Category: Ecuador

Hummingbirds Galore, Let the Birding Begin

June 18.
Today we rise very early, 4:30 am and get on our way by 5, since we have a variety of habitats that we want to explore. We are picked up by our birding guide, Josue. The hotel has packed box breakfasts for us.
Our drive to Guango Lodge initially leads us through the drier central valley where we pass through a mix of agricultural zones and native chaparral forests before rising up steeply to the high and (often) windswept paramo. 

We are told that this is the day to have a camera ready, because on clear days the scenery is spectacular, with superb views of the snow-capped Volcán Antisana, and seemingly endless high Andean mountain-scapes harboring a backdrop of textures that make for an unforgettable birding setting. Unfortunately, it rained the whole way, so we’ll have to hope to catch the scenery on our way back in two days.

We arrive at the  Guango Lodge much earlier than expected, because we did not stop to photograph or bird in the rain. .  We arrive at Guango, where the hummingbird feeders are dripping with species of hummingbirds.  Because it continues to rain, we do not stay at the lodge until lunch, but continue on to San Isidro.  At one point, we are stopped, because the rain has caused a mudslide that blocks the road and needs to be cleared.  At  San Isidro it continues to rain, but we see more hummingbirds, and a few other species as well.  I’m pleased that the inexpensive Canon I’ve bought for this trip is taking some pretty decent bird photos. 

       

We have a good, typical Ecuadorian lunch, which includes tilapia civiche, fried pork nuggets and an interesting egg dish. We then retire to our modest, but adequate cabin for a nap.

At 3:30 it appears to have cleared some, so we don borrowed large, rubber boots and set out in search of birds. We see a few quick glimpses, but nothing much and in half an hour or so it begins to drizzle, so we head back to our cabin.

After resting, we return to the main area, look at some more hummingbirds and then have quite a good buffet dinner.  We sit with a couple from the Oakland, CA. who we spend a delightful couple of hours talking with.  Alan is the head of the California Audobon society, and Carol is a former professor at UCLA-Berkeley in natural biology.  We may well stay in touch with them, as we’ve exchanged contact information.

Today was one of the kinds of days you have to anticipate and accept when you travel.  When the weather sucks, it affects your experience.  Still, it was far from a disaster; we like our guide very much, the hummingbirds were excellent, my new camera works, talking with Alan and Carol was fun–and I got my luggage back.

3 comments to Hummingbirds Galore, Let the Birding Begin

  • Wendy

    Rain sucks. Humming birds rock. Hope you catch a clear day on your way back!
    Really beautiful photos, Dadz.
    Love you both,
    W.

  • Kathy Hornsby

    “BETTER YOU THAN ME!”
    Just kidding! Your hummingbird photos are lovely. The colors! I’d say your new camera is a keeper. Yes, rain is inevitable some days. Could be worse, I always say.
    Have fun!

  • Zoe

    LOVE the pictures! Humming birds are beautiful!

    Zoe-Bug

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