October 26, 2007
Two weeks in Ecuador including Quito and Cuenca and four days in the Ecuadorian Amazon with exciting birding, great companions, and excellent native guide and biologist comprised a most memorable vacation.Trek to Sacha Lodge and the Black Lagoon
From 10000 feet elevation at Quito we jumped off the Andes by VIP Airlines to the 800 foot elevation at Coca. From here, the Napo-Amazon descends to the Atlantic Ocean at a drop of about 1 foot per mile.
At Coca, on the Napo River, we took fast double outboard motor canoes for about two hours (70 Km) down the River where we were met with a totally soaking thunderstorm. The River is the carretarra for these parts carrying a barge with trucks, dugouts with families, water taxies, and tour boats.
He and our trekking biologist Oscar D paddled us in dugout canoes for another hour to the black water lagoon where we crossed to the lodge.
We were greeted with very welcome warm towels and a refreshing drink.
We declined to swim with the Creatures of the Black Lagoon although we were assured that the alligators, electric eels, and "mostly vegetarian" Piranhas seldom attack.Birds, Fish, Moluscas, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Mammals Lists
Every day we walked for a few hours and canoed along the creeks.
The metal towers at 140 feet above the floor of the jungle and above the canopy allowed us to view for miles over the rain forest with excellent birding.
Also we spent several hours in the upper branches of a 150 foot tree after climbing the wooden stairs build around it. Here in the tree tops many birds came to visit us and eat the fruits.
On the last hike we were treated to a perched pair of Crested Owls just off the trail while a troop of squirrel monkeys added to the clatter of the forest
Just before sundown, the forest grows silent. Then the crepuscular animals, primarily monkeys come out. Then, as darkness approaches the sounds of the forest change to the twirps, twitters, growns, shouts, and calls of frogs that sound like birds and birds that sound like frogs.
At each evening we compiled our list. This is the result:
Now we are back; the Aves Galeria is open with a few new treasures from Ecuador.
I am sure that we will return to Ecuador for more Birding. Next we will scope the Andes and the big valley between Quito and Cuenca.
We will be posting some photos of our adventure on our website at avesajijic.com
Happy Birding to You All
Allen y Judy (Turner y Boyd) Aves Galeria
phone: 376 766 2759