Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mr. Hunter Recommends: Mirador Rio Blanco

On our first day in mainland Ecuador, our tour guide drove us to a restaurant in Los Bancos.  It was pretty late in the day, and we were hungry after our ziplining adventure in Mindo.  We walked into the dim restaurant and realized that it had a deck out in back that overlooked this stunning river valley.  
The river, I believe, is called Rio Blanco.

When we first stepped out onto the deck,
the valley was shrouded in mist.

The view of the valley was wondrous enough, but what really made Mirador Rio Blanco a favorite stop on our trip was the birds.  Out on the deck, there was a hummingbird feeder that attracted many varieties of hummers, including (of course) many we had never seen before.  I spent a lot of time lingering nearby and snapping pictures.  By the time our late lunch was finished, I found that the hummers had grown a little more accustomed to my presence, so that I could get closer.

Video of the bird feeder action:


The hummingbird feeder was only one part of the birding magnificence at Mirador Rio Blanco.  Just outside the windows alongside our table inside the restaurant, there was a row of trees with pieces of bananas nailed to the the branches.  Throughout our (delicious) meal, we could turn and watch tanagers, woodpeckers, and more as they stopped to dine.  

I got so excited when I realized that this Thick-billed Euphonia
was not just black and yellow but also BLUE.

And then a Pale Mandibled Aracari arrived!
We hadn't even dreamed we might see a toucan.

Video of the banana bar action just outside the window as we ate.
The pale blue birds are Blue-gray tanagers.

Here's a video of the view from Mirdaor Rio Blanco's deck.  
It's a spot I will always revisit in my mind.


If you find yourself in Ecuador, Mr. Hunter and I hope you have a chance to spend a bit of time at Mirador Rio Blanco!

Hostal Restaurante Mirador Rio Blanco
Los Bancos, Pichincha
June 2011

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