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ECUADOR 2006

The aerials above Papallacta Pass are renowned as a site for the enigmatic Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, but in nine previous visits I'd only seen them twice. Thus it was with relief and anticipation that we arrived early in the morning to find it calm and not too cold... Within seconds of stopping, our wonderful driver Mauricio pointed downslope and there were a pair of these remarkable birds walking quietly away from right next to our car. They settled down to feed about 30 yards away, and I was then able to slowly stalk them to within maybe 15 yards - at last getting some decent pics of one of my favorite species: