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12 - 25 September 1999

by Larry Gardella

From September 12 to September 25, Milton Levy, Andrea Menyhert and I went on an Ecuador tour with Neblina Forest, an Ecuadorian bird tour company.  Except for four days in Sacha Lodge, our trip leader was Lelis Navarette, a local birder who provided some recordings for the Birds of Northwest Ecuador tape, and who also provided Robert Ridgely with information for the upcoming book on the birds of Ecuador.  Edwin was our driver.  At Sacha, our guide was Oscar, and his assistant was Ernestro.

On the first day, we visited the Yanachocha ("Y") area, then we flew to Coca for a boat ride to Sacha Lodge ("S"), then on to Bellavista ("B"), to Mindo ("M"), Pedro Vincente Maldanado ("V"), Papallacta ("P") and finally San Isidro ("I").  This first section includes the Yanacocha discussion.  Part 2 covers Sacha; part 3, Bellavista, Mindo and Pedro Vincente Maldanado; part 4, Papallacta and San Isidro, then part 5 a minimally annotated grand checklist.

Most days we began birding at dawn and continued until dusk, with a break for lunch either at a hotel or lodge or in the field.  Both Lelis and Oscar each used a tape recorder to lure in several of the more reclusive species.  However, we found most species the old fashioned way: by looking for them, including amongst the birds of mixed species flocks.  .  In thirteen days of birding, we saw more than 465 birds and heard another 50.  We had 42 hummingbirds, 6 barbets, 32 furnarids, 63 flycatchers and 73 tanagers.

In two two-week trips to Ecuador eight years apart, I have now seen or heard well over 600 species, making Ecuador (rather than the US) the country in which I have seen the most birds.


At 6:00 a.m. we left our hotel, stopped briefly for a Coca Cola (as the hotel would not make coffee available before 6) and headed up cobblestone streets toward Yanacocha.  The day started crisp and clear, with great views of Anizama and Cotocachi.  Volcan Pinchinche had just released a volcanic plume that hang beautifully in the clear sky.

After reaching the gate at 7:00, we birded below it for an hour, hearing tapaculos and antpittas and seeing such birds as Red-crested Cotinga, Great Sabrewing, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Sapphire-vented Puffleg and Black-breasted Puffleg.  Just past the gate, we encountered groups of Shining Sunbeams.

We proceeded to a bend in the road with a steep forested gorge.  A Sword-billed Hummingbird swooped over our heads.  A Stripe-headed Brush-finch singing in a thick plant below road level came up to show himself off.  After half an hour of tape-playing, we managed to get less than satisfying looks at an ocellated tapaculo.  Other birds included white-banded tyrannulet, scarlet-breasted mountain-tanager and smoky bush-tyrant.

We parked the car wherer the road turned into a path.  Clouds were rolling in.  They sometimes obscured our views, but they kept the birds active.  A mixed flock Included Pearled Treerunner, Various Warblers, Superciliated Hemispingus, Blue Conebill and Glossy and Masked Flowerpiercers.  We also observed Golden-breasted Puffleg, Bar-bellied Woodpecker and Barred Fruiteater.  Near the tunnel that we could have taken to the other side of the mountain, many Tyrian metaltails were making chip notes that Lelis remarked were unusual for the species.  Our return trip on the path was hastened by a hail storm that got us into the van for a late lunch.  This was one o only two days during which rain interfered at all with our birding, although it rained on all but one of the days of our trip.  After the rain stopped, I heard and saw two scaly-naped Amazons fly overhead.

On our descent after lunch, the birding was slower, but we saw a second black-breated puffleg and later a carunculated caracara that flew low over the road.  We got back in time for dinner and for preparations for the next day's journey to Sacha Lodge.  We also made a slight change in our itinerary allowing us to spend an extra night in Bellavista instead of Quito


Between Quito to Coca, storms made the flight bumpy, but it was not raining when we arrived at Coca.  A week without rain had made the river low, so we had to navigate around shallow spots, making the trip a bit longer than usual.  We saw a few birds en route that we would not see elsewhere, including an osprey and some herons.  Almost no water splashed onto us, and the ride was peaceful.

When we got off the boat at Sacha, Oscar led us into a field where we saw a group of four or five white-eared jacamars.  After checking a few other areas, we took the boardwalk toward the lodge, which yielded such good birds as Point-tailed Palm-creeper, Gray Potoo (very cleverly disguised as the top of a tree trunk) and the electric Plum-throated Cotinga.  As we day darkened, we boarded our canoe for a ride to the lodge, during Which Hoatzins appeared with their primitive appearance and strange grunts.  Oscar and Ernesto ate dinner with us in a nearly vacant dining hall.  We were the only guests during this slow period, although others would arrive on the plane that would take us away.

On our first morning at the lodge (Sept.  14), after a delicious and hearty breakfast (I had pancakes and yoghurt with granola), Oscar and Ernesto paddled us into a channel where we saw American Pygmy Kingfisher, a Chestnut Woodpecker and three species of antbird.  Oscar pointed a laser beam near the birds to help us locate them rapidly.  When we reached the dock, we disembarked and walked to the observation tower.  From the top, we were treated to 30 species, including White-necked Puffbird, Purple-throated Cotinga, Spangled Cotinga and a Soaring Crane Hawk.  A Double-toothed Kite perched high on a snag near us, and it was replaced at various times by a Plumbeous Pigeon, some Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers, Many-banded Aracaris and a perched Greater Yellow-headed Vulture.  Blue Dacnis and White-lored Euphonias were nesting right over our heads, and a pair of black-faced dacnis appeared to be moving in the same direction.  Highlights of the walk back to the lodge for lunch were Wire-tailed, Blue-backed and Dwarf Tyrant- Manakins, Fasciated Antshrike, Grayish Mourner, Lawrence's Thrush (mimicking both many birds and Oscar's whistles from a vantage point fairly low above the path) and several Black-mantle Tamarins.

