A three Cotinga day!

Just returned from another successful days birding with the group from Wise Birding. We spent the day birding the high altitude area at Pico da Caledonia. Although we had a real mixed bag of weather we had some fantastic birds including Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Grey-winged Cotinga, Black and Gold Cotinga, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Itatiaia Thistletail, Bay-chested Warbling Finch, Large-tailed Antshrike, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Brazilian Antthrush, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Green-crowned Plovercrest and Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin!

Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Andy Foster)
Bay-chested Warbling Finch (Andy Foster)

Open country birding

What a great days birding we have just returned from! Onto our 2nd day with Chris and his group from Wise Birding we spent the day birding the area around Duas Barras and Sumidouro in search of some open country specialities! We were not disappointed with excellent views of many species including Three-toed Jacamar, Gilt-edged Tanager, Rufous-headed Tanager, Serra Antwren, Curl-crested Jay, White-eared Puffbird, Red-legged Seriema, Crested-black Tyrant, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Grey-eyed Greenlet, White-barred Piculet, Black-necked Aracari, Toco Toucan, Grey-hooded Attila, Blackish Rail, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Ash-throated Crake and Blue-winged Macaw!

Streamer-tailed Tyrant on todays excursion (Andy Foster)
Curl-crested Jay on todays excursion (Andy Foster)

Wise Birding tour begins!

We have just come to the end of our first full afternoon of birding with the group from Wise Birding. We had a great few hours birding along the White trail within the Itororo Lodge grounds. Highlights from this afternoon included White-collared Foliage Gleaner, Buff-browed Foliage Gleaner, White-browed Foliage Gleaner, Ochre-faced Tody Flycatcher, Orange-eyed Thornbird, Pin-tailed and Blue Manakin, Rufous Gnateater, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Burnished-buff Tanager, Grey-capped Tyrannulet, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, a stunning male Chestnut-headed Tanager, White-breasted Tapaculo and the star bird of the afternoon, scope views of a Variegated Antpitta at serious close quarters!

Orange-eyed Thornbird this afternoon (Andy Foster)
Variegated Antpitta this afternoon (Andy Foster)

Antpitta and Tapaculo!

We are just about to start our next tour with a group from Wise Birding. Chris from Wise Birding arrived a day ahead of the group so we spent yesterday afternoon looking for a couple of the harder to see species within the lodge grounds. First we tried for Variegated Antpitta with some pretty good results, not the best photo but a good record shot! Next up we wanted to prepare an area for the group to stand a better chance of seeing White-breasted Tapaculo, as you can see by the photo below we managed to get a good window into the area of vegetation where this Tapaculo holds territory.

Variegated Antpitta on the White Trail at Itororo Lodge (Andy Foster)
White-breasted Tapaculo (Andy Foster)

New trip reports now online!

We have just added two new trip reports to our “Trip Report” page. Both tours were as usual based at the wonderful Itororo Lodge, the first is from a tour we led for Birdfinders between the 26th September – 4th October 2017 and the second for a tour we led for Rockjumper Birding from 5th – 12th October 2017, further details below:

Trip reports

Rufous-headed Tanager, found in the grounds of Itororo Lodge (Andy Foster)



Half-collared Sparrow

Unfortunately its a rather rainy day here at Itororo Lodge! This does however make the feeders very busy indeed, one very regular visitor today is the endemic Half-collared Sparrow, previously quite a tough bird to see well is now a daily visitor to the feeders!
Half-collared Sparrow on the lodge feeders (Andy Foster)

Birding the lodge feeders

Today was spent around the feeders with free time in the lodge grounds. Lots of birds about today on the feeders including Dusky-legged Guan, Burnished-buff Tanager, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Crested Oropendola, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Grey-fronted Dove, Great Kiskadee, Half-collared Sparrow, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Plain Parakeet, Magpie Tanager, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Pale-breasted Thrush, Bananaquit, Brazilian Ruby, Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-throated Hummingbird, Scale-throated Hermit and Black Jacobin. Tomorrow we start a 10 day break before our next group arrives from Wise Birding!

Yellow-browed Woodpecker on the Cedae Trail yesterday (Andy Foster)

Olive-green Tanagers!

Today saw the last full guided day of our private tour. We had a great week finding 65 lifers for our guests, who have over 7000 on their life list, so a very productive weeks birding! We spent the day looking for just 3 species on the Cedae and Theodoro trails, it was a tough days birding and we managed to find 1 new bird, Olive-green Tanager. We heard them calling some distance away and used playback and got some fantastic results with 14 Olive-green Tanagers coming in incredibly close! During the day we also had great views of Red-necked Tanager, Green-headed Tanager, Rufous-headed Tanager, Plain Parakeet, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Violaceous Euphonia, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Mantled Hawk (third time in two days!), Sharpbill, Lesser Woodcreeper, Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Streak-capped Antwren, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Star-throated Antwren, Black-capped Foliage-gleaner and White-necked Thrush.

Olive-green Tanager on the Cedae trail today (Andy Foster)
Red-necked Tanager on the Cedae Trail today (Andy Foster)

Birding the Cedae and Theodoro trails

Just returned from a full day birding the Cedae and Theodoro trails. Once again we had a short list of target birds and managed to get a total of 6 new birds, all tricky birds and we worked hard for them! We started off on the Cedae Trail, a trail that runs through primary forest at an altitude of 550m. It was a slow morning bird wise but we managed to get good views of a male Black-cheeked Gnateater, Black-capped Foliage Gleaner and a very nice perched Saw-billed Hermit. Other birds we picked up along the way included Red-necked Tanager, Green-headed Tanager, Spot-billed Toucanet, Tropical Parula, Plain Parakeet, Planalto and White-throated Woodcreeper and better views of Streak-capped Antwren. We arrived back at the minibus around 11.30 and took a short drive back up to the Theodoro Trail at an altitude of 1100m. We stopped briefly on the way to scan the forest for raptors, as soon as we got out of the minibus a Rufous-thighed Kite came over the top of us and perched in a nearby tree, giving great views through the scope, another new bird! We then started to scan the surrounding mountains and I picked up a distant perched Mantled Hawk, another great new bird! Very pleased with ourselves we drove on up to the Theodoro Trail and managed to get Eared Pygmy-Tyrant as our last new bird of the day!

Buff-fronted Foliage Gleaner taken on yesterdays trip (Andy Foster)


Birding the Bamboo Trail

A slightly overcast morning saw us setting off for a full day on the Bamboo Trail. This is a trail we rarely do as its very narrow and overgrown, but the birding can be excellent. Once again we had just a few targets and despite the cold weather we did well picking up Saffron Toucanet, Variegated Antpitta, Slaty Bristlefront, Pale-browed Treehunter, Rufous-tailed Antthrush, Hooded Berryeater, Lesser Woodcreeper, Bare-throated Bellbird, Yellow-legged Thrush, Streak-capped Antwren, Brassy-breasted Tanager, White-browed Foliage Gleaner, Rufous Gnateater, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Buff-fronted Foliage Gleaner, Blue Manakin and Green-winged Saltator.

Hooded Berryeater on the Bamboo Trail this morning (Andy Foster)