Birding Pico da Caledonia!

We awoke to a glorious morning, completely clear sky with a very pink tinge to it, meaning we should have a nice sunny day ahead! Today was clearly the day to go up to the higher elevations of the mountains and bird Pico da Caledonia!

We had a very productive day just missing one of our many target birds! We started off well with Gill spotting a sub adult male Black and Gold Cotinga, this was followed by good views of a female Rufous-tailed Antbird, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Pallid Spinetail, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Thick-billed Saltator, Brassy-breasted Tanager and some Diademed Tanagers. We continued on up the rather steep road to look for the Itatiaia Thistletail, another rare and very localised endemic to this area. We had nice views of a male Plovercrest on the way up and then signed in at the security guards hut for access to the steps where the Thistletail should be. On the way up we managed to get good views of a Rufous-capped Antshrike, Bay-chested Warbling Finch, Velvety-black Tyrant and eventually after a lot of effort and 300 steps later Clive spotted a Thistletail! We used some playback and got it in a little closer giving the group distant but good views. On the way back down we had good views of a Cinnamon Tanager, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper and finally a good scope view of a male Black and Gold Cotinga!

Bay-chested Warbling Finch (© Andy Foster)