Thursday, October 29, 2015

Birding in Ecuador: Part 3 - The Rest of Our Time in Mindo

After our incredible visit to Refugio Paz de las Aves (read about this part of the trip here), we spent a few more days birding around the Mindo area.

Flame-faced Tanager is one of the most common birds that visits banana feeders in this area. Photo by Brian Zwiebel
The next day, we started early so that we could get to Rio Silanche early in the day. Since it's at a significantly lower elevation, there were many new birds to be seen! Highlights included Little Cuckoo, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Red-billed Scythebill, Masked Water-Tyrant, and Blue-whiskered and Scarlet-browed Tanagers.

In the afternoon, we headed back up the mountain and made a stop at Milpe Bird Sanctuary. Although the afternoon birding was a bit slow, we did find Guayaquil Woodpecker, Clue-winged Manakin, and Golden-bellied Warbler. Hummingbirds were also very active at the feeders.

Green-crowned Brilliant - Photo by Brian Zwiebel
Velvet-purple Coronet - Photo by Brian Zwiebel
The next day, before going back to Quito, we had a few more stops to make. The first was at a couple feeding stations in the Mashpi area. The main highlight of the feeders is the wide variety of tanagers that are attracted to the bananas! Some of the best that stopped by for a bite to eat were, Moss-backed, Glistening-green, and Beryl-spangled Tanagers and Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager. In addition to the tanagers at the feeders, we saw a few other incredible birds in the area including, Uniform Treehaunter, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Andean and Black Solitaires, and Swallow Tanager.

Glistening-green Tanager - Photo by Brian Zwiebel
Moss-backed Tanager - Photo by Brian Zwiebel
We had one more special stop to make before we went back to Quito for the night, an Oilbird roosting site. When we pulled up, the location sure didn't seem like much but everything changed once we walked back into the gorge. There were 18 Oilbirds visible and they allowed Brian to get amazing photos.

Oilbird - Photo by Brian Zwiebel
We made it back to Quito late in the day and enjoyed another night at Hotel Quito including dinner on the top floor of the hotel overlooking the city.

Check back soon to read about our time at Antisana and on the Eastern Slope.

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