Tandayapa Birding Lodge in Tandayapa Valley, Ecuador , managed by Iain Campbell and his wife Cristina, sets a very high standard. The lodge is very comfortable and the meals are good. They have set up an excellent system of trails and there is access to the trails at higher elevations. They are in the process of trying to regenerate the remaining pasture areas to forest and this venture seems to be proceeding successfully. The many hummingbird feeders on the patio are a great resource. Perhaps the best resource is Iain Campbell who is very enthusiastic about providing guests with a great birding experience.
I was collected at the airport and transported to the lodge, which is about 2 hours drive north of Quito. In the next few days, we traveled the visited the various trails at different elevations. We also made a visit to Los Bancos and a privately managed forest Mindo Lindas, north of the Tandayapa Valley. This was a lower elevation area.
Some specialties and surprises
Iain had mentioned that there was the first nestsite of the Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl, a new species, on the upper trail of the lodge and we went up to see it. We were thrilled to find a juvenile bird peering from the small hole in an old tree, the first time unfledged young had ever been seen.
One of the lodge’s neighbors had had a few recent sightings of Oilbird, but we were actually looking for Lyre-tailed Nightjar when one flew across the road in front of us.
While 19 species were seen in the area, most were seen from the patio of the lodge where the feeders receive a lot of attention. Its rough duty to sit with a beverage and be able to leisurely study the many hummers close up.
Antthrushs and Antpittas
Although only the Rufous-breasted Antthrush and the Ochre-breasted Antpitta were seen, the Moustached and Scaled Antpittas were heard daily from the lodge trails, and the Giant Antpitta was heard at higher elevations.
There is a lek in the immediate area but the best view was of a nesting female adjacent to one of the lodge trails. We were able to approach within a couple of meters to get a great view.
There had been a recent report of Spectacled Bear in the area. We saw White-fronted Capuchin, and the first sighting of Woolly Monkey for the area.
Hook-billed Kite …Los Bancos
Broad-winged Hawk …Los Bancos
Bronze-winged Parrot …Los Bancos
Lyre-tailed Nightjar …seen by everyone in the party but me. ARGHH!!
Toucan Barbet ..heard often
Pacific (Pale-legged?) Hornero …Los Bancos area
Giant Antpitta …heard briefly at upper elevations
Scaled Antpitta …Heard daily
Moustached Antpitta …Heard daily
Ocellated Tapaculo …heard briefly at upper elevations
Club-winged Manakin …Mindo Lindas
Olive-striped Flycatcher …Mindo Lindas
Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant …an addition to the valley birdlist (Oct 19th)
Ornate Flycatcher …Los Bancos area
Smoke-coloured Pewee …Mindo Lindas
Whiskered Wren …Heard
Beautiful Jay ..both Jays heard but not seen
Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager …Los Bancos area
Moss-backed Tanager …Los Bancos area
Glistening-green Tanager …Los Bancos area
White-naped Brush-Finch …Los Bancos area
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