Wednesday, 3 June 2015

South Brazil - Days 11 & 12

Day 11
This morning we set off after an early breakfast for Aparadas da Serra National Park. Along the way we saw two Spotted Nothuras and then once in the park we walked a short distance to an area of expansive grasslands and marsh. Here saw Long-tailed Cinclodes, Black-and-white Monjita, Pampa Finches, and Savanna Hawk. We then heard our target bird the almost impossible Marsh Tapaculo and try as we might we just could not see it. We did however get fabulous views of two
Straight-billed Reedhaunter
Straight-billed Reedhaunters. We decided to try another area of marsh and once again we heard the elusive Marsh Tapaculo but apart from myself no one even got a glimpse. More Long-billed Reedhaunters were seen and then we walked on further to view the huge and impressive canyon. It was rather quiet bird wise but we did not a Short-tailed Hawk, a pair of Aplomado Falcons, Firewood Gatherers and on the way back several Long-tailed Reed Finches, two Crested Black-Tyrants and some Azure Jays. We then went for lunch after which we drove to San Francisco de Paula National Forest. A short walk into the forest and we found a flock that contained four rare Black-capped
The very rare Black-capped Piprites
Piprites which gave fantastic looks. With them were Straight-billed Treehunter and Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaners. A Mottled Piculet also showed well and at last we all got reasonable views of Grey-bellied Spinetail. Moving on a little we heard a Speckle-breasted Antpitta – one of Brazil’s most
The most difficult of Brazil's antpittas - Speckle-breasted Antpitta
Speckle-breasted Antpitta

difficult antpittas and within a few minutes we were all enjoying superb close views of the rare bird calling and feeding right in front of us. Even further along the track we saw both Planalto and Scalloped Woodcreepers, Variable Antshrike and then the incredible Giant Antshrike, which amazingly could disappear into cover despite its huge size. Finally on our way back we got to see two White-throated Woodcreepers ending an afternoon of excellent birds.
Day 12
This morning we had breakfast and then drove towards the coast. Our first stop found a Spotted Nothura, White Monjitas, White-rumped Swallows, Yellow-chinned Spinetails and a nice Swallow-tailed Hummingbird. Further searching of the reed edges found several South American Snipe including a few performing their display flight. There was a close Yellow-browed Tyrant, Sooty
Warbling Doradito
Tyrannulet, and then great looks at Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, and then a fabulous Warbling Doradito. Brown-and-yellow Marshbirds were also seen along with Limpkin, Guira Cuckoos and some Southern Screamers. We then had lunch and continued on to our hotel near the National Park Lagoa de Peixe. This wonderful wetland was reminiscent of the Pantanal with a long straight track passing through marshes and pools with lots of birds to see. Three Giant Rails
Spectacled Tyrant
started our afternoon off, soon followed by Variable Oriole, lots of Spectacled Tyrants, Brown-and-yellow Marshbirds, Plumbeous Rails and a few Rufous-sided Crakes. A Curve-billed Reedhaunter showed well, Long-winged Harriers flew back and forth, and there was a few small flocks of Brazilian Teal. White Monjitas were common, Chestnut-capped Blackbirds, Southern Screamers, Great Black Hawk, seven Yellow-billed Terns, a pair of Red-crested Cardinals, White-browed Blackbirds, two Tawny-headed Swallows perched on a fence and four Spot-flanked Gallinules. A couple of Plumbeous Ibis were found, and we got a flock of 11 Rosy-billed Pochard fly over. The Long-winged Harriers were all heading for a roost site and we must have seen well over 30. Back near the minibus we had a pair of Great Horned Owls that showed well.

Rufous-sided Crake


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