Just a quick post to let you know that we will as usual have a stand at the British Bird Fair this year, so please do come along and talk to us about the tours that we offer to Brazil, these include the Atlantic Forest, Pantanal, Iguazu Falls, North-East Brazil and Cristalino Jungle Lodge!
We look forward to seeing you there, Marquee number 5, stand 35!
So now the final day of the tour with Norby and friends! It had rained all night but now seemed to be just a slow drizzle. Having had such a quiet afternoon yesterday we needed to have an actioned packed morning to catch up on the various species we missed yesterday due to the wind and rain. The morning started well picking up both Violaceous and Purple-throated Euphonia in the Lodge garden. We set off down towards the wetlands just after 07.00 and soon came across a small mixed flock including Brazilian Tanager, Yellow-backed Tanager, Blue Dacnis and Flame-crested Tanager. We then used playback for Long-billed Wren which showed well, the Southern Antpipit came in again for those that had missed it yesterday, this was followed by good views of Greyish Mourner during which time a Tataupa Tinamou crossed the path further ahead of us. We had now made our way to the lowland forest and started some playback for Shrike-like Cotinga, within a few minutes Laurel spotted it flying in above us, after several minutes the whole group had good views of this wonderful endemic, this was followed by Scaled Antbird, Rufous-capped Motmot, Black-throated Trogon and Tufted Antshrike. We carried on along the path and hit another small mixed flock feeding around an ant swarm, species included Black-goggled Tanager, Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Streaked Xenops, Silvery-flanked Antwren and an Ochre-bellied Flycatcher. I played some Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant and after a few minutes one appeared close by, amazing how this bird had crept in without making a sound!
The afternoon went well and we started by heading down to the trees around the office to see a couple of Tropical Screech Owls, we then headed off around the wetlands and picked up several new species including Black-crowned Night-Heron, Snowy Egret, Rufous-sided Crake, Blackish Rail, Limpkin, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, White-winged Becard and Moustached Wren.
As we were rained off from owling the previous night we went to try again, we used some playback for Tawny-browed Owl and Black-banded Owl but with no response at all, we spent around 40 minutes in the area before deciding to head back, we all climbed aboard the pick-up truck and started heading off back down the dirt track, all of a sudden there was lots of banging on the roof, we stopped and amazingly Coren had spotted a Mottled Owl sitting in a tree above the track!
What a great way to finish the tour! Trip report coming soon!
Today we have moved on from Itororo Lodge to Regua in the lowlands. We departed Itororo at 08.00 and the journey down took just 1.5 hours. We soon settled into the lodge and our new surroundings and prior to lunch we birded around the wetlands picking up many new species including Sooretama Slaty Antshrike, Silvery-flanked Antwren, Red-rumped Cacique, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Common Gallinule, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Purple Gallinule, Wattled Jacana, Capped Heron, Striated Heron, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Yellow-backed Tanager, Brazilian Teal and Muscovy Duck. Nearing the Lodge we picked up a flying Black and White Hawk Eagle, which perched close by giving great views!
After lunch we set off along the Brown Trail and unfortunately it turned out to be a slow afternoon, mainly I think due to the cold front that was pushing in. We did however see several new species for the trip including both White-faced and Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Muscovy Duck, Brazilian Teal, Neotropic Cormorant and after a lot of effort we managed to get views of Southern Antpipit, Unicoloured Antwren, White-bearded Manakin, Brazilian Tanager, Ochre-lored Flatbill, Channel-billed Toucan, Greater Ani, Laughing Falcon and 3 species of Kingfisher, Ringed, Amazon and Green.
We arrived back at the Lodge late afternoon and set off almost straight away to try to see Giant Snipe. Whilst waiting for the Giant Snipe to start flying we picked up a Collared Forest-Falcon calling in a distant tree. About 15 minutes later with rain now becoming quite constant we picked up 2 Giant Snipes walking around close by in the grass….a great sight to watch!
Today we were to go down to the Cedae Trail and then onto the Theodoro Trail. By 07.30 we were at the start of the Cedae Trail at an altitude of 550m. Almost instantly there was action with both Red-necked and Green-headed Tanagers, Yellow-browed Woodpecker and a Grey-hooded Flycatcher. Next up were good views of Grey-hooded Attila, Black-throated Grosbeak and a Black-cheeked Gnateater. Then it was onto some Spot-breasted Antvireos, Streak-capped Antwren and Chestnut-bellied Euphonia. Once we got down to the clearing in the bottom of the valley we picked up both Sick’s and Grey-rumped Swift and a Black Hawk-Eagle,
Further down the trail we had good views of Rufous-capped Antthrush, this was followed shortly afterwards by a perched Saw-billed Hermit, Black-capped Foliage Gleaner, Ochre-breasted Foliage Gleaner, Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Flame-crested Tanager and Red-crowned Ant-Tanager.
