A birdwatching trip to Ecuador in October 2001 - Andes to Amazon! The humming bird here is the Andean Emerald. On the left is a view of  Volcanes Illiniza (5,266m) and on the right is Gorzacocha, an oxbow lake off the Rio Napo, in the Amazon basin. All photos (C) Ruth Traynor.

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Home -> Diary -> West Slope -> Tandayapa Trails

Canopy platform at Tandayapa. Photo: Ruth TraynorAndean West Slope Diary
6 - 10 October 2001
2. The Tandayapa Trails

So, what's on the trails? I think that you need to keep walking the same trails, because you get different birds each time you walk them. On the main trail, the Potoo Trail. We had a superb view of a pair of Immaculate Antbirds - we watched them for about 10 minutes. But, despite going along the trail many times, we never saw them again. On the same trail, we heard, and had brief glimpses of lecking male Cocks of the Rock, although the best view of this species was of a (re-nesting?) female at the 'Cock of the Rock Cock-of-the-Rock - female on nest by waterfall. Photo: courtesy Tandayapa Lodgebridge' - the 2nd stream bridge along the Potoo Trail. Her earlier nest had been predated, possibly by herons, but there was evidence that she was attempting to rebuild the nest.

We also had several views of Masked Trogon on the upper part of the Potoo Trail and on the Antpitta Trail.

One fairly rare sight was of two Dark-backed Wood-quail. Their 'car alarm' call is easily heard in the valley, but we encountered two of these hard-to-see birds in deep cover on the Antpitta Trail. Even in the gloom, their rufous chests gleamed!

The only manakin we saw was Golden-winged Manakin, on two days, on the Antpitta Trail, near where the Nunbird Trail takes off. We had good views the second time, and watched its head crest raised when uttering its weird call.

Tanagers were thin on the ground in this, lower part of Tandayapa Valley (but see notes on the upper valley, on the next page. We saw Orange-bellied Euphonia from the balcony - a new record for 'The Deck'. It's possible that as the bushes around the lodge grow, they will attract more birds. Out on the trails, we had Golden, Golden-naped, Metallic-green, Beryl-spangled, Blue-grey and Black-capped Tanagers, with Lemon-rumped Tanager in the village. Of these, Golden Tanager was by far the most common.

Raptors were also rather scarce. We just missed seeing a Black-and-chestnut Eagle when we arrived - we were unpacking at the time! We saw Roadside Hawk on a couple of occasions - once in the village, and encountered an American Kestrel on the old Nono road. We also had a couple of sightings of Turkey Vultures. And that was it as far as raptors are concerned.

Antbird sightings were confined to the Immaculate Antbirds mentioned above, and we heard what we were told was a Moustached Antpitta.

Tandayapa 'Town'. Photo: Ruth TraynorIn the village - excellent cheese sandwiches at the local shop! - there has been White-capped Dipper breeding under the bridge over the river. However, it had not been present for a week or so, possibly because of disturbance. The trees, bushes and wires in the village we found to be productive. We found Black Phoebe on a wire and, in the trees opposite the shop, Tricoloured Brush-finch and Lemon-rumped Tanager.

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