Trip report: Ecuador The Andes Introtour (Aug 2009) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Sam Woods.

This may be a short tour, but it packs a lot in to a small space of time. In doing so, the whole group got a great feel of some of the spectacular birding on offer in northwest Ecuador. This tour is perfect for first-timers to the region, as you get a good spread of the many families in this part of the world, and also have good shot at some of the Chóco specialties that this region is famed for. All the participants were new to Ecuador and therefore received a “barrage” of new birds. Favorites among these were two standout groups, the colorful Andean tanagers, and stunning myriad of hummingbirds that grace these bird-rich mountains. Harvey and Doug kept a close eye on these groups and kept us up to date with our tally, as we racked off one after another species from these crowd-pleasing groups. In the end we saw an amazing 41 species of hummingbirds in just six days birding, as well as 42 species of tanagers. This was achieved as the tour allowed us to check out a variety of elevations (and therefore a number of diverse habitats, with markedly different avifauna), from the heady heights of Yanacocha on day one, at 3400m/11,155ft, to the lowlands around Rio Silanche at just 500m/1640ft.

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