour. With Audubon's Shearwaters and Elliott's Storm-petrels flying all around us and Frigates and Boobies overhead, this was an incredible start to the holiday. After lunch, the rigid inflatables (called pangas) took us ashore, and we immediately found nesting Magnificent Frigatebirds, Galápagos Sealions playing in the landing cove and Blue-footed Boobies diving right next to the pangas. A slow circular walk took us past the nesting frigatebirds, truly Magnificent was my thought! There was just a single immature Great Frigatebird, showing some chestnut on its otherwise white head. As we literally stepped over or around various well-grown juvenile Blue-footed Boobies, it became obvious that an earlier nesting attempt had failed as there were quite large numbers of dead youngsters littering the whole island. Mauricio told us that this was due to a sudden warming of the sea earlier in the season, causing the adults to desert their young and move away to find sufficient food for themselves. The sea currents had changed again just as suddenly, and the birds had returned for their second, more successful, nesting attempt in six months. We were admiring very close views of several Land Iguanas and the ever-present Yellow Warblers, when a single immature Red-footed Booby flew over the island. This was to be our only sighting of this species. Several adult Blue-footed Boobies feeding their young attracted marauding Frigatebirds, hovering right over them and trying to take the food themselves from the adult's gullet! As we arrived back on the southern beach, Galápagos Sealions were hauled up and allowed very close approach. Swallow-tailed Gulls were exquisite, with at least 40 on the rocks and low cliff. Several Common Noddies flew past and we found several small Marine Iguanas. Finally we had to call up the pangas to return us to Beluga for a couple of hours before dinner and checklist.
With a strengthening wind, we moved south to the Itabaca Channel, between Baltra and Santa Cruz, to find shelter while we had dinner. We then moved south-east to Española (Hood Is.) overnight.
Saturday 1st November Española
Overcast, sunny spell, drizzle mid-pm onwards.
We awoke just offshore from Point Suarez with Elliot's Storm-petrels feeding nearby. A Waved Albatross flew past in the distance. After breakfast we landed on the island amongst Sealions and Marine Iguanas. We found several of the endemic Española Lava Lizard. Several Warbler Finches showed well and were remarkably confiding, often perching on Saltbushes just a metre or so away from us. As we walked the circular trail, we passed through breeding colonies of Nazca Boobies (a relatively recent species split from Masked Booby), with scattered Blue-footed Boobies and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Some male Marine Iguanas were developing the bluish-green markings along the forelegs and down either side of the vertebral spines indicating sexual maturity. We watched for some time a Nazca Booby selecting twigs from near its neighbour's nesting site and carefully arranging them on its own nest. It then muddled them all up (an artist's tantrum perhaps?) and started carefully rearranging them again. A little further on, we discovered two Red-billed Tropicbirds sitting face to face in a small cave, and again watched several pairs of Nazca Boobies mutually preening and generally 'canoodling'. Crossing an open area, we found several Waved Albatross adults sitting around, with several well-grown young at other sites. Here again we were privileged to watch a pair-bonding display, with much bowing, mutual gaping and bill fencing. Even the accompanying young chick attempted to join in - obviously learning by watching its parents. The Hood Mockingbirds were amazing, birds hopping and running towards us to inspect our shoe-laces or rucksacks, and allowing the photographers to be within a few inches! Close-up lens required rather than telephoto. The few Large Cactus-finches we saw had enormous bills, very roman-nosed in profile. Galápagos Flycatchers also showed well with several individuals seen during the walk. Shorebirds such as Wandering Tattler, Whimbrel (the American race with a dark rump, unlike our birds with a white rump) and Turnstones (the same as our birds) were seen in various places along the shore. A Sand Martin flying low across the island was most unexpected, though with the low cloud base and sometimes prolonged light drizzle, a disorientated migrant is probably not so unexpected. Looking down into the sea from a low cliff, we found two Pacific Green Turtles with a shoal of Yellow-tailed Surgeon-fish. We returned to the boat for lunch and a siesta, during which we moved along the north shore of the island, to Gardner Bay. Here we were landed on a lovely sandy beach where we could walk freely, or go snorkelling. As the rain set in and with everyone beginning to feel chilled, we called for the pangas to return us to the boat and we had the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Moved to Floreana (Charles Is) overnight.
Sunday 2nd November Floreana, Champion & north to Santa Cruz
Overcast all day, fresh breeze.
We awoke overlooking Point Cormorant on the north side of Floreana. Elliot's Storm-petrels and Audubon's Shearwaters, as always, were flying and feeding around the boat. After breakfast, we again took the pangas to shore. A Lava Heron and Wandering Tattler were seen along the base of the low cliff, and as we landed on the beach, a Galápagos Penguin swam and dived around us. The lagoon held small numbers of Greater Flamingos and White-cheeked Pintails, with several Black-necked Stilts also. We looked over the lagoon from a raised viewpoint, finding several Least Sandpipers and a single Western Sandpiper. Finches included Medium & Small Ground-finches and Medium Tree-finch. We walked across the isthmus to a white sandy beach where at least four Green Turtles were mating in the surf just offshore. One thought about coming ashore but changed its mind. It was very amusing trying to photograph the Ghost Crabs on the sand. We returned to find some of the Flamingos very close on our side of the lagoon, which gave us another photo opportunity. We returned to Beluga which took us round to Champion Island, where some of us went snorkelling for half an hour or so before lunch. This was superb, with several Sealions in the water coming to investigate us, maybe hoping for a game! The clarity of the water was excellent, as were the numbers and variety of fish.
After lunch, we took the pangas to explore around Champion. Although we were not allowed to land, we saw several Charles Mockingbirds in the shoreline vegetation. Several Whimbrel and Wandering Tattlers were also along the shore. We then returned to the boat, to navigate north across the sound to Santa Cruz. During the passage, Elliot's Storm-petrels, Audubon's Shearwaters, Nazca & Blue-footed Boobies and Frigatebirds were ever present and several Waved Albatross swept by. There was a whale blow ahead of us, but at about a kilometre distant. A couple of Madeiran Storm-petrels crossed our path, and as we approached Santa Cruz, three Dark-rumped Petrels flew by. We arrived at Puerto Ayora on the south coast of Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) at dusk.
Puerto Ayora harbour overnight.
Monday 3rd November Santa Cruz
Sunny spells am, becoming hot pm.
