During one of my days in Quito, I took a Condor tour with 2 of the other Galapagos participants.

We were super excited because prior to the Galapagos trip, 2 of the other participants did this same tour and had absolutely amazing images of condors in flight and portraits.   Unfortunately, we were not as lucky but we still had a good day in the cold and rain.

The only condor we saw was way far away - perched on a rock with his back to us.  Even through the spotting scope, he was very small and hard to see any details.   Here is my sole picture of the condor (and for those that understand photography - it was taken with a 500mm lens with a 1.6 x crop factor - so 800 mm and here is the image uncropped.)

a condor, barely visible in the hills across the ravine

and in case you couldn't find him in the picture -- see below the bird is circled in white.

the condor circled in the picture

One of the many overlooks we stopped at to try to find the condors...they were there ...somewhere

a panoramic view of the ravine

The tour was an all day tour that started fairly early and I don't remember the names of the places that we visited or even the identities of the birds we saw...

It was a very scenic drive with huge vistas everywhere and so many birds.

We got out of the car on several occasions to take pictures of the birds and deer - and the ground cover was beautiful.   I'm not sure how to describe it -- it was very squishy but not overly wet.   The naturalist explained that it held a lot of water.  There were many different kinds of plants and flowers growing it and it was like walking on foam balls.   Super soft yet supportive.   

some of the plants growing in the ground cover
different types of plants growing in the ground cover
yellow flowers growing in the ground cover
purple crocus growing in the ground cover
black bird with orange face and white fluffy legs

I wish I had taken notes on this day of the types of birds and how they lived.   I remember being fascinated by what the Naturalist told us and I guess I thought I'd remember...definitely taking better notes next time!

I do love the fluffy legs on this orange faced bird though

We also got super lucky and saw this Andean fox.   He hung out for awhile with us.

an Andean Fox - brown and black with red tones
Andean Fox in tall grass
Andean Fox running

We stopped at a really nice place for a meal.  They have multiple hummingbird feeders and we had a lot of fun and laughs trying to photograph the very fast hummingbirds.  

As you can see in the video below, my first attempt was a pretty epic fail -- until the birds starting hovering towards the end - they must have taken pity on me and gave me a chance to get something on film.

After our fabulous meal, I went to the lower feeder and this time I was smart and just kept my phone focused on one area and let the hummingbirds fly in and out.   I find this video very peaceful with the two different types of birds.

As we headed back to Quito, we stopped to photograph some more of their beautiful birds.

dark grey bird with a red mark on his neck in the trees
brown and golden brown bird feeding
green and blue and purple iridescent bird
brown and gold bird

I had two more days in Quito and I stayed at the airport hotel.  I caught up on emails and rested up for the next part of my trip...the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Visit my travel gallery to view more images from this trip and others.  
(it is a work in progress with more images being added weekly)


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