Birdwatching in Ecuador and on the Galapagos Islands
Wednesday: 26.06.2013 – Flight Frankfurt – Madrid
The „Kuehkopf“ (a Nature Reserve) and River Rhine 50 km south of Frankfurt/Germany
Best view to Pic du Midi (Pyrenees)
From Madrid the Flight starts at 1:30 p.m. Lissabon was little cloudy the Atlantic more cloudy – also when we reached the coast of Venezuela 8 hours later.
This Crater-Lake (Cuicocha – north of Quito: 3500 m) I saw about half an hour before landing
We arrived at Quito at 5:30 p.m. local time (Germany: 7 hours later) – 11 hours after start at Madrid. Quito is at an elevation of 2800 m. Around the town: Vulcanos: Pichincha (4784 m); Cayambe (5790); Antizana (5704) and Cotopaxi (5897 m). I really had a good view – beautiful landscape. The new airport opened in February 2013 – 1 hour drive to Quito by car. Costs were 35 $. The accomodation I stood was Aleidas Hostal – close to La Mariscal – 28 $ the night incl. breakfast. It´s nice there – the rooms are clean – perhaps a little clearaudient because sometimes groups arrive late in the evening.
The night was not so good – I got nearly no sleep and had headache.
So the next morning I didn´t feel very well. But I planned to go to Antizana with my Guide: Marcelo Arias Murcia from Mindo (An excellent Guide!!! – (http://www.birdsofmindo.com).
So we went to the Paramo at the feet of Antizana – Elevation: 4000 m. There we walked around – what´s not easy – because you feel the Hight.
Condors we looked for – first we had no luck. But other nice birds we found more easily in that wonderful Landscape:
The Vulcano Antizana has a high of 5700 m. We looked for Andean Condors but where not lucky (later – on our way back to Quito we found three of them!) Also we found the Black-Faced Ibisses.
Antizana (5700 m)
Black-Faced Ibis ++
Silvery Grebe (3)
Andean Teal ++
Andean Ruddy-Duck (2)
Andean Condor (3)
Variable Hawk (some)
Caranculated Caracara (some)
Andean Coot (some)
Andean Lapwing (some)
Black-Winged Ground-Dove (2)
Bar-Winged Cinclodes (some)
Tawny Antpitta (2)
Great Thrush (at my Hostal in Quito)
Rufous-Collared Sparrow (at my Hostal in Quito)
Unfortunately I didn´t use a sunblocker – so my face got a sunburn.
some more pictures from that wonderful area
Paintbrush (you can also find in Canada!)
4 pm I arrived at my Hostal. I feel very bad – maybe because of the Altitude. And I was tired. 6 pm I went to bed and slept well until 2 am. Now I felt much better and used the time to write my diary and some emails and I saved my pictures.
Everything was good. The taxi picked me up at 7:00 am because my flight to Coca was 9:00 am. The flight was very nice with good views on the vulcanos Cotopaxi, Antizana und especially Cayambe – in the northeast of Quito.
Antizana left – Cotopaxi right
In front Cayambe (5796 m) – left side behind the Antizana right side behind the Cotopaxi
Half an hour later landing at Coca (Puerto Francisco de Orellana) – very hot and humid
With a speed-boat we went about 100 km eastward down the Napo – River – eastern direction. Napo is a really very big river wich leads to the Amazonas. Never saw a bigger river in Europe (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napo)
We arrived at a landing point, get out of the boat and had a 15 minute walk into the rainforest. Then we reached another – small – river and went on by small Canoes. Half an hour later we arrived at the Sani Lodge – a wonderful place at a lagoon. It´s only by boat possible to go there. Really a paradise.
I had a very very good „Native Guide“: Guillermo. Talking to each other was difficult – because I don´t speak spanish. But Guillermo knows the english bird-names and the voices as well. And he know the places where the birds are
This lovely pet we also found!
The meals where very delicious.
And I slept very comfortable in a hut with much space!
Greater Yellow-Headed Vulture
Amazonian White-Tailed Trogon
American Pygmy Kingfisher
Plumbeous Antbird (gehört)
This evening Guillermo found a Tarantula.
The sky in the evening is wunderful. You can see many stars and also very well the Milky Way. Until now the weather mostly was perfect
My alarm-clock Rings at 4:15 am. 5 o´clock I had a very good breakfast.
Today Alex comes with us – I think he becomes also a bird-guide.
5:30 we started by canoe. What a wonderful morning!