An afternoon walk brought us views of two jacamars (purplish and great), two woodcreepers and a Lined Forest-falcon that was perched on the buttress of a tree, his red face clearly visible.  After dinner, we went out briefly to observe three birds roosing.  One tree's buttress sheltered a Short-billed Leaftosser, that of another a Long-billed Woodcreeper.  Up in another tree was a Great Tinamou, easily studied by the light of a flashlight.

The next morning's breakfast was interrupted by the discovery of a southern tamandua searching for ants in the roof of the lodge.  Everyone but the lodge manager was thrilled.  We then walked the boardwalk again in order to reach a motorized canoe for a trip to some islands.  Our progress was slowed down a bit by White-shouldered Antbirds, Blue-throated Piping-guans and a Spix's Guan.  After checking the field at the end of the boardwalk again, we headed off to a nearby island.  A Ladder-tailed Nightjar greeted us from a log, and we soon came upon the fairly fresh tracks of a jaguar that was apparently sharing the island with us.  In the sandy area, the birds included Dark-breasted Spinetail, Spotted Tody-flycatcher, Mottle-backed Elaenia and the dazzlingly beautiful Rufous-headed Woodpecker.  From the sandy area, we proceeded to some secondary growth forest with scarlet-crowned barbet and the endemic Ecuadorian Black Cacique.  We trudged on through very wet mud into primary forest.  Although it was somewhat quiet, we did see three species of macaw, Cream Colored Woodpeckers, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Black Antbird and White-eyed Tody-tyrant.  Upon returning to the sandy area, we saw Castlenau's Antshrike and Rusty-backed Spinetail.  On another island, we hiked through high grass to observe Lesser Hornero, Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner (formerly called "Crested"), Fuscous Flycatcher, a Lesser Wagtail-tyrant and a calling Gray-breasted Crake.  Despite a good effort, we were unable to see the last bird.  On the walk back on the boardwalk, we saw two Red-bellied Macaws in nest holes in a tree.

When we got back to the lodge, Andrea and Milt were tired from twelve hours of birding, but Oscar, Ernesto and I headed out on a twilight canoe ride up the channel to the observation tower.  Twenty squirrel monekys passed throught the trees over our heads.  We did not manage to see either of the rufous-banded owls that called, but we enjoyed the last glows of sunlight and the calls of tinamous, Green Ibis, Limpkin and Tawny-bellied Screech-owl.  We walked back through the darkness of the forest and got ourselves ready for dinner.

Andrea was ill the next morning, so the rest of us went for an early climb up the observation tower.  A Lawrence's Thrush was singing from the top of the tower tree just above us, and we saw several birds that we had not seen the first time up.  A green-and-gold tanager sang from the top of a nearby tree.  A Lemon-throated Barbet presented a gorgeous view from just below us and over one tree.  Oscar got three red howler monkeys in the scope view, then a pair of displaying Scaly-breasted Woodpeckers (for our fourth representative of the wonderful Celeus genus).  While I was watching the woodpeckers, a Pygmy Antwren appeared just behind them.  On our walk back to the lodge, we taped out a Striated (Noble) Antthrush and a Rusty-belted Tapaculo, and we also saw a Chestnut-belted Gnateater.  The two hermits we saw were recent splits: Great-bellied and Black-throated.

Andrea was much better the next morning for our boat ride back to Coca.  Rain had made the river much higher, but it had also washed in much debris, including many entire trees.  This made the trip a little slow again, and we also got quite drenched.  Parkas protected our upper bodies, but our butts got wet.

Shortly after our arrival in Coca, we observed a dozen upland sandpipers, then boarded our plane for Quito.  En route, I struck up a conversation with another passenger who explained he was bound for Tarapoa, where there had recently been a major kidnapping of Canadian oil workers and others.  Just before we landed, the pilot gave us our first confirmation that we were indeed making a stop before Quito.  Security was very tight at the airport, and we were soon safely back into the air toward Quito.


Lelis and Mercedes met us at the airport.  After changing some money at a significantly better rate than that of five days earlier, Edwin and Lelis headed us out toward Bellavista.  Our first two stops near Quito yielded little more than a Sparkling Violetear and a Variable (Puna) Hawk being harassed by a pair of American Kestrels.  At stop three by some second growth cloud forest near Calacali, we saw Black Flowerpiercer, White-winged Brush-finch and Blue-capped Tanager.  We also heard Plain-tailed Wren, a bird that we heard several times in Bellavista but never glimpsed.

Stop four was across from the lowest trout farm below Tandayapa at approximately a mile in elevation.  We enjoyed working trhough an active group of birds and finding a Wedge-billed Hummingbird and male and female Fawn-breasted Tanagers.  It was dark when we arrived at the interestingly shaped Bellavista Lodge, but we were reday to begin checking out its bird life the following morning.  First, we showered and enjoyed a tasty vegetarian dinner.