We were on deck before breakfast to find a Great Blue Heron sitting quietly on nearby rocks. An American Oystercatcher then appeared and a couple of Lava Gulls flew by, disappearing quickly behind the mangroves. After breakfast, we were taken across Academy Bay in the pangas and landed at the Charles Darwin Research Institute. Here we learnt about the various forms of the Galápagos Giant Tortoise, the captive breeding program and the conservation measures being taken to restore the various island habitats. In the grounds, we saw Large, Medium & Small Ground-finches, Large & Small Tree-finches, Cactus Finch and Warbler Finch. Very mind-blowing but at least we had the chance to compare beak sizes and shapes. We walked through the town of Puerto Ayora for some retail therapy and a visit to the post office for stamps for our accumulated postcards. We all met again and boarded a coach to take us up into the highlands. We had lunch beyond the town of Bellavista, with superb views over the lowlands to the coast. Small Ground-finches were very numerous in the gardens here. We then travelled on to a privately-owned farmstead where we walked out through the forest to a hidden freshwater lake. Giant Tortoises seemed to be everywhere, particularly wallowing in freshwater pools. The ever-present Cattle Egrets accompanied livestock and there were great discussions on bill shape as each finch appeared. In the end, we managed to identify all three Ground-finches, and several Small Tree-finches. A small flock of White-cheeked Pintails were on the lake together with several Moorhens around the edges. We climbed steadily back uphill to have refreshing grapefruit segments waiting for us, and a cool drink. Back on the bus to return to Puerto Ayora and then back to Beluga for dinner. Soon after, we started on the long overnight passage to Isabela.
Tuesday 4th November Isabela
Cloudy with sunny spells, fresh SW wind.
We awoke for the last hour or so of our passage to Punta Moreno, on the south-west side of Isabela, with a remarkable lunar landscape stretched out before us. Isabela's two southern-most flat-topped volcanoes just showed below cloud level. Boobies, frigates and shearwaters were much in evidence. A distant flock of small shorebirds flew across the sound in front of the us, landing briefly on the sea before flying on - presumably Red-necked Phalaropes. After breakfast, we boarded the pangas and headed for Isabela itself. We passed several Galápagos Penguins on the sea and Flightless Cormorants on nests allowed very close approach. Once we landed on the island, Mauricio explained the different forms of lava over which we would be walking, and we were introduced to the various pioneer plants just getting a toehold in this inhospitable landscape. Several collapsed 'sinks' held saline water (mixed rain-water from the slopes and sea-water seeping in through the porous lava) and formed oases of vegetation and shrubs. Several Flamingos were present and we found Small & Medium Ground-finches, Smooth-billed Anis, Galápagos Mockingbird and several Moorhens and Blue-winged Teal. One pool held a shoal of Yellow-tailed Mullet. The final 'pool' was close to the shore and looking down we realised we were looking at about five White-tipped Sharks, some sleeping in the shallows just below us. Yellow-tailed Damselfish and Bicolored Parrotfish were also seen here. We headed back to the boat and a few of us changed immediately to go off snorkelling. The sea was rather too rough and stirred up for comfort, though we all did manage to see Green Turtles grazing along the rocky edge below us, and various other reef fish.
Everyone was ready for lunch as we started on our short passage along the coast to Elizabeth Bay. Just as we finished lunch and were having coffee, a cry 'there's a blow' diverted everyone's attention through the saloon windows. Two further short blows were seen but nothing further until we almost arrived in Elizabeth Bay. Several further blows and a couple of glimpses of a very curved dorsal fin were not sufficient for an identification to be made. Bryde's, Sei or Fin Whales were all possibilities. Despite turning towards them, they failed to reappear. A small pod of dolphins also went past at some distance, but again these must remain unidentified. We anchored near to the Mariela islets and, after a siesta, we took the pangas to explore the mangroves. Once into the channels, we stopped the outboards and took to paddling quietly along. Many turtles, including the smaller, immature orange-coloured individuals were seen. Returning to look around the islets, Galápagos Penguins were on the rocks, Great Blue Heron, a very large male Marine Iguana, and a very playful Sealion which came and muzzled along the sides, at one point rearing up to look inside. It then splashed us very successfully! We headed back to Beluga and got ready for dinner. We remained in Elizabeth Bay overnight.
Wednesday 5th November Isabela & Fernandina
Generally hot & sunny, fresh westerly breeze.
Up anchor at 5am and we were moving northwards up the coast of Isabela, heading for Urbina Bay. On landing, there were very close views of Galápagos Hawks. Here we explored an area of uplifted lagoon and mangroves. A large area had been raised by a geological movement in 1954, very recent in geological terms! The mangroves had dried out and were now flat, sandy and dusty, and though good scrub had colonised the area, this was now being devastated by feral goats. A male Vermilion Flycatcher was stunning, and a few of the others found the female. We made good comparisons with three species of Ground-finches. We also found several large Land Iguanas and several of the smaller form of Giant Tortoise. We headed back to the landing beach, being careful to avoid the turtle nesting areas at its top, and found three Galápagos Martins hawking insects over the scrub. Back to Beluga and we headed across the sound for Punta Espinosa, Fernandina. The planned snorkelling was cancelled due to rough waves and poor underwater visibility, so after an early lunch, we were once again going ashore in the pangas.
A Great Blue Heron awaited our arrival and we walked out on the rocky headland. Here were massed Marine Iguanas, with Sealions loafing in the shallow rock pools. A gull sitting quietly on an offshore rock was an immature Franklin's Gull. Shorebirds, as usual, included several Wandering Tattlers, a Whimbrel and a small party of Turnstones. We also had really close views of Flightless Cormorants. Back on board and we set off northwards across the bay. Both Elliot's and Madeiran Storm-petrels, often right alongside us, vied for our attention with boobies, frigates and Audubon's Shearwaters. One or two Wedge-rumped Storm-petrels also flew past us. Massed boobies feeding in the distance attracted our attention and as we closed the distance, we realised that there were also large numbers of Common Dolphins moving in a wide front ahead of us. Rounding the northern headlands of Isabela, with rollers coming in off the open ocean, we began to find Dark-rumped Petrels bounding past us. We crossed the equator more or less at sunset, and then moved into calmer waters for an early dinner.
Onward passage to anchor off Santiago (James Is.) in the early hours of Thursday.
Thursday 6th November Santiago & Bartolome
Some cloud with hot sunny spells.
