Nature Reserve & Biological Station

  • Silja S.

Mashpi

Soon after the Bird Counts in Chical and Mindo we got invited to participate in another Bird Count, this time in Mashpi. It did not take long to agree that all of us were totally up for another count, so early in the morning of the 26th December we drove to Mashpi. On the road we met with three other participants and divided into two groups, one of which, including Wilo, took a route through the forest, while the other group was going to follow the street.

As bird vocalization is strongest just after sunrise, this second group, including Nicole, Jens, Mees, Roel, Pablo, Frances and Silja, was able to identify many birds by sound on the first part of their way. But being on an open road rather than in the forest, we could not only see the amazing morning landscape, but also many birds such as Moss-backed Tanagers, which are typical for the region, a White-tipped Sicklebill and a Streak-capped Treehunter just flying into its nest.

After a while we reached Reserva Amagusa, where we had a little break and could observe lots of birds on both banana- and hummingbird feeders. We saw a total of seven Crimson-rumped Toucanets just about two meters away sharing bananas with various tanagers, while the hummingbird feeders were surrounded by Velvet-purple Coronets, Empress Brilliants and other beautifully shimmering hummingbirds. One highlight was definitely the Glistening-green Tanager, as well as the Golden-collared Honeycreeper, for which we waited a while – but then it came as a whole family of male, female and young.

At the feeders, we also met the other group again and some of us got a glimpse of a pair of Orange-breasted Fruiteater. Then we continued together through a piece of forest to another feeder. On the way we heard some new species but nothing new appeared at the feeder – we managed to take a few nice pictures though. Finally, we went back to the car and drove to our starting point at the road where we got out again in hope to see the Indigo Flowerpiercer. However, we had no luck and left after a while to get lunch in Pacto Loma. Altogether, we saw and heard a bit over 100 species of birds on that day, many of which were new to the participants.

Fun note:

While I was writing this blog, something unusual happened and I just had to interrupt my writing for a bit. Let me share the reason for that with you: While I was sitting here at the table in the station house, a hummingbird flew in through the open door! Jumping up in surprise and trying to catch it with my friends, I just caught a glimpse of a second hummingbird flying in! Still confused and surprised we caught both hummingbirds. After identifying them as White-tipped Sicklebill and Booted Racket-tail, we measured and banded them. That certainly was an exciting break from writing!

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