The dawn chorus September 18 included Crested Quetzal, Plate-billed Mountain-toucan, Strong-billed Woodcreepers, Spillman's Tapaculo and Turquoise Jay.  By the time we departed the next day, we had seen each of these birds except the Quetzal.  As the sky lightened, we saw the first of many Buff-tailed Coronets at the feeders, a Beautiful Jay that flew into a nearby tree, a Fawn-breasted Brilliant, a Tawny-breasted Hermit, Yellow-bellied Chat-tyrant, a Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (seen briefly in dense vegetation just off the side of the trail), a Striped Treehunter, White-tailed Tyrannulets, Blue-winged Mountain-tanagers and more.  This all came before we indulged ourselves with a delicious breakfast.

At and just after breakfast, we saw an eclipse male Purple-throated Woodstar and several gorgeous Gorgeted Sunangels at the hummer feeders.  Intense flashes of color from the viny growth below the lodge revealed a Crimson-mantled Woodpecker and a Southern Yellow Grosbeak.  Atop one tree, a flock of seven Golden-naped Tanagers appeared.  Finally, we were able to tear ourselves away from the building and start birding down the road.  Some of our best early birds were Sickle-winged Guan, Montane Woodcreeper, Flavescent Flycatcher, the first of many Capped Conebills and a Rufous-chested Tanager.  Bird activity slowed a bit, and we stopped to chat with two German orchid lovers and their Ecuadorean guide.  The call of a Spotted Barbtail brought us back on task, and Lelis helped us all see it very well.  After finding a Streak-necked Flycatcher, a male Booted Racquet-tail and a Rusty-winged Barbtail down the road, we turned back and found a pair of Toucan-barbets munching on fruits in the Spotted Barbtail's tree.

After lunch, we drove up to the start of the Antpitta Trail.  A drizzle turned into rain, and the visibility turned poor.  We watched one flock in which we located two Pearled Treerunners, a Glossy Black Thrush, Blue-winged Mountain-tanagers, Beryl-spangled Tanagers, a Metallic-green Tanager and a Grass-green Tanager.  Unfortunately, the conditions prevented us from identifying several other birds.  When the rain picked up, we returned to the start and walked the road, observing a group of Turquoise Jays.  Edwin had the van ready to take us back to the lodge, but we decided to walk.  It was a good decision, as we got to watch a Green-and-black Fruiteater feeding on a tree just above the roadside and then were able to observe a pair of Tanager-finches.  An after-dinner nightbird search was unsuccessful, but we retired that evening quite content.

On the morning of September 19, we had another pre-breakfast walk.  We mainly got some better looks at some birds from the day before, but also got to study a Rufous-headed Pygmy-tyrant.  We were just settling for breakfast when Lelis had Edwin call us out from the lodge.  He had found a Flammulated Treehunter in a tree near the walkway, and we just had to watch that bird for awhile.  After breakfast, we walked the Antpitta Trail again, and it was full of birds.  We encountered one mixed flock with Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Pearled Treerunner, Montane Woodcreeper, Spectacled Whitestarts, Dusky(-bellied) Bush-tanagers, Golden Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanagers, Golden-naped Tanager, Five Grass-green Tanagers, Slaty Finch and Southern Yellow Grosbeak.  A second flock included some of the same along with White-tailed Hillstar, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Star-chested Treerunner, White-tailed Tyrannulet, a pair of Mountain Wrens, Capped Conebill and a Blue-winged Mountain-tanager.  Just as we were leaving the forest, we heard a Spillman's Tapaculo not far from the trail.  It did not appear to be responding to the tape, so we were just leaving when the bird moved to within a few feet of us and gave a long, excited call.  Even its mate joined in a vocal defense.  The male afforded us some good views as it walked along the edge of its territory.  Our drive from Bellavista began with a pause to watch two White-throated Quail-doves walking on the side of the road.


En route to Mindo, we stopped to try for antpittas.  No bird responded to the Giant Antpitta tape.  We stopped up the road a bit, and I detected a distant antpitta's call.  Lelis got on it and identifeid it as a Moustached Antpitta, which is not even on the 1998 Birds of Mainland Ecuador list.  Our effort to attract the bird failed, and as the rain picked up we resumed our journey to Mindo.

As we neared Mindo, Lelis spotted a female Golden-headed Quetzal perched upon a dead tree and then pointed out several Yellow-rumped Tanagers.  A long bumpy road with several streams to ford brought us to Mindo Gardens.  Below the bridge, a white-capped diipper flew from rock to rock and walked into the river to feed.  The hummingbird feeders at the lodge were in fairly bad shape, but we were able to watch a Green-crowned Brilliant and a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird feed, and we saw the silhouette of what appeared to be an Empress Brilliant, a bird that we never definitively recorded.  We brought the feeders in for the staff to clean, and we prepared for dinner.

The next morning, after an early breakfast, we crossed the bridge (from which Lelis and Milt saw a sunbittern in flight) and entered the Centro de Educacion Ambiental.  We had barely started our climb up a steep path when some Yellow-throated Bush-tanagers showed up.  A brown Inca fed at a bromeliad and sang.  We watched some female Booted Racquet-tails feed at small flowers, then pushed on toward a more gently sloping trail.  When we reached the top, Andrea noticed that the jacket I had tied around my waist was gone.  Fortunately, Lelis relocated it (since I would have been lost without it two days later in the cold of Papallacta), but we lost twenty minutes.  We headed out on the trail, seeing Ashy-headed and Golden-faced Tyrannulets and three Choco Toucans and hearing the catlike call of a Wattled Guan sounding across the valley.  A female Purple-bibbed Whitetip fed at some red flower spikes, and a Club-winged Manakin strutted his stuff from an exposed mid-level branch.  We had almost reached the end of the long trail when we encountered a big flock including Scaly-throated Leaf-gleaner, Buff-throated Leaf-gleaner, Spotted Woodcreeper, Strong-billed Woodcreeper (which tore apart the dead portion of a Bromeliad), Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Black-and-white Becard, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Glistening-green Tanager and Flame-faced Tanager.  On the way back, we saw two Marble-faced Bristle-tyrants just below the canopy and a fly-by Andean Cock-of-the-rock.  I noticed a Barred Puffbird fly-catching over the path, and we all enjoyed close-up looks.  We checked the hummer feeders again upon our return to the lodge, but they had attracted no new hummingbirds.


