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Day 3 (Sunday, 20th April)

    Tandayapa is reputedly one of the Holy Grails of birding, and while the visit was enjoyable, other sites were more rewarding. This may be due to the expectation surrounding the place, or even the seasonal timing. Our visit consisted of an initial walk around one of the trails, followed by the traditional viewing of the hummingbird feeders. However, one of the highlights of the day had to be completed first - the visit to the hide to wait for Immaculate Antbird. The hide is of a slightly unusual design, having full length mesh "windows" instead of shutters, and outside a light on the ground to attract moths and other insect food for the birds. The Antbird duly put in a reasonably brief appearance shortly after we arrived, which was unfortunately still in the semi dark. Not many other birds are to be seen from here, so we departed within 20 minutes of arriving.

Inside hide

Feeders

Inside the Antbird hide

Lit area in front of hide

Forest track


Forest track
 

    Since the hummingbirds are guaranteed throughout the day, a walk along the Potoo Trail was decided upon. Most of this was through dense forest, and up muddy tracks, with very little birdlife on offer. Strangely, the most regular bird seen was a "world target" - 6 Andean Cock-of-the-Rocks. These were initially picked up by raucous call, and it was only the last bird which could be seen perched. It was when we were about half way around the trail that birds started to appear. First off was a small bird party which included wood-warblers and one or two other small passerines, with a Blue-capped Tanager close by. Band-tailed Pigeons outnumbered Plumbeous Pigeons here, with small parties regularly seen. It was at this point that we had our first major mammal of the trip, with a Tyra padding its way along the horizontal branches. When we had almost completed the descent, the terrain opened up, and we spotted perched Tropical Parula, Slate-throated Whitestarts, Brown-capped Vireos, and a noisy Golden-crowned Flycatcher. The Potoo Trail terminated at the start of the Tandayapa entrance track, which meant one more climb before the breakfast waiting in the car.

    The rest of the time at Tandayapa was spent viewing the hummingbird feeders. As is usual at these throngs, hummers were in good numbers and particularly busy. The new species here included Empress Brilliant and Andean Emerald, although we realised when we saw it that one had been seen yesterday at Tony Nunnery's. One of the prevalent birds here was Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, which was always active, seldom alighting away from the feeders for long. A fruit feeder had also been stocked to try to attract families such as tanagers, but seemed to be shunned during our visit. A short time was also spent at a lower balcony where there were no feeders, leaving the watching open to varied birds. A Dusky-capped Flycatcher was the first seen, and the best views yet of Golden-naped Tanager were obtained. A Masked Trogon which had been first seen at the head of the path down to this viewing platform was subsequently refound over the steps down from the accommodation block.

Blue-tailed Emerald

Booted Racket-tail

Blue-tailed Emerald

Booted Racket-tail

Purple-throated Woodstar

Violet-tailed Sylph

Purple-throated Woodstar

Violet-tailed Sylph

Masked trogon

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Masked trogon

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

www.alambicloudforest.com

Alambi

River

Alambi feeder area

River Alambi behind property

   20 minutes further down the valley from Tandayapa is this smallholding. It is owned by a family who are keen to advertise its avian virtues to visiting birders, and even has a couple rooms to rent. There is a small house set in limited acreage, but its strength lies in the fact that more hummers of a different mix can be seen here, along with other birds attracted to a fruit feeder. This was the centre of attention for a mixed bag of birds, from the common Blue-grey & Flame-rumped Tanagers, to the impressive Thick-billed Euphonia and elusive (at this location) Equadorian Thrush. The most surprising visitor of all was Pale-legged Hornero, which was first seen at the back of the bushes perched self confidently in the open, then to be joined by two others at the other side of the property. A singing Smoke-coloured Pewee sang from the top of a conifer. The hummingbird feeders were as manic as usual. Main delight here was a stunning pair of Green-crowned Woodnymphs, but Green-crowed Brilliant and White-necked Jacobin were the first of each to be seen on this trip. Andean Emeralds were as common here as at Tandayapa, but more likely to perch in the open. A Brown Violet-ear seemed very reticent, happy to remain as a wallflower most of the time away from the mayhem. King of this castle was the male Green-crowned Brilliant, which was happy to take on all comers to retain its own chunk of sugar water realty.

    We ended the visit to Alambi with a short walk along the nearby river, the main quarries being Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper. The former was probably seen as a duck like bird flew from the water, but no sign was seen of the latter. We did pick up a couple of Yellow-bellied & single female Variable Seedeaters in the process.

Andean Emerald

Green-crowned Woodnymph

Andean Emerald

Green-crowned Woodnymph

Buff-throated Saltator

Flame-rumped Tanager

Buff-throated Saltator

Flame-rumped Tanager

White-lined Tanager

Smoke-coloured Pewee

White-lined Tanager

Smoke-coloured Pewee

Home

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Introduction

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Day 6

Day 7

Species list

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