Any Fodorite Birders Done Ecuador?

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Aug 23rd, 2013, 02:21 PM
  #1
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Any Fodorite Birders Done Ecuador?

I am planning a trip end of next month into October.

So far I've inquired about San Isidro lodge (they have availability, for 3 nights).

The other piece I am looking at is around Mindo. Any advice or recommendations?

I do not want to go to the lowland rainforest..can't handle the combination of heat/humidity.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 02:56 PM
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Yes! We were in Mindo several years ago as part of a trip to Peru/Ecuador. We stayed at El Monte, which we liked quite a lot, but obviously there are lots of places. My trip report is here: http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...-1-ecuador.cfm

Saw lots and lots of good birds. Wherever you stay, be sure to arrange to go to the farm I mentioned where you can see lots of hummingbirds, cock of rock, and antpitas on demand. . . .
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 03:52 PM
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Met several birders in SAExplorers in Quito who were raving about the cloudforests around Mindo but we didn't make it up there. Apparently it is THE place for hummingbirds.

This place seemed to be the place to go but a tad expensive for Ecuador

http://www.bellavistacloudforest.com/
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 05:12 PM
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Thank you crellston..hummingbirds, tanagers and antpittas..that's what I want.

This is the place of Angel Paz that is in glover's report, I think. It is quite a remarkable story :

"The Paz show of today include the original Cock-of-the-Rock Lek, María a Giant Antpitta, Willie a Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Jose a Moustached Antpitta, Shakira an Ochre-breated Antpitta, a good variety of exotic birds that feed on a fruit feeding hall like the: Toucan Barbet, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Sickle-winged Guan, a Black-chinned Mountain Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain Tanager, and a number of nice hummingbirds that come to their sugar feeders. María was the first to show up and to follow Angel and today she can be found along the trails hoping and hoping for a fat worm. The others are more cautious and require some calling and patients for a show-up to the tourists that come to see these special birds."

http://www.refugiopazdelasaves.com/
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 05:20 PM
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Thanks glover I topped your old report, would have taken me years to find it.

Would either of you drive yourselves in Ecuador? Consider that I survived driving in Costa Rica, but didn't like it much.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 06:39 PM
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I went to Tandayapa Lodge on a day tour from Quito and it was wonderful to see the hummingbirds at the feeders. Guide was very good. We went driving along a newly constructed road, which seemed to be the most unlikely place for birds, and this is where we found a Cock-of-the-Rock and other species.

I was not happy with the logistics of the trip though. Due to an error on their part, they picked me up hours later than scheduled and made no attempt to make up for the error.

I did not have as much luck in the Amazon as I was unable to find a guide before or after my arrival. I did stumble upon a mixed flock that was foraging and thus spotted paradise tanagers.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 06:41 PM
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PS: Ecuador's roads are in good condition but I personally do not enjoy driving while on vacation.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 08:09 PM
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Can't offer up an opinion on self-driving in Ecuador, since we didn't do any. But don't remember horrible roads or terrifying drives. Possibly better driving than CR??? Sure others will chime in ..
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 10:01 PM
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thanks both

Femi I saw paradise tanager at an Amazon lodge in Peru, it is my #1 prettiest bird.
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Aug 24th, 2013, 03:08 AM
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Driving standards around most of Ecuador were ok but Quito is a nightmare so driving there or the surrounding areas would be a no as far as I am concerned. I swear the taxi drivers in Quito were actually trying to kill me!!
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Aug 25th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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The paradise tanager was on my wish list. It was stunning!
I was so incredibly lucky to see it by chance outside my room. The encounter lasted only seconds. I was there for a few days and did not see them again.
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Aug 28th, 2013, 06:28 PM
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A serious birder at the lodge said to bring my binoculars when I went up to their canopy platform, he had seen one in a mixed flock the day before.

Stunning is a good word for it! How lucky to see it so close to your room.

A friend was telling about a guy who had been hiking for hours, looking for one particular bird around Capitol Reef NP. They were as common as pigeons when he got back to the campground. It goes that way sometimes.
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Oct 1st, 2013, 06:08 AM
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I just finished up 6 days around Mindo visiting various reserves with Julia Patino as guide. We saw Shakira, the giant and yellow breasted antpittas and his latest bird, a rufous breasted antthrush which is Pepito, I think. Our last half day was exciting, a cloud forest pygmy owl, barred puffbird and a clubwinged manakin lek. This was on the San Lorenzo Road above Mindo, a beautiful and easy road that puts you nearly at eye level with treetops, and virtually no traffic.

I will (maybe) write a more detailed report when I return. However if any birders are planning a trip to Ecuador I recommend Julia, I think she may also have a few rooms to rent. She is not that expensive and has a good scope.
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Oct 1st, 2013, 06:11 AM
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Best food we found in Mindo was not on the main drag but a block back, opposite the pharmacy is an open air "food court" with several establishments offering options including excellent conchas negras ceviche.
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