Instead of our usual early morning breakfast, we had an extra-early breakfast on September 21, so that we could leave at 5:30 to arrive at Pedro Vincente Maldanado (PVM) for early-day birding.  The birds put on quite a show!

We parked near the Rio Silancha and immediately started seeing birds.  Early treats inlcuded Pale-billed Aracari, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Gray Elaenia and Buff-rumped Warbler.  When we reached the river, a mixed species flock was there.  It moved from the low trees on one side of the road to the high trees on the other, but was never far from us.  Fortunately, the morning was cloudy, and the birds remained active until we had to leave.

We heard the constant series of "eer" notes of the Slate-capped Shrike-vireo, the "cheap cheer" of the Chestnut-backed Antbird, the rolling song of the Western Slaty Antshrike with its snarled last note, the slow-paced long notes of the Southern Nightingale-Wren and the thin, high whistles of the Tawny-faced Gnatwren.  We also saw many birds, most of which eventually came close enough for good studies, including the male and female of the Western Slaty Antshrike.  Several species we saw were recent splits, including Stripe-throated Hermit, Griscom's Antwren, Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant and Yellow-tufted Dacnis.  A pair of Lanceolated Monklets called from a distance, then came in response to tape and perched in an open tree near the road.  Other birds in the flock included Orange-fronted Barbet, Brown-capped Tyrannulet, Sooty-headed Tyrannulet, Brown-capped Tyrannulet, a Tolmomyias Flycatcher that never called, Tawny-crested Tanager, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Blue-whiskered Tanager and Ochre-breasted Tanager.

A Striped Cuckoo stood in the middle of the road and perched in high roadside grasses.  Some Rose-faced Parrots perched in a distant tree, allowing us to study them in the scope.

In addition to pristine forest, we saw many stretches where forest had recently been cleared for oil palm farming.  Lelis explained that a foundation was hoping to save the wonderful habitat at PVM and its birds with restricted ranges in Ecuador.  The question is whether it can raise enough money soon enough.

We returned to Quito just early enough to make some preparations for the next day, shower and have dinner.


After an early morning start from Quito, we did not stop until the turn-off to the relay station.  There, Stout-billed and Bar-winged Cincloides, Plain-capped Ground-tyrants, Brown-bellied Swallows and Plumbeous Sierra-finches were all conspicuous.  We proceeded to the top of the road, which was shrouded in fog.  The whole area was covered by unusually much snow.  We bundled up and set out looking for the Rufous-breasted Seed-snipe.  Blue-mantled Hummingbirds and Tawny Antpittas were easy to find, but we could not locate a seed-snipe even as we pushed our binoculars to their limits to check more and more ground.  Milt and I did not move back toward the van as quickly as Lelis.  Consequently, when he found and inadvertently flushed two seed-snipe, we were not there to see them - and we never could relocate them.  Obviously, we should have stuck with our leader.

Back down the road, we found Andean Tit-spinetail and Many-striped Canastero, and we heard a distant Paramo Tapaculo.  A path past a patch of polylepis forest brought us to a spot where we could scope out a high lake.  On the lake we found Andean Duck and Silvery Grebe.  We then walked down a road to another lake for a picnic lunch, stopping to enjoy Purple-backed Thornbill (perched on a high snag and feeding in flowers) and Pale-naped Brush-finch.  Fom the lunch site, we saw Andean Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Baird's Sandpiper and three Black-chested Eagles, which soared overhead.

We checked into Termas de Papallacta, and Lelis made final arrangements for us to get permission to bird some forest.  At a small tree on the hotel grounds not far from one of the hot spring baths, we found a perched Viridian Metaltail.  The grounds also produced Rufous-breasted Chat-tyrant and Sword-billed Hummingbird.  A walk across a bridge into a beautiful elfin forest got us near some rufous antpittas, a paramo tapaculo and some white-browed spinetails, but we did not see many birds.  We re-crossed the bridge and returned through a bog to the street, where we soon found Buff-breasted Mountain-tanagers and Black-backed Bush-tanagers, along with the duller subspecies of the rufous wren.  We returned to the hotel a bit early, giving us the opportunity to relax and luxuriate in the hot baths before having a delicious dinner.  (I had the best trout I had tasted since a trip years ago to the Venezuelan Andes not far from Merida.)

The next morning, we headed back up the road to search for a mixed species flock.  We found two.  The first consisted of White-throated Tyrannulet, Mountain Wren, Several Warblers,buff-breasted Mountain-tanager, Black-capped Hemispingus, Black-backed Bush-tanager, Plushcap and Pale-naped Brush-finch.  The second had most of the same birds, plus Pearled Treerunner (one was dazzling as it flew over to land in a tree right next to me), two or three Agile Tit-tyrants, White-banded Tyrannulets, Black-headed Hemispingus and Glossy Flower-piercer.  After several "oh, it's just a Shining Sunbeam" comments, we found a Mountain Velvetbreast perched atop a tree.  Just down the road, we saw another tree with just the sort of small flowers Lelis had said Mountain Avocetbills favor.  I idly remarked that we should find one in those flowers.  Within a minute or so, Lelis said that he had a hummingbird on the far side of that tree.  Intuition screamed "avocetbill," but we carefully looked for field marks as the bird flew across the road to some small yellow flowers.  The streaked green breast was a wonderful confirmation.

