Sani Lodge, Day 5: August 14, 2009

Unless you're interested in looking for forest falcons at 4am, there's little opportunity to bird on the last day of a trip to a lodge on the lower Napo River. As flights from Coca to Quito generally leave midday, guests are shuttled out of the lodge before 7am so they have ample time to make the return trip up the Napo. I still had time to bird the grounds for a bit, picking up the Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, and Many-Banded Aracari, but before I knew it we were in the boat and jamming up river, quickly passing by Black Skimmers, Great Egrets, and Yellow-Headed Caracaras, where before we had lingered to watch.

I had a long chat with Domingo about my birding prospects in the eastern lowlands. Clearly, it is time for me to branch out more and explore different regions on a smaller budget. He recommended a few spots near Tena to try for antbirds, including the Hairy-Crested Antbird, and offered to accompany me on a trip apart from Sani Lodge. He also advised that should I ever return to Sani it would be wise to forward him my target bird list a month or so in advance so he could make note of where certain birds had been appearing. Perhaps next time, we'll make a dent on my revised list: Agami Heron, Salvin's Curassow, Collared Puffbird, Long-Billed Woodcreeper, White-Plumed Antbird, and Wing-Banded Wren.

Notable birds seen: Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Capped Heron, Large-Billed Tern, Black Skimmer, Bat Falcon, Many-Banded Aracari, Red-Capped Cardinal.

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