We had an early breakfast in an attempt to be on the island before some of the parties off the other boats. The ever-present Sealions welcomed us on the beach. There were many Galápagos Doves here, and as we explored the rocky shore, we found more shorebirds and Lava Herons. The rock-pools held Yellow-tailed Damselfish and Double-eyed Goby. We also found the only Galápagos Fur-Seals for the trip, hiding amongst the rocky outcrops and in shallow caves, and two Yellow-crowned Night-herons allowed a very close approach. Two Galápagos Hawks were hanging around a sealion's afterbirth, and we did find the new-born calf with mum a little further down the beach. On our way back, we looked for the endemic Galápagos Scorpion, finding some under the large flat rocks along the path. Then there was time for a swim or a snorkel off the beach.
We moved on to anchor off Bartolome for lunch, after which we landed and climbed to the peak, looking at the various lava formations. Re-boarding the pangas, we collected our snorkelling gear from Beluga and headed round the pinnacle, where we found several Galápagos Penguins on the rocks near the water's edge. Landing on the beach, we walked across the narrow sandy isthmus to the other beach. Here there were many White-tipped Sharks, and we had close views of another Galápagos Hawk. Some of us then snorkelled off the landing beach (not the one with the sharks, though even these really wouldn't pose a threat!), again finding Sealions, Turtles and various fish.
After dinner, we moved the short distance to spend the night off Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz, within easy reach of Baltra for our return to Quito.
Friday 7th November Black Turtle Cove, fly to Quito
Sunny in the Galápagos, overcast & rain in Quito.
An early call and we managed to explore some of the mangroves at Black Turtle Cove before breakfast. We had a brief view of a Hammerhead Shark and there were many White-tipped Sharks and several Sting Rays and Golden Rays in the lagoon. We made many attempts at photographing the turtles here also. The birds, as usual, provided excellent views, and these included Great Blue, Lava and Striated Herons. Back onboard for breakfast and we were back at Baltra before we knew it! Saying our farewells to the crew, Mauricio joined us on our flight, saying goodbye at Guayaquil.
We returned to Quito and were met by William and Gloria from Enchanted Expeditions. Our short tour of the old part of Quito was marred somewhat by a heavy rainstorm so we didn't stray far from the bus. Checked in to our hotel and met up for dinner at an excellent restaurant, La Ronda.
Saturday 8th November Yanacocha Reserve, Tandayapa valley & Bellavista
Up in the clouds!
We said our goodbyes to Lyn, Rod, Sally and James, and wished them bon voyage. Norby and William appeared after breakfast and we headed north out of Quito. We gradually climbed around the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano, through introduced eucalyptus forest. A group of White-collared Swifts encouraged us to stop the bus, and we immediately found our first two hummingbirds - Sapphire-vented Puffleg and Tyrian Metaltail. Climbing still, we entered the Yanacocha Reserve and walked along a trail following the contours. Unfortunately, the clouds were low, only clearing briefly during our visit. Two further hummers were Great Sapphirewing and Buff-winged Starfrontlet. Several Hooded Mountain-tanagers appeared but only stayed briefly before dropping down the slope into the cloud. Black Flowerpiercers were also seen briefly. As we returned, a small party of birds included Glossy Flowerpiercer, White-throated Tyrannulet and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager.
We had our picnic lunches back at the bus, and then headed downhill, along the Old Nano-Mindo road. In the Tandayapa valley, a slow walk down the road provided various sightings, including Crested Quetzal, Sickle-winged Guan near its nest which contained a single well-feathered youngster, and Plumbeous Pigeon. We also heard (but did not see) Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Andean Solitaire and Turquoise Jays. We boarded the bus and carried on to the Bellavista Lodge, where we were staying for the next three nights. On the way, some of the group spotted a White-capped Dipper from the bus as we crossed the river. Settling into our rooms, we gathered for coffee, wondering at the bewildering arrays of feeders and hummingbirds - these will have to wait till the morning. Just before dinner, we were shown a Common Potoo, spot-lit briefly as it sat on a favoured stump.
Sunday 9th November Bellavista area
Clear & sunny am, cloud building & lowering pm.
We had about half an hour before breakfast, quietly getting to grips with the hummingbirds coming to the feeders. Buff-tailed Coronet and Purple-throated Woodstar were the most numerous, but we also found Collared Inca, and Violet-tailed Sylph just outside the dining room, and Gorgeted Sunangel near the main gate. Turquoise Jays were very noisy and Golden-crowned Flycatchers were also near the main entrance. We gathered after breakfast, finding several Blue-and-white Swallows overhead. Walking up the road and turning along a trail, we found Masked Trogon, and a little further on, Strong-billed Woodcreeper. Then it was fairly quiet until we found a feeding flock which included Dusky Bush-tanager, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, Blue-and-black Tanager, and both Blackburnian and Blackpoll Warblers amongst others. Three raptors then flew over in quick succession - Turkey Vulture, Barred Hawk and Broad-winged Hawk. A further feeding flock included Beryl-spangled Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo and Three-striped Warbler. The best spot of the day was a Black-and-chestnut Eagle flying over.
We returned for lunch at Bellavista, and then drove down the road to 'Tony's House'. Here, massed hummers and mass feeders!! And we added a whole new array of species, including White-winged Brushfinch, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Green Violet-ear, Western & Andean Emeralds, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Fawn-breasted & Empress Brilliants, White-tailed Hillstar, Brown Inca, Booted Racquet-tail and White-bellied Woodstar. Brains were definitely in overload this afternoon! We returned up the road, stopping to walk a short way and finding Russet-crowned Warbler at the roadside.
Monday 10th November To Mindo & return
Sunshine & cloud.
Breakfast was enlivened with the local Turquoise Jays emerging from their roosting tree next to the dining room, then a Plate-billed Mountain-toucan appeared. The dining room promptly emptied and we found out who hadn't brought their binoculars to the table! A research student then appeared with a snake he had captured, a close relative of the Fer-de-lance, and this also emptied the dining room!
As we gathered at the main gate after breakfast, two Toucan Barbets appeared, then a Crimson-mantled Woodpecker was located feeding on Secropia fruits. We set off for Mindo in the bus, along the old road, stopping to walk a little way along the trail from yesterday. A Grey-breasted Wood-wren led us a merry chase, absolutely refusing to show itself! Pressing on in the bus, we started to descend, stopping for Tropical Kingbird near a farmstead. We again walked a little way down the road, finding a feeding flock with Plain Xenops, Pearled Treerunner, Montane Wood-creeper, Thick-billed & Orange-bellied Euphonia, Masked Flowerpiercer and Blue-winged Mountain-tanager. We found several more Toucan Barbets sitting quietly beside the road and these showed well in the telescopes for everyone. Driving on, we stopped again above Mindo and walked down the road, this time finding Black-winged Saltators, Dusky-capped Flycatcher and a Western Wood-pewee. On the edge of the Mindo Forest Reserve, we found the bar at the Septimo Paradiseo Lodge and had our picnic lunch here.
