Tandayapa Valley: October 28, 2007

It took me several visits to the valley and plenty of study before I had a truly productive day of birding in Ecuador. On this particular day, I maybe birded for twelve hours straight, stopping to eat and drink right there in the mud of the Bellavista Lodge trails, where I would usually be interrupted by yet another mixed flock. While I probably failed to identify twice as many birds as I did successfully recognize that day, this trip prompted the realization that with careful and patient observation I could learn the birds of Ecuador myself, all 1600 of them.

This was also same the morning that I stumbled across a wizened German birder who was stalking the Tanager Finch along the road behind the lodge. He had made a recording of the bird's call the day before, and with the help of playback we had incredibly close and prolonged views of this rare, furtive finch. Although I didn't appreciate it at the time, despite the fellow's excited breathing in my ear, this was most likely a bird that I would have never seen on my own.

Notable birds seen: Tanager Finch, Plate-Billed Mountain Toucan, Golden Tanager, Streaked Tufted Cheek, Toucan Barbet, Crimson-Mantled Woodpecker, Blue-Capped Tanager, Plushcap, Beryl-Spangled Tanager, Turquoise Jay, Montane Woodcreeper, Powerful Woodpecker, Common Potoo.
Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites