Ecuador 2011
February 8 - Sozorango Canton and Utuana Reserve
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Bird List
Utuana Reserve is another Jocoto Foundation project, preserving a remaining fragment of the 2,500 meter hilltop transition zone. The high altitude, epiphyte rich montane forest is transitional between evergreen and the deciduous forest of the Tumbesian type. We had a wonderful time in the few hours we were there.

Sozorango itself was good for the Chestnut-collared Swallows that nest in the eaves of a few roofs in the village. It's the kind of town that has moss growing between the cobbles on the main street. Sleepy and drizzly while we were there.

From there it was back to Jorupe Lodge. I suffered a catastrophic failure of my tripod head on a trail behind the Lodge, leaving me without a functional tripod (and a nasty bruise on my back where my camera swung down and struck me). Better my back than falling in the mud. But from that point on, in all but the brightest light I couldn't use the 2X teleconverter, so the birds are smaller, for the most part, from this day forward.

We tried hard for the Spectacled Owl after supper. We heard it a couple of times, but couldn't see it. Finally, we gave up and turned in, only to have our guide, Andrés, appear later - when I was sound asleep - and say he had the Owl. If anyone other than a birder had been watching the next hour, they would have laughed themselves sick. A string of groggy birders, wandering around half-dressed, looking for an owl in the dark jungle. But we found it, getting excellent views. And it was a mercifully low-bug night.

Click on a photo to see a larger version

Amazilia Hummingbird

White-winged Brush-finch

Savannah Hawk

Grey-cheeked Parrakeets

Butterfly Roost

Pacific Hornero

Our Group and a Ceiba Tree

Guayaquil Squirrel

Red Land Crab

All photos and text © 2011 Jim & Nancy DeWitt / Frozen Feather Images