Machalilla National Park: August 3, 2007

Any trip to the beach in Ecuador must qualify as a birding trip, even if no one's paying much attention to the birds. We spent four days this summer in Puerto Lopez to see the migrating humpback whales, making two days-trips by boat to witness males in full display. Their spectacular breaches were the highlight of the trip, although not to be ignored were the multitudes of sea birds, including Blue-Footed Boobies, Magnificent Frigatebirds, and Brown Pelicans.

A trip to the archaelogical site at Agua Blanca, which offers a striking strip of green riparian forest amongst the ubiquitous dry tropical forest, also yielded some nice viewings of the Blue-Crowned Motmot and a variety of flycathcers. Serious birders should consider visiting the area in the early morning, as well as the nearby Ayampe river valley, which contains considerably more verdant vegetation.

Notable birds seen: Blue-Crowned Motmot, Magnificent Frigatebird, Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, Blue-Footed Booby, Vermillion Flycatcher.

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