Guided by Andres Vasquez N. This was a custom tour.
I do not want to mention too much about World’s Public Enemy number one this year but given the circumstances and how the World has changed, I cannot avoid making references to Covid on this tour. This was in fact the first international tour that Tropical Birding Tours ran in 2020 after the start of the pandemic and of course the first one for me in many, many months. We had already ran safely and successfully a few tours inside the US where our company is based, but this one was the first that involved international travelling for our clients and, not a coincidence, it was here in Ecuador, my home country, since it was the one of the first to open up to international traveling and tourism a few months earlier.
This was a custom tour for my great friends Richard and Andrew Goldfarb who have been traveling with TB for over a decade and have done over a dozen of tours with me alone. I have to mention this was a backup plan as the original tour was meant to take us to Chile and the Patagonia but since that country had not opened its borders, we changed the plan, and visited Ecuador instead. This was their 6th time in the country so we needed to really come up with an itinerary completely out-of-normal, to maximize the potential lifer list for well-traveled Richard in particular. At the end of the tally, he got 18 lifers (out of about two dozen new birds for his Ecuador list) and even three lifers for me from a total of 427 species recorded (364 seen) in 9 days; I have to mention that a ton of common birds were not seen or even recorded on the tally since we focused only on the scarcer targets.