James Lowen 

We had two species of Violetear at Manizales: Sparkling (the first two images; feisty buggers) and Green.

White-tailed Hillstar was a treat. Sadly I failed to get my lens on a Purple-bibbed Whitetip. Too fast, too restless.

Buff-tailed Coronets were also up here.

Next up the glorious Velvet-purple Coronet. I have only seen this Choco endemic at Mashpi Lodge (Ecuador) previously, so was delighted to find it so abundant at Montezuma. 

Andean Emerald and Black-throated Mango also delighted us.

Then there's Violet-tailed Sylph. Males and females are so spankingly different! I failed to catch a fully tailed adult male, sadly, but no bother...

Purple-throated Woodstars are gloriously tiny. Getting an image of one in flight is near-impossible, given poor light. And even getting a suitable flash of throat coloration can be tricky. That's my excuse, anyway.

And then there was Tourmaline Sunangel - a big-altitude exclusive and second only to Glittering Starfrontlet on my 'swoon list'. For the latter species, however, you still have to wait...


12 Nov 2018  Hummers

A photo-rich blog dedicated to some of the hummingbirds enjoyed on my recent Colombia trip (for the background to whichsee here). I am withholding images of the rarest hummer, however. You'll have to wait to see what the Critically Endangered Glittering (aka Dusky) Starfrontlet looks like. Patience, patience.

South America does hummingbirds brilliantly, and nowhere does them more extravagantly than the Andes. Hummingbird feeders are a common sight at lodges; indeed, it is an unusual ecolodge that does not have them. There was a stash at the Recinto del Pensamiento, where the South American Bird Fair was held and a monton at Montezuma Ecolodge (and more at various elevations up to the very top of the mountain) - but (surprisingly) none at Otun Quimbaya or Rio Claro. The following images are therefore largely from the first two sites. Let's start with one of my favourite sugar-lovers, White-necked Jacobin. The male looks like this.

Female White-necked Jacobins are very different and, if I've got my identification correct, rather variable.

Collared Inca was the commonest hummingbird up high at Montezuma.