Monday, April 9, 2012

Ecuador trip - part 2

After spending a week in the West slope of the Andes, we had a day off back in Quito during which we tried guinea pig for lunch:
It was nice enough but not that special.

Day 8:

We started the second part of our Ecuador trip by spending a day in the high Andes looking for wildlife that live only at high altitude, including the Andean Condor:
andean condor

andean condors
At one point we saw 15 condors in the air at once!

Checking out distant birds through a spotting scope:
the group

The scenery in the high Andes was magnificent. Here are a few photos of the dry paramo:
dry paramo

antisana volcano

dry paramo
The snow-covered peak is Antisana volcano.

A species found only in the dry paramo is the Carunculated Caracara:
carunculated caracara

After the dry paramo we moved on to the wet paramo habitat:
wet paramo

wet paramo

looking for seedsnipe

wet paramo

looking for seedsnipe

A species found only in the wet paramo habitat is the Paramo Ground-tyrant:
paramo ground-tyrant

The night of our 8th day was spent in a fancy natural hot spring resort called Termas Papallacta:
Termas Papallacta

wrist band


Day 9:

Antisana volcano at dawn:
Antisana volcano at dawn

We caught up with a Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, which we missed on day 8:
rufous-bellied seedsnipe!

Cream-winged Cinclodes:
cream-winged cinclodes

Giant Conebill:
giant conebill

Guango lodge hummingbird feeders were fun to watch:

Chestnut-breasted Coronet:
chestnut-breasted coronet

White-bellied Woodstar:
white-bellied woodstar

Sword-billed Hummingbird:
sword-billed hummingbird

One of the coolest birds we saw was the Torrent Duck:
torrent duck (male)
They have a strange affinity for white-water rivers!

San Isidro mystery owl:
San Isidro mystery owl
It's thought that this owl belongs to a previously undescribed species.

Our 9th day was nicely capped by a warm glass of an Ecuadorian drink called a canalazo:

Day 10:

One of my favourite birds, the Inca Jay:
inca (green) jay

We saw two fairly rare bird species at San Isidro lodge:

This is a Peruvian Antpitta:
peruvian antpitta
and this is a White-breasted Antpitta:
white-breasted antpitta

Biggest earthworm ever!
Jose with giant earthworm

giant earthworm

A few butterfly photos:
butterfly - clearwing


Liz with butterfly


Liz with butterfly

and here's a damsel fly of some sort:
damsel fly

Here's my soaked camera in a plastic protective wrap. Ecuador was quite wet and my camera got wet pretty often.
soaked camera

View from our cabin at San Isidro:
view from cabin

Day 11:

The red building is our cabin at San Isidro:
our cabin, San Isidro

Jose, our guide, looking for the next amazing bird:

Here's a clearwing butterfly:

Bag lunch on day 11:
pack lunch
We suspect this is where Liz's food poisoning came from, though no one else got sick.

A cool looking moth right outside our door at Wild Sumaco lodge:

Before going to bed on day 11 I found this little frog jumping around in our room:
Here it is on Liz's shoe. I caught the frog in a cup and safely escorted him outside.

Day 12:

View at dawn from the Wild Sumaco deck:
view from the deck

Sumaco volcano:
Sumaco volcano

Chestnut-mandibled toucan:
chestnut-mandibled toucan

chestnut-mandibled toucan

chestnut-mandibled toucan

Golden-tailed Sapphire:
golden-tailed sapphire

Wire-crested Thorntail:
wire-crested thorntail

Found a cicada in our room at Wild Sumaco lodge:

Jose giving photography a try:

Martin, Liz, Lea, watching hummingbird feeders:
hummingbird feeder watching

Day 13:

Mating Chestnut-mandibled Toucans:
mating chestnut-mandibled toucans

Jose bushwacking:
Jose bushwacking
We picked up lots of chiggars during this expedition!

By this day Liz was pretty sick with food poisoning:
sick Liz

sick Liz
Her tummy troubles continued on and off for the rest of the trip, but in retrospect they were probably due to the anti-malaria pills.

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