Week 2: Bird Photographs and report – More Tandayapa Bird Lodge – January 15 – 21, 2009
It’s been another great week down in Ecuador. I spent a few afternoons working a bit more on my high-speed flash techniques here at the lodge. I also made a day trip up the hill to Bellavista Lodge to see and photograph a few species of birds that can only be found at higher elevations (birds like the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Grass Green Tanager and Ocellated Tapaculo).
Last week we had no guests at the lodge so the staff wasn’t around. Even the manager left for a few days. I had the whole place to myself! Unfortunately the power went out for 2 full days which limited my evening options for photo editing and such. But what a treat it was to be all alone in this amazing venue.
On the 17th I walked down to the town of Tandayapa to see what birds might be around. There were a few species around but nothing to get too excited about. On the way back I noticed that there had been a mini landslide on the TBL driveway so myself and Richard (one of the staff at TBL) busted out the machetes and got to work…
Another thing I’ve spent a bit of time on this week was photographing the moths and other insects that live around TBL. There are so many amazing ones that congregate around the lodge during the night and can be photographed in the morning before they move on elsewhere or back into the forest
Earlier this morning I decided to go and explore the remaining TBL trails. After a few hours of hiking I had made it to the end of the most distant trail. I hadn’t covered a huge distance by any means – but there were many fallen trees which made it pretty slow going. In any case it was a nice hike and I saw some interesting frogs and some good birds. On the way back I photographed a nice waterfall and took a few landscape images of the trails and forests in the valley. I was 90% back to the lodge when I realized that I no longer possessed my ipod. Damn it! I had dropped it somewhere along the trail. So back I went, up the hill, over the trees, under the other trees, over the river and all the way back to the very top before I spotted my shining red ipod in the leaf litter. By the time I got back to the lodge I was filthy, sweaty and starving. But at least I had regained my ipod.
The mornings longer than expected hike left me drained of energy and I didn’t feel much like taking pictures in the afternoon. I decided instead to make a pizza from scratch for the TBL staff for dinner. A nice end to another wonderful week in Ecuador