7th FEBRUARY, 1994 to 1st MARCH, 1994
JOHN & DAVID COOPER
I originally published our Ecuador trip report over four seperate posts in Feb, 2022, but I have now decided to post this trip report in full for completeness. All the photographs were taken by ourselves using my old Nikon SLR camera with 300 mm Nikon telephoto lens and a good supply of Kodak colour slide films.
Ecuador although a fairly small South American country, around 1,600 species of birds have been found on mainland Ecuador with a good mixture of habitats including the Pacific Ocean coast, and wet lands, large forests, volcanoes, and the Andes mountains , adds to a nice large selection of bird species. In the itinerary, I have included a good number of scenic photographs which I took during our visit. During our three week trip we identified 308 species of birds without the use of guides, although we did have bird tapes, and previous birders trip reports, and bird identification guides which David and myself spent many hours studying to plan our itinerary.
8th February: Arrived Quito, from Heathrow.
View looking over Quito, before flying off tomorrow to Loja.
9th February: Flew fron Quito to Loja spending the afternoon along the Cajanuma Cabin trails, in the large Podacarpus National Park.
Overlooking the Podacarpus National Park.
The entrance track into the Podacarpus National Park.
High up on the Cajanuma Cabin trail in the Podacarpus National Park.
10th February: All day along the Cajanuma Cabin trails, in the Podacarpus National Park.
Slowly making our way along the Cajanuma Cabin trail.
Looking from the Cajanuma Cabin trail over this large National Park.
11th February: Caught the early morning bus to Zamora, spending the afternoon along the Rio Bombuscara Trail.
We were soon out birding along the Rio Bombuscara Trail.
12th February: All day birding along the Rio Bombuscara Trail.
Another view from the Rio Bombuscara Trail.
13th February: Another all day birding along the Rio Bombuscara Trail.
Views of the rainforest in this National Park.
14th February: Caught the bus back to Loja spending the afternoon along the Cajanuma Cabin trails.
15th February: All day birding along the Cajanuma Cabin trails.
16th February: Flew back to Quito, hired a car and then driving to Pasochoa – La Cienaga.
Two views taken at Paschoa.
17th February: All day Cotopaxi.
Cotopaxi Volcano and surrounding areas, with some good birding habitats.
18th February: Drove along the Old Santo Domingo road.
19th February: All day birding at Tinalandia.
View taken at Tinalandia.
Butterfly taken at Tinalandia.
20th February: All day at Rio Palenque.
21st February: All day birding at the Papallacta Pass.
Four views taken on the Papallacta Pass.
David birding on the Papallacta Pass.
22nd February: Drove along the long Nono Mindo road to Mindo.
Waterfall through the forest.
Views taken, as we drove along the Nono-Mindo road towards Mindo.
23rd February: All day birding at Mindo.
Views taken around Mindo.
Plants taken at Mindo.
24th February: Drove from Mindo to Nono.
25th February: Drove from Nono to Tandayapa.
26th February: Visited Pasochoa and then Pappalacta Pass.
27th February: Visited Cotopaxi and then Papallacta Pass.
28th February: Papallacta Pass then drove to Quito.
1st March: Flew from Quito back to London.
Systematic bird list
Curve-billed Tinamou - Nothoprocta curvirostris JFC saw 1 on hillsides at the back of Laguna de Limpiopungo, Cotopaxi, on the 27th.
Silvery Grebe - Podiceps occipitalis juninensis C Seen on a lake near Papallacta Pass with 6 seen on the 21st and 7 on the 26th. On the second visit an adult was seen feeding a juvenile.
Great Egret - Ardea alba egretta C Singles were seen at Guayaquil Airport on the 9th and 16th and in flight over the Zamora Bus Terminal on the 14th.
Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis ibis C A total of 8 were seen from the Catamayo airfield serving Loja on the 16th and 2 were seen near Mindo on the 22nd.
Torrent Duck - Merganetta armata leucogenis/colombiana C A superb pair of the form leucogenis were watched for some time on the Rio Bombuscara from the point where the taxi drops visitors at the start of the trail on the 13th and close views of a superb drake colombiana were obtained along the Old Santo Domingo Road on the 18th.
Drake Torrent Duck along the Old Santo Domingo Road.
Speckled Teal - Anas flavirostris andium C Around 20 were seen on the Laguna de Limpiopungo at Cotapaxi on the 17th and 25 there on the 27th. At the Papallacta Pass a pair were flushed from a stream on the 21st and 8 were seen on the sterile-looking reservoir above Papallacta Village on the 26th.
Yellow-billed Pintail - Anas georgica spinicauda C On our first visit to Cotopaxi 10 were seen on the Laguna de Limpiopungo on the 17th.
Yellow Billed Pintails on Laguna de Limpiopingo, Cotopaxi.
Andean Duck - Oxyura ferruginea C Two drakes and a female were seen on the same lake as the Silvery Grebes at Papallacta Pass on the 26th. The species was not listed by Heijnen as having been recorded at Papallacta. This form is given specific status by Clements though not by HBW.
Black Vulture - Coragyps atratus C Seen on eight dates between the 16th and 28th with a daily maximum of 50 seen at Tinalandia on the 19th.
Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura jota C Seen on five dates between the 19th and 28th with a daily maximum of 50 seen at Tinalandia on the 19th.
Andean Condor - Vultur gryphus C We saw 3 drift over Papallacta Pass from the point where the path left the road to the lake with the Silvery Grebes during the afternoon of the 21st.
Swallow-tailed Kite - Elanoides forficatus yetapa C A single individual was seen at Tinalandia on the 18th and up to 30 were seen there the following day, and singles were seen along the road to the Obelisk above Mindo on both the 23rd and 24th.
Swallow-tailed Kite over Tinalandia.
Barred Hawk - Leucopternis princeps C A superb adult was watched perched above the road and then calling as it circled over us along the road between the Tandayapa Trail (Blue House Trail) and the town of Tandayapa on the 25th.
Barred Hawk sat over the road near Tandayapa.
Roadside Hawk - Buteo magnirostris magnirostris C We saw up to 4 on seven different dates between the 19th and 26th.
Roadside Hawk at Mindo.
Broad-winged Hawk - Buteo platypterus platypterus C We saw up to 3 on seven dates between the 16th and 26th.
Carunculated Caracara - Phalcoboenus carunculatus C A pair of adults were seen in the vicinity of the first campsite at Cotopaxi on both the 17th and 27th with another pair of adults seen around the Laguna de Limpiopungo on the 17th and 4 immatures seen there on both the 17th and 27th. A single immature was seen at the Silvery Grebe lake at Papallacta Pass on the 28th.
Rufous Spinetail - Synallaxis unirufa unirufa C