We returned to the elfin forest, seeing only tyrannulets and warblers.  As we headed back through the bog, Lelis located a White-chinned Thistletail, which we all observed well.  It was then time to head to San Isidro.


On the way to San Isidro, we stopped to check a trail through some woods along the Rio Chalpi Grande.  A Gray-hooded Bush-tanager was at the edge of the woods, and we saw several other birds that we had seen earlier on the trip.  Rather than try to catch up with a mixed tanager flock up a steep trail, we turned back and headed to San Isidro.

A lunch stop overlooking the Rio Cosanga allowed us to spot a white-capped dipper, a Smoke -Colored Pewee and a Blue-necked Tanager, all out in a light rain.  When the rain ended, we rushed to San Isidro for the afternoon post-rain activity.  Instead of checking into our rooms, we hopped out of the van and started looking and listening.  After looking at some Subtropical Caciques and Green Jays, we found a nice mixed-species flock: Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Pearled Treerunner, Mountain and Olive-backed Woodcreepers, Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet, Rufous-crowned Pygmy-tyrant, Variegated Bristle-tyrant, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Andean Solitaire, Black-billed Peppershrike, some warblers, Oleaginous Hemispingus, Black-eared Hemispingus, Black-capped Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, gobs of Saffron-crowned Tanagers, and Flame-faced Tanagers.  We tried a path into the forest and heard an Olive-backed Woodcreeper giving a vocalization new to Lelis.  However, we had to turn back soon, because the path was very wet.  Just before dinner, ssome of us looked for and found a calling Rufous-banded Owl.  After enjoying a wonderful meal prepared by the best cook we'd had yet, we returned to the cabins, our walk interrupted by another appearance by the owl.

Knowing the trip was just about over, we got out early the next morning and walked back to the road where we had found the big flock.  Lelis taped out a Long-tailed Antbird.  We had very good looks at a Rufous-breasted Flycatcher and heard the song and bill clacks of a Bronzy-olive Pygmy-tyrant before seeing this little brown ball of a bird.  A Collared Forest-falcon called in the background.

We proceeded up the road past the cutoff to the cabins.  We saw a group of Mountain Caciques and heard a Slate-crowned Antpitta and some Unicolored Tapaculos calling right near the road.  A Handsome Flycatcher perched in the open.  A Rufous-crested Tanager appeared on the side of the tree, and in the bamboo behind it were two Plushcaps.  A quiet Barred Becard perched in a tree.  A Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia that had been calling and feeding in trees near us for quite some time finally perched in the open a few times.  An Ashy-headed Flycatcher came down to perch at our eye level.  At the edge of the forest and a fairly new field, a Golden-rumped Euphonia perched in the open.

At the bottom of the road to San Isidro, we checked the Rio Cosanga for torrent duck and found a pair spending time standing on rocks and swimming in white water.

As we drove away from San Isidro toward Quito, I knew it would be necessary to return with time enough to explore Huacayambo Ridge.  We made one stop at the alder forest near Cuyuja at approximately 2500 meters elevation.  There, we found another Barred Becard, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Rufous-crowned Pygmy-tyrant, Rufous-rumped Tyrannulet and other birds we had seen several times on the trip.  We also found a dead male Mountain Velvetbreast.

Traffic in Quito slowed us down, so it was about 6:00 when we got back to the hotel to prepare for our farewell dinner.


Y = Yanachocha
S = Sacha Lodge
B = Bellavista
M = Mindo
V = Pedro Vincente Maldanado
P = Papallacta
I = San Isidro
h = heard only

