On the trail of the Jocotoco Antpitta
Southern Ecuador contains several restricted and endangered ecosystems ranging from swamps, deserts, arid scrub, deciduous forests, rainforests, montane cloud forests, high altitude elfin forests, and páramo. Some of these are considered Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) by BirdLife International and are home to a number of Tumbesian and Chocó endemics such as Chocó Toucan, Club-winged Manakin, the impressive Long-wattled Umbrellabird, El Oro Parakeet, Gray-backed Hawk, Gray-and-gold Warbler and many others. Up in the Andes around Copalinga we’ll be looking for birds such as White breasted Parakeet, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet and Coppery-chested Jacamar. Finally, at Casa Simpson in the Tapichalaca Reserve we hope to encounter the iconic Jocotoco Antpitta.
Grading & Weather
Grade B – This holiday is a dedicated and fairly strenuous birding tour, suiting those with an adventurous spirit and a willingness to get up early and spend long days in the field off the beaten track.
Most sites on this trip are in cooler highland regions where temperatures are pleasant, although it is hotter, more humid and oppressive near the coast. On this tour most walking is relatively easy, although the terrain underfoot is rough in parts (no scrambling required). One or two sites may require some slow- paced uphill walking on a relatively narrow road, where there is little or no traffic. In general, our birding at all sites will be along roadsides/on jeep tracks. Most mornings we will be up well before dawn for early breakfasts (or coffee/tea and snacks to be followed by packed breakfasts later).
Heavy persistent rainfall is unlikely but one should always be prepared for rain in the Andes. Stout footwear will be required and wellies, if needed, can be sourced in Ecuador.
Please inspect the separate clothing list, sent to you on booking, thoroughly.
After breakfast, we will head to Catamayo’s Airport to take our short flight to Quito.
After landing, we will be met and taken to the open grasslands in the highlands of the Antisana Ecological Reserve (from 9000 ft to + 13000 ft). This is one of the best sites in Ecuador to see some high-altitude birds such as Andean Condor, Andean Ibis, Silvery Grebe, Giant Hummingbird and Ecuadorian Hillstar. After a hearty Andean lunch at a hacienda, we will head to the airport for our international flight back home.
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