By 12.00 we had departed from the Cedae Trail and took the 15 minute drive back up the mountain to an altitude of 1100m to the start of the Theodoro Trail. We were soon picking up new birds, first off we used playback to call in a Pale-browed Treehunter, this was followed shortly afterwards by an Eared Pygmy-Tyrant, Plain Antvireo, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Black-billed Scythebill and strangely enough a Magnificent Frigatebird flying over very high heading inland! Next up we used some playback for Sharbill and after about 10 minutes the bird finally made itself visible, much to everyone’s relief! In the same fruiting tree as the Sharpbill we also had some Brassy-breasted Tanagers, Yellow-legged Thrush, a male Pin-tailed Manakin and a Blue-naped Chlorophonia. On the way back to the minibus we also had good views of a Brown-throated three-toed Sloth! Another very productive day!
Today was spent birding the open country areas around Duas Barras and Sumidouro. We saw an amazing 109 species today, so many highlights and such fun birding! Highlights included Blue-winged Macaw, Band-tailed Hornero, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Ash-throated Crake, White Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Serra Antwren, Long-tailed Tyrant, Grey-eyed Greenlet, White-barred Piculet, Sapphire-spanged Emerald and amazing views of a male Rufous-headed Tanager! As the day continued it just got better, we had great views of Firewood Gatherer, Ferruginous Antbird, Yellow-lored Tody Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Blackbird, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Red-legged Seriema, Tawny-headed Swallow, Ultramarine Grosbeak, White-eared Puffbird, Black-billed Scythebill followed by a Crescent-chested Puffbird, 3 Three-toed Jacamars, Curl-crested Jay and a Green-barred Woodpecker to finish the day with!
After a 35 minute drive from the Lodge we started to climb slowly in altitude on the dirt road that we would be birding along for the rest of the day towards Macae de Cima. Our first new bird of the day was a Glittering-bellied Emerald, followed by a rather cooperative Black-billed Scythebill, next up was a couple of Saffron Toucanets followed amazingly by a couple of Spot-billed Toucanets! Calling close by was a Giant Antshike, after some playback it came in giving views for some of the group. At the same time a White-bearded Antshrike started to call, amazing to have both in the same patch of bamboo! I continued playing the Giant Antshrike as White-bearded was already showing well, the White-bearded was very curious about the Giant Antshrike call and came down really close to investigate providing fantastic views of this Atlantic forest endemic. Giant Antshrike showed a few more times, but never really stayed around long enough for really good views.
Shortly after lunch we walked a little further down the road to try for a couple of target species. There was a Rufous-breasted Leaftosser calling close by so we played this and had a pair come in giving good views. At our next spot we got a great response from a Slaty Bristlefront that came in really well, we also had good views of a White-bibbed Antbird at the same spot. We walked further down and played Half-collared Sparrow, again, almost instantly this bird came in giving good views, along with a White-throated Spadebill! There were a couple of White-throated Woodcreepers that were in the area that showed really well, and as we were playing for the Bristlefront we were lucky enough to get 2 Brown Tinamous cross the track a little further down, usually a really tough bird to see! All in all, a very fun days birding!
Now into the third day of our new tour with Norby Granda and friends. Yesterday we visited Pico da Caledonia and had a great days birding picking up all but one of our target species. Today we spent the day birding the Lodge grounds, a very productive day with highlights including Variegated Antpitta, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Surucua Trogon, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, White-throated Woodcreeper, Bertoni’s Antbird, Rufous-tailed Antthrush, Scaled Woodcreeper, Rufous-headed Tanager, Gray-capped Tyrannulet and Green-backed Becard.
We have just finished our photographic tour of the Atlantic forest and Pantanal. We had a great 12 day tour with so many photographic opportunities! Our last morning was spent at Porto Jofre photographing Toco Toucans that were feeding in a fig tree, we then drove 80 km back along the Transpantaneira road and spent our last afternoon at the Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso working on flight shots of Ringed Kingfishers, Black-collared Hawk and Great Black Hawk, good fun and a great way to finish the tour!
Just got back from a morning out on the boats at Porto Jofre on the Cuiaba River. Had a great morning with lots of photographic opportunities including Black-fronted Nunbird, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, Rusty-backed Spinetail, Golden-green Woodpecker, Anhinga, Black Skimmer, Straight-billed Woodcreeper… and of course, Jaguar!