19th December 2012 - 20th January 2013


Ciudad del Mitad del Mundo, Quito

Despite billing itself as the monument at the middle of the World, the yellow line denoting the equator that all the tourists (including us) dutifully stand straddling with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere, is not actually on the equator. After returning home, I found out that the monument was built where it is solely because the government was offered the sale of a conveniently flat piece of land, close to the equator. The true equator actually lies about 250m (800ft) to the north!

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata)

We next stopped for the night at a lodge in the suburbs of Quito so that we didn't have to get up too early to reach Antisano the following morning. The grounds of the lodge produced a couple of new species, such as Black-tailed Trainbearer.

female Black-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia victoriae)

The next morning found us on the high paramo grasslands of the Antisano Volcano. Unfortunately the weather was against us and a strong wind meant that finding many of our target species on the exposed plateau was next to impossible. Not even the Condors were willing to leave their roost in the high winds. The large flocks of Carunculated Caracaras at least gave us something to photograph...

Carunculated Caracara (Phalcoboenus carunculatus)

We also got lucky with a Paramo Ground-tyrant that braved the biting winds for a brief period and perched on top of a cushion-like mound of a species of Baccharis.

Paramo Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola alpina)

Tandayapa Back to map Guango Lodge