Monday 18 September 2023

Brazil with Bird's Wildlife & Nature - 5th June 2023

Another early breakfast to get us on the road before proper sun up. Blue Headed Parrots, Channel Billed Toucans and the song of Undulated Tinamous sent us on our way towards the Pantanal with a Crab Eating Fox trotting down the track as we wiggled down to the main road.  It was a shame to leave Pousada do Parque but there were more adventures to be had.

Back in Cuiaba we started to see Blue and Yellow Macaws again and the other city birds we saw on the way out and as we headed west more herony-type birds began to appear with our first roadside Bare-faced Ibis, Jabiru and even a Capped Heron. 

A fuel stop gave us a few minutes to watch some Southern Lapwings on the verge, Guira Cuckoos and some dapper little House Sparrows...

Going Cheap... House Sparrows

Suddenly the gates to the Transpantaneira were before us and warranted a brief stop and that produced a tiny taster of what was to come with White Backed Stilts, Buff-necked Ibis, noisy Grey Crested Cachalotes and ground hopping Campo Flickers.

What followed between there and our Lodge at Pousa Alegra was an emotional tidal wave of wildlife. Birds were everywhere with sinister looking Jabirus, huge Cocoi Herons, Maguari Storks, Bare-faced and Green Ibis, Rufescent Tiger Herons and all their commoner cousins along with countless Snail Kites, Lesser Yellow Headed Vultures, Great Black, Savannah, Crane and White-tailed Hawks searching for a snack. 

Cocoi Heron

Lesser Yellow Headed Vulture

Maguari Stork

Amazon, Ringed and Green Kingfishers hunted from the wires and rickety wooden bridges where White Winged Swallows and Grey Breasted Martins hawked. White-headed Marsh Tyrants stood out and we saw Yellow Browed Tyrants and various Seedeaters in the reeds where Limpkins, Purple Gallinules and Striated Herons lurked.

White-headed Marsh Tyrants

And by every bridge Yacare Caiman floated near the surface with the odd Ahinga and Neotropic Cormorant while Wattled Jacanas tripped around on long toes and a couple of large Marsh Deer were seen too.  Southern Screamers were much bigger than we imagined and stately Greater Rheas grazed deep in the marsh.  We had only spent half an hour out of the bus all day…

Marsh Deer 

Yacare Caiman

Neotropic Cormorant - good to see them in breeding plumage

Yacare Caiman

Wattled Jacanas - habitat shot with friends

Cocoi Heron - an imposing heron

Greater Rhea out grazing - my first Ratite

I am rarely lost for words but the sheer number of big birds of so many new shapes and forms was overwhelming.  I took very few pictures; I was just staring through my bins.

As we reached dryer areas the journey was capped off by our first mighty Hyacinth Macaws powerfully flying across the termite mound strewn pastures.

Hyacinth Macaw

The drive down the private track to the Pousa Alegre lodge produced an impressive foraging flock with Stripe-necked Tody Tyrant, Rusty-fronted Tody and Short-crested Flycatchers, Chestnut-vented Conebills looking like curious little Nuthatch-warblers, Rufous Casiornis, tail wagging Masked Gnatcatchers and a selection of Woodcreepers with Straight-billed and the mighty Great Rufous being new but it was the Pale Crested Woodpeckers that had the best coiffe of the day. 

Rufous Casiornis

Brown Capuchin staring us down 

Pale Crested Woodpecker

Pale Crested Woodpecker

Pale Crested Woodpecker - chocolate and custard

Great Rufous Woodcreeper

Great Rufous Woodcreeper

A short respite and then out again seeing our first Cabybara and Amazonian Coatimundis along with another smart Woodpecker with the delightful Cream Coloured while Mato Grossa Antbirds foraged in the tangles above our heads.  

Amazonian Coatimundi


Cream Coloured Woodpecker

Cream Coloured Woodpecker

Cream Coloured Woodpecker

Yellow-billed Cardinals, Crested Oropendoloas and Yellow-rumped Caciques were seen and marshy areas alongside the tracks added three Funarids with Great Thornbird, Yellow-chinned and White-lored Spinetails. Long-tailed Ground Dove was a smart Pigeon addition and we heard a Red-billed Scythebill but it remained hidden.

White-lored Spinetail

Yellow-billed Cardinal

Yellow-billed Cardinal

Yellow-billed Cardinal

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Scaled Dove

White-tipped Dove

Long-tailed Ground Dove

Blue Crowned Parrots (not seen these since the naturalised ones in Beckenham Place Park), Peach-fronted and White-eyed Parakeets and noisy Turquoise-fronted Amazons passed over and a Great Potoo was expertly found at its day roost. Such an imposing predator.  Plumbeous Ibis were whistling and sitting up in the trees and we would never have know what they were if we had not found them up there.  Such a strange sound for an Ibis!

Peach-fronted Parakeets

Purplish Jay

Great Potoo

Great Potoo

Plumbeous Ibis

Savannah Hawk

Pontedaria codata - a different Water Hyacinth - with caterpillar and a Sharp-tailed Bee

White Peacock - I think

High pitched squeaking revealed a family party of Black Tailed Marmosets that obligingly came out to see what we were doing.  They all had patch pink and black noses.  An inquisitive gang of Chestnut-eared Aracaris dropped in as we got back to the rooms and Chaco Chachalacas were warming up for the evening serenade.

Black Tailed Marmosets

Chaco Chachalaca

Chestnut-eared Aracari

Chestnut-eared Aracari

Chestnut-eared Aracari

The horses had Cattle Tyrants running around their feet like overgrown Yellow Wagtails

Our night drive may not have produced the hoped for big game but we did see a Crab Eating Fox and a Brazilian Cottontail and down on the tracks we encountered Chestnut-bellied Guans, Chaco Chachalacas and curly headed Bare-faced Curassows all together in the gloom.

Curassow and Guans

Crab Eating Fox

Short-billed and Undulated Tinamous started up and Pauraque came up off the path and sung around us as did a Mottled Owl that never came close.  The night sky was epic.

Sound up for some dusk Undulated Tinamous

 The track was a little bumpy at times...

Back around the lodge we found a fine Hawkmoth on the wall and a small Mole Cricket had been attracted to the lights too while in the rooms we all discovered the presence of small insipid looking Tree Frogs living in our rooms but mostly under the toilet rim and in the sinks and showers!  They were hence known as Toilet Tree Frogs but if anyone can identify the species involved that would be great!

Toilet Tree Frogs - liable to cause surprising ablutionary moments!

Mole Cricket

Xylophanes tersa - hopefully! A very widespread New World Hawkmoth

The sky was mesmerizing - my first view of the Southern Cross

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