Image by WaSZI
After our night at Thermas de Papallacta, where some of our group enjoyed the hot springs, we began our quest for more high altitude hummingbirds in the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. The reserve is expansive covering nearly 100,000 acres and contains the Cayambe Volcano, the only snow-covered peak on the Equator.
We entered the reserve at the Papallacta entrance and walked up the road from the ranger station. Our target bird for today was the Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, but the first hummer we found was another new one for me, the Viridian Metaltail. A Great Sapphirewing also appeared and posed on top of a bush.
There was only one Rainbow-bearded Thornbill sighted, and it was either a female or a juvenile male. This is not a good picture, as it was dark and rainy and the bird was far away. So this is another place where I am going to have to spend a day in the future, as I would like to photograph a full-plumaged male.
Our destination for tonight was the Wildsumaco Lodge, but we had three places to visit on the way. The first stop was in Chontayacu to look at some Verbena plants that the Rainbow-bearded Thornbill has been knows to visit. He did not make an appearance today, but a few Violet-headed hummers were around. Also here was the biggest termite nest I've ever seen!
We took our box lunches from the Thermas de Papallacta Restaurant and ate them at the La Brisa feeders in Napo. These were busy hummingbird feeders hung in a garden containing Verbena and other plants. Fortunately there was a covered pavilion, as it was raining.
These flowers and feeders were frequented by the White-tailed Hillstar, Gorgeted Woodstar, White-bellied Woodstar, White Booted Racket-tail and Many Spotted Hummingbirds. The Gorgeted Woodstar is the only new one for me. There was a male here to visited the Verbena plants only once.
Grumpy Female Booted Racket-tail
Our last stop before Wildsumaco was at the hummingbird feeders at the Cabañas Cascada Rio Hollin. There were lots of Many Spotted, Golden-tailed Sapphires and others we've seen before. We could hear the roar of falling water nearby and for a walk of no more than a few steps we could see the source. An amazing waterfall next to their cabañas.
If you look up in the trees at the entrance to the property, you can see their pet parrot surveying the area.