Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Help with Ecuador

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 07:54   #1
Chas 100
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 35
Help with Ecuador

I am visiting Ecuador in September for only 9 days. I am a serious/keen photographer and a lifelong birder. I originally saw the trip as a reccee really but I thought I would at least see a few hummingbirds to photograph and every bird I do see will be a lifer. I have arranged accommodation near Quito and was going to day trip with perhaps an overnight stay or 2 somewhere else. I am starting to get cold feet as they say. It all seems so massive. I am going to use Taxi's to get around. So for example, I arrive in Mindo and want to photograph some birds there, will I be totally bewildered or will I be able to find somewhere quiet to get some photographs for my bird galleries? I would appreciate any comments/advice. Incidentally, I am a bit unsure about the lodge situations where it seems that dozens of people seem to cluster around feeding stations, all seems a bit like a zoo.
Chas 100 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 08:02   #2
Andrew Whitehouse
Professor of Listening
BF Supporter 2019
 
Andrew Whitehouse's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 20,095
Mindo is probably as good a place to go as any. I was there in April and didn't see all that many other birders or photographers, although it's not peak season then. There are lots of places to go, so I suspect it doesn't often get too crowded. Are you mostly interested in photographing hummingbirds or are there are types of birds you'd like to get?

For a wide variety of photography, I'd recommend this place near Mindo:
http://www.birdwatchershouse.com/
__________________
Andrew

Listening to Birds
Andrew Whitehouse is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 08:40   #3
Chas 100
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 35
Thanks Andrew

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Whitehouse View Post
Mindo is probably as good a place to go as any. I was there in April and didn't see all that many other birders or photographers, although it's not peak season then. There are lots of places to go, so I suspect it doesn't often get too crowded. Are you mostly interested in photographing hummingbirds or are there are types of birds you'd like to get?

For a wide variety of photography, I'd recommend this place near Mindo:
http://www.birdwatchershouse.com/
Hello Andrew, thanks for helping me. I obviously want to photograph hummingbirds but other species interest me just as much. It has been an ambition to get good photos of hummingbirds though. I have a gallery with nearly 800 species of birds and I am trying to get to 1000 before I croak so I thought Ecuador would be a good place to start.
Chas 100 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 08:50   #4
Andrew Whitehouse
Professor of Listening
BF Supporter 2019
 
Andrew Whitehouse's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 20,095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas 100 View Post
Hello Andrew, thanks for helping me. I obviously want to photograph hummingbirds but other species interest me just as much. It has been an ambition to get good photos of hummingbirds though. I have a gallery with nearly 800 species of birds and I am trying to get to 1000 before I croak so I thought Ecuador would be a good place to start.
You could potentially get all 200 species needed in a week or two in Ecuador! I'd recommend Paz de las Aves for photographing antpittas, Cock-of-the-Rock and various hummers too. Any of the lodges should give good opportunities as well.
__________________
Andrew

Listening to Birds
Andrew Whitehouse is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 18:14   #5
gdhunter
Registered User
 
gdhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Abilene, Texas
Posts: 339
Am not sure where you're staying near Quito, but Puembo Birding Garden offers some excellent photographic opportunities. Yellow House in Mindo would probably be a good choice, and Guango Lodge just east of Papallacta had an incredible assortment of temperate zone hummers when we spent a few hours there in 2015. Paz de la Aves could probably be combined with the Mindo segment of your trip. Wildsumaco (in the foothills north of Tena) probably requires more days than you want to devote (though it COULD replace Mindo and be combined with an overnight at Guango), but I rate it the highlight of our first visit to Ecuador.
gdhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 19:58   #6
pbjosh
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Buenos Aires
Posts: 799
Wild Sumaco is handily the best birding destination on that list for a hardcore birder, it is a really neat place with a large number of really uncommon if not downright rare birds that can be tracked down. However, I don't think it is a good introduction to Neotropical birding or a good place to pursue photography.

I would echo other comments that Mindo and the surround area would be the best bet. Staying at one of the options right in Mindo is a good call, there is good birding everywhere. Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge just above Mindo is amazing and has fantastic hummer feeders that are buzzing 24/7. Paz de las Aves (near mindo)would be a really good option for one day as well, with three Antpitta species, a Wood-Quail, fruit feeders, and hummer feeders. If you want to branch out to other areas, going to Antisana NP for Condors (usually distant, but reliable at the Tambo Condor restaurant near the park entrance) and amazing views, and to Guango for a day would be highly recommended. If you go to Guango, stop at Papallacta on the way back for amazing hot springs.

I think the above gives plenty of options for a few days up to a week or more, depending on desires.

Good luck!
pbjosh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 22:14   #7
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: St. James, Barbados
Posts: 22,654
I would probably not say yellow house for a hardcore photo enthusiast even though I enjoyed my stay there. Bella vista lodge and other birding lodges in the area probably will be better though also more expensive. With better I am thinking about the birds on the property itself.

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Just moved to Barbados
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 3rd August 2018, 01:53   #8
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: St. James, Barbados
Posts: 22,654
Addendum: We stayed at Bellavista, Yellow House and Sachatamia Lodge. I have the feeling that the two lodges are better set up for bird photography than Yellow House itself. In Mindo and therefore in walking distance of Yellow House is El Descanso which has lots of feeders but the day we visited possibly also a larger crowd visiting than you prefer.

The three places to stay are at different enough elevation that the birdlife is somewhat different. At Bellavista you also have a chance for such mammals as Kinkajou and Olinguito (spelling?).

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Just moved to Barbados
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 3rd August 2018, 18:41   #9
Chas 100
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 35
A few family and friends have been asking me about personal safety. I should have probably thought about this before, but generally, is it quite safe in the birding areas?
Chas 100 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 3rd August 2018, 18:57   #10
Andrew Whitehouse
Professor of Listening
BF Supporter 2019
 
Andrew Whitehouse's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 20,095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas 100 View Post
A few family and friends have been asking me about personal safety. I should have probably thought about this before, but generally, is it quite safe in the birding areas?
I've found it fine and never felt threatened. I wouldn't say the risks in most birding areas of Ecuador are any greater than the risks in most other parts of the world. Take the same precautions that you would in the UK and you should be all right.
__________________
Andrew

Listening to Birds
Andrew Whitehouse is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 4th August 2018, 03:27   #11
gdhunter
Registered User
 
gdhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Abilene, Texas
Posts: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas 100 View Post
A few family and friends have been asking me about personal safety. I should have probably thought about this before, but generally, is it quite safe in the birding areas?
You might consider retaining a local guide if venturing past your place of lodging. Not that anything untoward is expected.

The day we spent at Paz de la Aves may have been atypical, but busloads of people herded between staked-out antipttas & cocks-of-the-rock diminished my enthusiasm for the place. Still, for photography it has some real merit.
gdhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 4th August 2018, 17:50   #12
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: St. James, Barbados
Posts: 22,654
Quote:
The day we spent at Paz de la Aves may have been atypical,
The day I visited there were three cars and about 7 people total (including the owners). Much better! We even were allowed to stop at one of the hummer feeder spots on the way down where it was only the two of us present.

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Just moved to Barbados
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 4th August 2018, 18:59   #13
gdhunter
Registered User
 
gdhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Abilene, Texas
Posts: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
The day I visited there were three cars and about 7 people total (including the owners). Much better! We even were allowed to stop at one of the hummer feeder spots on the way down where it was only the two of us present.
The guide who arranged our visit did so in advance, so perhaps it's possible to ascertain beforehand if no tours are scheduled.
gdhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 06:43   #14
Chas 100
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdhunter View Post
You might consider retaining a local guide if venturing past your place of lodging. Not that anything untoward is expected.

The day we spent at Paz de la Aves may have been atypical, but busloads of people herded between staked-out antipttas & cocks-of-the-rock diminished my enthusiasm for the place. Still, for photography it has some real merit.
Sounds just the place to avoid, I absolutely hate this kind of birding so thanks for the advice.
Chas 100 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 06:59   #15
Andrew Whitehouse
Professor of Listening
BF Supporter 2019
 
Andrew Whitehouse's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 20,095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas 100 View Post
Sounds just the place to avoid, I absolutely hate this kind of birding so thanks for the advice.
I think it depends on the number of other people at the site. If it changes your mind, Paz de las Aves was the highlight of my trip and one of the greatest birding experiences of my life. I was more-or-less on my own with Angel Paz though.
__________________
Andrew

Listening to Birds
Andrew Whitehouse is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 5th August 2018, 14:38   #16
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: St. James, Barbados
Posts: 22,654
As I stated, my experience was much better. If you want to be sure, have someone call ahead

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Just moved to Barbados
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 6th August 2018, 12:32   #17
Dave B Smith
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: N.E. Florida, USA
Posts: 7,235
I'll give another vote for Angel de la Paz. Like others have said, depends on the day, we had it to ourselves.
Other options near Mindo include San Jorge Eco Lodge at Tandayapa - excellent for birding / photography and San Jorge Lodge at Milpe.

As mentioned above, Ecuador is a great birding destination for birding and bird photography. Lodging is good, people are friendly, and birds are plentiful and colorful.
__________________
Dave Smith
Dave B Smith is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 6th August 2018, 16:42   #18
gdhunter
Registered User
 
gdhunter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Abilene, Texas
Posts: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas 100 View Post
Sounds just the place to avoid, I absolutely hate this kind of birding so thanks for the advice.
The favorable comments of others suggest that Paz de las Aves can under certain conditions offer a satisfying birding experience. I suspect that most of the antpittas you encounter will still be summoned somewhat on cue, but I've added more than one staked-out bird to my lifelist (including those antpittas at Paz). We did a bit of birding separated from the hordes & found the birding reasonably productive.
gdhunter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 6th August 2018, 16:46   #19
Mekong birder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Phnom Penh
Posts: 21
Mindo Loma had superb photo opportunities for hummers and tanagers. Velvet purple coronet and empress brilliant were the dominant species, but a whole host of other species at point blank range, as well as possums and a kinkajou at night.
For a private photo session and great accommodation, Alambi Lodge at the foot of the Tandayapa valley was outstanding. You'll probable have the place to yourself and it's thronged with hummers feet away, with beauties like booted racketail, purple throated woodstar,. I had about fifteen species in a couple of hours there, plus dipper on the river, cock of the rock nesting under the bridge, and swallow tailed kite overhead. An outstanding birding experience. And really nice people too.The owners can also take you to the busier sites in Tandayapa as well, but Alambi will probably be just for you.
Basically, you can't go far wrong in Ecuador. You'll love it!
Mekong birder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 7th August 2018, 14:37   #20
temmie
Registered User
 
temmie's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 1,289
another vote for Mindo Loma.
Great birding and trails, more or less the same birds as in Tandayapa / Angel Paz (good for Moustached Antpitta, Beautiful Jay and Rufous-breasted Wood-quail, amongst others) but a bit lower and thus a slightly different composition of birds and great opportunities for hummer photos.

Mindo Loma is about 2 kilometers down the road from the Mindo turn off and the entrance is viewable on google streetview:
https://www.google.be/maps/@-0.02537...7i13312!8i6656

Alambi is also a good place like Mekong birder said. In any way, whatever you choose, you could theoretically bird every place mentioned above in a single day: start at Angel Paz for the Antpitta feeding and Cock-of-the-rock lek, move on after breakfast to Alambi and watch the hummers. Bird your way slowly up the road towards Tandayapa / Bellavista, get to Mindo following the backroad and ending up at your place in or near Mindo.

This is just to show you the possibilities, ofcourse it would be a bit stupid to bird all those places the same day, but you can decide, when in any of those places, to move to a different place in less than half an hour with your own transport, depending on activity, weather, target birds,... between Alambi / Tandayapa / Bellavista / Mindo / Mindo Loma / ...
temmie is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 10th August 2018, 10:52   #21
Chas 100
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekong birder View Post
Mindo Loma had superb photo opportunities for hummers and tanagers. Velvet purple coronet and empress brilliant were the dominant species, but a whole host of other species at point blank range, as well as possums and a kinkajou at night.
For a private photo session and great accommodation, Alambi Lodge at the foot of the Tandayapa valley was outstanding. You'll probable have the place to yourself and it's thronged with hummers feet away, with beauties like booted racketail, purple throated woodstar,. I had about fifteen species in a couple of hours there, plus dipper on the river, cock of the rock nesting under the bridge, and swallow tailed kite overhead. An outstanding birding experience. And really nice people too.The owners can also take you to the busier sites in Tandayapa as well, but Alambi will probably be just for you.
Basically, you can't go far wrong in Ecuador. You'll love it!
Thank you for your inciteful post, this sounds really good. Very much looking forward to my trip.
Chas 100 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 10th August 2018, 10:54   #22
Chas 100
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by temmie View Post
another vote for Mindo Loma.
Great birding and trails, more or less the same birds as in Tandayapa / Angel Paz (good for Moustached Antpitta, Beautiful Jay and Rufous-breasted Wood-quail, amongst others) but a bit lower and thus a slightly different composition of birds and great opportunities for hummer photos.

