Birding the Regua wetlands

Just returned with the group from Rockjumper from a great days birding at Regua. We got the majority of our targets with particular highlights being a close perched White-necked Hawk, Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Unicolored Antwren, Silvery-flanked Antwren, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Brazilian Tanager, Reddish Hermit, Channel-billed Toucan, White-bearded Manakin, Eye-ringed Tody Tyrant, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Yellow-backed Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager and Chestnut-vented Conebill.

Chestnut-backed Antshrike taken on todays trip (Andy Foster)

Open country birding

We awoke to a very cloudy and damp morning and decided to go for the Three-toed Jacamar and some open country birding around Duas Barras and Sumidouro. As we made our way through Nova Friburgo (always quick on a Sunday morning!) the weather started to clear up and by the time we arrived at our first stop the sun was shining, perfect! We soon got into some birding action with new birds coming thick and fast, these included Blue-winged Macaw, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Yelow-bellied Elaenia, Blackish Rail, White-crested Tyrannulet, Whistling Heron, Smooth-billed Ani, Glittering-bellied Emerald and Yellow-chinned Spinetail. The days birding continued well with lots of new birds, these included Serra Antwren, Grey-eyed Greenlet, Rufous Gnateater, Uniform Finch, Gilt-edged Tanager, Capped Heron, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Black-capped Donacobius, Lesser yellow-headed Vulture, White-tailed Hawk, White-rumped Swallow, Grassland Sparrow, Ultramarine Grosbeak, Firewood Gatherer, Southern Antpipit, Plumbeous Kite, Yellow-lored Tody Flycatcher, Brazilian Teal, Tawny-headed Swallow, Band-tailed Hornero, White-rumped Monjita, Red-rumped Cacique and Chestnut-capped Blackbird.

Next up was a stop for some White-eared Puffbirds, always a firm favourite! As usual these great looking birds responded well to playback and gave some good photographic opportunities together with a male Swallow Tanager in the same area. We stopped for some lunch and picked up a Half-collared Sparrow then took the 25 minute drive to Sumidouro where we had great views of two Three-toed Jacamars, mission accomplished!

White-eared Puffbird on todays trip (Andy Foster)

Birding Macae de Cima

Now into the 3rd day of the Rockjumper tour we have just spent the day birding the Macae de Cima Trail. We had another great days birding with highlights including Dusky-tailed Antbird, Giant Antshrike, Whiskered Myiobius, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Bare-throated Bellbird, Chestnut-headed Tanager, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Green-crowned Plovercrest, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, White-throated Woodcreeper and Lesser Woodcreeper!

The weather started to slowly deteriorate late morning so we decided to drive directly to one of our best spots along this track where we usually get a good selection of birds in case the rain came early as we didn’t want to miss out on some target birds in this area. As usual this spot produced some class birds including White-bibbed Antbird, Spot-billed Toucanet, Lesser Woodcreeper, Surucua Trogon, a fantastic male Pin-tailed Manakin and a male Blue Manakin. Further along the track we got excellent views of 2 male White-bearded Antshrikes, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Greenish Schiffornis, Tufted Antshrike and Yellow Tyrannulet.

Pin-tailed Manakin taken on the trail today. (Andy Foster)
Surucua Trogon taken on the trail today (Andy Foster)

 

 

 

 

Birding Pico da Caledonia

We were greeted by a clear and beautiful morning! Today was clearly the day to bird the higher elevations of the surrounding mountains at Pico da Caledonia. We started off with a small mixed flock of Rufous-crowned Greenlets, Brassy-breasted Tanagers, Bay-chested Warbling finches and a Black and Gold Cotinga, we continued on up the track and got some good views of a Serra do Mar Tyrant Manakin, Thick-billed Saltator, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant and our first Diademed Tanagers. Next was our first Rufous-tailed Antbird followed by a very cooperative Large-tailed Antshrike and a couple of Serra do Mar Tyrannulets, Velvety-black Tyrant and a very distant Grey-winged Cotinga. We continued on up towards the summit and after a lot of effort picked up a couple of Itatiaia Thistletails, on the way down we saw a male Plovercrest, Orange-eyed Thornbird, Yellow-legged Thrush and a Rufous Gnateater.

A little tired we arrived back at the minibus and took a 5 minute drive to our next stop, here we used some playback for our now very reliable Red-legged Seriema and within minutes we had 2 of them in front of us, such great views! This was followed shortly afterwards by great views of some Swallow-tailed Cotingas and a Shear-tailed Grey-Tyrant.

Large-tailed Antshrike (Andy Foster)
Diademed Tanager (Andy Foster)

 

 

 

Rockjumper Tour – first day!

