Monday 15 October 2012

Ecuador Part 2

Ecuador tour – August 2012 – Part 2.

Hummingbirds, tanagers and more

hummingbirds! . . . and still cold!
Sachatamia Lodge was high on a hill. It was an impressive timber lodge with a very cosy bar/dining-room and fairly distant, well-spaced chalets for guests. Each chalet was surrounded by forest. There wasn’t much lighting away from the dining room/bar; just the odd, weak lamp.

Golden tanager

Halfway to the bar once, well before dawn, in near pitch blackness I had to return to the room to get something. I left Lynne to carry on to the dining room. I was quick, and I was surprised that Lynne had managed to get so far ahead of me without a torch! She wasn’t at the bar so I retraced my steps to find her almost in tears after she had taken the wrong path! Here is our chalet:
Our chalet at Sachatamia Lodge

And a carved wooden ‘Yumbo’ hunter outside the bar:
A Yumbo hunter at Sachatamia Lodge

It was still pretty cold at this altitude, even at the Equator! Survival depended on being well tucked up in bed each night!!
Our first morning at Sachatamia involved getting up before 06.00 and being ready to start at 06.30. The carpark had a strong light that burned all night, attracting many moths and other insects which landed and stayed on the main pole of the light and on the surrounding bushes. At dawn, birds would come to feast on the unsuspecting insects. 
Red-eyed vireo
After breakfast we drove to various places/reserves. We had morning coffee in a café with a lovely garden where fruit was left for the birds.
Green thorntail (a hummingbird)
There was also the obligatory battery of hummingbird feeders. It was really relaxing. Drinking coffee and watching all manner of hummingbirds, tanagers and other birds. What could be better? The tanagers are a large group of colourful birds. I love them!
Brown violetear (another hummingbird)
Here is the 'café' called Jardin de Orquideas (Orchid Garden):

Café 'Jardin de Orquideas'
Next day was spent entirely at Milpe, at a very productive nature reserve.
Lemon-rumped tanager
We never got up later than 06.00 and sometimes it was an hour or two earlier depending how far we had to go! Certainly, every day involved a very early start so I won’t bother to mention it each time from now on!
Swallow tanager
We didn’t mind these early starts (well, I didn’t mind; not sure about Lynne) because until we got used to the time difference we found ourselves awake by the small hours anyway. It was no big deal then just to get up!
Blue-grey tanager
More early-morning birdwatching around the lodge on Sunday before setting off for Quito again for the night.
White-whiskered hermit (another hummingbird)
En route to Quito, we went in search of the rare ‘white-tailed shrike-tyrant’. (Most of the birds here have really long names!) This involved a long walk and a climb up the foothills, forcing our way through thorny bushes. Lynne, sensibly, stayed back. I went most of the way but stayed behind when the others pressed on, further along the ridge.   I enjoyed the solitude of the place, and, in the calm after the others had left, I noticed a burrowing owl sitting on the dry branch of a nearby bush. 

Burrowing owl

My comrades had pushed another couple of hundred metres along and they called and gesticulated to me. I went to join them and saw the shrike-tyrant further up the hill. It was rather distant, so the photo is not too good.

White-tailed shrike-tyrant

We went back to the same hotel in Quito for a relaxing shower, a very pleasant evening meal, a lovely bottle of red wine – followed by. . . . .  another pre-dawn start!

Ecuador - Part 1
Ecuador - Part 3   
Ecuador - Part 4

1 comment:

  1. Preciosas aves las que se pueden ver por aquel pais.Saludos


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