We spent three glorious weeks in Ecuador in November and December 2011. The main focus of the trip was to see as many bird species as we could but we tried to pay attention to any and all things wild. Bird-wise, we saw around 700 bird species!
Where did we go?
Ecuador is right on the ecuator (hence the name) and has many different habitats from coastal ranges in the West, to highlands of the Andes, to the Amazon rainforest in the East. We visited all but coastal ranges.
We flew into Quito, the capital, but spent most of our time outside of this large city. We spent the first week in the Western slopes of the Andes, the second week was spent gradually birding our way down the Eastern slope of the Andes, and the third week was spent in the Amazon rainforest.
Quito (right before the camera was stolen):
On the way to our first birding location, Yanacocha reserve:
Liz at the ecuator:
We spent the first week of the trip at Tandayapa lodge, a beautiful forest-setting and is surrounded by birds. It has amazing hummingbird feeders that attract a dozen or more species of hummers every day.
Pale-mandibled Aracari -- seen at a local restaurant near Tandayapa lodge:
Our driver (Nico) and bus:
Martin in the cloud forest:
We did lots of road birding:
Back at Tandayapa lodge:
Cow in cloud forest:
We had lots of passion fruit:
Taking a break on the tower:
Martin and Andres at Paz de las Aves reserve:
Angel Paz -- the Antpitta whisperer:
Maria the Giant Antpitta:
Left to right: Jill, John, Ian, Andres (our guide), Martin, Lia, Liz, Sina.
Shortly after this photo was taken, we headed back to Quito for a much needed day off before continuing on to the high Andes.