Our first stop today was the home of Carlos Mario Aranzazu, which he calls "Terra Birding" in Manzinales. He built a fantastic viewing area surrounded by hanging fuschia and other nectar-rich plants, hummingbird feeders and great perches for photography.
I got what I think is my best hummingbird photograph of the entire trip here. A Fawn-breasted Brilliant hung from one of the Fuschia plants while feeding and I was able to capture it.
Carlos, Steve and me at Terra Birding
We spent the morning photographing his hummingbirds and then we took a hike up to an area where Carlos often sees a White-whiskered Hermit (a bird I saw but missed photographing in Ecuador) and a White-throated Wedgebill.
The Hermit was a no-show, and the Wedgebill made an appearance for only a few seconds. I felt lucky to have gotten a photo barely good enough to ID the bird.
We watched with fascination as Carlos called a Chestnut-crowned Antpitta out from the brush for a snack. Check out William's video below.
After a wonderful lunch prepared by Carlos' wife, we headed to Hacienca El Bosque.
Hacienda El Bosque is an agricultural farm run by Nestor and Monica Zapata. Being bird lovers, they have set up feeders that attract many species of birds and it is a great place to photograph hummingbirds. Monica was the perfect hostess and she kept us warm on this cold and rainy day by keeping us supplied with hot chocolate throughout the afternoon.
We came here looking for the Mountain Velvetbreast. Although a full plumaged male appeared briefly, I only managed to photograph a juvenile.
An area is set up by some hummingbird feeders where William, Steve and I were able to capture great photos and video of the warring Shining Sunbeams that frequent this location.