We packed up and began our return to the Quito area, with a stop at Guango Lodge on the way. In dense cloud forest, at an elevation of around 10,500′, this lodge sits right next to the highway and astride an oil pipeline right of way. While the former is noisy, the latter provides a broad and grassy swath to follow. And, there were plenty of hummers at the feeders, including the Collared Inca, which we had not yet seen.
We ate a delicious lunch there, which included this dessert:
While on my own for a few minutes, I got to spend a little time with this fabulous bird – the Strong-billed Woodcreeper.
We then resumed our drive uphill to Papallacta Pass …
… and, over on the other side, made one more birding stop, in search of a cotinga – but to no avail.
And then it was on to the Rincon de Puembo, our last night’s lodging, and the official end of the trip. Our count of new species was 275. But, for Kathy, myself and Jim, the birding trip was not quite over. Our flights did not leave until close to midnight the next night, giving us one more opportunity to bird. And, I had, beforehand, searched online and discovered the Puembo Birding Garden.