Ecuador: Copalinga and Podocarpus National Park
Just past Zamora is the Bombuscaro entrance to Podocarpus National Park, and a lodge called Copalinga. (http://www.copalinga.com) The lodge boasts some hummingbird feeders and some bushes that attract those beautiful little birds. We were told that a week or two earlier there had been a lot of different species of hummingbirds coming all day to the feeders. Unfortunately, bird life is unpredictable and so we missed out on some of the special birds that frequent the lodge. Nevertheless, we were able to see a few of the species that are often there.
The Copalinga lodge was a pleasant place to stay. We enjoyed resting in hammocks and overlooking the forest, when we weren’t out birding, and their breakfast was outstanding. Our hostess was very helpful with the birds too. One evening she took us, along with other birders that were there, to see a Blackish Nightjar that was nesting along the road to Podocarpus. That was a real treat that we wouldn’t have enjoyed on our own.
On our last morning in Copalinga we hiked one of the trails on the property, but weren’t able to see much. We had read glowing reports of this place, but I guess we were too far into Ecuador’s rainy season. I would still go back for the birds, perhaps at a different time of year. You never know what you will find, and that is part of the adventure that is birding.
Black-Throated Brilliant, Blue Dacnis, Blue-Grey Tanager, Blue and White Swallow, Blue-Necked Tanager, Canada Warbler, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Fork-Tailed Woodnymph, Glittering-Throated Emerald, Green Hermit, House Wren, Magpie Tanager, Orange-Bellied Euphonia, Orange-Billed Sparrow, Silver-Beaked Tanager, Sooty-Headed Tyrannulet, Squirrel Cuckoo, Swallow Tanager, Violet-Bellied Hummingbird, Violet-Fronted Brilliant, Violet-Headed Hummingbird, White-Lined Tanager, Wire-Crested Thorntail
Podocarpus National Park, Bombuscaro
From the parking area there is a long trail to traverse before you arrive at the official entrance to the park. Of course we started birding as soon as we left the car. Once in the park, there are a number of trails to choose from. One leads to a beautiful waterfall, another goes along a river, another goes further into the forest. We did not hike far from the offices in any direction because rain was a constant possibility. One time we were caught in a downpour and were able to find shelter until the worst was over. But most of the time there were only sprinkles off and on.
All was quiet on some trails. We were excited when we came across a mixed flock of feeding tanagers. Within a flock would be several types of tanagers as well as other species of birds.
Thanks to another couple that were there also we were able to identify a couple of birds that we couldn’t figure out on our own. There were no local guides to help us so encountering other birders along the path was very helpful.
Along the road and in the park we saw:
Ashy-Throated Bush-Tanager, Bay-Headed Tanager, Black Phoebe, Blackish Nightjar, Blue Dacnis, Blue-Grey Tanager, Blue-Necked Tanager, Blue and White Swallow, Canada Warbler, Crested Oropendula, Golden Tanager, Green and Gold Tanager, Grey-Hooded Bush-Tanager, Inca Jay, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Montane Foliage-Gleaner, Orange-Bellied Euphonia, Orange-Eared Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Red-Stained Woodpecker, Silver-Beaked Tanager, Slate-Throated Whitestart, Speckled Chachalaca, Spectacled Whitestart, Spotted Tanager, Squirrel Cuckoo, Thick-Billed Euphonia, Tropical Kingbird, Wedge-Billed Woodcreeper, Wing-Barred Piprites, Yellow-Throated Bush-Tanager