Mindo Loma is about 2 kilometers down the road from the Mindo turn off and the entrance is viewable on google streetview:
https://www.google.be/maps/@-0.02537...7i13312!8i6656

Alambi is also a good place like Mekong birder said. In any way, whatever you choose, you could theoretically bird every place mentioned above in a single day: start at Angel Paz for the Antpitta feeding and Cock-of-the-rock lek, move on after breakfast to Alambi and watch the hummers. Bird your way slowly up the road towards Tandayapa / Bellavista, get to Mindo following the backroad and ending up at your place in or near Mindo.

This is just to show you the possibilities, ofcourse it would be a bit stupid to bird all those places the same day, but you can decide, when in any of those places, to move to a different place in less than half an hour with your own transport, depending on activity, weather, target birds,... between Alambi / Tandayapa / Bellavista / Mindo / Mindo Loma / ...
Thank you for your help, I can't thank you enough.
Chas 100 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 10th August 2018, 11:03   #23
Andrew Whitehouse
Professor of Listening
BF Supporter 2019
 
Andrew Whitehouse's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 20,095
Another very good place for feeders in the Mindo area is San Tadeo. It's on the main road near the Mindo junction and just adjacent tothe Bellavista road. It has excellent hummingbird and fruit feeders - probably a similar selection to Mindo Loma, as it's at a similar altitude.
https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4992806
__________________
Andrew

Listening to Birds
Andrew Whitehouse is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 10th August 2018, 12:40   #24
Chas 100
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Exeter, UK
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Whitehouse View Post
Another very good place for feeders in the Mindo area is San Tadeo. It's on the main road near the Mindo junction and just adjacent tothe Bellavista road. It has excellent hummingbird and fruit feeders - probably a similar selection to Mindo Loma, as it's at a similar altitude.
https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4992806
Thanks Andrew, I had already got that on my list and now with your recommendation, I will really try to get to this one. I do appreciate your help.....keep the tips coming please. Did I say that Puembo Birding Garden is my base? It was mentioned a lot when I first started to put things together and it seemed a safe, well thought of place with a good host.
Chas 100 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 10th August 2018, 17:51   #25
PeggyG
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 20
Quote:
Did I say that Puembo Birding Garden is my base?
Not sure if this means you are staying there all 9 days? Even if you are, I would suggest visiting both sides of the Andes. You'll find different birds in the west and the east. Most lodges and restaurants put out hummer feeders and they can be very addicting - hard to tear yourself away! Mindo and Tandayapa are not far from Quito in the west, and Guango and Cabanas San Isidro are nearby along the eastern road. I highly recommend these two lodges - they arranged local guide Roberto Cedeno for us last February and he was excellent. He stayed with us for 5 days as we moved down in elevation to Wild Sumaco Lodge. There we used the excellent services of their resident guide, Byron. Cabanas San Isidro had a resident guide also, but he only spoke Spanish. But if you just stay around the lodge feeders and trails for photography you won't need a guide. I wanted to maximize my chances for finding Lifers.
I would say Wildsumaco is too far to go if you are also going west. Save it for your next trip!
Whatever you decide you'll have a fantastic experience!

Oh - and one more vote for Paz de las Aves! I must say it sounds rather awful to have large groups on those narrow trails, so if there is any way to check ahead to see how many people will be there I'd do it. They have built some rooms to stay overnight since I was there in 2012. So that's another option. I had a fantastic time there. Great photo ops of the antpittas - you'd be hard pressed to get such photos on your own, without the help of the worm feeding, I mean.

Have a wonderful trip!
Peggy
PeggyG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello from Ecuador Ecuadorrebel Say Hello 4 Monday 5th January 2009 02:38
Ecuador lmans66 Birds & Birding 1 Tuesday 4th December 2007 16:32
Ecuador Owl mmdnje Bird Identification Q&A 10 Saturday 4th August 2007 19:22
Hello from Ecuador! Ecuador Expat Say Hello 10 Tuesday 23rd August 2005 23:13
Ecuador dennis Birds & Birding 1 Friday 24th January 2003 08:05



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.17552590 seconds with 37 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 18:47.