Our target was a tower of about 35 m. It´s built in the canopy of a big tree
Fantastic view. We stay there until 10:00. Highlight was a Great Potoo 3 m above the platform
Back to the ground we walket slowly along a trail while Alex went back by boat. It´s really hard there to see a bird. Guillermo noticed an Black-Faced Antthrush by the voice. We tried to find it but it was unpossible although we where very nearby offside the trail and Guillermo used a tape. The bird answered but didn´t show. After that we had some rain and went back to the lodge.
Didn´t see a Jaguar but this „Jaguar-Eye“!!!
Without Rubber-Boots you´re beyond hope!
Little Tinamou (heard)
Undulated Tinamou (heard)
Spix‘ s Guan
Black-Faced Antthrush (heard)
12:00 we reached the lagoon, where Alex waited in the canoe
Before we came back to the lodge we noticed another nice bird: This Capped Hero
I had not many mosquitos! So I didn´t use nuch of the Anti-Mosquito-Spray I had with me. At the lodge it was absolutely no problem – and in my hut I had no one mosquito during the 5 nights I stayed there.
At 3 pm we start for the afternoon-walk. We went on the „Aguila-„ and the „Pantano-Trail“ – which are close to the lodge
We went about 5 km and get back 6:20 pm. The trail often was muddy and sometimes we crossed a swamp like on the picture.
Species in the afternoon
Great Tinamou (heard)
Yellow- Crowned Amazon
Spot-Winged Antbird (heard)
Black- Faced Antbird
Evening – Athmosphere
Today we want to go to the Napo River
In the morning it was cloudy and a little misty. But however – we get out. Until we arrived at the Napo River it didn´t rain.
Then it begins to rain – first a little bit but then more. Suddenly the rain got harder. And our boat didn´t have a roof. So we became wet. We where lucky to find the group with the other people of the lodge, because their boat was with roof. At the parrot-lick we changed to the bigger boat. Otherwise I would have become as wet as if fallen into the river. So we could watch the parrots feeding the minerals and take some pictures.
You are not allowed to go close to that steep.
Then the rain get really hard. It blows into the boat from aside. So me made a break at Yasuni Women Community. The Yasuni there are about 500 People who live the riverside right and left Napo that area. Sani Lodge is completly operated by the Yasuni people. My Guide – Guillermo also is Yasuni.
In the Comminity we got a traditional meal: Catfish with Palm-hearts in Banana Leafs. Also cooked and broiled Bananas und Manioc-Roots.
It tasted delicious!
Here we saw a Southern Lapwing very wet!
Very nice was to watch some kids playing football on a Stream-Sandbank while still raining. A pity – I didn´t take a picture.
Plumbeous Antbird gesehen
1:00 pm : Dinner – very good: Soup, Cutlet, Vegetables, Salad und Peaches. And a fresh and delicious fruit-juice.
2:00 pm the rain stopped a I could continue taking pictures!
3:00 pm we started for a wonderful boat-trip – upstream the little river which recarges the lagoon! About 5 km we canoed.
We saw very nice birds:
amongst others: Long-Billed Woodcreeper sitting and flying – I´m sorry not to have good pictures – but some others are better I think:
Spider Monkey (?)
Amazonian White-Tailed Trogon
Do you see the bird?
this Tour was fantastic – so quite!
Finally: The best!
Three Creamed-Colored Woodpeckers very close to us!
6:30 pm we got back to the lodge – the sky looked for rain! Rain came when I was back at my room. So in total: another fantastic day!
Arten heute Nachmittag
Least Bittern (gehört)
Because the weather was fine we wanted to try again watching parrots at the parrot – Lick
We started at 6:00 after Breakfast
Again at the Napo – River! Didn´t see the Umbrellabird again. But a Fruitcrow. Perhaps we are lucky with the Umbrellabird this afternoon.
Now we had problems withe the engine. Guillermo: „No good One“
Now we could experience the advance of the Community: We stopped at the next houses and changed the boat, which was much better.
Here we found White-Banded Swallows
AT Parrot Lick the weather was fine today…..
But not many parrots where there
So we continue our boat-trip …….
…… we went to a sandbank in the middle of Napo River with gras and bushes. Here we found a lot of birds
for Example this Chestnut-Bellied Seedeater
On our way back…
…we could identify this Black-And-White Hawk-Eagle
A House from the Community
Here grows coffee
ripe and green beans
Cacao – Bean
A Gray-Winged Trompeter – tame (member of the fowl)
To watch the Great Antshrike we had to creep into the bush. Unbelievable what I did. But otherwise you don´t have good chances for this bird (at least that place).
