From east to west: The X-mas bird counts 2014 -- Part 1 Cosanga
After three exciting weeks with the Banded Ground Cuckoo temporarily came to an end, the period of the Christmas Bird Counts began for the current “Un poco del Choco – Crew”.
What are Christmas Bird Counts? And what is their purpose?
Ok, therefore it’s important to know that the counts take place every year around x-mas in actually the same locations in several countries (including Ecuador). Even if I personally think that every participant has its own aim, the main goal for the counts is to register as many bird species as possible in a given count circle. Furthermore the counts provide data for population trends, which is important for science and research. And for this reason we wanted to be a part of this special event. So we decided to go first to the Cosanga count on the eastern slope of the Andes and participated a week later in the Mindo count, which is situated on the western side of Ecuador.
For the Cosanga count we planned to have a longer weekend trip. So apart from the “bird count stuff” (binoculars, “bird bible”, rubber boots, rainproof clothes, insect repellent, sun screen) we all packed our swimming suits, because on the first evening we stopped in Papallacta for taking a bath in hot volcanic water. After we spent the night in Papallacta, we visited the Guango Lodge on the next morning. And besides all the other hummingbirds there we luckily got to see the Sword-billed Hummingbird; this species has the longest beak of all hummingbirds; the beak of this bird is even longer than the bird itself. Unfortunately we couldn`t take a picture. So therefore you need to believe me ;-)