As of this past weekend my mom and I decided that we had been at San Isidro for long enough, over two weeks, and that it was time to move on elsewhere. So now we're in Quito again, with blessed internet service, after having spent a night at Guango Lodge on the way up, a really wonderful place.
I would highly recommend both San Isidro and Guango Lodges to anyone who likes nature, and of course, birds. The feeders at Guango usually have 1-2 Sword-billed Hummingbirds at them, along with around 10 other species that can be seen in a matter of 15 minutes or so.
San Isidro has great trails, great bird diversity, beautiful scenery, and also is centrally located to a lot of good birding places.
Today we made plans to head out to Sani Lodge in the Amazon on Monday, which involves a 45 minute plane ride from Quito to Coca, and then a 3 hour canoe ride down the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon. Basically what that means is from Monday until Friday, when we return, there will be possibilities of up to 500 species, of almost anything you can imagine. The specialties of Sani are Rufous Potoo and Cocha Antshrike, the former incredibly local and hard to pin down, yet they have a reliable day roost for it, and the latter being endemic to Ecuador, and also very rare and local.
In addition to that, they have the standard canopy tower and Hoatzins loafing around the cabins all day, or so I have heard. I cant wait!
Also, below I have compiled a list in taxonomic order, thanks to eBird, that lists all the species seen so far on this trip, all 335 of them. Of those, 278 are lifers, so I'm pretty happy.
On a side note, I'm up to 35 species of hummingbird and 33 different tanagers now.
After Sani we're still unsure what we're doing until January 3rd, when my moms friend comes down and joins us for the final two weeks in Mindo. We shall see!
I'm pushing for the southern part of the country, such as Loja, for reasons of bird diversity, but my mom doesnt seem too keen on that. One of the more recent possibilities is a little coastal town of Ayampe, which has good birding, warm weather, and hopefully quaintness, to keep us all happy. It's located near the coastal mountain range, a good river for birding, and an island not far off shore that is sort of a "mini-Galapagos", a place where Waved Albatross breeds, and stuff like that.
In any case, wherever we go and whatever we do, it's a great country to be in. The people are incredibly friendly, the food is cheap, lodges abound, and the birds are wonderful.