A walk along a trail in the afternoon produced only Variable Seedeaters, Tricolored Brushfinch and a Long-tailed Antbird, and Rufous-tailed hummingbird was the only species of hummer at the feeders. As things were so quiet (apart from a beautiful purple-legged Tarantula walking across the path), we headed for home along the new main road, stopping at a river bridge where we found Torrent Tyrannulets. Several Barred Parakeets also flew over. At the bottom of the Tandayapa Valley road, we again found a feeding flock, this time containing Golden, Silver-throated and Metallic-green Tanagers, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Tropical Parula and Blackburnian Warbler. Red-headed Barbets showed very briefly, and another flew past but rapidly disappeared. A Smoke-colored Pewee was perched at the top of a tree below us.
Time was again flying by and we headed for the lodge and dinner.
Tuesday 11th November Papallacta Pass to the east side & Guango Lodge
Sunny am, cloudy & drizzle pm.
We awoke in sunshine, finding a Masked Trogon, Blackburnian Warbler and Slate-throated Whitestart near the main gate. Leaving after breakfast, we headed down the valley towards the main road. We stopped twice in the lower Tandayapa valley, the first time when a Cock-of-the-rock flew across the road in front of us which only Norby saw! The second when two Pacific Horneros flew up from the roadside. We also added Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Blue-grey Tanager and Social Flycatcher to our growing list of species. Most of us also caught up with good views of Squirrel Cuckoo, Black-winged Saltator and Lemon-rumped Tanager. Dropping down into the central valleys, we found a Vermillion Flycatcher at the Equator. Then on through Quito and we started the long climb towards the Papallacta Pass. We stopped briefly to overlook a gorge and found American Kestrel, two Carunculated Caracaras and two Black-tailed Trainbearers.
We had lunch at the highest point of the Pass, at just over 4,000m., seeing Andean Gull, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Plumbeous Sierra-finch, Brown-backed Chat-tyrant and Paramo Ground-tyrant. Further on, we found Shining Sunbeam and three Yellow-billed Pintails at the Papallacta Lake, but as the cloud came in and drizzle started in earnest, we headed for the Guango Lodge and a welcome cup of tea. Here the feeders were absolutely humming (!) with new species including Mountain Velvetbreast, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Tourmaline Sunangel and Long-tailed Sylph. A Masked Flowerpiercer was also visiting the feeders. Both White-capped Dipper and Black Phoebe were on the river, and we found Cinnamon Flycatcher and Pale-naped Brushfinch in the field.
Wednesday 12th November Guango & San Isidro
Sunny & warm, some cloud.
Everyone was happy quietly watching the feeders until breakfast was ready. After that, we walked slowly down-river, finding the shrubs and trees lining the field absolutely alive with movement - Pearled Treerunner, White-banded Tyrannulet, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Mountain Wren, Spectacled Whitestarts, Blackburnian Warblers, a Black-crested Warbler was singing continuously (reminiscent of a shrill, incomplete Willow Warbler), Slaty Brushfinch and three species of Conebills. We walked out on the bridge across the river, and here, Black Phoebe, Torrent Tyrannulet and White-capped Dipper were all present. We headed back and spent some time just relaxing, watching the feeders around the garden before driving up the road and some of us walked a little way along a forest trail bordering a side stream. This was very quiet and we aborted after an hour, returning to the feeders, and lunch.
During the afternoon, we loaded the bus and headed for San Isidro, some two hours distant. A large raptor soaring across the valley prompted us to stop. This we thought was an immature Black-and-chestnut Eagle, accompanied by rather diminutive-looking Roadside Hawks. We arrived at San Isidro and was immediately presented with a welcome cup of tea and a new array of hummingbirds. These included Sparkling Violetear, Bronzy Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, amongst some old favourites.
Thursday 13th November San Isidro area (Cosanga & Guacamayos Ridge)
Sunny & warm am, clouding over & rain pm.
Inca Jays woke us this morning, and there were Pale-edged Flycatcher and the ubiquitous Blackburnian Warblers near the cabins. After breakfast, some decided to stay around the lodge, whilst the rest of us were driven to Cosanga and up along the Guacamayos Ridge. We added Spotted Sandpipers and a lovely male Torrent Duck on the river at Cosanga. Along the ridge, apart from stunning views and roadside plants, we found another feeding flock. These included Saffron-crowned Tanager, Lacrimose Mountain-tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Bluish Flowerpiercer amongst others. Our brains quickly became overloaded with colours and patterns, and it was almost a relief when it started to rain and we headed back to the bus! Further on, a Grey-breasted Wood-wren gave us another merry chase right at the roadside, but most of us eventually managed fleeting glimpses of this most retiring of species. The rain started in earnest so we again boarded the bus and returned to the lodge for lunch.
Many of us spent time photographing at the feeders by the dining room before we again gathered mid-afternoon, to walk down the forest trail to the Cock-of-the-rock lek. Sheer chance meant three of us were a little behind the rest of the group when a stunning male flew in and perched in clear view overhead. It flew across and perched again just out of sight, but in searching for this, we found an Emerald Toucanet sitting quietly and everyone got on to this. Walking slowly down the trail, Golden-headed Quetzal and Masked Trogon were found, then another Cock-of-the-rock flew in and perched, and again most got on to this bird, either perched partly hidden or when it flew off. The lek was completely silent, so we returned as it was beginning to grow dimpsy. We had stopped to listen to Highland Motmot in the distance when a Wattled Guan started calling. It flew over us, perching in treetops, to investigate us. We then moved on as it was getting quite late, though two people bringing up the rear had good views of Sickle-winged Guan. What an excellent day!
Friday 14th November San Isidro, Papallacta & back to Quito
Mostly overcast, some drizzle.
