Laguna Yaguarcocha: April 11, 2014

The reeds on the western side of this highlands lake are supposedly a reliable site for Subtropical Doradito and Ecuadorian Rail, although neither should be mistaken for an easy bird to see. Hitting it at midday was a bad idea, though, and I should have birded Tundaloma for a few more hours instead. Although I attracted a lot of attention from the local fishermen and kids playing on the nearby playground, I didn’t see much of note myself on the shores of Laguna Yaguarcocha. Despite my best efforts at drawing a rail out from the reeds, basically trolling the entire shore, I didn’t get a single response to playback. Of course, it would be best to visit the site in the early morning or late in the day, but that’s an unreasonable demand, considering how many nearby sites — Cerro Mongus, El Chical Road, Intag Reserve — are more worthy of a morning’s birding. Still, there were plenty of common birds around, including a few pairs of Vermillion Flycatchers as well as several Pied-Billed Grebes, and this is a particularly scenic spot in the northern highlands.

Notable birds seen: Black-Crowned Night-Heron, American Kestrel, Andean Coot, Pied-Billed Grebe, Vermillion Flycatcher.

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