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Mindo Loma :

Mindo Loma is a relatively new location for birders on the West Slope at km 73.5 (large sign on the south side of the road) on the Autopista out of Quito, between Nanegalito and Mindo. The 200-yard rough track from the main road ends in a parking area with cabins to the left and the restaurant to the right. The property extends uphill to the nearby ridge-line, and some of the birds found on their trails are enough to get the adrenaline flowing: Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Pacific Tuftedcheek, Hoary Puffleg (they have a lek), and Purplish-mantled Tanager! Of these, the Tuftedcheek is seen fairly regularly (right down by the restaurant), the Puffleg can sometimes be found on the trails (we saw one), and the Fruiteater is seen infrequently. The Umbrellabird is seasonal and rare, while the status of the Purplish-mantled Tanager is still unclear - one was seen a few years ago on the upper part of the trails, and their shy, sluggish, understory-using habits make them hard to find; we may have glimpsed one that shot across the trail soon after playing tape...

If this were not enough to draw you, the feeding station at the back of the restaurant is worth the stay all on it's own. The numerous hummingbird feeders are dominated by Velvet-purple Coronets, providing fabulous looks and photo opportunities. Empress Brilliants are regular feeder visitors, and occasionally a Hoary Puffleg will put in appearance. More-widespread species at the feeders include Buff-tailed Coronet, Violet-tailed Sylph, and Fawn-breasted Brilliant.

Dan is looking at Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager while a gorgeous male Velvet-purple Coronet feeds just inches from his head:

Velvet-purple and Buff-tailed Coronets take a break from sparring at the feeders:

The cabins: by the time you read this, they should have installed hot water in the rooms. The rates are quite reasonable, and I feel that a stay here would give you a good chance at some of NW Ecuador's toughest specialties.

Here Boris Herrera - son of the owners and a bilingual bird guide - is looking excitedly at the first record for Mindo Loma of Blue-capped Tanager (very low elevation for this species). In the foreground our wonderful driver Mauricio is heading to the car with Sheridan. Boris knows the West Slope birds wery well, and of course knows the best spots on the Mindo Loma trails for the specialties - you can contact him via his email: bohehe2000@yahoo.com:

The forest comes down right next to the back of the restaurant, and mixed feeding flocks regularly pass through, very close to the building, allowing great looks at the snazzy tangara tanagers - click here to see some pics.