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Southern Ecuador with Ben & Stephanie Turner Feb 10-22 2009 

Just after leaving the airport we had Glossy Ibis at the marshes east of Guayaquil. This is a casual vagrant to wet fields in Southwesten Ecuador. Birding our way to Cuenca we had great looks at Giant Conebill, Tit-like Dacnis and Andean Tit-Spinetail. After a day visiting Ingapirca and marketing we headed back up to Cajas and had great looks at Violet-throated Metaltail above Dos Chorreras restaurant. On to Yunguilla the next morning we had one brief look at a Pale-headed Brush-Finch, they were less active and not singing as they were nesting. 

At Buenaventura we had great looks at a displaying male Umbrellabird, Club-winged Manakin displaying at the lek. Coatis and Rufous-headed Chachalacas entertained us at the fruit feeder at the dining hall along with the swarm of hummingbirds at the feeders. Occasionally a young Coati would scamper across the floor! We had good luck with the el Oro Parakeet as there was an accessible nest to view the parent. We watched soaring Gray-backed Hawks while waiting for the parent to arrive. Brownish Twistwing was a great find up the road from the umbrellabird lek.

Near Sabanilla we had nesting Slaty Becards, Yellow-tailed and White-edged Orioles. Outside of Zapotillo on the road west of la Ceiba, Tumbes Swift, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Comb Duck and Wood Stork. At Jorupe it was great to see the lodge nearing completion. Henna-hooded and Rufous-necked Foliage Gleaners were singing and active but tough to see well. We had a great look at the latter in Sozoranga later on.

At Copalinga the hummingbird feeders were relatively inactive but the verbena hedge yielded great looks of the Spangled Coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail and Glittering-throated Emerald.

The Jocotoco Antpitta family showed up on call at the feeding station but I was distracted as a noisy gang of White-capped Tanagers appeared. Orange-banded Flycatcher, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant and Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant yielded to us along the trail. After a long vocal duel, an Ocellated Tapaculo did manage to show for us. Down the hill to Valladolid we had Rufous-fronted Thornbird in a hedgerow on the edge of town. A few kilometers beyond at the palm grove curve we had Straw-backed Tanager (known before only from one locality south of here but recently found here and Wildsumaco) and Blue-naped Chlorophonia (scarce on the east slope and new for the Tapichalaca list).


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