There are thousands of places to observe birds in Ecuador, and new sites are being popularized all the time, such as Mashpi Reserve on the northwestern slope, which quickly became a big hit this year when the Indigo Flowerpiercer and other difficult Choco endermics were found there in mossy forest. 23 de Junio is a small village on the south side of the Rio Blanco, located about forty-five minutes by car from San Miguel de los Bancos. A group of farmers there are giving conservation a shot, protecting swaths of montane forest for avitourism. Most notably there are two Long-Wattled Umbrellabird leks in the area, and Black Solitaire has been seen occasionally feeding on palm fruit. Aimee and I visited the site with our guide Julia Patino on a rainy Sunday morning and saw very little despite waiting at the observation area for three hours. Given it's distant location almost two hours from Mindo, it's hard to say whether this site will catch on with birding groups, but you're welcome to arrange a visit ($15) through Luis Ajila (081030948) to try for one of South America's best birds.
Notable birds seen: Gray-Headed Kite, Yellow-Tufted Dacnis, Guira Tanager.