Birdwatching in ….. Mindo, Ecuador. I took a 3 - day birding trip outside Kabalebo, Suriname. An unforgettable trip.
After hearing only positive stories about birding in Ecuador, I had to go and see for myself. Would I enjoy it or regret it?
Mindo is a cloud forest place surrounded by dense vegetation. My bird guide picked me up from Quito and we had a 3 hour travel before reaching his lodge.
Since it was my first birding trip, where I am the guest and not the guide, I was also anxious. You know the adrenaline to expect the unexpected. My main targets were hummingbirds.
It was beautiful to see the place for myself. The Ecuadorians are dedicated to the birds, they know that birdwatching brings food to the table. The lodges in Mindo are all bird friendly lodges. Their garden is 'decorated' with countless of hummingbird feeders and the view from your room is breathtaking too. You just sit outside on the balcony and look for passing by wild birds. The only minor thing is the mist which was present a lot during my stay.
The trails are man made, I was able to see, for a split second, an ant pitta. But then the mist appeared again.
Here you can see the view at one of the birding lodges: a beautiful garden with feeders hanging everywhere. Ideal for those who like to take pictures up close or for the inactive birders.
The birds weren't shy at all and you could actually take a lot of close up pictures. They were used to all the attention and the visit. Here you see the Velvet-purple Coronet (Boissonneaua jardini). A small hummer (12 cm) but also photo genetic.
Here you see the Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus). He was playing hide-and-seek with …. everybody.
Some feeders were very simple: a stick and some nails. Stick a banana every now and then. The Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) surely was grateful.
Banana's were the main course through out the day for the birds. Here you can see a Pale-mandibled Aracari (Pteroglossus erythropygius) enjoying every bit of it.
Blue-winged Mountain Tanagers (Anisognathus sumptuosus) also joined the party.
The Crimson-rumped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) enjoyed its early breakfast.
Beautiful: Sickle-winged Guans (Chamaepetes goudotii) claiming one of the feeders.
Breakfast for the day: worms, cut into pieces. They were feeding the wild birds with either fruit or worms. Some of the birds even had names.
My highlight of the trip: Ocellated Tapaculo (Acropternis orthonyx). It took the 'bird callers' 15 minutes to call this one. For those that own the 'Birds of Northern South-America' bird guide book; the Ocellated Tapaculo is seen on the cover.
In the end it was all worth seeing it.