DEEP SOUTH ECUADOR - MARANON SURPRISES
Charlie just returned from a week scouting the Zumba area and the Lagunillas Ridge seeing all the Ecuador Maranon endemics and specialties as well as some surprises. Vermilion Flycatcher on the Peruvian border was the first eastern record for Ecuador. Also, Violet-headed Hummingbird and Highland Hepatic-Tanagers were first records for Maranon valley in Ecuador.
Camping alone on the west side of the Lagunillas pass towards Amaluza was one of the highlights, didn't see a sole for 24 hours, rare in this populated country. Andean Flicker and Andean Hillstar put on a great show in the paramo here.
Back around the Zumba area and south to the border I enjoyed the abundance of Maranon Spinetails (rarer in N Peru). Maranon Slaty-Antshrike was decidedly more difficult to find since in full rainy season the deciduous forest (its habitat) is hard to distinguish from humid evergreen forest. The Maranon Crescenchest was not vocalizing but I finally had a flyby and semiconcealed perched view at El Chorro, where it was first heard in Ecuador by Pancho Sornoza. An overnight rain stimulated more activity on the third morning and I finally heard Tataupa Tinamou.
I made over 120 recordings among which were a few new species and a half dozen new Ecuador recordings for the Xeno-canto database.
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