Corazon: November 10, 2004

Stretching grandly south from Quito lies the Avenue of Volcanos. It's a mountain climber's paradise, with a wide variety of technical and non-technical ascents all within a few hours drive of the city. Corazon is a rocky, heart-shaped peak on the Western Cordillera that can often be seen sailing boldly on a sea of clouds rising from the coast. Like most peaks in the area, the ascent is as difficult as you want it to be; the easiest route involves walking up an old jeep road to the base of the peak and then scrambling up to the top, which is mostly solid rock.

On this particular day, Aimee and I got a late start and decided to turn back about an hour from the top. Rounding a bend in the road, we stumbled upon a Cinerous Harrier low in flight over the paramo. While it's difficult to see the rufous barring on the chest, the characteristic white rump is clearly shown in the photograph. This was taken before my serious birding days, but it's a nice shot nonetheless.

Notable birds seen: Cinerous Harrier.

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