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SOUTHERN ECUADOR

Tuesday 17th January - Friday 3rd February 2017

Pete Morris

The unbeatable Jocotoco Antpitta (Pete Morris)

The unbeatable Jocotoco Antpitta (Pete Morris)

The 2017 Birdquest Ultimate tour to Southern Ecuador was once again a magnificent adventure around some stunning sites in the south of this incredibly bird-rich country. We explored a variety of habitats, spanning from coastal wetlands to arid Tumbesian scrub, to rich Andean foothill forest (both west and east of the Andes), to the spectacular High Andes and even to the fringes of the Amazonian avifauna. Everyday was action-packed, and in a little over two weeks, including the extension, we recorded a highly impressive 685 species (including a number that were heard only). Amongst these was a very high percentage of the specialities we were looking for. Of course the standout species were as expected… the magnificent displaying Long-wattled Umbrellabirds; the sensational Jocotoco Antpittas; an unbelievably obliging Crescent-faced Antpitta; a breathtaking male Ecuadorian Hillstar and some stunning Orange-throated Tanagers. Perhaps less expected highlights were some sensational White-breasted Parakeets at their clay-lick, the rarely seen Red-faced Parrot posing in full view, a completely unexpected Sungrebe and an amorous pair of Grey Tinamous at almost touching distance. This of course only scratches the surface. If I were to mention 11 species of owls, and an amazing 63 hummingbirds, it begins to convey what a mind-boggling avian feast we experienced!

The bizarre Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Pete Morris)

The bizarre Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Pete Morris)