Trip report: SOUTHERN Ecuador Photo Tour (Nov 2014) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Sam Woods.This was a custom tour.

This tour was set up for two people coming all the way from Asia to shoot the spectacular tropical birds of Ecuador. One of them had already covered the bird-rich northwest region of the country, and so was keen to see another corner of Ecuador, with the specific aim that he would be able to photograph 100 new bird species in the process. To this end we were very successful, with that target achieved, and many quality birds and regional specialties featuring on our memory cards; like Horned Screamer, Gray-backed Hawk, Pale-browed Tinamou (one of three tinamou species photographed well by the group); Jocotoco Antpitta (one of three antpitta species photographed at close range by all); Black-and-white, Peruvian Screech and Spectacled Owls; Rainbow Starfrontlet, Little Woodstar, Purple-throated Sunangel, White-tailed Jay, El Oro Parakeet, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Masked and Ecuadorian Trogons, Whooping Motmot, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Yellow-tailed and White-edged Orioles, Green-and-gold, Golden-eared and Magpie Tanagers, and Andean Cock-of-the-rock; the latter a shock last minute find that was shot as we had our final lunch of the tour, photographed right from the lodge’s restaurant table!

Thus, the tour was not about photographing few species well, in long photo shoots based around feeders, but more about chasing a high number of species to photograph, and make sure that among them were a smattering of specialty species for which a visit to this region is necessary.

This tour was set up for two people coming all the way from Asia to shoot the spectacular tropical birds of Ecuador. One of them had already covered the bird-rich northwest region of the country, and so was keen to see another corner of Ecuador, with the specific aim that he would be able to photograph 100 new bird species in the process. To this end we were very successful, with that target achieved, and many quality birds and regional specialties featuring on our memory cards; like Horned Screamer, Gray-backed Hawk, Pale-browed Tinamou (one of three tinamou species photographed well by the group); Jocotoco Antpitta (one of three antpitta species photographed at close range by all); Black-and-white, Peruvian Screech and Spectacled Owls; Rainbow Starfrontlet, Little Woodstar, Purple-throated Sunangel, White-tailed Jay, El Oro Parakeet, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Masked and Ecuadorian Trogons, Whooping Motmot, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Yellow-tailed and White-edged Orioles, Green-and-gold, Golden-eared and Magpie Tanagers, and Andean Cock-of-the-rock; the latter a shock last minute find that was shot as we had our final lunch of the tour, photographed right from the lodge’s restaurant table!

Thus, the tour was not about photographing few species well, in long photo shoots based around feeders, but more about chasing a high number of species to photograph, and make sure that among them were a smattering of specialty species for which a visit to this region is necessary.

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