I suppose it’s only fitting I started writing this post today while the outside temperature in Chicago (55 deg. F.) was just two degrees cooler than Quito. We won’t stay here long, though. By tomorrow morning we will have dropped back into the 20’s F.
We weren’t all that warm up in the higher elevations as the above picture indicates. In any event there was a lot to look at and these pictures are from our first day trek through the mountains from Quito to Guango Lodge.
Tanagers proved to be challenging subjects, often too far away to even try for. I think I’ve been spoiled by other trips where invariably some species came to feeders. But I am happy for the pictures I did get, which were without human enticement of any kind.
There will be more tanager species to come in future posts. Below, flowers and a fungus that appeared to branch out with its own petals.
Below on the left is a Pale-naped Brushfinch, a bird we saw only in this habitat. The Orange-bellied Euphonia on the right was at various other elevations but I continually struggled to get a halfway decent photo of the male.
The Giant Conebill below seems like it’s worthy of a better name, it’s really quite striking.
Below are two species of Flowerpiercers. We did eventually see all six species on the list. The one on the left, the Masked Flowerpiercer, was common and quite a willing subject at Guango Lodge. The Black Flowerpiercer on the right was a little harder to capture.
Whenever we found a river we were looking for the White-capped Dipper below and we got lucky the first day.
Also hanging out by the river was the Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant below.
Eared Doves were most common but they rarely posed in good light. This one struck a fortunate pose.
A sign and a vista that caught my eye…
When we got down to Guango, we went for a little walk around the property and found one of the Mountain Tapirs that have been seen lately. Our guide Mitch declared her a youngster. We found her adorable.
I’ll be back soon with more magic from Ecuador.