For years, I’ve wondered at the brilliance, the variety and the downright beauty of hummingbirds. They’re a mesmerising bird family, and last year I determined I’d follow the dream to hummingbird central, the astoundingly biodiverse heartland of Ecuador.
And so it was that in February this year I travelled there with the kindness and assistance of Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, and spent a shade over a week exploring the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Andes. It was, quite simply, the most intense wildlife experience of my life – the sheer lushness of the Andes, the mindblowing biodiversity and, to cap it all, 63 species of hummingbirds recorded in an all-too-short space of time – in all shapes, sizes and colours you could possibly imagine… and some you probably wouldn’t! And all this in great company, staying in superb locations, and meeting some wonderful people along the way.
It was the holiday of a lifetime – and I just can’t wait to get back there as soon as possible. I’ve written all about it in the latest (November) issue of ‘Bird Watching’ – it’s one of their cover features this month, and I’m thrilled to see my words and my photos featured in Britain’s best-selling bird magazine – available in all good newsagents right now. I hope you enjoy it.
VENT will be running the same trip in 2015, and I dearly wish I was going to join them again… Maybe in 2016! (I see it’s already sold out for 2015, and I’m not in the least bit surprised). Meanwhile, if you’ve any interest in this most spectacularly beautiful of bird families, and would like to see them in a friendly and breathtakingly beautiful country… well, you know who you should be travelling with!