Monday, November 19, 2018

Brazil Ubatuba Day 7 - tanagers galore

Today's birding in the Atlantic Forest of Ubatuba was really about brilliance. We could not have our breakfast quietly, nor leave the lodge on time, because of tanager et al. action on the bananas.

Green-headed Tanager is truly spectacular

Brazilian Tanager is so brilliant red it hurts the eye

 Blue Dacnis are uber-pretty too. Here's daddy dacnis feeding baby dacnis:

Young male

Mommy and daddy Dacnis

Ruby-crowned Tanager that never shows his ruby crown to humans

Golden-chevroned Tanager is rather subtle

Stunning Violaceous Euphonia

Pale-breasted Thrush - adult


Eventually we managed to drag ourselves away from the feeders, and headed over to Fazenda Angelim. Birding was excellent with several good birds - Buff-throated Purpletuft was the rarest, nice views but hard to photograph them high up in the canopy against bright sky. Other highlights included a Red-legged Honeycreeper, Rufous-backed Antthrush and many more. Full eBird checklist here.
Ferruginous Antbird 

Flame-crested Tanager - showed very well but I failed to get a good, respectable photo of it

It is very beautiful even in blurry photos

Loads of cool Collared Swifts over the forest

 After lunch I walked with Marco around the lodge and added a few more species, including this showy Scaled Antbird:

In the evening we went down to the beach. At sea we had Brown Booby, 3 American Royal Terns and Magnificent Frigatebirds. None were as beautiful as this stunning South American Kelp Gull. presumably 4th cycle:

In the mangroves and adjacent forest some nice birds inlcuding Black-throated Mango. This Crested Oropondela put on a display show:

Yellow-headed Caracara 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Brazil days 4 & 5 - transit birding

Yesterday we left the Pantanal towards the second leg of our trip. We spent the day along the Transpantaneira road that connect Porto Jofre with Pocone. It was nice to experience some open habitats - vast wetlands and cerrado. We picked up a few birds (eBird checklist here) and mammals along the road:

Rhea - what an odd bird

Red-legged Seriema

Scarlet-headed Blackbird

Maguari Stork

Sunbittern - still didn't get the perfect shot

 Black-tailed Marmoset

A short boat trip out of Pixaim did not produce the much-wanted Agami Heron often seen there, but there were some other birds (eBird checklist here) and mammals to be seen.

Jabiru head detail

Howler Monkey - which version is better?

We arrived in Cuiaba in the afternoon, said goodbye to Fernando and finally connected with our lost luggage. Today we took an early morning flight back to Sao Paulo, and met up with Marco our guide. We got a good introduction to Atlantic Forest birding at Salesopolis. Despite the horrible midday hour and heat, we scored with the recently discovered and Critically Endangered Sao Paulo (AKA Marsh) Antwren. We saw a male and a female, and heard another male. These are top-quality birds.  Sadly my photos are not. They were not easy to photograph, and the light conditions were awful. 

 Sao Paulo Antwren - female

There were quite a few birds in the marsh and neighbouring forest - obviously most were new to us, so I photographed what I could, for documentation, despite the terrible quality:

Shear-tailed Gray Tyrant

Yellow-legged Thrush

Pale-bellied Thrush and Glittering-bellied Emerald

Fawn-breasted Tanager

 Double-collared Seedeater

Then it was a loooooong drive through crazy holiday traffic to our accommodation for the next few nights, in Ubatuba county. Good night.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Brazil Pantanal day 3 - fish fest

Another great day in the Pantanal, despite the increasing mosquito load. The morning boat trip with Pantanal Nature produced another Jaguar encounter, our fifth in total. We intercepted a huge male swimming across the river, just too late before it reached the shore and disappeared promptly into the forest:

Again we had breathtaking experiences with actively feeding Giant Otters. Amazing to see them fish together, fight over fish, scream, so close we could hear the fish bones crush between their teeth:

Hungry Anhingas

Disgusting Black Vulture

Again lots of good birds (eBird chcklist here). Back at Panthera ranch birds were very active before the rain.

What goes in

Needs to go out (Buff-necked ibis)

I'm a screamer!

After the rain had stopped in the afternoon we birded on foot and by car around the camp and along the Transpantaneira road. Nice to experience some open country birding.

American Pygmy Kingfisher

Barred Antshrike

We stayed out until darkness fell. On the way back we had a fantastic encounter with an Ocelot that crossed the road, and say many nightjars, mainly Common Pauraque.

eBird checklist here.  Many thanks to Fernando for a great afternoon.