Above a Greater Yellow-Headed Vulture
After this we walked a trail on the other riverside – south of Napo-Rivers
There we found a pair of beautiful Black-Tailed Trogon.
On the Trail
Purple-Throated Fruitcrow – with backlight – bit you can notice the purplish throat!
On our way back to the lodge Lodge……..
……. we found more nice birds – like this Amazon Kingfisher
Again we had to go into dense undergrowth ….
…. where we found this White-Lored Antpitta.
Here: a White-Eared Jacamar
On the Napo-River there are often such ferry-boats with big trucks
The Umbrellabird again we didn´t found.
At 5:30 pm it started raining again. The prevision was correct today.
Yellow- Billed Tern
Green and Rufous Kingfisher
Black and White Antbird
White Lored Antpitta
Early morning it still rains – but it was no heavy rain – only some shower.
First we go by boat – passing the lagoon until a trail.
on the way: Black-Capped Donacobius
We walked about 8 km. Every bird was hard work to find. Mostly the Chestnut Belted Tapaculo. It bounces on the ground deep in the dense and hide itself. It calls every time but don´t appear that you can watch it. Very difficult!.
But we where luccky. Because of patience we saw it.
Jungel Passion Fruit
Noisy Night Monkeys
Leaf – Cutting Ants
and the hole of an Armadillo
Sometimes a little rain
1 o clock we where back at the lodge and had Lunch.
Some pictures from nearby the lodge:
4:30 we met againt. Guillermo wanted to try once more to show me the Umbrellabird. So we went again to Napo River. Gooing softly by the small canoe is indescribable nice. So quite. And around that wonderful scenery of wilderness, trees, water and animals.
By the way: Dusky Titi Monkeys and ……
……. Pygmy Marmosette Monkeys.
Again Guillermo found a Great Antshrike. And I could see it very good.
But we got moray species: Crimson Crested Woodpecker,
Than we arrived at Napo River and went by boat to the island with the sleeping tree of the Umbrellabird. We anchored at a big tree in the river and had to wait. Normally the bird flies from south to the island in the evening. But first we had no luck. We wanted just give up, when suddenly the bird comes. So I was lucky. It was the last chance for me that trip!!
Back again at the small canoo we tried to find the Crested Owl. But we where not lucky. But a Spectacled Owl we could find.
At 7 pm we where back at the lodge and I got a very good Dinner again.
This was my last day at Sani Lodge – Tomorrow I go back to Quito. I hope to come back to this wonderful place!!!!!
Insgesamt war Sani schon mal fantastisch.
Species Trail and Lodge
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
Striated Antthrush (gehört)
Crimson Crested Woodpecker
White Eyed Parakeet
Blue and Yellow Macao
Summe gesamt: (201/172)
Today I could´t take any picture because I felt very bad!
02:45 am I woke up. Couldn´t sleep again. Didn´t feel good. I don´t think it was the meal – but don´t know. Perhaps an incompability. So I only took bananas this mourning. And then it rained very hard. During the whole 4 hours to coca it rained hardly. That´s rainforest as well. So I felt more bad when I arrived at coca. But the organization was very good – the flight was in time and I arrived at Quito at 2pm.
Next day I wanted to go to Yanacocha – but I felt so bad, that I called my guide, Marcelo, and told him that I wanted to change our plan. So we decided to visit Quito the next day, if I feel better.
6:30 I woke up. Slept well – so I felt better. So we visited Quito.
First we went to Panecillo, a hill from where you have a wonderful sight to the old town of Quito, the volcano Pichincha and the city around. Really a big city. Don´t know how big exactly – Marcelo told me there are living about 4 million people – wikipedia says: 1,5 millions.
On top of panecillo there is a statue of Maria with Wings of an angel! Its the only statue in the world in this kind.
View to south
View westward with Pichincha – The weather was good – blue sky and clear – but the volcano Cotopaxi (doth of Quito) we could´t see because of clouds there.
view northward – in front the old town
Then we went to the Plaza Grande …..
…… and next to Plaza de San Francesco. The church of San Francesco is nearly as old as the town. The church was beginning to built only a few years later than the town was founded in the 16. Century. Inside very pretty. Baroque stile.
La Ronda is one of the oldest streets in Quito – Cobblestone pavement.
After 3 hours I was groggy again – so we went back to my hostel.
3 pm it rained again with thunder and lightening. 5 pm I got a call from Columbia Travel. The driver who will pick me up tomorrow for going to the airport told me, we meet at 6:15 am.