Birding in the Ecuadorian Andes, Day 4

Day #4 

We left Sachatamia in the dark, for an hour’s drive downhill to the west. The destination was the Rio Silanche, at an elevation of around 1100′ (Sachatamia Lodge is situated at an elevation of 5577′, and Mindo at 4100′ elevation). We arrived shortly after dawn, and the first bird I was able to photograph was the yellow-tailed oriole, which was only about 50 yards away.

Yellow-tailed Oriole

Green Thorntail Hummingbird

Lineated Woodpecker

Roadside Hawk

The group

Breadfruit, or related




We discontinued our walk when we ran into an oil palm plantation. Moses had followed us in the bus, which was very convenient. We then returned to the main highway, and headed back east. After a while, we took a left, to visit Milpe.

Band-backed Wren?

Choco Toucan

Choco Toucan

Mindo Cloud Forest (MCF) Foundation Sign

From Milpe, we drove to the town of San Miguel de los Bancos (benches), to visit another fabulous spot, the Mirador Rio Blanco (“Mirador” means view point). But first we made a stop at the soccer field on the edge of town, and I got a nice “capture” (as bird photographers say) of the Pacific Hornero.

Pacific Hornero

The Mirador Rio Blanco has a big deck overlooking the valley of the Rio Blanco, with lots of feeders spread around, and lots of birds.

On the deck, with Karen, Ginger and Kathy

Telephoto view of the Rio Blanco, which was well below us

Ecuadorian Thrush

Flame (Lemon)-rumped Tanager

Flame (Lemon) – rumped tanager




Green-crowned Brilliant female

Green Thorntail


Orange-bellied Euphonia

Palm Tanager

We had lunch there, and could photograph birds on the banana feeders through the spotless large windows that lined one side of the room, while enjoying the food and drink. Lee and I had decided that we really liked to watch birds while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Slate-throated Redstart, in the dining room

Rufous-throated Tanager

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Black-winged Saltator


Silver-throated Tanager

White-necked Jacobin female


We had to tear ourselves away from the Mirador Rio Blanco, because we had more bird watching to do. We drove back to Sachatamia, and then past it, for about a quarter-mile further, to the San Tadeo Birding Garden. There, we could, again, sip a cup of coffee while watching yet a new bunch of birds, and I clicked away furiously while the light faded.

Black-capped Tanager

Flame-faced Tanager

Golden-naped Tanager

Golden-naped Tanager


Masked Water-Tyrant

The water feature at the otherwise tiny garden was especially attractive to the birds, including the Masked Water-Tyrant seen above. And then the Barbets showed up!

Red-headed Barbet

Toucan Barbet

along with the Violet-tailed Sylph.

Violet-tailed Sylph

What a day! What a collection of absolutely beautiful birds! Our count for the day was 50 new species, with a total of 69 species seen, and 26 photos of new species are included in this post.

Link to Day #5:

About Evensteven

I am a photographer and author, and live in Embudo, New Mexico, alongside the Rio Grande. I have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: The Grand: I have also published six additional iBooks: 1. The Salt River: 2. Coyote Buttes: 3. Four Cornered, the Land: 4. Four Cornered, The Rivers: 5. Rio Marañon: 6. Rio Grande:
This entry was posted in Birding, Ecuador and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Birding in the Ecuadorian Andes, Day 4

  1. believesteve says:

    Thanks! More good stuff to come! Toucanets, Antpittas ….


  2. Jim Emenegger says:

    Wow, wow, wow! All great pics! Love the bee and the Brilliant!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s