Other locations spelled out.  Birds seen on the Napo River ride and then again in Sacha are listed only for Sacha.  Birds seen en route are usually listed for the spot seen only if not seen at one of the initialed sites.
Great Tinamou S
Cinereous Tinamou Sh
Little Tinamou Sh
Undulated Tinamou Sh
Silvery Grebe P
Anhinga S (flying over lake near lodge; Oscar also saw one from the tower)
Andean Teal P
Yellow-billed Pintail P
Torrent Duck I a pair in the Rio Cosanga
Andean Duck P
Cocoi Heron Napo River ride to Sasha
Great Egret Napo River ride to Sasha
Snowy Egret Napo River ride to Sasha
Striated Heron S on island
Cattle Egret M
Rufescent Tiger-heron S in channel and along forest path
Green Ibis Sh heard from tower after sunset
Black Vulture SV
Turkey Vulture SMV
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture S
Osprey Napo River ride to Sasha
Swallow-tailed Kite Napo River ride to Sasha; others saw in Sasha; Lelis saw one at PVM
Double-toothed Kite SM
Plumbeous Kite S
Crane Hawk S (from tower)
Barred Hawk Ih
Black-chested Eagle P
Roadside Hawk SMVI
Broad-winged Hawk I
Variable Hawk near Mitad del Mundo near Quito
Black Caracara S
Carunculated Caracara YP
Yellow-headed Caracara S
Lined Forest-falcon S
Collared Forest-falcon Ih
American Kestrel near Mitad del Mundo near Quito
Speckled Chachalaca S in yard behind cabin, feeding on fruiting trees
Spix's Guan S
Blue-throated Piping-guan S
Wattled Guan Mh
Sickle-winged Guan B (Larry & Andrea)
Gray-breasted Crake Sh
Sungrebe S (in lake near lodge)
Sunbittern M Milt and Lelis saw
Limpkin S
Spotted Sandpiper SP
Upland Sandpiper Coca airport
Baird's Sandpiper P; Calidris sandpipers in flock seen flying near Yanacocha were probably also Baird's
snipe sp.  P flying bird was pale, suggesting common snipe, but the checklist does not have nearly so high; the two expected snipes are noble and Andean
Southern Lapwing S in field near river
Pied Plover Coca on sandbars of Napo under bridge
Collared Plover S on island
Yellow-billed Tern Napo River ride to Sasha
Rock Pigeon Quito; Milt also saw in Coco
Band-tailed Pigeon BMPI
Pale-vented Pigeon S
Ruddy Pigeon SM
Plumbeous Pigeon S
Dusky Pigeon Vh
Eared Dove Quito & Coca
Ruddy Ground-Dove  S
White-tipped Dove Y; Nono-Mindo Road
White-throated Quail-Dove B
Ruddy Quail-Dove S
Blue-and-yellow Macaw S
Scarlet Macaw S
Chestnut-fronted Macaw S
Red-bellied Macaw S
Dusky-headed Parakeet S
Maroon-tailed Parrot V
Blue-winged Parrotlet S
Cobalt-winged Parakeet S
Rose-faced Parrot V
Blue-headed Parrot YS
Red-billed Parrot BM
White-capped Parrot BhMI
Bronze-winged Parrot V
Scaly-naped Amazon Y;Mh
Mealy Amazon S
Squirrel Cuckoo SMI
Greater Ani S
Smooth-billed Ani S
Striped Cuckoo V
Hoatzin S
Tropical Screech-Owl Sh
Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl Sh
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl S
Black-banded Owl Sh
Rufous-banded Owl I
Common (Grey) Potoo S
Pauraque M
Ladder-tailed Nightjar S
White-collared Swift MV
Chestnut-collared Swift I
Short-tailed Swift SV
Gray-rumped Swift SM
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift V
Neotropical (Fork-tailed) Palm-Swift S
Rufous-breasted Hermit S
Tawny-bellied Hermit BM
Great-bellied Hermit S
Straight-billed Hermit S
Black-throated Hermit S
Stripe-throated Hermit V
White-necked Jacobin S
Green Violetear B
Sparkling Violetear Quito
Fork-tailed Woodnymph S (Larry, Andrea & Oscar)
Green-crowned Woodnymph V
Olive-spotted Hummingbird S
Blue-chested Hummingbird V
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird MV
Speckled Hummingbird BI
Purple-bibbed Whitetip M
Fawn-breasted Brilliant B
Green-crowned Brilliant M
Ecuadorian Hillstar P
White-tailed Hillstar B
Shining Sunbeam YP
Mountain Velvetbreast YP
Great Sapphirewing P
Brown Inca M
Collared Inca B; alder forest near Cuyuja
Sword-billed Hummingbird YP
Buff-tailed Coronet B
Chestnut-breasted Coronet Andrea and Lelis saw at San Isidro
Gorgeted Sunangel B
Black-breasted Puffleg Y
Sapphire-vented Puffleg Y
Golden-breasted Puffleg Y
Booted Racket-tail BM
Black-tailed Trainbearer Y
Purple-backed Thornbill P
Viridian Metaltail P
Tyrian Metaltail P
Blue-mantled Thornbill P
Mountain Avocetbill P
Long-tailed Sylph I
Wedge-billed Hummingbird Tandayapa; M
Purple-throated Woodstar B
Crested Quetzal IhBh
Golden-headed Quetzal BhM
White-tailed Trogon SV
Msked Trogon BI
Black-throated Trogon S
Violaceous Trogon S
Ringed Kingfisher S
Green Kingfisher S; Milt also spotted one on the river in Mindo
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher S
American Pygmy-Kingfisher S
Rufous Motmot M; also heard a bird that was either rufous or broad-billed motmot
Blue-crowned Motmot Sh
White-eared Jacamr S
Brown Jacamar S
Rufous-tailed Jacamar V
Purplish Jacamar S
Great Jacamar S
White-necked Puffbird S
Barred Puffbird M
Lanceolated Monklet V
Black-fronted Nunbird S
White-fronted Nunbird S
Yellow-billed Nunbird S
Swallow-wing S
Scarlet-crowned Barbet S
Orange-fronted Barbet V
Gilded (Black-spotted) Barbet S
Lemon-throated Barbet S
Red-headed Barbet M (Andrea saw a pair down the upper path; Larry saw a pair near the lodge)
