Ecuador Day 24: Antisana Ecological Reserve

Palabra del día: páramo

On our last full day of adventure in Ecuador, we booked a day trip with Tropical Birding, a tour company which offers birding trips in several exotic locales, based on the amazing trip report I found at the Accidental Birder. We were extremely happy with our decision to use this particular company; the service was amazing, and the trip was, well, let me just show you where we went:

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Chasing Frogs

On one of our expeditions, one of our buddy’s dogs suddenly discovered something.

There were frogs at the lake!

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Somehow in the last year of playing at the lake, the dogs had missed that as they fell into the mud… It moved!

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Closer to Home: Green Herons

Okay, you caught me. These were at the lake, but they get their own post anyway. Because I said so.

Even though it’s taken a while to share these two comedians, they were pretty funny to watch while we walked around the wetlands. I first walked up on them, frightening them into a tree, where they hid out and shared half-murmured insults about our little group.

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Wait, this lake has a cave?!

We couldn’t help but notice that the lake we visited last week had a bridle trail marked ‘red cave trail.’ So of course we returned the next week in search of caves. Though we didn’t see nearly as many cool animals and plants as we had the previous week, the trail took us through several cattle pastures, a few thickets, and a very brief interlude where we didn’t realize the map wasn’t to scale and wasn’t accurate, so we tossed it and asked directions from a few horseback riders.

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Exploring the Bridle Path

Once again the Other Half and I decided to explore another lake nearby. Unfortunately, this one charges an entrance fee, which sucks, but it has several thousands of acres to explore (read: it takes this much room/running to wear the dog out), so it’s worth the cost.

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Exploring the Wetlands

Alright, as promised, I have actually gone through and found some (recognizable) pictures of things we’ve found at the new wetlands/lake (the two bodies of water are separated by a thin stretch of woods and brush). The main advantage of this new area is that it’s more natural and isolated than the big lake, which means that it’s got more fun things to see that haven’t been found yet by other people.

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