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After coordinating and sending off Boris guiding an American couple on our Mythical Volcano tour with up Sumaco, Sherry and I visited Douglas McMeekin, our friend from Kentucky who owns Yachana Lodge, over Christmas. We had a brief but stimulating 3 night stay. I birded their forest reserve on the far side of the river for 3 mornings with Delfin, a talented Quichua guide who was discovered by Douglas in far SE Ecuadorian amazon and subsequently sponsored/fostered by Douglas. Delfin and I were helping Stephanie Topp, a Canadian coordinating Global Vision International expedition in Ecuador which operates a field station in the reserve.

On the drive into Agua Santa, Yachana’s port on the north bank of the Napo south of Loreto I stopped when an Anhinga flew over a pond. There was a pair of Least Grebe which I got a recording. The species is very rare and local in the Ecuadorian amazon with the only recent record from 1988. Later I called out a Rufous-sided Crake for a quick glimpse. At the reserve we startled a Long-tailed Potoo which settled high on a limb for a great view. This species as well as Yellow-backed Tanager were new for Yachana’s list. We had great views of Black-headed and Orange-cheeked Parrots as well as Pavonine Quetzal. A pair of Lemon-throated Barbets disputed with Gilded Barbets and I got a good recording of this now uploaded on the Xenocanto site. A very vocal White-eyed Tody-Tyrant put on a great show as well as Bare-necked Friutcrow. We recorded 4 Manakin species with great views of Golden-headed Manakin at a number of leks. We saw 18 tanager species in 3 mornings including Fulvous-crested Tanager and Fulvous Shrike-Tanager, a good list for amazonia. Some rare icterids were Green Oropendola which was seen every day as well as Casqued Oropendola and Moriche Oriole. 


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