Monday, 27 November 2017

27th November 2017 Papallacta to Pululahua

It was a clear morning we headed straight for the Papallacta antennas wakening the guard to raise the barrier across the entrance track. By the time we arrived at the summit the weather had deteriorated to being cold, windy and foggy - it felt like gale force fog at times! I set off alone thinking I'd better not walk too far for fear of getting lost. I didn't need to get too far as I'd literally just stepped onto the trail and there were two shapes on the trail in front of me - Seedsnipe! Brilliant! We then watched them from the shelter of the buildings before they flew off calling. We retraced our steps back down the mountain and back to the Coca Cayambe reserve track. We looked in vain for the Crescent-faced Antpitta one last time before deciding to head for Pululahua. We had nearly made it across Quito without getting lost when a road diversion resulted in just that. On asking for directions we gave a friendly local a lift to get us heading north on the correct road and gave him enough for a taxi home! We were soon descending the crater wall and arrived at Pululahua hostal where we met the very friendly and helpful owner Renate. Renate pointed us in the direction of a nearby trail that ensured we had a walk after making the drive from Papallacta.

Andean Teal 2
Turkey Vulture 8
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle 1
American Kestrel 3
Andean Guan 2
Andean Gull 1
Band-tailed Pigeon 2
Eared Dove 6
Common Ground-Dove 12
White-collared Swift 3
Sparkling Violetear 8
Speckled Hummingbird 1
Mountain Velvetbreast 1
Buff-winged Starfrontlet 1
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker 3
Chestnut-winged Cinclodes 4
Tawny Antpitta 1
Tufted Tit-Tyrant 2
Cinnamon Flycatcher 2
Smoke-coloured Pewee 1
Turquoise Jay 1
Great Thrush 8
Tropical Mockingbird 2
Brown-bellied Swallow 30
Golden-rumped Euphonia 6
Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager 1
Plumbeous Sierra-Finch 2
White-winged Brush-Finch 1
Rufous-collared Sparrow 10

the snow-capped Antisana volcano rising above the clouds

Views from the track to the Papallacta antennas

two very welcome shapes in the fog at c.14,000 feet

their cryptic plumage make them easy to overlook

Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe at the Papallacta Antennas

Adult Andean Gull in breeding plumage at Papallacta
it caught a moth for breakfast

Descending into the Pululahua volcanic crater

Band-tailed Pigeon at Pululahua

Tufted Tit-Tyrant at Pululahua