Day 0. Arrive in Quito. Hostal Jhomana. Food not included.
Day 1. Leave Quito 6 am for an hour drinve to Yanacocha at 3400 m. A level trail takes us through temperate forest and we hope to find flocks with Barred Fruiteater, Black-chested-, Scarlet-bellied- and Hooded Mountain-Tanagers, also White-throated- and White-banded Tyrannulets and Blue-backed Conebill. Along the trail are a few sets of hummingbird feeders and they attract Sword-billed Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing, Sapphire-vented- and Golden-breasted Pufflegs among others. After packed lunch we drive for a few hours to Pacto where we spend the night.
Day 2. All morning at the relatively new Mashpi road where we hope to find Indigo Flowerpiercer, Black Solitaire, Moss-backed- and Glistening-green Tanager, Pacific Tuftedcheek, Rose-faced Parrot and flocks with many other tanagers and flycatchers, many of which are endemic to the Chocó region in northwest Ecaudor and western Colombia. In the afternoon we move on the Septimo Paraiso lodge near the famous Mindo village. The hummingbird feeders are good here with around 15 species.
Day 3. Early morning for a visit to Paz de las Antpittas. We start with displaying Cock-of-the-Rock then walk around the trails and hope the owners can call out Giant-, Moustached-, Ochre-breasted- and Yellow- breasted Antpittas that come in to feed on worms. Fruit is being put out for Blue-winged- and Black-chinned
Mountain-Tanagers, Toucan Barbet, Crimson-rumped toucanet and Dark-backed Wood-Quails. At the forest edge they have feeders that attract Velvet-purple Coronet and Empress Brilliant. After coffee and a snack we move on to their latest assett, an Ocellated Tapaculo that has also learned how easy it is to get a free meal. Afternoon will be spent around Mindo village looking for secondary bird like Pacific Antwren and Lesser Elaenia which may prove to be a separate species-Narino Elaenia. Night at Septimo Paraiso lodge.
Day 4. All day in the Tandayapa valley. Mostly roadside birding looking for Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Grass- green Tanager and flocks with other tanagers and flycatchers. In the late morning we move down a bit to the most species-rich hummingbird garden in the World with 42 species recorded. Here we eat our packed lunch and enjoy hummingbirds and we shall also walk the trails and hope to find more flocks. Late afternoon back to Septimo Paraiso lodge.
Day 5. All morning at the Milpe reserve in the foothills. Main attraction is a Club-winged Manakin lek. White- bearded Manakin also has a good lek here. Hummingbird feeders are active with Green Thorntail and Green-crowned Woodnymph and Brilliant. Banana feeders attract a selection of tanagers, Black-winged Saltator and Orange-billed Sparrow. Along the trails we may find Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Choco Trogon, Choco Warbler, Ochre-breasted Tanager, Tawny-rumped Flycatcher and Brown-billed Scythebill. The whole place is very birdy so the list may be long today. Night at Mirador Rio Blanco
Day 6. All day at Rio Silanche. This site in the lower foothills holds a different set of birds and the canopy tower here can be fantastic if flocks are coming close. Rare birds we hope for includes Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Blue-whiskered Tanager, Slate-throated Gnatcatcher and Little Woodstar. Flocks may have Gray-and-gold Tanager, Scarlet-thighed- and Yellow-tufted Dacnis, Black-striped Woodcreeper, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, White-tailed Trogon, Chestnut-mandibled- and Choco Toucans. Along the trail here we look for Western Slaty-Antshrike, Chestnut-backed Antbird, White-whiskered Puffbird, Guayaquil Woodpecker and Rufous Motmot. In a pond we hope to see Brown Wood-Rail and at dusk we try for Choco Screech-Owl and Short-tailed Nighthawk. Night at Mirador Rio Blanco
Day 7. We shall visit a nearby site for the spectacular Long-wattled Umbrellabird. We will see many of the species from yesterday and certainly some new birds. The feeders at Mirador Rio Blanco have the same species as Milpe but bananas often attract Pale-mandibled Aracari and photo opportunities are excellent. In the after- noon we visit the dry interandean valley with a completly new set of birds. Highlight is White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant but we shall also look for Streak-backed Canastero, Rusty Flowerpiercer, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Golden-rumped Euphonia, Band-tailed Sierra-Finch and Purple-collared Woodstar. Night in Quito.
Day 8. All day birding the Papallacta area. On the way up we look for Black Flowerpiercer, Red-crested Cotinga and Carunculated Caracara. Up at the pass we may find Many-striped Canastero, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Tawny Antpitta, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant and Blue-mantled Thornbill. Up at the top we look for Rufous- bellied Seedsnipe and with luck also Andean and Noble Snipes. A stop at the lake should give us Andean Coot, Andean Teal and Yellow-billed Pintail. In a side valley we hope to find flocks with Masked- and Black-chested Mountan-Tanagers, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Golden-crowned Tanager, Agile Tit-Tyrant and White-throated Tyrannulet. Viridian Metaltail is common here and we may see Shining Sunbeam and Great Sapphirewing. We shall also give Cresent-faced Antpitta and Paramo Tapaculo a try. Chance on Condor if the whether is good. In late afternoon we come to Guango lodge and the busy hummingbird feeders. New hummers here will be Tourmaline Sunangel, Long-tailed Sylph, Chestnut-breasted Coronet and with luck also Mountain Avocetbill and Glowing Puffleg. Night at Guango lodge.
Day 9. Morning birding around the lodge looking for flocks with Black-capped- and Black-eared hemispingus, Plushcap, Slaty Brush-Finch, Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager and White-banded Tyrannulet. We hope to find Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Dusky Piha, Andean Guan, Torrent Duck and the highland subspecies of Masked Trogon. After lunch we move down to San Isidro lodge. New hummingbird here will be Bronzy Inca. Along the road and around lodge we may find Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Crested- and Golden-headed Quetzals, Pale-eyed Thrush, Yellow-vented Woodpecker. Several tanager including Saffron- crowned-, Flame-faced- and Black-capped. After dinner we look for the ‘mystery’ Owl which closely resembles Black-banded Owl and is often seen around the cabins. Night at San Isidro lodge with spectacular food.
Day 10. Morning around the cabins looking at the flurry of birds that come in to feed on moths that have been attracted by the lights here. Masked Trogon, Pale-edged- and Rufous-breasted Flycatchers, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Olive-backed- and Montane Woodcreepers are just some. During the boreal winter Canada and Blackburnian Warblers are abundant. At present they feed White-bellied and Peruvian Antpittas and we look at those.
Rest of the morning we walk the trails and road and look for Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Long-tailed Antbird and try to see Long-tailed- and Blackish Tapaculos. White-capped Tanager is often seen around the lodge and we may also see Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia and Powerful Woodpecker. After lunch we head back to Quito and end of trip.