Tuesday 12 September 2023

Brazil with Bird's Wildlife & Nature - 3rd June 2023

An early breakfast at Pousada do Parque (with a singing Barred Forest Falcon off in the forest) and then off to reach the Agua Fria track for a proper walk along the sandy tracks through original Chapada scrubby flora. 

It was a completely different suite of birds with White-rumped and Shrike-like Tanagers in noisy groups, Black-throated Saltators and White-eared Puffbirds and our first Burrowing Owls and crazy Red-legged Seriemas. 

Shrike-like Tanagers

White-eared Puffbird

White-rumped Tanager 

The Seriemas started singing but unusually they were hidden in the crown of a tree and took a while to find.  They dropped to the ground and rand straight at our group like feathered Velociraptors shouting all the time.  One bogged me out at close range, batted those eyelashes and the ran off down the road to catch up with its partner.

Red-legged Seriema - tiny ticks

Singing recommenced under the shade of some garden trees!  One of the most engaging and enigmatic birds I have ever seen.  Thinking about it, there was a touch of the cartoon Roadrunner about them but without the blue and purple…

Jane and the Seriema

Burrowing Owl - our first. Standing sentinel 

There were new Hummers with a female Blue-eared Starthroat, Swallow-tailed and a female Horned Sungem that dashed around us with her white underparts and flashing long white tail.  Rufous-winged Ant-Shrike and Rusty-backed Ant-Wren performed in the scrub alongside us where Black-throated Saltators sung in pairs and a Chequered Woodpecker briefly posed for us.

Rusty-backed Ant-Wren

Swallow-tailed Hummingbird

Chequered Woodpecker

Black-throated Saltator

Black-throated Saltator

Blue-winged Macaws flew over and funky Curl Crested Jays with their Elvis quiffs came to see us.  Other specialities included Suiriri (pronounced Swedeedee) and the near identical Chapada Flycatchers.  The former had been lurking cryptically in plain sight until fairly recently.  There were other similar coloured Flycatchers to get to grips with, with tiny Southern Scrub and Plain Crested Elaenia. A Rufous Browed Pepper-shrike broke from convention and put on a great show.

Blue-winged Macaw

Blue-winged Macaw

Curl Crested Jay

Curl Crested Jay

Curl Crested Jay

Curl Crested Jay

Chapada Flycatcher

Plain Crested Flycatcher

Rufous Browed Pepper-shrike

Southern Scrub Flycatcher

Pale Breasted Spinetail became our first of the tribe and with some patience and guidance from Eduardo we managed awesome views of Collared Crescentchest.  Rufous Horneros had homes around the odd house and Fire Crested Finches and Blue Black Grassquits were up on the wires with the Tropical Kingbirds and with a bit of effort we managed to find a small party of Coal Crested Finches.  It is amazing how many species out here have spiky hair dos.

Collared Crescentchest

Collared Crescentchest

Pale Breasted Spinetail

Coal Crested Finch

Coal Crested Finch

White-tailed Hawks and Southern Crested Caracaras patrolled and a smart Aplomado Falcon hurtled through like a tri-coloured Hobby. The tracks were covered in the night time movements of Puma, Tapir, Armadillo and even Giant Ant-eater but unsurprisingly we saw none! 

Giant Ant-eater


White-tailed Hawk

The heat was building and so we headed for the woodland walks around the Jamaca Valley area (passing a Grey-lined Hawk on the drive in) which were equally productive with Western Fire-eyes and a dashing Tiny Hawk that crossed the path twice at close range.

Western Fire-eye

Western Fire-eye

Furtive Southern Ant-Pipits foraged just above the forest floor, Amazonian Mot-mots motmotted and a glowing fluffball of a Band-tailed Manakin stared down at us with yellow eyes.  Pavonine Cuckoos were heard but did not ever get close enough to see.  The rides were alive with Butterflies including huge Morphos.

Amazonian Mot-mot

Band-tailed Manakin
Finding the Trogon

A male Blue Crowned Trogon stared down at us with those oddly piercing eyes White-winged Becards were in the canopy with the familiar Grey Headed Tanagers and Large Billed Antwrens and a Double Collared Seedeater was found as we were trying to board the bus to move on.

Trimizia sp

Stigmaphyllon sp

Lunch was taken at a buffet taverna in town where you filled your plate with sumptuous food and then placed it on the scales to see how much it cost.  The lovely staff came round and gave everyone a piece of homemade fudge afterwards and you could help yourself to tiny enamel cups of lively coffee!

The rest of the day was spent back at the Lodge where two walks added so many more species that it was difficult to keep track. 

The first took us on the last half mile back to the Lodge through the forest and scrub.  Rusty Margined Flycatchers made their presence known and we found Spot Backed Puffbirds again along with furtive Sooty Fronted Spinetails, a bright orange Large-billed Antwren, White-bellied Warblers and an obliging Red-crested Finch.

Large-billed Antwren

Red-crested Finch

A Narrow-billed Woodcreeper was a striking addition to the Funarids and Lowland Hepatic and Black-faced Tanagers were around the paddock with the Guira Cuckoos and our first Squirrel Cuckoo with its waggling tail.  Purplish Jays were seen in better light and a pair of Masked Gnatcatchers gleaned insects from under leaves. 

Black-faced Tanager

Black-throated Saltator

Rhinoceros Beetle

Ruddy Ground Dove

Guira Cuckoo

Little Woodpecker

We avoided the attentions of the bull and his gang and headed back for a much needed coffee where the Cobalt-rumped Parrotlets were back in their favourite Cecropia.

Hornero nest

Saffron Billed Sparrow

Saffron Finch

Thrush-like Wren

White-lined Tanager

White-lined Tanager

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet

Slightly invigorated by the quality caffeine we headed off on a different track with a Southern House Wren to get things started.  White-tipped and Blue Ground Doves came up off the path and Scaled and Picazuro Pigeons sung from exposed snags.  The Scaled Pigeon is simply one of the best of the tribe in my humble opinion.

Scaled Pigeon

The previously seen Hummers were noted again and Green Barred Woodpeckers played hide and seek unlike the massive Lineated that posed on a bare tree. Olivaceous Woodcreeper with its two tone wings was watched circling a trunk while a Crested Becard looked down at us.  The sound of Aracaris moving towards us ended up with a party of Chestnut-eared bouncing around a tree while a pair of Channel-billed Toucans glided in to see what all the noise was on about.

Channel-billed Toucan

Channel-billed Toucan

Chestnut-eared Aracari

Green Barred Woodpecker

Lineated Woodpecker

A very large bug with a a nymph

It was a bit of a slog back up from the bottom of the slope but we did find a glowing Masked Yellowthroat and a diminutive Ferruginous Pygmy Owl that was being mobbed by White-wedged Piculets, Swallow Tanagers, Silver-billed Tanagers, Yellow-bellied and Small-billed Elaenias and particularly feisty group of Blue Dacniseseses (who knows what the plural should be?)

oh and some Brown Jacamars

White-wedged Piculet

White-wedged Piculet

Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Blue Dacnis

Nearly at the top

As dusk fell the Undulated Tinamous and Tropical Screech Owls started up and could be heard while we ate another fantastic dinner which was interrupted by a female Band-winged Nightjar that was found sitting on the veranda.  The Scissor-tailed Nightjars did not show but the Pauraques sang and a huge Greater Bulldog Bat made up for it!

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