The usual hummingbirds around the feeders before breakfast. We also had good views of Subtropical Caciques and a Russet-backed Oropendola. Some lucky people also spotted a fine male Summer Tanager. We packed the bus and bade farewell to Carmen. Soon after leaving San Isidro, a cry of 'raptor on the left' brought us to a halt. A relatively small, short-winged raptor with pale, closely barred underparts, clear white throat and distinctive white half-collar was perched in low trees alongside us - a Semi-collared Hawk. This is a rare bird, with only one sighting in the San Isidro area and very few in the country as a whole. It ultimately flew off in typical Accipiter fashion. We continued on, checking the river occasionally but finding only Black Phoebe, Torrent Tyrannulet and Spotted Sandpiper. Two Roadside Hawks were seen, both perched initially, and these gave excellent views as they flew off. We stopped for a break at Guango, again seeing the usual hummingbirds at the feeders. We did a short walk to overlook the river, and some of us carried on down a steep path into the riverside vegetation. Here we found the expected Spectacled Whitestarts and Blackburnian Warblers, and also Black-crested Warbler, Buff-breasted Mountain-tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Superciliaried Hemispingus, and Rufous Spinetail. We climbed up through Papallacta village and, using the old road, checked Papallacta Lake. No waterfowl here today, but we did find Cinereous Conebill, Black Flowerpiercer, Shining Sunbeam and Purple-backed Thornbill. A Merlin flew by, then returned and caught prey from the scrubby slope in front of us. On then towards the Pass, where we had lunch on a track away from the main road. Several Bar-winged Sinclodes were found, including one apparently feeding young in the nest. Excellent views of Tawny Antpitta were obtained as one was seen right out on open ground. A second individual was then found, singing from a thicket. Several Plain-colored Seedeaters and a single Streak-throated Bush-tyrant were also seen. The cloud remained just above us, but apart from a Black-and-chestnut Eagle, no raptors were seen. After our picnic lunch, we headed for Quito, to check in to our hotel, and an excellent farewell dinner at the nearby La Ronda restaurant.
Saturday 15th November Quito & departure
Sunshine & cloud, warm.
Free day in Quito, until our transfer to the airport mid-afternoon. Overnight flight to Madrid, arriving on Sunday 16th, then on to Heathrow.
The various species lists below use the following references:
Birds: We use the suggested world-wide English names and systematic order as found in World Bird Species Checklist: with alternate English & scientific names (Wells, M.G., 1998).
Also, The Ecotravellers' Wildlife Guide, Ecuador and its Galápagos Islands (Pearson, D.L. & Beletsky, L., 2000).
Galápagos: Birds, Mammals & Reptiles of the Galápagos Islands (Swash, A. & Still, R., 2000).
Field Guide to Fishes of Galápagos (Merlen G., 1988).
Ecuador: Helm Field Guide to The Birds of Ecuador (Ridgely, R.S. & Greenfield, P.J., 2001).
Galápagos Penguin: Noted on 3 days, at Floreana on 2nd, Isabela on 4th, & Bartoleme on 6th.
Waved Albatross: Noted on 3 days, several adults on Española on 1st, several during the passage on 2nd, 3 off Isabela on 4th.
Dark-rumped/Galápagos Petrel: Noted on 2 days, 3 just south of Santa Cruz on 2nd, at least 12 on 5th.
Audubon's Shearwater: Noted daily.
Elliot's/White-vented Storm-petrel: Noted daily.
Wedge-rumped Storm-petrel: Noted only on 1 day, 4 off north end of Isabela on 5th.
Madeiran/Band-rumped Storm-petrel: Noted on 5 days, off North Seymour with a couple on 31st, off Española on 1st, 2 during the passage on 2nd, several Isabela on 5th, and off Santiago/Bartoleme on 6th.
Red-billed Tropicbird: Noted on 4 days, with several North Seymour on 31st, breeding pairs Española on 1st, Floreana on 2nd, Isabela & Fernandina on 5th.
Blue-footed Booby: Noted daily.
Nazca Booby: Noted most days.
Red-footed Booby: Noted only on 1 day, 1 flew over North Seymour on 31st.
Galápagos/Flightless Cormorant: Noted on 2 days, on Isabela on 4th, & Fernandina on 5th.
Brown Pelican: Noted daily.
Magnificent Frigatebird: Noted daily.
Greater Frigatebird: Noted daily (in much fewer numbers than preceding species).
Great Blue Heron: Noted on 4 days, at least 4 Santa Cruz on 3rd, singles at Isabela on 4th, Fernandina on 5th, & Black Turtle Cove on 7th.
Cattle Egret: Noted only on Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Striated Heron: Noted on 2 days, at Fernandina on 5th, & Black Turtle Cove on 7th.
Galápagos/Lava Heron: Noted on 5 days, with 2 at North Seymour on 31st, 1 Floreana on 2nd, Santa Cruz on 3rd, several Santiago on 6th, Black Turtle Cove on 7th.
Yellow-crowned Night-heron: Noted on 3 days, 2 adults on Española on 1st, 2 Floreana on 2nd, 2 Santiago on 6th.
Greater Flamingo: Noted on 2 days, 38 Floreana on 2nd, 6 Isabela on 4th.
White-cheeked Pintail: Noted on 2 days, c.30 Floreana on 2nd, c.20 Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Blue-winged Teal: Noted only on 1 day, with 6 on Isabela on 4th.
Galápagos Hawk: Noted on 4 days, at least 2 Española on 1st, 1 Isabela on 4th, at least 4 Isabela on 5th, several Santiago/Bartoleme on 6th.
Common Moorhen: Noted on 2 days, 5 Santa Cruz on 3rd, several Isabela on 4th.
American Oystercatcher: Noted on 2 days, 1 Santa Cruz on 3rd, several Santiago/Bartoleme on 6th.
Black-necked/South American Stilt: Noted on 2 days, several Floreana on 2nd, 2 Isabela on 4th.
Semipalmated Plover: Noted on 3 days, 1 Floreana on 2nd, 1 Isabela on 4th, several Santiago/Bartoleme on 6th.
[Hudsonian] Whimbrel: Noted most days.
Wandering Tattler: Noted most days.
Ruddy Turnstone: Noted on 5 days.
Red-necked Phalarope: Noted on 2 days, c.25 Isabela on 4th, hundreds on sea on 5th.
Sanderling: Noted on 2 days, with single birds on beach at Española on 1st, Santiago & Bartoleme on 6th.
Western Sandpiper: Noted only on 1 day, 1 at Floreana on 2nd.
Least Sandpiper: Noted only on 1 day, 3 at Floreana on 2nd.
Lava Gull: Noted on 4 days, several Santa Cruz on 3rd, 3 Isabela on 4th, 1 sitting on stern of Beluga on 6th, & at Baltra on 7th.
Franklin's Gull: Noted only on 1 day, an immature bird on offshore rocks at Fernandina on 5th.
