Loja, Ecuador: Podocarpus NP, Cajanuma
We spent some time in Loja where our daughter lives and works. She is involved in training Sunday School teachers and others who are teaching children about God. It was a privilege to meet her friends and coworkers and attend a Kid’s Club, a Sunday School, and a couple of teacher training sessions. We are proud of her and pleased with all that is being done to reach the children of that area for Jesus Christ. Learn more about Jennifer by following her blog: Kid’s Kaleidoscope (see sidebar for link).
One of Ecuador’s most famous National Parks is near Loja, Parque Nacional Podocarpus. One morning we went to the Cajanuma entrance, not deterred by the rain which is pretty constant there. Concerned about some recent landslides, we left the car on the road and walked. As it turned out, most of the birds we saw that day were along the road.
We arrived at the official shelter, ate our sandwiches, and headed up one of the trails. As we were going along, Jennifer spotted a little brown bird just ahead of us on the trail. It was a Tawny Antpitta! We were really excited! Previously, we had seen antpittas only because someone had sought them out for us. This one was unsolicited.
It was a good thing that the day before Jennifer and Dave had obtained some rubber boots. The trail was very muddy! I ran out of oomph to keep going all uphill, so headed back down while they went on through the muddiest parts to the lookout. The clouds parted just enough for them to see the town below. Then the clouds closed in again.
Meantime, on the trail down, I saw a Masked Trogon. Dave and Jennifer got to see it too when they caught up with me. What a thrill!
We were soaked by the time we got back to the car in spite of our rain gear, but happy for all the birds that we saw and for the adventure of hiking in a new place and in the rain.
In Podocarpus, Cajanuma: Slate-Throated Whitestart, Rufous-Naped Brush Finch, Rufous-Collared Sparrow, Great Thrush, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Montane Woodcreeper, Blue-Black Tanager, Rufous-Bellied Euphonia, Spectacled Whitestart, Collared Inca, Grey-Headed Bush Tanager, Tawny Antpitta, Masked Trogon, Hooded Siskin, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Brown-Backed Chat-Tyrant, Grey-Hooded Bush-Tanager
Next blog: Birding Roads near Loja