19th December 2012 - 20th January 2013


Sapphire-vented Puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani)

For the second part of my tour of Ecuador I joined a workshop run by top Canadian bird photographer, Glenn Bartley. After meeting up with the group in Quito we headed up into the mountains after breakfast to spend the morning at Yanacocha, a reserve on the northwestern slope of the Pichincha volcano at an altitude of about 3300m above sea-level. The reserve was set up by the Jocotoco Foundation in 2001 to protect the habitat of one of the few last known localities for the critically-endangered Black-breasted Puffleg. Unfortunately we didn't see any individuals of this extremely rare hummingbird, but there was plenty of other species present around the feeders to keep us busy.

Sapphire-vented Puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani)

Both Sapphire-vented and Golden-breasted Pufflegs were fairly common in the area around the feeders and despite the misty conditions we were able to get decent pictures of both species.

Golden-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis mosquera)

Buff-winged Starfrontlet was another common hummingbird that regularly visited the feeders.

Buff-winged Starfrontlet (Coeligena lutetiae)

Both Masked and Glossy Flowerpiercers were also attracted to the abundant supply of sugar water and were regular vistors.

Glossy Flowerpiercer (Diglossa lafresnayii)

By far the most spectacular visitors to the feeders, however, were without a doubt the Great Sapphirewing and Sword-billed Hummingbirds (see Guango Lodge page for photos of the Sword-billed). Both of these species are among the largest of the hummingbirds and the rate of their wingbeat is noticeably slower than that of the smaller species.

Great Sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus)

Rufous Antpitta (Grallaria rufula)

Just 50m from the hummingbird feeders is a feeding site for a habituated Rufous Antpitta who was totally unconcerned by our presence as it came down to claim its breakfast of chopped worms.

Rufous Antpitta (Grallaria rufula)

Buenaventura Back to map Tandayapa