Our final morning’s birding was spent in the valley below our hotel, which entailed a 4.30am departure in order to make an attempt at Rufous-banded Owl. Well we well and truly nailed this bird with point-blank views shortly before sunrise. The rest of the early morning was taken up with walking around the lake seeing many Andean Gulls, Andean Coot, Andean Teal, a superb Ecuadorian Rail, Superciliaried Hemispingus, Tyrian Metaltail, Plain-coloured Seedeater, Mountain Wren, Grass Wren, Sapphire-vented Puffleg and Turquoise Jay.
Then it was back to the hotel for breakfast and a quick check above the hotel for Violet-throated Metaltail that took all of 10 seconds! And that was it, we were done. All that was left was to get ready, pack our luggage and set out on the nearly 4 hour drive to Guayaquil airport where we said our goodbyes to our excellent guide Juan Carlos and great driver Carlo. What a tour!
I hope you enjoyed my story about our Southern Ecuador tour. I still need to do a birdlist, but I have to say this was an extremely enjoyable tour. There's great birds (of course), really brilliant lodges with good rooms and feeding stations, the food is excellent (probably too much food!), superb scenery and a great local guide in Juan Carlos. It's a classic tour and I can't wait to return next year.
See next year's tour info here: Southern Ecuador 2024