Toucan-barbet BM
Emerald Toucanet I
Crimson-rumped Toucanet M
Pale-mandibled Aracari V
Many-banded Aracari S
Ivory-billed Aracari S
Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan B
Choco Toucan M;Vh
White-throated (Cuvier's) Toucan S
Olivaceous Piculet V
Spot-breasted Woodpecker S
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker B
Golden-olive Woodpecker Tandayapa; MV
Chestnut Woodpecker S
Scale-breasted Woodpecker S
Cream-colored Woodpecker S
Rufous-headed Woodpecker S
Lineated Woodpecker S
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker S
Black-cheeked Woodpecker V
Smoky-brown Woodpecker IhMh; Andrea, Lelis & Milt saw M
Little Woodpecker SV
Red-rumped Woodpecker V
Yellow-vented Woodpecker I
Bar-bellied Woodpecker Y
Crimson-crested Woodpecker S
Stout-billed Cincloides YP
Bar-winged Cincloides P
Pacific Hornero V
Lesser Hornero S
Andean Tit-Spinetail P
Azara's Spinetail B;Ih
Dusky Spinetail Mh
Slaty Spinetail Bh; V
Dark-breasted Spinetail S
Rufous Spinetail B
White-browed Spinetail Ph
Red-faced Spinetail Tanadayapa; M
Rusty-backed Spinetail S
White-chinned Thistletail P
Many-striped Canastero P
Pearled Treerunner BPI
Star-chested (Fulvous-dotted) Treerunner B
Spotted Barbtail B; Ih
Rusty-winged Barbtail BI
Streaked Tuftedcheek B
Point-tailed Palmcreeper S
Chestnut-winged Hookbill S
Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner M
Montane Foliage-gleaner I
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner M
Dusky-cheeked (Crested) Foliage-gleaner S
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Vh
Flammulated Treehunter BI
Striped Treehunter B
Streak-capped Treehunter Bh
Plain Xenops V
Short-billed Leaftosser S
Tyrannine Woodcreeper BhIh
Plain-brown Woodcreeper SM
Long-billed Woodcreeper S
Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper S
Strong-billed Woodcreeper BM
Black-banded Woodcreeper S
Straight-billed Woodcreeper S
Buff-throated Woodcreeper S
Spotted Woodcreeper M
Olive-backed Woodcreeper I
Streak-headed Woodcreeper V
Montane Woodcreeper BI
Fasciated Antshrike S
Great Antshrike ShVh
Barred Antshrike Sh
Castelnau's Antshrike S
Plain-winged (Black-capped) Antshrike S
Western Slaty-Antshrike V
Russet Antshrike V
Dusky-throated Antshrike S
Pygmy Antwren S
Griscom's Antwren V
Dot-winged Antwren V
Long-tailed Antbird Bh; I
Dusky Antbird Vh
Black Antbird S
Black-faced Antbird S
Silvered Antbird S
Chestnut-backed Antbird Vh
Plumbeous Antbird S
White-shouldered Antbird S
Immaculate Antbird VhMh
Black-spotted Bare-eye S
Spot-backed Antbird S
Dot-backed Antbird S
Noble (Striated) Antthrush S
Black-faced Antthrush Sh
Black-headed Antthrush Vh
Rufous-breasted Antthrush Mh
Moustached Antpitta Nono-Mindo Road -- heard only
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Yh; B; Ih
Chestnut-naped Antpitta Yh
White-bellied Antpitta Ih
Rufous Antpitta YhPh
Tawny Antpitta YP
Thrush-like Antpitta Sh
Slate-crowned Antpitta Ih
Chestnut-belted Gnateater S
Rusty-belted Tapaculo S
Ash-colored Tapaculo YhBhIh
Unicolored Tapaculo YhIh
Equatorial Rufous-vented Tapaculo Ih
Spillman's Tapaculo B
Paramo Tapaculo Ph
Ocellated Tapaculo Ybh
Sooty-headed Tyrannulet V
Black-capped Tyrannulet V
Ashy-headed Tyrannulet MI
Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet Cuyuja
Golden-faced Tyrannulet MV
Brown-capped Tyrannulet V
Gray Elaenia V
Mottled-backed Elaenia S
White-crested Elaenia Yh
White-throated Tyrannulet YP
White-tailed Tyrannulet BI
White-banded Tyrannulet YPV; Cuyuja
Sylphur-bellied Tyrannulet I
Torrent Tyrannulet M (seen only by Larry)
Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant S
Tufted Tit-Tyrant seen by Lelis and Milt at stop by Calacali
Agile Tit-Tyrant Yh; P
Streak-necked Flycatcher BI
Slaty-capped Flycatcher Mh; V
Rufous-breasted Flycatcher I; Cuyuja
Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant M
Variegated Bristle-Tyrant I
Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant I
Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant B
Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant V
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant MhVh
Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant I; Cuyuja
White-eyed Tody-Tyrant S
Black-headed Tody-flycatcher Vh
Yellow-browed Tody-flycatcher S
Common Tody-flycatcher V
Spotted Tody-flycatcher S (island)
Tolmomylus Sp. (Yellow-olive or Yellow-margined) V
Cinnamon Flycatcher BI
Ornate Flycatcher M; also seen by Milt and Lelis at V
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher V
Flavescent Flycatcher B
Handsome Flycatcher I
Smoke-colored Pewee B; Mh; I
Fuscous Flycatcher S
Black Phoebe M
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant P
Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant P
Crowned Chat-Tyrant YP
Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant B
Drab Water-Tyrant S
Smoky Bush-Tyrant Y
Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant P
Grayish Mourner S
Dusky-capped Flycatcher S
Short-crested Flycatcher S
Boat-billed Flycatcher V