Swallow-tailed Gull: Noted on 5 days, c.40 North Seymour on 31st, similar numbers on Española on 1st & Floreana on 2nd, 1 off north end Isabela on 5th, small numbers Santiago/Bartoleme on 6th.
Brown/Common Noddy: Noted most days.
Galápagos Dove: Noted on 4 days, 2 North Seymour on 31st, 1 seen well on ground Española on 1st, many on Santiago on 6th, Baltra on 7th.
Smooth-billed Ani: Noted on 3 days, Santa Cruz on 3rd, several Isabela on 4th, heard Isabela on 5th.
Vermilion Flycatcher: Noted only on 1 day, a pair Isabela on 5th.
Galápagos Flycatcher: Noted most days.
Southern/Galápagos Martin: Noted on 3 days, 2 Isabela on 4th, 4 Isabela on 5th, 1 briefly Bartoleme on 6th.
Sand Martin / Bank Swallow: One in sea mist over Española on 1st was most unusual.
Galápagos Mockingbird: Noted on 4 days, Santa Cruz on 3rd, several Isabela on 4th & 5th, Santiago/Bartoleme on 6th.
Charles/Floreana Mockingbird: Noted only on 1 day, at least 4 on Champion, off Isabela on 2nd.
Hood Mockingbird: Noted only on 1 day, Española on 1st.
Large Ground-finch: Noted on 2 days, Santa Cruz on 3rd, Isabela on 5th.
Medium Ground-finch: Noted on 5 days, Floreana on 2nd, Santa Cruz on 3rd, Isabela on 4th & 5th, Santiago on 6th.
Small Ground-finch: Noted daily.
Small Cactus-finch: Noted only on 1 day, on Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Large Cactus-finch: Noted only on 1 day, several on Española on 1st.
Large Tree-finch: Noted only on 1 day, on Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Small Tree-finch: Noted only on 1 day, on Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Warbler Finch: Noted on 3 days, several Española on 1st, Santa Cruz on 3rd, Fernandina on 5th.
Yellow Warbler: Noted daily.
Queen butterfly: Noted on 2 days, Floreana on 2nd, Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Galápagos Blue (Leptodes parrhasioides): Noted only on 1 day, Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Galápagos Sulphur (Phoebis sennae marcellina): Noted only on 1 day, Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Spot-winged Glider (Pantava hymenaea): Noted on 2 days, Isabela on 4th, Isabela & Fernandina on 5th.
[Pacific] Green Turtle: Noted most days.
Galápagos Giant Tortoise: Noted on 2 days, Santa Cruz on 3rd, Isabela on 5th.
Marine Iguana: Noted daily.
Galápagos Land Iguana: Noted on 2 days, North Seymour on 31st, Isabela on 5th.
Espanola Lava Lizard: Noted only on Española on 1st.
Galápagos Lava Lizard: Noted most days.
Floreana Lava Lizard: Noted only on Floreana on 2nd.
Common Dolphin: Several hundred off Isabela on 5th.
Black Rat: Noted only on 1 day, Santa Cruz on 3rd.
Galápagos [Californian] Sealion: Noted most days.
Galápagos Fur-Seal: Noted only on 1 day, Santiago on 6th.
Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna sp.)
White-tipped Shark (Triaenodon obesus)
Sting Ray (Urotrygon sp.)
Manta Ray (Manta hamiltoni)
Blue-striped Snapper (Lutjanus viridis)
Yellow-tailed Grunt (Anisotremus interruptus)
King Angelfish (Holacanthus passer)
Pacific Beakfish (Oplegnathus insignis)
Panamic Sergeant (Abudefduf troschelii)
Yellow-tailed Damselfish (Stegastes arcifrons)
White-tailed Damselfish (Stegastes leucorus beebei)
Streamer Hogfish (Bodianus diplotaenia)
Bicolored/Red-lipped Parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus)
Blue-chinned/Blue-barred Parrotfish (Scarus ghobban)
Bumphead Parrotfish (Scarus perrico)
Yellow-tailed Mullet (Mugil cephalus rammelsbergi)
Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus)
Purple- /Yellow-finned Surgeon (Acanthurus xanthopterus)
Yellow-tailed Surgeon (Prionurus laticlavius)
Yellow-bellied Triggerfish (Sufflamen verres)
Bullseye/Concentric Pufferfish (Sphoeroides annulatus)
Creolefish (Paranthias colonus)
Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus)
Large Painted Locust (Schistocerca melanocera)
Galápagos Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa darwini)
Cattle Egret: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Great [White] Egret: Noted only at Guayaquil airport on 7th.
Torrent Duck: A male on the river at Cosanga on 13th was the only record.
Yellow-billed Pintail / Georgian Teal: Noted only on 1 day, Papallacta lake on 11th.
Turkey Vulture: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Mindo area on 10th, on 11th, & Quito area on 14th.
[American] Black Vulture: Noted on 3 days, Mindo area on 10th, on 11th, & Quito area on 14th.
Barred Hawk: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Roadside Hawk: Noted on 5 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Mindo area on 10th, San Isidro & Guango areas12th - 14th.
Broad-winged Hawk: Noted only in Guango area on 11th.
Semi-collared Hawk: One sitting on roadside tree soon after leaving San Isidro on 14th is a really good record.
Black-and-chestnut Eagle: Noted on 3 days, an adult above Bellavista on 9th, an immature near San Isidro on 12th, and an adult at the Papallacta Pass on 14th.
Carunculated Caracara: Two on the Quito side of the Papallacta Pass on 11th was the only record.
Merlin: One on 14th which flew rapidly along the slope above Papallacta Lake, then returned, catching prey in front of us.
American Kestrel: Noted only on 1 day, Papallacta area on 11th.
Wattled [Piping-]Guan: Noted only on 1 day, San Isidro on 13th.
Sickle-winged Guan: Noted on 3 days, Tandayapa valley on 8th, Bellavista area on 9th, San Isidro on 13th.
Spotted Sandpiper: Noted on 3 days, 2 on river in Guango area on 12th, San Isidro area on 13th, Guango area again on 14th.
Andean Gull: Noted on 2 days, Papallacta area on 11th & again on 14th.
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon: Noted on 4 days in & around Quito.
Band-tailed Pigeon: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Tandayapa valley on 10th.
Plumbeous Pigeon: Noted on 2 days, Tandayapa valley on 8th, Mindo area on 10th.
Ruddy Pigeon: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Mindo area on 10th.
Eared Dove: Noted on 4 days in and around Quito.
