and now onto Regua

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!

Giant Snipe (©Andy Foster)


Birding the Cedae and Theodoro Trails

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!

Yellow-throated Woodpecker (©Andy Foster)




Open country birding

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!

Black-billed Scythebill (©Andy Foster)




Birding Macae de Cima

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!

White-bearded Antshrike (©Andy Foster)




Birding the Lodge grounds

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.
The elusive Variegated Antpitta (©Andy Foster)

Porto Jofre – Hotel Mato Grosso

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!

Toco Toucan (©Andy Foster)
Great Black Hawk (©Andy Foster)
Ringed Kingfisher (©Andy Foster)

Porto Jofre

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!

Jaguar on the Cuiaba River (©Andy Foster)
Black-fronted Nunbird (©Andy Foster)

Piuval Lodge and Porto Jofre

Yesterday having spent our last few hours at Piuval Lodge we took the 4.5 hour drive along the Transpantaneira dirt road and some 140km later we arrived at Porto Jofre. We had a great couple of days at Piuval Lodge photographing many different species, the highlight of which for some were these beautiful Hyacinth Macaws.

Hyacinth Macaws photographed at Piuval Lodge (©Andy Foster)

Private tour for Harpy Eagle!

We arranged a private tour for 2 people last month to Itororo Lodge, Carajas and the Pantanal! One of their main targets for the whole trip was Harpy Eagle, thankfully they had great views at Carajas!

Harpy Eagle (©Alan Davis)
Harpy Eagle (© Alan Davis)

Into the Pantanal!

We have now moved onto the Pantanal with Glenn Bartley’s photographic tour. We spent one night and a morning in Chapada das Guimaraes National Park but it was fairly quiet bird wise with nothing really playing the game for any good photographic opportunities. We arrived in the Pantanal yesterday and drove some 7km down the Transpantaneira road to our first lodge, Piuval. We have had a great stay so far with many species being photographed including Nacunda Nighthawk, Bare-faced Ibis, Hyacinth Macaw, Cocoi Heron, Rufescent-tiger Heron, Monk Parakeet, Peach-fronted Parakeet, Wattled Jacana, Wood Stork, Red-billed Scythebill, Campo Flicker and various other species!

Nacunda Nighthawk (©Andy Foster)