Sacha Lodge, Day 6: April 11, 2009

With an early flight leaving Coca for Quito at 10:30am, we had no time for birding of any consequence on our final day. Oscar was working with some new clients this morning, and we parted ways a bit wistfully on both sides perhaps, as his next group was a bit less keen and experienced than we were. Working with clients who speak Spanish must also be a luxury for him, although his English is certainly passable given his lack of formal training. Anyway, I bolted down my breakfast and spent a half an hour on the dock overlooking Pilchicocha while we waited for another passenger to get her act together. The erratic Neotropical Palm-Swift made a strong impression on me, and I noted the Short-Crested Flycatcher before it was time to go. Crossing the laguna we finally ticked Silver-Beaked Tanager and Yellow-Tufted Woodpecker, which would have been strange omissions from the trip list considering how widespread these birds are in the eastern lowlands.

It rained steadily throughout our journey back up the Napo River, so it was time finally to reflect on the trip and the birds we had seen. The Rufous-Headed Woodpecker was probably the best bird in terms of being the rarest and most beautiful, but the Zigzag Heron was a close second. I felt particularly attached to the Chestnut-Capped Puffbird and the Purple-Throated Cotinga as I had been the first to spot these uncommon and beautiful birds. Skulkers like the Thrush-Like Antpitta, Black-Banded and Chestnut-Headed Crakes, and Striated Antthrush were certainly special, too, the result of much effort and patience. Notable misses that will hasten my return to the Oriente include the Agami Heron, Harpy Eagle, Salvin's Currasow, Pavonine Quetzal, Collared Puffbird, Long-Billed Woodcreeper, White-Plumed Antbird, Black-Spotted Bare-Eye, Ochre-Striped Antpitta, Chestnut-Belted Gnateater, Wire-Tailed Manakin, and Red-Crowned Ant-Tanager. With approximately 250 species seen or heard though, it had been a highly rewarding trip, and I would need a few weeks of rest and healing before even thinking about doing any birding again.

Notable birds seen: Slender-Billed Kite, Spotted Sandpiper, Dusky-Headed Parakeet, Orange-Winged Amazon, Hoatzin, Neotropical Palm-Swift, Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Yellow-Tufted Woodpecker, Short-Crested Flycatcher, Fork-Tailed Flycatcher, Silver-Beaked Tanager.

No comments:

Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites