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Northern Ecuador

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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 09:45   #1
sussexbirders
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Northern Ecuador

Hi a group of us are heading to northern Ecuador in January for 2 weeks.

I'm was just wondering if anyone could give me some up to date information on best birding sites to go to, so that we can see all the target species.

TIA.
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 10:18   #2
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cloudbirders, ebird, observation, inaturalist, igoterra, xeno-canto, this forum, facebook profiles from ecuadorian birders and guides, ...

Best sources also depend on what you define as "all the target birds"
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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 14:23   #3
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There is quite a bit of information in threads here: https://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=563
I believe most of this to be up to date.

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Old Monday 9th September 2019, 15:54   #4
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Agree with Temmie.

“All the target birds” in N Ecuador is impossible in two weeks, unless you restrict your definition of N Ecuador and restrict your target list. If you want to see, say, Banded Ground-Cuckoo, Yellow-green Chlorospingus, Colombian Crake, Esmeraldas Woodstar, Black-breasted Puffleg, Chestnut-bellied Cotinga, Berlepsch’s Tinamou, White-rimmed Brushfinch, Red-winged Wood-Rail, Andean Laniisoma, Black Tinamou, Orange-eyed Flycatcher, Cocha Antshrike, Ochre-striped Antpitta, and stacks more excellent “targets” you will need months and still miss a lot.

I’d suggest you read itineraries from major bird tour agencies as well as trip reports to get a handle on things first. Not trying to be snarky, just honest. I birded Ecuador for ~7 months and missed over half the above species. There may not be anyone on earth that has seen Colombian Crake -AND- Red-winged Wood-Rail.
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Old Tuesday 10th September 2019, 07:57   #5
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I haven't followed updates about the crake, but Bigal seems to be a very good place if you are trying to see the Wood-rail. I don't know what the hit rate is but it seems regular enough for me to consider Bigal on my next itinerary to Ecuador (ofcourse Bigal should be on the itinerary for like 10 other birds!)

I can only guess what the target birds are (therefore my open question), but if you are after a good number of the more common stuff, you can't go wrong with the classic destinations where you will see an excellent set of tanagers, hummers, anpittas, antbirds, (mountain)toucans etc. Only if you are after species like the ones mentioned by Josh, you would have to search for more specific info, contact local guides, contact birders that have recently seen those species etcetera. And even then, most of those species can be very hard to see and are not very reliable.

ps: ouch, Josh, I thought I only had one bangsia to go (Blue-and-gold), and now it seems I have to get Yellow-green Chlorospingus as well!
ps: I would consider Esmeraldas Woodstar as part of the Southern circuit.
ps: of the list Josh mentioned, I have seen 3! Black-breasted Puffleg, Cocha Antshrike and Ochre-striped Antpitta. I kind of 'tried' to see Black Tinamou, Banded Ground-cuckoo, White-rimmed Brushfinch, Orange-eyed Flatbill and Andean Laniisoma. All others were either not 'available' on my circuit (Chestnut-bellied Cotinga, Esmeraldas Woodstar), no sightings (Red-winged Wood-rail, Colombian Crake) of simply no luck. That was 10 years ago and my first trip to the neotropics. Since then, lots has changed but at the same time, lots is still the same.
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Old Tuesday 8th October 2019, 20:50   #6
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Just returned

We have just returned from 5 weeks in northwest Ecuador, using Mindo as our base. Our focus was photography, so you may be able to have a much larger check list if your interest is just "seeing" the birds. In 2018 we also spent 6 weeks in NE Ecuador. A totally different experience than the NW.
Although the roads in Ecuador are generally fair to good, travel times of even short distances can vary widely depending on truck traffic, etc. We figured that 60 km was 45-90 minutes, so with only 2 weeks you want to be careful not to plan on too much traveling.
The areas on the east side of the Andes I would recommend (with only 2 weeks) would be Wildsumaco Lodge, Cabinas San Isidro, Guango Lodge. In Quito, Puembo Bird Garden Lodge makes a great 1st and last night spot relatively close to the airport but yet with a number of birds possible that are difficult to see elsewhere.
On the west side of the Andes, Yanacocha, Amagusa, Milpe, Rio Silanche, Refugio Paz de las Aves, Pache Quindi, and Birdwatcher's House are great areas.
If you need any contact info about these places, lodges, or guides, let me know.
Jim
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Old Yesterday, 10:36   #7
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Is scheduled travelling and come back from Ecuador yet ?
Same question for Chile.
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