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Trip Report Birding in Mindo

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Just returned from a 7-day all too short trip to northwest Ecuador with my wife and daughter. Our primary goals were hiking and photography and found both to be challenging with some steep trails and bad weather that made photography difficult at best.


We planned our trip to coincide with my daughters spring break from college and because our visit came during the green season we expected rain and well - we got it - lots of it! One afternoon it started raining about 3pm and continued on until about 10am the next day. It rained as hard as I have ever experienced and as a result massive landslides between the lodge(in Mindo) and Nanangalito closed the roads for days. The bad weather caused us to miss a lot of outings we had planned but we worked with what we were given and still had a great time. We really hopeto make a return trip - just not during the rainy season.


Between a first and last nights stay at hotel Su Merced in Puembo we stayed at Satchatamia lodge which lies about a 5 minute drive from the small town of Mindo. Satchatamia is known for it's abundance of hummingbirds and the feeders around the lodge were very busy places as hundreds of hummers vied for a spot at the feeding stations. During our stay we hired Marcello Arias, a local birding guide who was amazing in his skill to spot, call, and identify the birds we found. We visited the Mindo cloudforest, Bellavista lodge, and several other areas surrounding the Mindo area but sadly could never make it to Paz de las Aves to see the Cock of the Rock and the Ant Pittas due to the land slides. Despite the bad weather we still tallied 26 hummingbird species and countless other bird species during our stay- I can only imagine how much more we would have seen if the weather would have cooperated. We found the photography to be very challenging with all the rain, mist, and poor lighting under the thick canopy and missed sooo many shots, but there is always next year!


I highly recommend hotel Su Merced for those who have to stay overnight near the airport (15 mins. away) and Satchatamia lodge in Mindo - both places had a great staff, accommodations, and both made us feel right at home.


I really want to thank mlgb for her spot on recommendations on lodging, guides, and restaurants - great info. that helped a bunch so mucho gracias!


Pictures can be seen at :https://picasaweb.google.com/107745431610927373753/Ecuador2014?authkey=Gv1sRgCM-Clf7og_uNlwE

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