This morning after breakfast we drove a short distance inland to an area of scattered trees and
bushes in a small village. Here we soon located the recently split Scaled Chachalaca. There were a couple of Vermilion Flycatchers also present after which we drove to a fabulous area of wetland marshes. Here we saw a couple more Chachalacas, Three-striped Flycatchers, Flame-colored Tanagers, Rufous-headed Tanager, Blue Dacnis and Red-necked Tanagers. Some Whistling Herons looked great perched on a tree top in the morning light, while in the scrub we watched Yellow-chinned Spinetails, then a male Fawn-breasted Tanager. A pair of Robust Woodpeckers showed well perched on the side of a palm tree and a Roadside Hawk posed nicely. Moving on to another area of scrub we soon found Restinga Tyrannulets, a very showy Rufous-winged Antwren, Long-billed
Gnatwren, Golden-crowned Warbler and then a pair of Black-backed Tanagers, although most people only saw the female. As we returned a pair of Rufous-thighed Hawks were spotted perched in a tree and gave fabulous views. The rest of the day involved a long drive into Santa Catarina State and our fabulous mountain lodge. A Long-tufted Screech-Owl called and showed to a few outside the restaurant in the early evening.
Black-backed Tanager - male
Black-backed Tanager - female
After breakfast we started a walk from just outside our rooms at the Pousada. On a flowering bush were Plovercrest and White-throated Hummingbird. In the nearby forest we found Striolated Tit-Spinetail, Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Grey-throated Warbling-Finch and a White-spotted Woodpecker. A noisy flock of Vinaceous-breasted Amazons flew over as we were distracted by the call od a Planalto
Black-and-white Monjita & Saffron-cowled Blackbird
Tapaculo. We got reasonably good views of this mouse-like bird shortly followed by a small mixed flock that contained Greenish Tyrannulet, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, and Scalloped Woodcreeper. Moving up to a more open grassy area we soon found a lovely pair of Black-and-white Monjitas, plus much better views of Vinaceous-breasted Amazons and a fabulous flock of about 12 Saffron-cowled Blackbirds. Back in the forest we watch both Tit-Spinetail species along with Olive Spinetail. We then tried another Planalto Tapaculo and this time we were treated to fantastic views sat on a branch out in the open. We then came across another flock which this time held Sharp-billed
Treehunter, and eventually a Mottled Piculet which showed well. Back at the lodge we took five minutes out, before setting off on a walk to a nearby marsh. A flock of Red-spectacled Parrots flew behind the trees, and Roadside Hawk posed nicely on a post. Down by the marsh we had superb
Lesser Grass Finch
views of several Lesser Grass Finches, and a couple of Long-tailed Reed-Finches. A Yellow-rumped Marshbird was seen as well as a close pair of Greater Pampa Finches and some Firewood Gatherers. Finally in another area of marsh we found two Freckle-breasted Thornbirds. It was time for lunch so we headed back to the lodge where we were soon distracted by several species on the feeders including, Diademed Tanagers and Chestnut-backed Tanagers. A super morning!
After lunch we drove a short distance to an area of low scrubby hills. The first bird we saw was a Long-tailed Cinclodes and then In the forest we spent a few hours trying to get good looks at a Speckle-breasted Antpitta and eventually most of the group got to see this little skulker. A Rufous-tailed Antthrush then showed and we heard Mouse-coloured Tapaculo. From here we drove back to the marsh near our lodge. As it neared dusk we heard several Giant Snipes calling from the wet grasses and after a whuile we got super views of one bird flying past. Two Red-winged Tinamous
Sickle-winged Nightjar - male
were flushed as we searched for the snipe, and then a Sickle-winged Nightjar was heard. We got excellent flight views of a male but what followed next was just outstanding. The male flew towards us and then landed on a rocky hill. We slowly approached until we were about 5ft from this incredibly rare bird. The bird remained still until we had seen every single feather on it, the most fantastic views ever imaginable after which we left it alone and returned to the minibus. As a finale to this superb day we thought we would try for Rusty-barred Owl near the cabins. Sure enough we were treated to outstanding views of the owl perched in a tree. Wow! What a day.
Long-tailed Reed Finch
As I said above a pretty damn good day!