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Pacific Pygmy Owl – Casa Posa Honda/ owner’s garden – Manabi Province

“I think the most important quality in a birdwatcher is a willingness to stand quietly and see what comes. Our everyday lives obscure a truth about existence – that at the heart of everything there lies a stillness and a light.”
― Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Mother’s Memoir

My new home offers a serene immersion in nature; the birds – many of them new to me – stop by often, as if to pay proper respect to the newcomer. This post shares some of those birds – one species, if the ID is correct, appears to be quite special!

Calling all birders! Is this an Orange-fronted Barbet?

The RED LIST states:
Population: This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available. It is considered generally uncommon.

Trend Justification: A moderately rapid and on-going population decline is suspected owing to habitat loss.”
And here is its range map: EBIRD-Orange Fronted Barbet

If you like birds, then scroll on down and meet more of the feathered members of the neighborhood!

“The Neighborhood’ is pictured below:

With the truck loaded with large frames, paintings and rolled canvases, I stopped on the dam to photograph the ‘Reservoir Poza Honda.” “Home” is straight across, tucked near the base of the slope.

Home sweet home; this is the yen to Casa Loca, yet it also represents a total immersion in nature.   It provides a perfect setting for the next chapter.

La Casa

Look up…

Look down!

Look out the window:

6:30 am

“There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.” – Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion and Other Essays

There is an impressive buffer of natural and planted vegetation between the house and the lake.  Would you like to walk down to explore the grounds with me?  Perhaps we’ll see a few birds!

My intentions were to walk down to the lake to check the water hyacinth problem. Almost two hours later – thanks to the birds – I returned to the house!

Let’s identify the birds!

Yellow-tailed Oriole inspects the orange tree; or is that a limon-mandarina tree?

Towering bamboo, palms and hardwood trees provide a diverse environment, as do the fruit trees – lemon, orange, grapefruit, tamarind, starfruit, cashew, breadfruit – and don’t forget the coffee cherries!

A woodpecker knocked hard from the canopy of the bamboo – but – where – oh where – is… the…bird?

There you are! Not a good image, but good enough for identification! Female Lineated Woodpecker

Here’s another beauty in the tamarind tree – Golden Olive Woodpecker

More! These required consultation in the field guide: Red-rumped Woodpecker

Bamboo makes an amazing renewable resource. “Buy Bamboo” – I don’t know if this is a slogan somewhere in the Green-Earth world, but it should be!

Identification anyone?

It paused just long enough for these two shots – and then it was gone!

Southern Beardless Tyrranulet?

Ecuadorian Thrush

Buff-throated Saltador

Smooth-billed Ani

The blue-gray Tanagers thrive in many locations in Ecuador.

King Kong could live there and stay well hidden!

The Yellow-rumped Cacique colors the canopy…

Yellow-rumped Cacique shakes its rump feathers!

So is this also a Yellow-rumped Cacique?…. Look at the next image…

Whoops! Its slip is showing – Scarlet-rumped Cacique – but the eyes are blue? Red Rumped? No… Can anyone clarify, aside from range? Thanks in advance!

There are many areas that beg for timeouts for drawing and painting. Peering into a make-believe crystal ball, I see drawing and painting workshops in the future! Is anyone interested?!!!

Whooping Motmot lives up to its name, and often teases with its haunting Hooo-hoooo-hooo call. This one perched in plain view as if to ask, “Would you like an easy shot?”

The sun casts golden light through the canopy, and even if the birds become more elusive, the views remain lovely. Now that the sun has gone to sleep, perhaps I’ll switch to painting!

All photos – aside from the first shot of the owl – were taken either from a window in the house or from the yard, which stretches all the way down to the lake.  The 7-kilometer long lake is known in Ecuador as “Poza Honda.”

The house I am renting is part of Casa Poza Honda.  There is a second house used for tourism and has three bedrooms  – $35 per night for a single or $30 per person for a double.  Breakfast is not included, but there is a kitchen on each floor!  It’s too ‘new’ for TripAdvisor, but I’ll write soon with lodging information on that house.



Sorry, my photos only give a tiny glimpse of this unique tourism option for immersion in nature.

The owner Jürg, is an acupuncturist, and he is sensitive to the needs of others. The wheel-chair ramp to the upper level is one example.


Thanks for taking time to explore the grounds with me!  There is more to share – photos of the trails through their coffee and cacao plantings — and perhaps a coffee cherry-picking experience.

End-of-day light…

It will be several more weeks before I’m settled, so until then, Z will have a mostly-silent online presence.  I’ll probably be offline until Sunday.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Streak-headed Woodcreeper