Birding Southern Ecuador

With my first international trip approaching, and my return to leading tours in Ecuador, I arrived on 22 October to Guayaquil to scout around for a few days before I met up with my group. Though I typically travel alone, this time my friend Luke came along. Also a guide, but relatively new to Ecuador, he was good company and a sharp birder.

We started with the long drive from Guayaquil to Cerro de Arcos, then to Zamora, and into the Nangaritza Valley, Zumbi, Cabanas Yankuam, then over to the dry country of Catamayo (the road to Vilcabamba from Loja was washed out), and finally to the western foothill forest of the Buenaventura Preserve by Pinas.

Excellent birding abounds, and we had some great days. Highlights were Blue-throated Hillstars, Orange-throated Tanagers, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Pale-rumped Swift, Scaled Fruiteater, displaying Amazonian and Long-wattled Umbrellabirds, and even a Least Bittern. Strangely, I have photos of very few of these, but I do have photos of other stuff.

I also photographed way more non-bird things, mostly butterflies but also other insects, a howler monkey and a dwarf squirrel. I don't have room to put them all here, or the patience to sort them out, so you can see them all in this link to my sorted iNaturalist observations.

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