Guango Lodge: October 19, 2008

Guango Lodge is a small birding operation located between the towns of Papallacta and Baeza. Owned by the good people at Cabañas San Isidro, it's one of the few places on the eastern slope created solely for birders and offers a multitude of feeders. At 2700m, the grounds are host to a unique and spectacular array of hummingbirds, including the Sword-Billed Hummingbird, the Gorgeted Woodstar, and the Mountain Avocetbill.

While Aimee and I missed the latter, a small and scarce hummingbird with a short upswept bill, we still observed over ten species, including the Mountain Velvetbreast, the Tourmaline Sunangel, and the White-Bellied Woodstar, literally a bee-sized bird. As usual, the Sword-Billed Hummingbird was the highlight, this time posing amiably for photographs.

The lodge also has a trail which provides access to the Guango River. As it was late in the day, I didn't see much away from the feeders save for the Turquoise Jay, although I understand the Black-Billed Mountain Toucan is an occasional visitor. On second thought, Aimee and I did find two Blackburnian Warblers recently returned from their migration to North America and still decked out in bright orange breeding plumage.

Notable birds seen: Masked Flowerpiercer, Glossy Flowerpiercer, White-Sided Flowerpiercer, White-Bellied Woodstar, Mountain Velvetbreast, Buff-Winged Starfrontlet, Tourmaline Sunangel, Tyrian Metaltail, Sword-Billed Hummingbird, Collared Inca, Long-Tailed Sylph, Chestnut-Breasted Coronet, Speckled Hummingbird, Turquoise Jay, Blackburnian Warbler.

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