Another fine breakfast at Wildsumaco Lodge and it was not raining so things were looking up. I grabbed my stuff like yesterday and headed down the road towards the start of the FACE trail. Loud screeching and squawking announced a pair of macaws overhead. I had seen a few the past few days but the poor light would not allow me to ID them. This morning the light was better and I could tell they were the rare Military Macaws. Not a lifer as I've seen a few in Mexico but still a good bird for the trip.
Briefly they investigated a hole in a tall dead palm and then shot off elsewhere.
I heard a repeated hoarse yelping that I thought might be a toucan. Sure enough it was a Black-mandibled Toucan, a lifer and my only seen toucan of the trip. I don't know why things were so difficult this trip. I've never had trouble seeing toucans in the past.
A couple of flocks of very large swifts flew way overhead that were most likely White-collared Swift but I don't know if I can rule out White-chested Swift..
A pair of smaller macaws proved to be Chestnut-fronted Macaw.
Pretty good start! I entered the FACE trail and soon found a Collared Trogon.
Then I heard the loud drumming of a large woodpecker. Maybe my best bird of the trip, it was the very hard to find Crimson-bellied Woodpecker. What a bird!
The Turkish birders had been shown a Band-bellied Owl by their guide somewhere the previous day and not being much of an owler (I go to bed when it gets dark) I didn't pay much attention. But before I left this morning, one of the local guides told me in Spanish to look for something high in the bamboo. Problem was I didn't understand what I was to look for. But when I came to a large patch of bamboo, I remembered I was supposed to be looking for something. And, holy smokes, I found two Band-bellied Owls roosting high in the bamboo.
The trail soon came to an overlook with a bench and a heck of a view.
I sat there and enjoyed the birds in the distance. Ornate Flycatcher is usually easy to see but once again this was my only one of the trip.
There were also a few tanagers and both Red-headed and Guilded Barbets.
Back on the trail I found my only manakin of the trip, White-crowned Manakin.
So far I've refrained from posting any butterfly photos. I've seen a few on this trip but not as many as expected. This one was a doozy!
Saw both Wedge-billed and Olivaceous Woodcreepers and then a lifer tanager, Orange-eared.
I had seen Rufous-vented Whitetip at the feeders but it's always nice to find one doing its own thing away from the feeders. Apparently they are a rare migrant here and are only present for a brief while.
As I looped around back to the start of the trail, a large flash of bright orange and black flying low through the trees could be only one thing, Andean Cock-of-the-rock. I could not refind it. Out in the open a Swallow-tailed Kite flew overhead.
As I walked back to the lodge I ran into Jonas, one of the Swedish owners of the Lodge. He had left Quito the previous day and ran into the landslides caused by the heavy rain. So he had to backtrack to Baeza, and then go east to Lago Agrio, down to Coca and then through Loreto to Wildsumaco from the east. He told me it took fourteen hours but he's done it before. Jonas was pleased to hear about the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker and said they were very hard to find.
At this point I was still playing with the idea of going south to Tena, but I thought I needed to get back north while the roads were still passable. I checked out of Wildsumaco and drove back west. I thought this raptor was going to be some good forest-falcon but it's just a Roadside Hawk. They really look different down here.
I passed through about twenty of so small landslides that had closed the road last night in some places.
As I drove along I listened to the radio and heard about flooding down in Tena and Misahualli so I aimed back north to Baeza and the friendly, comfortable and economical Rio Quijos Ecolodge. I wanted to spend more time on Guacamaya Ridge and then there's that Oilbird cave I need to see.