Ecuador is a relatively small South American country of about 115,000 square miles, less than half the area of Texas, that sits on the west (Pacific) coast of South America south of Colombia and north of Peru. The capital, Quito, is at 9,350 feet in the volcanic Cordillera Real of the Andes, but the terrain drops down to the Pacific coast at Guayaquil in the west, and down to a series of Amazon feeder tributaries in the east. The country is named after the equator, which runs just north of Quito.
Ecuador has, despite its small area, among the most diverse avifauna anywhere. Mainland Ecuador has over 1,550 species, but only seven endemics as most species spill over into Colombia or Peru. (This does not include the Galapagos Islands, also part of Ecuador, that have an additional 30 endemics.) Notable among the bird species are a large number of hummingbirds and many tanagers. In addition there are "specialty" species such as the Cock-of-the-Rock and the Andean Condor.
The program will illustrate a selection of the birds on the western side of the Andes taken during a trip in February 2017 to the Tandayapa area, northwest of Quito and the higher altitude area around the Antisana volcano, southeast of Quito.
We will plan on having the room set up by 6:15 p.m. and the program will start at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Refreshements will be available from 6:30 p.m. The hospital is at 2600 FM365, Nederland, Texas and is on the corner of FM365 and 27th Street. Please park in the main lot off FM365, but use the side entrance (across 27th Street from the CVS Pharmacy) to access the meeting room. Directions and a map are at http://www.midjeffextendedcare.com/directions.html We are grateful to Mark and Julie Pittman Rice, CEO and owners, for making the meeting room available.
Meet at Sabine Woods, which is 4.1 miles west of Sabine Pass on the north side of Highway 87 at 7:30 a.m. or join the trip in progress in the woods later. Waterproof footwear will probably be a good idea, especially if it is at all wet from previous rain or just heavy early morning dew. Bring mosquito repellent just in case. There are few services available on weekends in Sabine Pass, but gasoline is available. The deli is no longer open. Bring drinks.
October 22 is towards the end of fall songbird migration, but often brings a good variety of birds. A cold front may drive down the last of the warblers and the first big push of wintering birds. Some of our winter birds may be arriving, and often the woodland species that winter in the Big Thicket overshoot a little at first. In some past years, this has included Red-breasted Nuthatch and Brown Creeper. There are always interesting birds at Sabine Woods! A Great Kiskadee has been in the area for at least a couple of months, although it is heard more often than it is seen.
Although the boardwalk was destroyed in Hurricane Ike, the trails are clear and mostly reasonably wide. Some care may be needed to avoid uneven ground, but birding Sabine Woods is relatively easy.
Because of damage to the Garden Center, we will hold our annual meeting and elections at the Mid-Jefferson Extended Care Hospital. There are no kitchen facilities adjacent to the meeting room, so please select dishes that do not require such facilities and that can be easily cleaned up afterwards!
In the program that will follow the business portion of the meeting, we will show members' favorite photos. Details of how to send your photos in advance of the meeting will be in the November Newsletter, and posted here by early November.