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Ecuador and the Galapagos, Jan 2020 (1 Viewer)

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
A cracking report!

The shot of the Flamingoes and White-cheeked Pintails is terrific.

One day ...

Cheers
Mike
 

Matt Bell

Registered User
Supporter
22 January

All good things must come to an end. This was our last morning of bird-watching and our last day in Ecuador.

We started at dawn on the top deck of the lodge: it was a great opportunity to see some of the larger forest specialities, in particular Baudó Guan and Long-wattled Umbrella-Bird. Also two motmots: Rufous Motmot and Broad-billed Motmot. Another hummer for our tally was Purple-crowned Fairy. Finally: Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Pale-vented Thrush, and Zeledon’s Antbird.

After this very satisfying start, we took the cable car to the other side of the valley, for breakfast and more birds. The cable car is pretty dramatic: it takes about an hour and at times the drop is 100m.

When we arrived at the far end, it was around 08:00, and the clouds were starting to move — clouds arriving and clouds leaving, an ever-shifting skyscape. The birding wasn’t dramatic, but there was enough to keep us interested: Tropical Parula, Slate-throated Redstart, Grey-and-gold Tanager, Purple Honeycreeper (a very striking bird with its purple and black plumage and bright yellow legs), Bananaquit (a very familiar bird from Caribbean holidays), and Golden-crowned Flycatcher — our last bird of the holiday.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any decent pics, as the birds were rather distant, so I’ve attached some pics of birds from the previous two days at Mashpi: Glistening-green Tanager, Collared Araçari, and a hummingbird that I didn’t manage to identify — I’m told it’s a juvenile Brilliant, either Empress or Green-crowned.

Mashpi is a marvel. In a way, the birds are secondary. The forest is the real showstopper — huge trees, dangling vines, florid epiphytes and moss everywhere. We did a night walk on our penultimate evening — tarantulas and Cane Toads. Our stay in the Amazon had been weirdly and disappointingly dry. At Mashpi we saw as much rain as you could ever want. It was great to end the holiday with an experience of proper equatorial weather.

By the evening we were flying out of Quito bound for Europe.

Thanks to everyone’s who’s read this thread and everyone who’s made comments. I’ve had a lot of fun putting this together. I hope there’ll be more to come in the not-too-distant future — Covid permitting.

Matt
 

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Maroon Jay

Airborne
Canada
Thank you very much. Very intersting and informative. I was supposed to go to Galapagos this month but the trip was cancelled due to coronavirus., I intend to go as soon as it is safe.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Absolutely cracking report Matt with some great images, especially fascinating to see the flora and fauna of the Galapagos ‘up close and personal’ so thanks for taking the trouble to put it all together.

(btw I did wonder whether those windows at Mashpi extracted a heavy collision toll from birds flying into them? - floor to ceiling glass in the middle of the forest seems like a lethal combination!)
 

viator

Well-known member
Singapore
Matt, Thanks for the report. Makes may even more determined to go after my own 4 week trip in June was cancelled thanks to the virus. Hopefully next year ....
 

cheshirebirder

Well-known member
I remember Mashpi lodge featuring on one of those luxury hotel programmes and a quick google shows prices in excess of £1000 per night for a couple ( that’s all inclusive). Looks brilliant but way out of my league. We birded the area with a guide calling at locally run reserves for a fraction of the cost. Just flagging that up for those who might like to go but can’t afford the likes of Mashpi lodge , not trying to put down your trip, Matt, which looked excellent.
 

Matt Bell

Registered User
Supporter
I remember Mashpi lodge featuring on one of those luxury hotel programmes and a quick google shows prices in excess of £1000 per night for a couple ( that’s all inclusive). Looks brilliant but way out of my league. We birded the area with a guide calling at locally run reserves for a fraction of the cost. Just flagging that up for those who might like to go but can’t afford the likes of Mashpi lodge , not trying to put down your trip, Matt, which looked excellent.

You’re absolutely right. In fact, if our Ecuador trip had been a full-on birding trip, I wouldn’t have chosen Mashpi. I’m sure you could see more birds by using local guides, as well as spending a lot less money. It’s a different kind of experience.
 

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