For people who do not have time to join us on our complete, fantastic Northern Ecuador tour or are in Quito for business or visiting family and want to spend three days visiting the famous Angel Paz Antpitta site, we recommend this easy trip, which starts in the city of Quito and will visit the Yanacocha Reserve, the bird-rich Tandayapa Valley, and the Angel Paz Bird Reserve. This area is considered a paradise for birdwatchers, providing views of many spectacular birds, including several colorful Neotropical families, such as a large list of hummingbirds and tanagers.
My brother John and I joined Chris on a tour of KwaZulu-Natal. As scientists, we were difficult customers, constantly being distracted by plants and rocks instead of birds. Chris tolerated these diversions with unflappable grace. And when our attentions were finally engaged fully in the bird watching we could not have asked for a better guide who knew the calls, where to look for tricky sightings, and had all the necessary local contacts to help us find the truly strange and wonderful. My favorite example of the “strange and wonderful” category was the African Broadbill which was displaying, but in the midst of impenetrable vegetation. Despite this, Chris and the guide managed to get us amazing views in the spotting scope. It was my most memorable bird of the trip. He accompanied us just across the border into Swaziland, past guards with guns (because we wanted to say we’d been there), and to a truly dodgy neighborhood in Durban to look at a rock outcrop, and never once complained – at least not out loud. We’ve been on several other international birding trips, and Chris is still our standard of comparison to all our other guides. And he’s still number one. We will be doing a pelagic trip off South Africa in the not too distant future, and will plan it so Chris can lead us there.