A Little More from Ecuador Part 2

Golden-tailed Sapphire 11-24-2017-1724

Golden-tailed Sapphire

Here’s the other half of my previous post. Maybe it doesn’t hurt to remember there is still a lot of beauty left in the world. Hummingbirds are a good place to start. A Golden-Tailed Sapphire above and a Many-Spotted Hummingbird below.

Another beauty is the White-Tailed Hillstar.

In my next life, if I return quickly, maybe I can study butterflies.

Perhaps less spectacular but still interesting, a Western Wood-Pewee, Barred Antshrike and Deep Blue Flowerpiercer.

Another unique species below: the Thrush-Like Wren.

I have seen Cliff Flycatchers before but do not remember seeing the gray on the face like I did on this bird.

We were lucky to see a Chestnut-Eared Aracari which was not on our list.

Reality check. Tomorrow I am going to what promises to be a colder-than-last-year Gull Frolic, as we have chilled down again after two rather balmy days. With any luck I will get some fun photos to share with you. Fun as in Frantic Gulls. Until then, I wish you peace, safety and beauty wherever you are.

Many-spotted Hummingbird 11-24-2017-1784

Many-Spotted Hummingbird

P.S. A Blackburnian Warbler on the left (“distracters” on this trip!) and a Social Flycatcher on the fly.

More From Ecuador

Fork-tailed Woodnymph 11-24-2017-1810

Fork-tailed Woodnymph

After shoveling snow all weekend, I don’t know how I’m going to get through the rest of the winter if I run out of pictures from Ecuador…

Since my head is still full of snow, I won’t try to remember exactly where these pictures were taken, so my comments will be few. Don’t you love my disclaimers?

Blue-Crowned Trogon 11-24-2017-1902

Blue-Crowned Trogon

It was a good day for tanagers. Below is a distant Blue-Browed Tanager which was a new one for me.

The Blue-Winged Mountain-Tanager below refused to reveal much of itself. I love how these birds with such bright plumage manage to blend in with their surroundings: “maybe I look like another yellow leaf.”

It was nice to get good looks at a Blue-Necked Tanager, below.

And then we found a Speckled Tanager, which I have seen elsewhere, but I can’t remember. Maybe Costa Rica or Colombia…? One of these days I’ll get my list together.

I’m sure I was always trying to get a halfway decent photograph of a Paradise Tanager. Any part of the bird you might see is spectacular but it often proved difficult to capture the entire bird at any one time. These two were far away but otherwise not camera-shy.

Not a lot of parrots sitting still, most of the time they were flying over in pairs, their calls to be identified by our guide often before we could see them. This Blue-headed Parrot was the exception.

I remember we went up a trail in search of the Powerful Woodpecker. It was thrilling to find a pair noisily knocking about the trees.

I have too many pictures from this one day! I will be back with the rest soon. I think I’m still mentally tired from shoveling, so “less is more” right now. I’ll close where I started, with a couple more shots of a Fork-Tailed Woodnymph.

 

Humming into 2018

Bronzy Inca 11-21-2017-9822

Bronzy Inca

Happy New Year. Here we are, 2018, we made it out of 2017. I made bread last night and I’m making quinoa pumpkin soup today. Some things never change. Beyond that, almost all my resolutions are on ice until I feel like I’ve thawed out enough. I’ve had my long underwear on all day to deal with the sub-zero wind chills every time I visit the backyard. Perhaps due to the severe cold, it’s been a fairly relaxing weekend, mostly indoors, with time to revisit the pictures from Ecuador, and when reflection or identification becomes too cumbersome, I happily doze off under the comforter.

Sword-billed Hummingbird 11-19-2017-8471

Sword-billed Hummingbird

I’ve decided to devote this post to some hummingbirds seen on the trip. The Chestnut-breasted Coronets were everywhere and often bullies at the feeders, which made it easy to try to ignore them, but on the other hand they made themselves available for a lot of pictures, so I obliged.

The Fawn-Breasted Brilliants were not so easy to intimidate, like the one in the top left picture of the mosaic above.

I had almost forgotten the Buff-tailed Coronets but was happy to find pictures of them from the beginning of the trip, several of which are below.

Collared Incas were common and holding up their own at the feeders too.

The White-Bellied Woodstar is just plain cute, and I think he knows it.

The female of the species is charming as well.

White-bellied Woodstar11-19-2017-8441

Female White-Bellied Woodstar

Not all the hummers were at feeders, like the next three below.

Viridian Metaltail 11-20-2017-8788

Viridian Metaltail

Shining Sunbeam 11-20-2017-8645

Shining Sunbeam, not so shining in the rain

Sparkling Violetear 11-21-2017-9371

Sparkling Violetear

I love the Speckled Hummingbird too. Its facial markings make it easy to recognize.

Speckled Hummingbird 11-21-2017-9459

Speckled Hummingbird

Stumped 11-21-2017-9386

I can’t figure this guy out unless it’s a Long-tailed Sylph without the long tail.

Black-tailed Trainbearer11-19-2017-8414

Black-tailed Trainbearer

Buff-tailed Coronet 11-19-2017-8379

Buff-tailed Coronet

Hummers 11-19-2017-8513

Two Buff-tailed Coronets getting feisty

Two more feeder shots with a nice flower that was also hard to ignore.

More colorful photographs from Ecuador to come. This is turning into the perfect antidote to a harsh winter.

Flowers 11-21-2017-0152I hope you are safe and warm wherever you are and may your year be off to a good start.

Side Trip on the Way to the Amazon

Collared Inca 7-2-2016-3622

Collared Inca

I got back from my trip later than planned Tuesday night and went back to work Wednesday, so I find myself catching up with my home birds, having to postpone cleaning up the predictable big mess until yesterday and today. But in between I managed to clear off my hard drive and upload all the pictures from 17 days of picture-taking in Ecuador.

Guango Lodge's Hummers and Flowerpiercers 7-2-2016-3750

These images are a few taken at the feeders at Guango Lodge in San Isidro, Ecuador. The stop at San Isidro was not a planned part of the trip, but after my flight to Miami was canceled and I spent the night in the O’Hare Airport, by the time I managed to get a flight to Quito I met with two other participants for the Amazon trip whose flights had also been delayed. We were given the option of either staying in a hotel and then taking the internal flights and boats that would get us to the rest of our group, or we could drive to Coca, staying in San Isidro one night, birding along the way so to speak, and take the boat to Sacha Lodge. We opted for the car trip and the night in San Isidro as the better option, and so we got to see some birds along the way. The lodge at San Isidro was beautiful and I hope to return someday.

White-Bellied Woodstar 7-2-2016-3675

White-Bellied Woodstar (female)

I have not managed to begin going through the rest of the photos yet. I apologize if this is in any way confusing. Basically I had combined two trips, the first to Sacha Lodge in the Amazon, and the second to the Galapagos Islands. If I had to miss a flight it’s just as well it was for the first part of the trip because it would have been impossible to catch up with the Galapagos tour. In addition, to streamline packing for two trips, the second with a lot of connections, I decided not to take my laptop with me, so I have a lot of work to do after the futility of editing through photos on the camera!

Above, Tourmaline Sunangel. Light and focus are so important when trying to capture hummingbirds in particular as their gorgets change rapidly. I wish I could have gotten better shots of this bird.

Below, a Chestnut-Breasted Coronet.

I hope to be back soon with many more photos and even a couple videos. Although I plan to do the posts chronologically I may get distracted and go back and forth between the two trips. Please bear with me.

Below, a female Glowing Puffleg and a Sword-Billed Hummingbird. I had much better pictures of the Sword-Billed last year in Colombia but it’s always worth mentioning this incredible species.

There were a couple Flowerpiercers at the Guango Lodge feeders but I only managed to capture the Masked Flowerpiercer halfway decently.

Below, Buff-Winged Starfrontlet.

Buff-Winged Starfrontlet (female) 7-2-2016-3685

Buff-Winged Starfrontlet (female)

It was wonderful to go away. I hope I can go back to Ecuador, there is so much more to see. It was also blissful to be away from the entire political mania and I find myself reluctant to dip back into that fray. I may have to access the desert island in my head for a while yet.

Collared Inca (female) 7-2-2016-3621

Tourmaline Sunangel (Female)

I hope you are staying cool somewhere this summer!