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Early to mid June

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Old Sunday 19th May 2019, 02:08   #1
njlarsen
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Early to mid June

Hello,
Something had just come up where I am likely to have some vacation in early to mid June. I am thinking a visit to Ecuador, but I have very limited time for preparation. At one time, I started this thread regarding starting from Guayaquil: https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=341058 Is the advice there still current? If you have about 2 weeks, the tempo has to be laid back and the lodgings not too spartan, what would you put together starting from Guayaquil I expect?

Niels
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Old Sunday 19th May 2019, 17:51   #2
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Tickets have been purchased, I am leaving June 3. Hope to get some input of where I should prioritize for a little more than two weeks

Niels
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Old Sunday 19th May 2019, 23:58   #3
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One specific question: where do people stay near the PN Podocarpus?

IF one is doing Casa Simpson, what if anything in Podocarpus becomes redundant?

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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 16:07   #4
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Heya Niels,

Where have you been to in that area (S Colombia - N Peru) before? Are you more interested in getting the rarest/hardest birds, the most spectacular species, a big list, the most enjoyable destinations, or?

Casa Simpson/Tapichalaca is lovely, the birding is great for 1-2 days, and there is overlap with the upper part of PN Podocarpus for sure. When I was there a few years ago Andean Potoo was not to be found though it can be a good spot at times for that species. It's the best location for Orange-banded Flycatcher, and is probably the best place to actually see Chestnut-naped Antpitta, as well as being good for seeing Undulated Antpitta (both just in the trails early morning/late evening). I birded/worked in the range of Chestnut-naped Antpitta for probably 6 months before seeing it, finally, at Tapichalaca.

There's a spot for the rare Hapalopsittaca of S Ecuador up near the top of PN Podocarpus, as well as a couple other nice birds, that makes a good early morning visit if you want to try for the parrot. Beyond that, the upper part of the park is not usually on most people's lists though I'm sure it's nice.

The bottom entry to Podocarpus is key for a Pyrrhura parakeet, is a good spot for Foothill Elaenia among others, and has a different mix of birds. Jocotoco now owns Copalinga, which is the best spot to stay for the bottom end of PN Podocarpus. I presume they are still feeding Gray Tinamou, and is basically the only location to see that bird without a lot of luck and patience. If you're going to go down to Copalinga/Podocarpus bottom entrance, then you really ought to continue to Cabañas Yankuam / Cordillera del Condor. Orange-throated Tanager is the standout species there but the area in general is loaded with exceptional and hard birds that are specialists of outlying E Andean ridges (similarly to Rio Bigal, Plataforma, etc). You can drive to where the Tanager is. You can also do a day hike up to elfin forest atop a mesa and get Royal Sunangel (if you don't have it from N Peru), as well as the best location for Rufous-vented Whitetip. If you're into hard birds and cool locations, I think the areas accessible from Cabañas Yankuam and the area around Paquisha are some of the best birding in S America, to be honest. Things like Subtropical Pygmy-Owl, Spot-winged Parrotlet, Green-throated (aka Straw-backed) Tanager, Spectacled Prickletail (Paquisha is hands down the best place to see that bird). Lots more that I'm forgetting now, but it's a great area for a lot of hard birds. Seasonally one of the rare Coquettes is at Copalinga or in the flowers in one of the parks in Zamora.

Are you thinking of going to Jorupe and Buenaventura? I assume you're drive through El Cajas and pick up some of the specialties there? Other spots you're thinking of already?

Happy to try to help more and answer questions. I spent a good 3 months or so birding S Ecuador!

Cheers,
Josh
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Old Friday 24th May 2019, 20:25   #5
njlarsen
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Thank you Josh,
Some answers to your questions: I have previous experience of about 10 days in Ecuador (east and mainly west of Quito). Outside of that, a couple of visits to Panama including Darien and a visit to Chile. Nothing in Colombia or Peru.

So far, I have made decision to fly into Guayaquil, drive to Buenaventura and from there to Jorupe. The rest is still open. I would like to get a good list overall and a list containing new species for me - which should be happening when looking at where I have been before. The Tumbes specialties will all be new, for example. In case of doubt, endemic or near endemic species should have a higher priority, but I have promised my wife the overall trip will be relatively laid back (have an extra day per lodge for example).

One specific question: when going back towards Guayaquil, what is a good area/lodging to be in for the last 1-2 nights so that we do not have to travel a large distance back to the airport?

Niels
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Old Monday 27th May 2019, 02:00   #6
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Heya Niels, I’m traveling but to try to answer from memory as well as I can:

Buenaventura, Jorupe, El Cajas NP, Tapichalaca, Copalinga/Podocarpus, and perhaps Yankuam / Cordillera Condor are the top spots for S Ecuador. Other possibilities are the location for the Red-faces Parrot, Paquisha, the Jocotoco reserve for Pale-headed Brushfinch, and Ayampe for the Woodstar seasonally (I don’t recall the seasons, check eBird).

For the way back to Guayaquil I’m not sure which reserve would best break up the driving. Perhaps Jorupe/Buenaventura could be split up one at the start one at the end? Sorry I don’t recall distances well I was all over the place in S Ecuador at a mostly more relaxed pace and managed to end up in Guayaquil a few times. Ayampe is a possibility for the end too, though it is a fair ways NW of all other destinations.

I’m sorry I don’t have more time to go back through my lists and think about this more just now. I will be back to a computer on Weds and try to answer again if I can, feel free to ask more questions and I’ll do the best I can.
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