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.
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:
At one point we saw 15 condors in the air at once!
Checking out distant birds through a spotting scope:
The scenery in the high Andes was magnificent. Here are a few photos of the dry paramo:
The snow-covered peak is Antisana volcano.
A species found only in the dry paramo is the Carunculated Caracara:
After the dry paramo we moved on to the wet paramo habitat:
A species found only in the wet paramo habitat is the Paramo Ground-tyrant:
The night of our 8th day was spent in a fancy natural hot spring resort called Termas Papallacta:
Antisana volcano at dawn:
We caught up with a Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, which we missed on day 8:
Guango lodge hummingbird feeders were fun to watch:
One of the coolest birds we saw was the Torrent Duck:
They have a strange affinity for white-water rivers!
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:
One of my favourite birds, the Inca Jay:
We saw two fairly rare bird species at San Isidro lodge:
This is a Peruvian Antpitta:
and this is a White-breasted Antpitta:
Biggest earthworm ever!
A few butterfly photos:
and here's a damsel fly of some sort:
Here's my soaked camera in a plastic protective wrap. Ecuador was quite wet and my camera got wet pretty often.
View from our cabin at San Isidro:
The red building is our cabin at San Isidro:
Jose, our guide, looking for the next amazing bird:
Here's a clearwing butterfly:
Bag lunch on day 11:
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.
View at dawn from the Wild Sumaco deck:
Found a cicada in our room at Wild Sumaco lodge:
Jose giving photography a try:
Martin, Liz, Lea, watching hummingbird feeders:
Mating Chestnut-mandibled Toucans:
We picked up lots of chiggars during this expedition!
By this day Liz was pretty sick with food poisoning:
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.