No longer had we said goodbye to our last group from Birdfinders to welcome the next group from Rockjumper! The group arrived in two separate groups due to the early arrival of 2 of the flights. During the day we picked up lots of good birds and went for a short walk on the White Trail within the Lodge grounds. Quite a successful first half day with some good birds including Variegated Antpitta, Rufous-capped Motmot, Frilled Coquette (first for the Lodge grounds), Black Jacobin, Brazilian Ruby, Scale-throated Hermit, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Surucua Trogon, Pin-tailed Manakin, Slaty-breasted Wood Rail, Bare-throated Bellbird, White-eyed Parakeet, Magpie Tanager, Pallid Spinetail, Lineated Woodpecker, Short-tailed Nighthawk and the last bird of the day, the stunning Long-trained Nightjar!

Brazilian Ruby (Andy Foster)
Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail at the Lodge feeders (Andy Foster)

Birdfinders tour – last day

The Birdfinders tour has sadly come to an end with a grand total of 93 Atlantic forest endemics being seen! Full trip totals and trip report will be online soon. We spent the last morning birding the Lodge grounds trying to pick up a few species that we were missing. A tough morning mainly looking for Antthrushes etc, but we did have success with good views of Brazilian Antthrush, Variegated Antpitta, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Green-winged Saltator, Spot-winged Wood-Quail and Versicoloured Emerald.

Scale-throated Hermit at the Lodge (Andy Foster)

 

 

Birding Macae de Cima

Just returned from a great days birding on the Macae de Cima Trail. Lots of good birds with some fantastic views of Slaty Bristlefront, Saffron Toucanet, Black-billed Scythebill,  Plovercrest, White-collared Foliage Gleaner, White-browed Foliage Gleaner and Lesser Woodcreeper. Just before lunch we used some playback and called in a White-bearded Antshrike (such a great bird) and a Yellow Tyrannulet, this was followed by Surucua Trogon, White-bibbed Antbird, Pin-tailed Manakin, Rufous-capped Spinetail and a couple of Sharp-billed Treehunters.

Pin-tailed Manakin on the trail today (©Andy Foster)
Slaty Bristlefront on the trail today (©Andy Foster)

 

 

 

 

Open country birding!

Today we spent our time birding the area around Duas Barras and Sumidouro for some open country birding. We had a very productive day seeing 105 species! Highlights were many and included Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Blue-winged Macaw, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Savanna Hawk, Whistling Heron, Planalto Hermit, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Tail-banded Hornero, Grey-eyed Greenlet, Gilt-edged Tanager, Serra Antwren, Yellow-lored Tody Flycatcher, Green-barred Woodpecker, White Woodpecker, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Red-rumped Cacique, Red-legged Seriema, Crested Black-Tyrant, Grassland Sparrow, Brown-chested Martin, White-rumped Monjita, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Firewood Gatherer, Plumbeous Kite, Lesser Seedfinch, Tawny-headed Swallow, Yellow-rumped Marshbird, White-eared Puffbird, Curl-crested Jay, Lineated Woodpecker, Black-necked Aracari and finally after a lot of hard work and worry (!) we found a couple of Three-toed Jacamars!

White-eared Puffbird (©Andy Foster)

 

 

 

High Altitude Birding!

Just returned from a days birding at Pico da Caledonia, what a great days birding we had! Everything just fell into place today and we managed to get all of our target species! Highlights from today included Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Scaly-headed Parrot, Lineated Woodpecker, Black and Gold Cotinga, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Thick-billed Saltator, Large-tailed Antshrike, Plovercrest, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Bay-chested Warbling Finch, Shear-tailed Grey-Tyrant, Black Hawk-Eagle, Grey-winged Cotinga, Diademed Tanager, Velvety-black Tyrant, Cinnamon Tanager, Itatiaia Thistletail, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo and Red-legged Seriema!

Thick-billed Saltator (©Andy Foster)

 

 

Birding the Lodge grounds

Just finished a very productive day birding the Itororo Lodge grounds. In the morning we birded the Blue Trail and the afternoon was spent on the White Trail. A challenging but rewarding day with many highlights including 2 Swallow-tailed Cotingas perched close to the Lodge, Lineated Woodpecker, Half-collared Sparrow, Buff-browed Foliage Gleaner, Dusky-tailed Antbird, Green-backed Becard, Orange-eyed Thornbird, Pallid Spinetail, Rufous Gnateater, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Planalto Woodcreeper, Blue Manakin, Spot-winged Wood Quail, Grey-bellied Spinetail, Giant Antshrike, Bare-throated Bellbird, Surucua Trogon, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Bertoni’s Antbird and a Drab-breasted Bamboo Tyrant.

In the afternoon we spent some time looking for Variegated Antpitta with some great results and after a lot of effort everyone got good views of this elusive species! We also had great views of a pair of Chestnut-headed Tanagers, Scaled Woodcreeper and Buff-fronted Foliage Gleaner. The hummingbird feeders at the Lodge were very busy this afternoon with plenty of White-throated Hummingbirds, Versicoloured Emerald, Brazilian Ruby, Black Jacobin, Violet-capped Woodnymph and Scale-throated Hermits paying regular visits.

White-throated Hummingbird (Andy Foster)