Thursday, November 22, 2018

Brazil day 8 - carpark Seriema and rice field birding

Our ultimate day in Brazil was somewhat slower but still great fun. We spent most of it travelling from Ubatuba to São Paulo airport, with a few stops along the way. A casual toilet stop climbing up to the Altiplano produced a sweet Golden-crowned Warbler:

 A coffee stop atBica de Curió offered a surprise encounter with a most obliging, stupidly tame Red-legged Seriema – not a bird I had expected to find in a carpark. It was walking between the cars, picking up squashed insects from their bonnets. What an outstanding bird! Like a cross between Secretarybird, Houbara and stork:

There were a few more birds around the carpark (eBird checklist here). Several striking Lined Seedeaters were singing in the large trees:

I find this blurry shot graphically pleasing:

We spent a while checking rice fields near Taubaté, where we added mainly common farmland species (eBird checklist here):

White-browed Meadowlark

Chestnut-crowned Blackbird - male

and female

Blue-black Grassquit - in display flight

Fork-tailed Flycatcher - imagine finding one of those on the Azores

Brazilian Teal

There were large numbers of egrets and herons in a ploughed field, including a lone Roseate Spoonbill (here with a Wood Stork and White-faced Whistling Duck) and a Whistling Heron:

Our final birding stop was at Parque Ecológico Tiete near the airport. We had very little time left before our flight, and the park was full of punters, so there were not too many birds present (eBird checklist here). Final new species were added to the trip list in the last minute, including Red-crested Cardinal:

Masked Water Tyrant

The unique South Amerian Coati were too close for my big lens, as always with mammals in the tropics:

Then it was the long way home, and time to contemplate and conclude the trip. It was a fantastic trip – my first ever visit to Latin America. Our main target – Jaguar, was achieved with great success. Bird life was mind-blowing, with so many colours and shapes. Arguably the second leg, birding the Atlantic Forest, was a bit slower, but still huge fun.
Above all, the company and the great people we met along the way made this trip unforgettable. Our team – Gidon, Amir and Eli worked together to make it all happen. Big hugs to you all guys. We are grateful to Fernando Tortato and Panthera Brazil team for hosting us and providing us with support when we needed it. Ailton and Cesar from Pantanal Nature made the boat trips happen – thank you! Our gratitude to Brazil Birding Experts and to Marco our guide for their efforts and services towards and during our Atlantic Forest leg. I can wholeheartedly recommend Brazil Birding Experts and Marco – they did an excellent job.

Now time to start planning my second visit to Latin America…

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