Las Caucheras Road: October 17, 2009

With only a few hours of daylight left, I could return to Quito in relative safety or brave the roads at night. With the weather sunny and warm, it wasn't a difficult to choice to bird Las Caucheras Road as the day grew to a close. This is the dirt road that begins near the town of Cosanga and passes by four private reserves as it approaches Antisana Reserve: Cabañas San Isidro, San Jorge de Cosanga, Yanayacu, and Sierra Azul. Almost needless to say, the road passes through outstanding subtropical forest, where Golden-Headed Quetzals and White-Capped Tanagers roam freely, and noisily.

There was some great mixed flock action in the canopy, and I locked onto a male Golden-Collared Honeycreeper many meters above as it foraged next to a Flame-Faced Tanager. A group of Emerald Toucanets also passed quietly overhead. In the bamboo, Black-Eared Hemispingus moved with Long-Tailed Antbirds, Russet-Crowned Warblers, and a pair of Lineated Foliage Gleaners, all birds being tough to get good looks at as they remain in deep and dark cover. Amazingly an adult Long-Tailed Antbird posed long enough while feeding a juvenile for a few photographs. Given all the reserves and tourists that pass through here, the road is definitely safe; well-maintained trails also run off in all directions, it seems, but make sure to pay a day-use fee first at Cabañas San Isidro.

Notable birds seen: Crimson-Mantled Woodpecker, Emerald Toucanet, Inca Jay, Long-Tailed Antbird, Lineated Foliage-Gleaner, White-Tailed Tyrannulet, Rufous-Breasted Flycatcher, Canada Warbler, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Golden-Collared Honeycreeper, Black-Eared Hemispingus, Saffron-Crowned Tanager, Black-Capped Tanager, Blue-Winged Mountain-Tanager, Beryl-Spangled Tanager, Flame-Faced Tanager, Scarlet-Rumped Cacique.

1 comment:

Tor Egil Høgsås said...

Nice blog, I have to add it to my favourites. I have visited this grate country a couple of times and done some birding.

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