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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Ecuador: The Amazon Lowlands 2

A Week at Sani Lodge

The trip will begin with a short flight on a modern jet from Quito to Coca where we’ll board our longboat for the trip down the Rio Napo. (gr) These boats are comfortable and well shaded for sun or rain during our 2.5 hour ride down the Rio Napo. After a short walk followed by a canoe ride, we’ll reach Sani Lodge, our home for the week. After a welcome drink in the lounge, we’ll be shown to our private cabins… …which are comfortable and clean. Birds seen from the restaurant include the iconic Hoatzin… …and the flashy White-eared Jacamar, here braving a rain shower. Right around our cabins we may find a Blue-crowned Trogon… …Scarlet-crowned Barbet (the female, here, has a whitish crown!)… …0r the improbable Long-billed Woodcreeper. The 200 steps up the canopy tower will give us a bird’s eye view… 
…from a big sturdy platform… …where we’ll be at eye-level with the attractive little White-browed Purpletuft… ….or perhaps a Scale-breasted Woodpecker…. …and a Channel-billed Toucan might appear at any moment. (jf) Flocks of canopy tangers may include Yellow-bellied Dacnis… …and overhead we can scan for raptors such as this Black Hawk-Eagle. Most parrots are seen in flight, but we may find a Blue-and-yellow Macaw feeding quietly in the canopy. Much of our birding will be done while being paddled around in canoes through the flooded forest (known as várzea). (gb)
…where an American Pygmy Kingfisher may be on the look-out… …as we seek the very local Cocha Antshrike, here a female. Perhaps we’ll see a boldly patterned young Rufescent Tiger-Heron… …andwe’ll certainly encounter the visually and vocally arresting Black-capped Donacobius. We have a good chance to find some nocturnal species during the day, such as this beautifully cryptic juvenile Great Potoo… …or perhaps a Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl peering from the shade… …or even a majestic Crested Owl Islands in the Napo River host a new suite of birds… (jf)  Including the understated Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Numerous forest trails provide access to interior of the primary rainforest… …allowing us access to a different avifauna, perhaps including Rufous-capped Antthrush, (jf)
…as well as clay licks that can swarm with Cobalt-winged Parakeets. (gb) While birds are our focus, there is so much more to see in the rainforest, perhaps a Noisy Night Monkey peering from its roost …or the endearing Squirrel Monkey. Cryptic frogs can be spotted by the sharp-eyed… …as well as some nasty-looking caterpillars – yes, those spines sting! Our time in the rainforest may also give us time to ponder the age-old question: How many butterflies can dance on the head of a turtle? No matter what we see, it’s always different, and simply being in Amazonia is an experience in itself.