Mindo, Ecuador: The Yellow House and Trails
Julia Patiño was an excellent guide who charged a reasonable price, so we hired her to take us around the Yellow House trails (http://ecuadormindobirds.com) early the next morning. (See previous blog.) Again, we were seeing and hearing lots of birds. In a land where everything is new a good guide is indispensable. And frankly, I am not good at recognizing bird song. It is embarrassing to admit, but I still don’t know the time by the bird songs on my clock at home.
A good guide not only spots birds in the deep forest, but can tell you what is singing. Then, to be able to remember 1,600 species by their English name, when English is not their native language, is incredible. Also a good guide carries a spotting scope, binoculars, and a book, and is able to hike the slippery muddy trails without any effort. It’s impressive.
Well, we were on the trails when Julia heard a Barred Puffbird. It was nearing the time when we had to head back, but since she was hunting for him we kept on. We went down one trial to no avail. Then, when she was about to give up, she spotted him. Wow! We all got a good look at him and I even took some pics, they’re backlit, but pics nonetheless. Julia explained that he was a particularly hard bird to see and it was really special that we got to see him.
On the trails: Yellow-Bellied Seedeater, Lemon-Rumped Tanager, Squirrel Cuckoo, Red-Faced Spinetail, Red-Billed Parrot, Golden-Headed Quetzal, White-Winged Tanager, Dusky-Faced Tanager, Golden Tanager, Bay-Headed Tanager, Blackburnian Warbler, Fawn-Breasted Tanager, Scaly-Throated Foliage-Gleaner, Spotted Woodcreeper, Western Wood-Pewee, Blue-Black Grassquit, Yellow Tyrannulet, Yellow-Throated Bush-Tanager, Ornate Flycatcher, Roadside Hawk, Tropical Kingbird, Swallow Tanager, Blue-Necked Tanager, Buff-Breasted Saltator, Pale-Mandibled Aracari, White-Collared Swift, Rufous-Collared Sparrow, Strong-Billed Woodcreeper, Acadian Flycatcher, Orange-Bellied Eufonia, Grey-Headed Kite, Barred Puffbird, Thick-Billed Eufonia, Yellow-Bellied Siskin, Rusty-Margined Flycatcher, Flame-Faced Tanager, Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Variable Seedeater, White-Shouldered Tanager, Swainson’s Thrush, Ruddy Pigeon, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Turkey Vulture, Golden-Naped Tanager, Black Phoebe, Buff-Fronted Foliage-Gleaner, Plain-Brown Woodcreeper, Shiny Cowbird
Back at the Yellow House we enjoyed a special breakfast made by the ladies that run the place. They had more hummingbird feeders there and we were able to add a couple to our list. They told us that a motmot comes there every evening. If only we had known! Next time…
When we weren’t trouping around various trails it was very pleasant to hang around the balcony of our rooms and… what else? look at birds! There, and in the town of Mindo, we saw: Blue and White Swallow, Rusty-Margined Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Masked Water-Tyrant, Roadside Hawk, Pacific Hornero, Blue-Grey Tanager, Lemon-Rumped Tanager, Cattle Egret, Black-Winged Saltator, Palm Tanager, Shiny Cowbird, Bananaquit, White-Whiskered Hermit, White-Necked Jacobin, Golden Tanager, Streak-Headed Woodcreeper, Cinnamon Becard, Blue-Necked Tanager, Brown Violetear, Green-Crowned Woodnymph, Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird, Yellow-Bellied Seedeater, Andean Emerald, Green-Crowned Brilliant
We had to get back to Quito because we were looking forward to visiting some friends there that evening, and the following day we were going to head south.
Next blog: Baños, Ecuador