November 9, 2021 – Day 1
Arrive at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)
Your driver will meet you outside the arrivals area for your transfer to the lodge. The lodge will send a vehicle to pick up the group.
Typical Day Schedule at the Lodges
Wake up and get out to find the early morning birds and explore the area with our local guides.
8:30 AM breakfast
After breakfast, our guides will once again point out new species as we work our way around the property.
11:30 AM lunch
After lunch, you will have the option to photograph on your own or download images and re-charge your body and your batteries!
Our guides will re-join the group at 3 PM, and we are again hunting for unusual birds and photographs.
7:00 PM – Dinner
November 10, 2021 – Day 2
Upper Andean Forest and Dry Desert
We will be exploring the grounds at the lodge today. You will find dozens of bird feeders throughout the property. A jungle full of photogenic plants that are beloved by the myriad birds that call this place home.
After a hearty breakfast, we will begin the day photographing hummingbirds, tanagers, and anything else that flies at the myriad bird feeders and gardens at the lodge. Our local guides will be on hand to spot and help identify the birds that we are photographing.
Each photographer will have access to a high-speed flash setup for a limited time. This setup is the best way to get frozen wings and book worthy shots. We will be able to control the background, as well as the perch or perches that we are inducing the birds to use.
Target Birds: Black-tailed Trainbearer, Sword-billed Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, Stripe-headed Brush-Finch, and the aptly named Giant Hummingbird (the world’s largest hummingbird).
November 11, 2021 – Day 3
Highland Cloud Forest
We change habitat today and head up into the cloud forest.
Rise and shine for your last birds at the lodge, and then we will drive to a higher elevation after breakfast.
We will have a box lunch along the way to the next lodge.
Today’s photography will be at feeders and along birding trails with our eagle-eyed guides putting us on the birds.
Target Birds: Collared Inca, Mountain Velvetbreast, Turquoise Jay, Barred Fruiteater, Burrowing Owl, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, White-capped Dipper.
November 12, 2021 – Days 4
Western Andean Cloud Forest
Photography locations will include hummingbird and tanager feeders, pristine forest trails, bird huts, gardens, ponds, streams, wild orchids, and rare insects.
Hopefully, we will find something quite rare, a mammal species discovered in the last decade, the Olinguito. Kinkajous are also a possibility.
Today you will have another chance to use the high-speed flash setup with new perches and new birds.
Target Birds: Violet-tailed Sylph, Booted Raquet-tail, Velvet-purple Coronet, Golden-naped Tanager, Black-capped Tanager, Red-headed Barbet
November 13 – Day 5, 2021
Another new ecosystem means we will encounter birds that we have not seen previously. The Coco Corridor is the home of several bird species that only exist in this part of the forest.
Target Birds: Toucan Barbet, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Rose-faced Parrot, Blue-tailed (Chocó) Trogon, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Moss-backed, Glistening-green, and Scarlet-and-white Tanagers,
November 14, 2021 – Day 6
Upper Tropical Rain Forest
Our guides will sweep the area for any species that we may have missed and, you will have a chance to re-do any images that you don’t like.
After lunch, we will drive further into the Andes and our next lodge.
November 15, 2021 – Day 7
A special treat awaits at the next lodge, a 60-foot tall tower for photographing canopy level bird species. The usual photography over feeders, gardens, and trails will be available.
In addition to many new bird species, we may see Wolly Opossum, Aguti, and Tayra foraging around the feeders.
Today is also our last day to photograph with the flash setup.
November 16, 2021 – Day 8
We will be out before dawn for a unique opportunity to photograph elusive Antpitta and a spectacular Cock of the Rock lek.
There will also be more hummingbirds and passerines today, as we make our way back to our original lodge in Quito.
November 17, 2021 – Day 9
What bird photography trip in the Andes would be complete with seeing condors. Today we will drive to a reserve to photograph wild Andean Condors.
Target Birds: Andean Condor, Black-faced Ibis, Carunculated Caracara, Andean Lapwing, Giant Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing, Ecuadorian Hillstar
November 18, 2021 – Day 10
The lodge will transport us back to the airport for our flights home or your next photography experience.