White-tipped Dove: Noted only in Tandayapa valley on 10th.
Barred Parakeet: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Red-billed Parrot: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Mindo area on 10th.
Speckle-faced/White-capped Parrot: Noted only at San Isidro on 13th.
Squirrel Cuckoo: Noted on 3 days, Tandayapa valley on 8th, Mindo area on 10th, Tandayapa valley on 11th.
Black-banded Owl: Noted only at San Isidro when one was spotlit after dinner on 13th, though this may be an as yet unidentified species.
Common Potoo: Noted on 2 days at Bellavista when one was spotlit sitting on tall post.
Chestnut-collared Swift: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Mindo area on 10th.
White-collared Swift: Noted on 3 days, Yanacocha area on 8th, Mindo area on 10th, San Isidro area on 14th.
Tawny-bellied Hermit: Noted only on 1 day, Bellavista area on 9th.
Green Violet-ear: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th & 11th.
Sparkling Violetear: Noted on 3 days, San Isidro area on 12th -14th.
Western Emerald: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Andean Emerald: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Mindo area on 10th.
Speckled Hummingbird: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista area on 9th, and San Isidro on 12th - 14th.
Purple-bibbed Whitetip: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Fawn-breasted Brilliant: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista area on 9th, and San Isidro on 12th - 14th.
Empress Brilliant: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
White-tailed Hillstar: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Shining Sunbeam: Noted on 2 days, in Papallacta area on 11th & 14th.
Mountain Velvetbreast: Noted on 3 days, Guango area on 11th, 12th, & 14th.
Bronzy Inca: Noted on 3 days, San Isidro on 12th -14th.
Brown Inca: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Collared Inca: Noted most days.
Buff-winged Starfrontlet: Noted on 4 days, Yanacocha Reserve on 8th, and Guango area on 11th, 12th, & 14th.
Sword-billed Hummingbird: Noted on 3 days, at Guango on 11th, 12th, & 14th.
Buff-tailed Coronet: Noted most days.
Chestnut-breasted Coronet: Noted on 3 days, San Isidro on 12th - 14th.
Gorgeted Sunangel: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th & 10th.
Tourmaline Sunangel: Noted on 4 days, in Guango & San Isidro areas on 11th - 14th.
Sapphire-vented Puffleg: Noted only at Yanacocha Reserve on 8th.
Booted Racquet-tail: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Black-tailed Trainbearer: Noted only near Papallacta Pass on 11th.
Purple-backed Thornbill: Noted only near Papallacta Lake on 14th.
Tyrian Metaltail: Noted on 4 days, Yanacocha Reserve & Tandayapa valley on 8th, Papallacta & Guango areas on 11th, 12th, & 14th.
Long-tailed Sylph: Noted on 4 days, Guango & San Isidro areas on 11th,- 14th.
Violet-tailed Sylph: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Mindo area on 10th.
Purple-throated Woodstar: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th & 10th.
White-bellied Woodstar: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Guango area on 11th, 12th & 14th.
Great Sapphirewing: Noted only at Yanacocha Reserve & Tandayapa valley on 8th.
Crested Quetzal: Noted only in Tandayapa valley on 8th.
Golden-headed Quetzal: Noted on 3 days, Tandayapa valley on 8th, Mindo area on 10th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Masked Trogon: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista area on 9th & 11th, Guango on 12th, & San Isidro on 13th.
Highland Motmot: Heard calling near San Isidro on 13th.
Red-headed Barbet: Noted only in lower Tandayapa valley on 10th.
Toucan Barbet: Noted on 2 days, Mindo area & lower Tandayapa valley on 10th, and Bellavista on 11th.
Emerald Toucanet: Noted only at San Isidro on 13th.
Plate-billed Mountain-toucan: Noted only at Bellavista on 10th.
Golden-olive Woodpecker: Noted only in San Isidro area on 13th.
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker: Noted only at Bellavista on 10th.
Strong-billed Woodcreeper: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Montane Woodcreeper: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista-Mindo areas on 10th, Bellavista on 11th, Guango area on 12th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Bar-winged Cinclodes: Noted only at Papallacta Pass where several on 14th.
Stout-billed Cinclodes: Noted only at Papallacta Pass on 11th.
Pacific Hornero: Noted only in lower Tandayapa valley on 11th.
Azara's Spinetail: Noted on 3 days, Bellavista area on 9th &11th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Rufous Spinetail: Noted on 2 days, Guango area on 12th & 14th.
Red-faced Spinetail: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Pearled Treerunner: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista-Mindo areas on 10th, Bellavista area on 11th, Guango area on 12th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Streaked Tuftedcheek: Noted only in San Isidro area on 13th.
Plain Xenops: Noted only in Bellavista-Mindo areas on 10th.
Long-tailed Antbird: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Tawny Antpitta: Noted only at Papallacta Pass when two seen well on 14th.
White-throated Tyrannulet: Noted only in Yanacocha Reserve on 8th.
White-banded Tyrannulet: Noted only in Guango area on 12th.
Torrent Tyrannulet: Noted on 4 days, Tandayapa valley on 10th, Guango & San Isidro areas on 12th - 14th.
Tufted Tit-tyrant: Noted only in Papallacta area on 11th.
Cinnamon Flycatcher: Noted on 4 days, in Guango & San Isidro areas on 11th - 14th.
Smoke-colored Pewee: Noted on 3 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Tandayapa valley on 10th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Western Wood-pewee: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Black Phoebe: Noted on 5 days near river courses.
Vermilion Flycatcher: A stunning male was found at the Equator Monument on 11th.
Brown-backed Chat-tyrant: Noted only at Papallacta Pass on 11th.
Streak-throated Bush-tyrant: Noted only at Papallacta Pass on 14th.
Paramo Ground-tyrant: Noted only at Papallacta Pass on 11th.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Pale-edged Flycatcher: Noted on 2 days at San Isidro on 13th & 14th.
Social Flycatcher: Noted only in lower Tandayapa valley on 11th.
Golden-crowned Flycatcher: Noted on 3 days at Bellavista & Tandayapa valley on 9th - 11th.
Tropical Kingbird: Noted on 5 days, Mindo area on 10th, Tandayapa valley on 11th, San Isidro area on 12th -14th.
Andean Cock-of-the-rock: Noted on 3 days, birds heard calling in the Tandayapa valley on 8th, a male flew across the road in front of the bus in Tandayapa valley (unfortunately, only Norby saw it!) on 11th, 2 males seen & others heard at San Isidro on 13th.
