Saturday, July 26, 2008: We flew back to Quito this morning. Paul and David offered us the option of birding this afternoon near Quito. Most of us took them up on this offer. Juan made arrangements for a vehicle to be delivered to the airport. As soon as we got our bags, we hopped in and headed for Yanacocha Reserve, which is located near Quito, on the slope of Volcan Guagua Pichincha. Our bags went to the hotel.
It takes a while to drive the dirt road to the parking area at Yanacocha. Next comes a walk up the hill. I had missed the Brazilian Rabbit at El Cajas. Fortunately, we found one as we walked up the hill. As we continued up, I noticed that one of the plants had gigantic leaves. As you can see, I did not miss the photo opportunity.
|Brazilian Rabbit||Giant Leaves|
There are feeders several places high on the trail. We also found flocks of birds moving through the trees. I picked up several lifers, including Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Glossy Flower-piercer, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, Barred Fruiteater, and Mountain Velvetbreast. I also took advantage of the feeders to get some bird pictures. Although there was a bit of fog, the weather was good today.
|Buff-winged Starfrontlet||Spectacled Whitestart|
|Barred Fruiteater||Yellow-breasted Brush-Finch|
The trip was capped off with a fine good-bye dinner at a Quito restaurant. A group of local musicians were performing there, playing a combination of Ecuadorian music and popular music, Andean-style.
Although the total of 28 bird species seen today is pretty unimpressive, this included 7 lifers, which is quite good for an afternoon on the last day of any trip. The trip ends with 396 bird species, 287 of which were lifers (based on the TiF Checklist, of course). This includes two species not recognized by AOU's SACC (Plain-breasted Hawk and Southern House-Wren. The trip total is not affected as I didn't see any other Sharp-shinned Hawks or House Wrens. If I used Clements 6th edition for my list, instead of AOU/SACC, the trip total would be slightly higher at 398. The Loja and Amazilia Hummingbirds would both count, as would Red-backed and Puna Hawks. Using the Clements count, I would have 288 lifers, the other extras being Andean Duck, and Plain-breasted Hawk. Currently, none of TiF, AOU/SACC, nor Clements count the Ecuadorian (Virginia) Rail or Highland Hepatic Tanager (aka Tooth-billed Tanager).
Hotel Sebastian, Quito
Back to Miami
Sunday, July 27, 2008: Most of us were on the same American flight to Miami. We gathered early in the hotel lobby and Juan took us to the airport. After passing through customs in Miami, I said a quick goodbye to the rest of the remaining group, who all had other planes to catch, and went in seach of a cab. Within an hour, I was home.