19th December 2012 - 20th January 2013

Guango Lodge

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)

Only about a 2 hour drive from Quito, Guango Lodge is surrounded by humid, high-altitude (2700m) temperate rainforest on the eastern slope of the Andes.

Our main focus here were the hummingbirds again and we spent several hours of each of the 3 days we stayed staking out the numerous sugar feeders. In total, I saw 15 species of hummingbirds at the Guango Lodge feeders and managed to get decent photos of all but 2 of them. The stars of the show were without doubt the spectacular Sword-billed Hummingbirds.

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)

The commonest species visiting the feeders, however, was the Tourmaline Sunangel.

female Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis)

female Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis)

male Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis)

male Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis)

Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)

male Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis)

Glowing Puffleg only visited the feeders on a couple of occasions on the final day of our stay...

Glowing Puffleg (Eriocnemis vestitus)

...whereas Tyrian Metaltails were regularly present in small numbers.

Tyrian Metaltail (Metallura tyrianthina)

Buff-winged Starfrontlet (Coeligena lutetiae)

Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens)

Long-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi)

Long-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi)

Masked Flowerpiercers were also common visitors to the sugar feeders.

Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossopis cyanea)

Another spectacularly blue bird frequently seen around the lodge area are Turquoise Jays, who roam around the forest in noisy family groups foraging for insects.

Turquoise Jay (Cyanolyca turcosa)

A couple of indigenous Brazilian Rabbits occasionally ventured out onto the lawn behind the gazebo.

Brasilian Rabbit (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)

Early each morning, we took the short walk along the road to a feeding site for a pair of Chestnut-crowned Antpittas. The light levels in the dense understorey were so poor that I didn't get a single sharp photo on the first morning! Thankfully, the weather was slightly better the following day and the marginally quicker shutter speeds allowed me to get at least a couple of decent shots.

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla)

A large portion of the remainder of our time was spent along the river bank trying to get decent photos of Torrent Ducks. I didn't have a lot of luck with this and, although I saw the resident pair on numerous occasions, they were never close enough for me to get anything other than record shots. I did, however, have a lot more success with the White-capped Dippers that also inhabit that stretch of river.

White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus)

Along the forest edges, we encountered a couple of small, mixed, feeding flocks...

Hooded Mountain-tanager (Buthraupis montana)

Grey-headed Bush-tanager (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris)

Pale-naped Brush-finch (Atlapetes pallidinucha)

Great Thrush (Turdus fuscater)

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