Brown-bellied Swallow: Noted on 3 days, Papallacta & Guango areas on 11th, 12th, & 14th.
Blue-and-white Swallow: Noted most days.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow: Noted only at Bellavista on 10th.
White-capped Dipper: Noted on 3 days, Tandayapa valley on 8th, Guango area on 11th & 12th.
Plain-tailed Wren: Heard in Bellavista area on 10th, unfortunately not seen.
House Wren: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Mountain Wren: Noted only in Guango area on 12th.
Grey-breasted Wood-wren: Noted on 2 days when heard in Bellavista area on 10th, and several heard & 1 seen in San Isidro area on 13th.
Andean Solitaire: Noted only in Tandayapa valley when heard singing on 8th.
Great Thrush: Noted most days.
Turquoise Jay: Noted most days.
Inca Jay: Noted on 2 days at San Isidro on 13th & 14th.
Rufous-collared Sparrow: Noted daily.
Plumbeous Sierra-finch: Noted on 2 days in Papallacta area on 11th & 14th.
Variable Seedeater: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Yellow-bellied Seedeater: Noted only in Tandayapa valley on 11th.
Plain-colored Seedeater: Noted only in Papallacta area on 14th.
Pale-naped Brushfinch: Noted on 2 days at Guango on 11th & 12th.
Tricolored Brushfinch: Noted only in Mindo area on 10th.
Slaty Brushfinch: Noted on 2 days at Guango on 12th,& 14th.
White-winged Brushfinch: Noted only at Bellavista on 9th.
Southern Yellow Grosbeak: Noted only in Bellavista area on 11th.
Black-winged Saltator: Noted on 2 days, Mindo area on 10th, Tandayapa valley on 11th.
Grass-green Tanager: Noted only in San Isidro area on 13th.
Dusky Bush-tanager: Noted only at Bellavista on 9th.
Grey-hooded Bush-tanager: Noted only in Guango area on 14th.
Black-capped Hemispingus: Noted on 2 days, Guango area on 12th, Guango area on 14th.
Superciliaried Hemispingus: Noted in Guango area on 14th.
Summer Tanager: A male seen by some of the group at San Isidro on 14th.
Lemon-rumped Tanager: Noted on 2 days in Tandayapa valley on 10th & 11th.
Blue-grey Tanager: Noted on 2 days, Tandayapa valley on 11th, San Isidro area on 12th.
Blue-and-yellow Tanager: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Hooded Mountain-tanager: Noted on 2 days, Yanacocha Reserve on 8th, Guango area on 12th.
Lacrimose Mountain-tanager: Noted only in San Isidro area on 13th.
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager: Noted only at Yanacocha Reserve on 8th.
Blue-winged Mountain-tanager: Noted on 4 days, Bellavista area on 9th - 11th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Buff-breasted Mountain-tanager: Noted only in Guango area on 14th.
Fawn-breasted Tanager: Noted on 3 days in Bellavista area on 9th & 11th, Guango area on 11th & 14th.
Thick-billed Euphonia: Noted on 3 days, Bellavista-Mindo areas on 10th, San Isidro area on 13th & 14th.
Orange-bellied Euphonia: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista-Mindo areas & Tandayapa valley on 10th, and again in Tandayapa valley on 11th.
Golden Tanager: Noted only in Tandayapa valley on 10th.
Silver-throated Tanager: Noted only in Tandayapa valley on 10th.
Saffron-crowned Tanager: Noted only in San Isidro area on 13th.
Metallic-green Tanager: Noted only in Tandayapa valley on 10th.
Beryl-spangled Tanager: Noted on 3 days, Bellavista-Mindo areas on 9th & 10th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Blue-and-black Tanager: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Black-capped Tanager: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
White-sided Flowerpiercer: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Guango area on 12th.
Black Flowerpiercer: Noted on 2 days, Yanacocha Reserve on 8th, Papallacta Lake on 14th.
Glossy Flowerpiercer: Noted only at Yanacocha Reserve on 8th.
Bluish Flowerpiercer: Noted only in San Isidro area on 13th.
Masked Flowerpiercer: Noted on 4 days, Mindo area on 10th, & Guango area on 11th, 12th & 14th.
Tropical Parula: Noted only in Tandayapa valley on 10th.
Blackburnian Warbler: Noted most days.
Blackpoll Warbler: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista area on 9th, Guango area on 12th.
Slate-throated Whitestart: Noted on 3 days, Bellavista-Mindo areas & Tandayapa valley on 10th, Bellavista area on 11th, San Isidro area on 13th.
Spectacled Whitestart/Redstart: Noted on 3 days, Guango & San Isidro areas on 12th - 14th.
Black-crested Warbler: Noted on 2 days, Guango on 12th &14th.
Russet-crowned Warbler: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Three-striped/-banded Warbler: Noted on 3 days when seen in Bellavista area on 9th, heard there on 10th, and seen in lower Tandayapa valley on 11th.
Cinereous Conebill: Noted on 2 days, Guango area on 12th, Papallacta area on 14th.
Blue-backed Conebill: Noted only in Guango area on 12th.
Capped Conebill: Noted on 2 days, Bellavista on 9th, Guango on 12th.
Red-eyed Vireo: Noted only in Bellavista area on 9th.
Russet-backed Oropendola: Noted only in San Isidro area & along the main road to Guango on 14th.
Subtropical/Scarlet-rumped Cacique: Noted only at San Isidro on 14th.
Shiny Cowbird: Noted only near the river on the main road below Tandayapa on 10th.
Red-tailed Squirrel: Noted in Bellavista-Mindo areas on 10th. A squirrel at Guango on 12th was not thought to be this species, and will have to remain unidentified for the moment.
Brazilian Rabbit: Noted on 2 days, Yanacocha Reserve on 8th, Guango area on 12th.
What a stunning trip! I really must stop using that word, but then how else can we describe the volcanic scenery and absurdly unconcerned creatures on the Galápagos Islands? Or the huge Andean vistas and frenetic periods when mixed flocks of birds moved through the trees all around us?
We must thank Mauricio and Norby for their seemingly unlimited knowledge and willingness to impart this to us. Also to the captain and crew of Beluga, to William who drove us with such patience and so expertly in the Andes, and to the staff at Enchanted Expeditions for putting together such an excellent trip.
And of course, well done to all of you who made this trip the success it was. I hope that I see you all on another trip, sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Keith Grant, November 2003
© The Travelling Naturalist 2003