Sunday, July 10, 2011: We left early for Yanacocha. Our exit from Quito was a bit delayed due to a marathon. Some of Quito's typical species were seen on the way out of Quito: Rufous-collared Sparrow, Rock Pigeon, Eared Dove, and Great Thrush.

Yanacocha Reserve

On the drive to Yanacocha we added Golden-bellied (Southern Yellow) Grosbeak, Black Flower-piercer, Paramo Pipit. The Yanacocha parking lot produced Sparkling Violetear, Shining Sunbeam, Brown-bellied Swallow, Masked Flower-piercer, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, and Rainbow-bearded Thornbill. The starfrontlets were plentiful at feeders along the upper portion of the trail.

View from Yanacocha
View from Yanacocha

About a half-dozen Andean Guans flew across the trail as we worked our way up. Other notable birds included Great Sapphirewing, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Glossy Flower-piercer, Spectacled Whitestart, and Sapphire-vented Puffleg. Jose pointed out a Crowned Chat-Tyrant, but I don't think anyone but me got on it. Fortunately, we later found another. We continued to add species as we ascended: Black-chested Mountain-Tanager, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Yellow-breasted (Rufous-naped) Brush-Finch, White-throated Tyrannulet, Blue-backed Conebill, and Superciliaried Hemispingus (one of Brian's favorite bird names). A sizeable group of Rufous Wren caused some excitement. There were hummers other than starfrontlets at the upper feeders. We added Golden-breasted Puffleg and Mountain Velvetbreast to our total, besides seeing more of the most species we had seen below. We followed a lovely Barred Fruiteater up the trail. Interestingly enough, I had seen one in just about the same spot 3 years ago. Somewhere I saw Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager and Tyrian Metaltail. The metailtail may have been in the parking lot after we returned, and probably wasn't noted down because we were eating lunch. Several of the mountain-tanagers were present on the trail. Finally, several notable species were heard, but not seen along the trail: Ash-colored Tapaculo, Blackish (Unicolored) Tapaculo, Ocellated Tapaculo, and Rufous Antpitta.

As we drove back out of Yanacocha, we saw Variable Hawk, Plain-colored Seedeater, a very wet Black-crested Warbler, and Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle.

Old Nono-Mindo Road

Toucan Barbet
Toucan Barbet

We took the old Nono-Mindo Road to Tandayapa. It takes a lot longer than the new road, but the birding is better. Rain limited our birding at first, but eventually we found some opportunities. Several stops along the road gave us Blue-and-white Swallow, a mystery Spinetail (probably Red-capped, but our guide Jose heard a Rusty-winged Barbtail in about the same location. We don't think this is the bird we saw, but the look was not quite good enough. A Smoke-colored Pewee perched out in the open. A couple of Turquoise Jays were visible across the stream. We also added Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Brown-capped Vireo, and a race of Black-eared Hemispingus, Western (Black-eared) Hemispingus. The same area also had Russet-crowned Warbler, Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet, and Tropical Parula. A bit farther along we saw Roadside Hawk from the bus. The next stop yielded Band-tailed Pigeon, Slate-throated Whitestart, Plushcap. We actually stopped for Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, but it took us a while to relocate it. The next stop was prompted by a Toucan Barbet sitting next to the road. We were all pleased to see this bird, but Brian was especially pleased to get a great look at a nemesis bird sitting only 30 feet away. We also found Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, and. Golden-headed Quetzal. I did not properly note where we saw several additional species The Montane Woodcreeper, Strong-billed Woodcreeper were seen, but Andean Solitaire, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, and Gray-breasted Wood-Wren were only heard.

My bird total for the day was 59 species, including 8 lifers.

Tandayapa Bird Lodge