Rusty-margined Flycatcher V
Social Flycatcher S
Streaked Flycatcher V
Golden-crowned Flycatcher M
Piratic Flycatcher S
Crowned Slaty-flycatcher S
Tropical Kingbird SBMVI
Barred Becard I
Cinnamon Becard Mh; V
Black-and-white Becard M
Black-tailed Tityra S
Either Masked Tityra or Black-crowned Tityra M (not seen well)
Red-crested Cotinga Y; Milt also saw at P
Green-and-black Fruiteater BI
Barred Fruiteater Y
Screaming Piha S
Purple-throated Cotinga S
Plum-throated Cotinga S
Spangled Cotinga S
Purple-throated Fruitcrow SV
Andean Cock-of-the-rock M (Larry and Andrea)
White-crowned Manakin S
Blue-crowned Manakin S
Wire-tailed Manakin S
Blue-backed Manakin S
White-bearded Manakin V
Club-winged Manakin M
Green Manakin V
Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin S
Turquoise Jay B; Rio Chalpi Grande; Cuyuja
Beautiful Jay B
Violaceous Jay S
Green Jay I
Black-billed Peppershrike I
Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo Vh
Red-eyed Vireo Tandayapa; BM
Brown-capped Vireo BI; Cuyuja
Lesser Greenlet V
Andean Solitaire BhMh; I
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush Bh
Swainson's Thrush Vh
Great Thrush YBP; Quito
Glossy-black Thrush BI
Black-billed Thrush S
Lawrence's Thrush S
White-necked Thrush S
White-capped Dipper MPI
Gray-breasted Martin S
White-winged Swallow S
Brown-bellied Swallow YP
Blue-and-white Swallow Coca; MI
White-banded Swallow S
Southern Rough-winged Swallow SMV
Sand Martin (Bank Swallow) S
Black-capped Donacobius S
Thrush-like Wren S
Rufous Wren YP
Grass Wren Ph
Plain-tailed Wren Bh
Bay Wren Mh; V
Mountain Wren BP;Ih
White-breasted Wood-Wren S
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren BMI
Southern Nightingale-Wren Vh
Tawny-faced Gnatwren Vh
Tropical Gnatcatcher V (Larry only)
Tropical Parula Tandayapa; M
Blackburnian Warbler BI
Canada Warbler I (except Larry)
Slate-throated Whitestart BM
Spectacled Whitestart BPI
Three-striped Warbler Tandayapa; BM
Black-crested Warbler PB
Russet-crowned Warbler B;Ph; Ih
Buff-rumped Warbler V
Bananaquit V
Chestnut-breasted Cholorophonia I
Golden-rumped Euphonia I
Orange-bellied Euphonia SMI
Thick-billed Euphonia S
Rufous-bellied Euphonia S
White-lored Euphonia S
Cinereous Conebill P
Blue-backed Conebill  YP
Capped Conebill BI; Rio Chalpi Grande
Bluish Flower-piercer I
Masked Flower-piercer YBI
Glossy Flower-piercer  YP
Black Flower-piercer YP
White-sided Flower-piercer BI
Purple Honeycreeper SV
Green Honeycreeper SV
Golden-collared Honeycreeper I
Blue Dacnis SV
Black-faced Dacnis S
Yellow-tufted Dacnis V
Yellow-bellied Dacnis S
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis V
Fawn-breasted Tanager Tandayapa; B
Glistening-green Tanager M
Opal-crowned Tanager S
Green-and-gold Tanager S
Blue-whiskered Tanager V
Golden Tanager B
Silvery-throated Tanager V
Saffron-crowned Tanager I (the most common tanager there)
Flame-faced Tanager MI
Metallic-green Tanager B
Blue-necked Tanager VI
Masked Tanager S
Golden-hooded Tanager  V
Turquoise Tanager S
Bay-headed Tanager V
Rufous-winged Tanager V
Beryl-spangled Tanager BMI
Blue-and-black Tanager B
Black-capped Tanager I
Scarlet-breasted Mountain-Tanager YP
Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager BI
Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager YhP
Blue-gray Tanager SV
Palm Tanager V
Silver-beaked Tanager S
Masked Crimson Tanager S
Yellow-rumped Tanager MV
White-winged Tanager Tandayapa; M
Ochre-breasted Tanager Mh; V
White-shouldered Tanager V
Tawny-crested Tanager V
Scarlet-browed Tanager V
Rufous-crested Tanager I
Dusky-faced Tanager V
Guira Tanager V
Rufous-chested Tanager B
Common Bush-Tanager I
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager MV
Dusky (-bellied) Bush-Tanager B
Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager Rio Chalpi Grande
Black-backed Bush-Tanager P
Black-capped Hemispingus P
Superciliated Hemispingus Y
Oleaginous Hemispingus I
Black-eared Hemispingus I
Black-headed Hemispingus P
Grass-green Tanager B
Magpie Tanager S
Plushcap PI
Buff-throated Saltator S
Black-winged Saltator MV
Grayish Saltator S
Red-capped Cardinal S
Southern Yellow-Grosbeak B; Quito
Blue-black Grassquit Tandayapa; V
Dull-colored Grassquit V
Variable Seedeater SV
Lesson's Seedeater S
Yellow-bellied Seedeater V
Chestnut-bellied Seedeater SI
Lesser Seed-Finch V
Plain-colored Seedeater YP
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch P
Slaty Finch B
Pale-naped Brush-Finch P
Rufous-naped Brush-Finch Y
White-winged Brush-Finch stop near Calacali; B; Ph
Chestnut-crowned Brush-Finch Mh
Stripe-headed Brush-Finch Y
Tanager Finch B
Orange-billed Sparrow Vh
Black-striped Sparrow Vh
Yellow-browed Sparrow S
Rufous-collared Sparrow YBPI; Quito
Shiny Cowbird S
Giant Cowbird SM
Crested Oropendola S
Russet-backed Oropendola S; Bh; I
Yellow-rumped Cacique S
Red-rumped Cacique Vh
Subtropical Caciqe I
Northern Mountain-cacique I
Ecuadorian (Black) Cacique S
Yellow-billed Cacique YI
Orange-backed Troupial S
Oriole Blackbird S
Red-breasted Blackbird S
Lesser Goldfinch Tandayapa

Larry Gardella
Montgomery, AL