Monday, May 30, 2016

Jocotoco Antpitta, Tapichalaca Lodge, Ecuador

The day dawned when we knew we were in for the best bird of the trip but the rain was still falling, it was torrential and relentless. We set off and it was a good 45 minute walk, up a stony, very slippery slope. Our waterproofs soon gave up and we were soaked to the skin but we persevered onward and upward to the area where these antpittas were being fed. One of the rangers from the lodge had gone up with a tub of chopped worms before us, a trek that he makes every day. We soon joined him and got our places ready and the ranger called out their names !  Yes, they had names and within a couple of minutes they could be heard calling and soon popped out, straight infront of us with no fear of humans at all. We stayed and watched them for a good half hour before we made the homeward journey, equally as wet and treacherous. It was the bird of trip without doubt and we felt very privileged to have seen a bird that had only been found 8 years ago! This reserve is home to most of the world's population of Jocotoco Antpitta. 
On the way back down we saw the White-throated Quail-Dove and a Chestnut-naped Antpitta. Soaked to the skin, but as happy as pigs in swill !

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