East and West Slope Tour 4-19 Nov 2007 guided by Charlie Vogt
Charlie guided Paul Prevett and Candy McManimon for 16 days on the East & West slope before their Galapagos trip. We recorded a total of 554 species with 513 seen and had good luck with some rare birds. Papallacta pass was merciful with the weather and we had great views of Black-backed Bush-Tanager & Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant along with the rest of the Paramo specialties. Guacamayos trail was forth giving with wonderful views of Greater Scythebill, Slate-crowned Antpitta, White-throated Quail-Dove walking on the trail and for Charlie a fleeting glimpse of Masked Saltator. Also Green-and-Black Fruiteater & Dusky Piha appeared. A Rufescent Screech-Owl came in to playback near the Lyre-tailed Nightjar site outside Baeza. A heavy downpour outside of Archidona cleared for an active late-afternoon birding including Blue-winged Parrotlets, Black-throated Mango & Orange-fronted Plushcrown.
At El Para we had a birdy morning with lots of activity and intercepting a big flock in the forest. Striated Antbird responded well and Olive-faced Flatbill were seen while Large-headed Flatbill was heard but unresponsive. Wire-tailed Manakins displayed beautifully and Golden-collared Toucanets fed on fruits.
Wildsumaco charmed us with Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, Military Macaw, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Gray-tailed Piha and gripping views of Chestnut-crowned Gnateater. The hummingbird feeders yielded Many-spotted Hummingbird, Green Hermit, Fork-tailed Woodnymph as well as difficult species like Napo Sabrewing, Black-throated Brilliant, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Amethyst Woodstar, & Violet-headed Hummingbird. The Dusky Spinetail around the residence house showed nicely and an antswarm brought up great views of Ornate Antwren & Plain Antvireo. We had a pop-in/pop-out flash view of Buff-throated Tody-Tyrant. As Paul has researched Anatidae he was pleased to have a lingering look at the male Torrent Duck on the Rio Pucuno which is the name of Wildsumaco’s foundation.
On the west slope we scored the rare and local Tanager Finch near Bellavista along with White-faced Nunbird and 2 separate views of Ocellated Tapaculo in the undergrowth and then crossing the trail. Just below Tandayapa pass towards Mindo, we observed Sickle-winged Guan and 2 female Powerful Woodpeckers. Angel & Rodrigo Paz did their magic and lured out the Giant, Moustached & Yellow-breasted Antpittas along with the Dark-backed Wood-Quail. Both Barred Forest-Falcon & the rare Plumbeous Forest-Falcon were vocalizing but.did not show. At Mindo Loma the Black-chinned Mountain-Tanagers were nesting in the forest so were not coming to the bananas but we hiked up the waterfall trail to see White-tailed Hillstar and the side trail for the Hoary Puffleg.
On the waterfall road above Mindo we had Bat Falcon, Purple-crowned Fairy, Little Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Siskin. On the Pachijal road (km 72) we had Pacific Tuftedcheek and the best view of a Wattled Guan, including seeing the red base of the yellow wattle.
At Mindo Cloud Forest Reserve a Plumbeous Hawk called and perched nicely in the morning light. Later we scoped a female Hook-billed Kite near the entrance on Milpe Road. Milpe Garden yielded Moss-backed Tanager & Glistening-green Tanager. Rufous-fronted Wood-Quails put on a great show at Rio Silanche with their rollicking chorus and finally running across the trail. We also saw Purple-chested Hummingbird, Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, Checker-throated Antwren, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher and glimpsed Black-headed Antthrush after some work. Tawny-crested & Dusky-faced Tanager clans livened up the forest and were later joined by Emerald, Scarlet-browed & Rufous-winged Tanagers. Lunch at the Mirador restaurant in los Bancos yielded a dozen tanagers at the feeders including Rufous-throated & Silver-throated Tanagers.
Rufous-headed Chachalacas chorused downslope toward the river at Rio Palenque and we had a close-up, studious view of Olivaceous Piculet. Ruddy Quail-Dove settled on a stump giving us a rare and spellbinding look. In a Heliconia filled ravine we were buzzed by Band-tailed Barbthroat, White-whiskered, Baron’s & Stripe-throated Hermits. Other notable species included Red-rumped Woodpecker, Red-billed Scythebill, Great Antshrike, Western Slaty-Antshrike, Plain Antvireo, Pacific, White-flanked, Slaty & Dot-winged Antwren, Snowy-throated Kingbird (out of season but seen at Milpe as well), Whiskered Wren, Golden-hooded Tanager, and Crimson-breasted Finch.
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