Our new pre-tour extension to Southern Ecuador takes us along Ecuador’s Pacific shores visiting Isla de la Plata for spectacular encounters with both Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, possibly also Red-footed Booby, many Magnificent Frigatebirds, the odd Humpback Whale and Red-billed Tropicbird before completing our journey searching for the Endangered endemic Esmeralda’s Woodstar, Grey-and-white Tyrannulet, Grey-capped Cuckoo, Necklaced Spinetail, Parrot-billed Seedeater, Collared Warbling Finch, Sulphur-throated Finch, Red-lored Amazon, Roseate Spoonbill, Chilean Flamingo and the smallest bird in South America, the Short-tailed Woodstar.
Esmeraldas Woodstar, Grey-and-white Tyrannulet, Grey-capped Cuckoo, Necklaced Spinetail, Short-tailed Woodstar, Crimson-breasted Finch, Collared Crescentchest, Peruvian Thick-knee, Scrub Nightjar, Parrot-billed Seedeater, Short-tailed Field-tyrant, Collared Warbling Finch, Sulphur-throated Finch, Saffron Siskin, Red-lored Amazon (Lilacine Amazon), Ecuadorian Piculet, Collared Antshrike, Roseate Spoonbill, Chilean Flamingo, Blue-footed, Nazca and Red-footed Booby, Red-billed Tropicbird.
off-shore island, humid coastal forest, arid xerophytic scrub, salt pans, shrimp ponds, rocky seashore
warm to hot and humid
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
easy with some tricky species
possible snorkelling at Isla de la Plata
I really enjoyed this trip, it's probably the best one I've been on! I loved the knowledge and personalities of both our guides, Andrés Trujillo & Dušan Brinkhuizen, as well as the naturalist guides and the boat crews.
Well, we have just returned from 2 wonderful weeks in Ecuador led by the best guide of any other trip we have taken for bird watching. Forrest is a true asset to the Rockjumper organization. On behalf of Kim and I, and I'm sure I can also speak for the rest of our group, please pass along our comments to Forrest. Forrest has taken birdwatching to a much higher level with his energy and knowledge, both of the area and his wealth of knowledge of the natural world. It is people like him that help make Rockjumper a Cadilac in the Birdwatching field.
I have just finished a very successful snipe day with Dusan. I got all three species I was after, which was a result of some excellent guiding by Dušan Brinkhuizen. I cannot commend him highly enough. He can fill you in on the detail but looking for an Andean Snipe in the rain and cold wind at 4300m takes some effort! I will certainly need my rest day tomorrow.
[To Dušan Brinkhuizen] Truly, it was the very best birding trip I have ever been on, including several other Rockjumper trips which have all been great. As I think back on it, I can only marvel at your amazing ability to hear and identify the "chips" and "tsits" of birds calling or singing from deep in the understorey or high in the canopy of mature cloud forest while walking with a noisy group of folks or, even more unbelievable, from a moving vehicle. And if this wasn't amazing enough, you would then expertly call the desired individual bird into view and, with incredible calm and patience, succeed in making sure that everyone of us on the tour got a crippling look (and maybe even a spectacular photo) of the target bird -- that as often as not -- was not only beautiful but also both rare and furtive. And to further blow our minds, you often would pull out your vegetation clippers and create a setting and stage on which the bird would perform for us -- even sometimes, like some magician, telling us on which perch it would sit!! As a measure of your expertise as a trip leader, let me tell you that on the two back-to-back trips with you I "got" 110 life birds (101 seen and 9 heard) and only missed 1 species that would have been a life bird for me (Blue-mantled Thornbill). Never on any trip before in my life had I experienced such a high rate of success!! But above and beyond all of the uncanny skill and expertise that you exhibited, was the kindness, friendship, and humanity that you showed to each us. For this I am so very grateful. Thank you!!! Moreover, I'm sure everyone on the trip felt this way and I'm sure it created a safe and happy feeling among all of us that made the trip even more enjoyable. I truly hope that I can go with you on another trip sometime. And finally thank you also for the wonderfully detailed and beautifully illustrated trip report you sent. I remain amazed at how you could remember so clearly all the details of the trip.
Before our trip Daniel Danckwerts, with Rockjumper, was so attentive with our question and concerns. This was a wonderful experience. My favorite was the week at Sani Lodge - fascinating and fun. The Galapagos was such a learning experience and Darwin (the Galapagos guide) was so knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions. Tuomas (our Rockjumper guide) was Very knowledgeable of birds and bird vocalizations. Very impressive and so helpful.
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