Here’s a round up of the showstoppers from our trip to Northern Ecuador where we spent a week in the Amazon at Sacha Lodge (totally recommend) and a week with Tropical Briding on their Andes Introtour and High Andes extension.

First is the Pied Plover—–a charming shorebird we saw on the Napo River sandbar after a morning where we got drenched.

Pied Plover

Pied Plover

And, of course, there was my target bird, the white-water junkie, Torrent Duck. I thought I’d go the whole trip without seeing it, but I managed to see it on our last day.

Torrent Duck

Torrent Duck (male)

The Violet-tailed Sylph is a hummingbird that will take your breath away. It did for me and I adore this bird even more after a sweet and tragic incident while I was left alone at Tandayapa Lodge.

Violet-tailed Sylph

Violet-tailed Sylph

Another target bird for me was the Booted Racket-tail. I was so excited to see one and not only did I see one, but saw about 20 or so on our trip. But I never got bored of seeing them.

Booted Racket-tail

Booted Racket-tail

I may never get a photo of a Toucan, but the Araçari is generally more cooperative and willing to get his photo taken.

Pale-billed Araçari

Pale-billed Araçari

Oh, and then there’s the Swordbill Hummingbird. Really, guys. Look at that swordbill! How does it fly with that thing?

Sword Bill Hummingbird (yeah, I know it's a crummy photo, but you get the gist)

Sword Bill Hummingbird (yeah, I know it’s a crummy photo, but you get the gist)

Want to see a cute bird? No, not just any cute bird, but a really cute bird? Let me introduce you to the Antpitta. It was a lifer for both Steve and me. Just look at those legs!

Tawny Antpitta

Tawny Antpitta

See this Nightjar? A group of about 20 hikers walked right by this guy and none of them even noticed him, even while only 3 feet away. And the Nightjar didn’t seem too interested either. Cool bird, doncha think?

Band-winged Nightjar

Band-winged Nightjar

The bird giving an Oscar-worthy performance is the Common Potoo, who likes to pretend he’s a tree stump. In this picture you, of course, can tell it’s a bird, but at a distance you would likely not notice him. Steve also saw the Ecuadorian Potoo (rather rare, I might add), which disguised itself as a wasps nest. Nature cracks me up.

Common Potoo

Common Potoo

And to round it all up is the Hoatzin, which is an ancient bird found all around Sacha Lodge. This was not my first bird I saw in Ecuador, but the first showstopper as we arrived in the Amazon.

Hoatzin

Hoatzin

 

Other posts about this trip