Guided by Jose Illanes.This was a set departure tour, and it included the High Andes extension.
This classic Ecuador tour worked on many levels; it worked as an extensive introduction to the variety of tropical birds and bird families that can be found in this super diverse part of the world. However, as the birding for the main tour at least, is almost entirely centered within an important Endemic Bird Area, it comes with plenty of endemics and specialty species on offer too. This tour illustrated this well, while enjoying a dizzy variety of birds from classic tropical families like hummingbirds, toucans, motmots, trogons, parrots, antbirds, antpittas, tapaculos, cotingas, manakins and tanagers were seen, among them were a horde of local specialties, many of them outstanding looking species in their own right, like Booted Racket-tail, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Glistening-green Tanager, Toucan Barbet, Choco Toucan, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Rose-faced Parrot, and Golden-headed Quetzal. Among the other highlights included an extraordinary tally of 8 species of antpitta, displaying Andean Cock-of-the-rocks, the rare Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, and an unusual daytime sighting of Black-and-white Owl and White-throated Screech-Owl. The trip total exceeded 380 birds recorded in 8 days of birding, of which just under 350 species were seen by one of the group or more.
The most popular birds of the tour were: Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Powerful and Crimson-bellied Woodpeckers, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, White-throated Screech-Owl, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Moustached and Giant Antpittas, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Masked Flowerpiercer, and Grass-green Tanager.
FULL TROPICAL BIRDING Ecuador: The Andes Introtour November 2018 trip report (6.6 MB; pdf file)