Sunday, 7 June 2015

South Brazil - Last Days

Day 13
This morning after an early breakfast we met up with a local guide who took us to a secret pond where we enjoyed fabulous views of up to 20 Ringed Teal. While we were here we witnessed masses
Ringed Teal - males
Ringed Teal - female
of birds including maybe hundreds of thousands of ibis and ducks flying out of the distant marshes and lagoon. The distant skies were simply filled with endless flocks of birds, a truly awesome sight. It then began to rain and as we were not all prepared for this, most of us got soaking wet. We quickly returned to the hotel just 5 minutes away and changed into dry clothes before continuing on to our next birding destination called the Black Skimmer track. Here amongst the flooded grasslands we were pleased that Eduardo got a life bird in the form of 7 Tawny-throated Dotterels. We also had Rufous-chested Dotterels, Grey-hooded Gulls, countless Bare-faced and White-faced Ibis, Egrets, Southern Screamers, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns. Several Correndera Pipits showed well,
White Monjita - male
as did White Monjitas, Austral Nigritos, about 70 Coscoroba Swans, White-faced Whistling Ducks, some Black Skimmers and Chilean Flamingos. Barry was on form and found two Wilson’s Phalaropes and a Red Shoveler, and then nearby in the short flooded grasses we eventually got good views of a Bay-capped Wren-Spinetail. The areas of shallow open water held hundreds of Red-gartered Coots, 4 Spot-flanked Gallinules, Black-necked Stilts and both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. A Collared Plover was seen on the track before we drove to the beach where a roost of Snowy-crowned Terns were joined by Cabot’s Tern, Royal Tern and both Grey-hooded and Brown-
Cabot's and Snowy-crowned Terns
Double-banded Plover
hooded Gulls. Moving along the beach we found many more terns and gulls, plus Semi-palmated Plovers, lots of Double-banded Plovers, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Sanderling, Hudsonian Godwits, lots of Black Skimmers and out at sea we had several Brown Skuas and 3 Arctic Skuas. Some cetaceans swimming slowly just off the surf have yet to be identified. Leaving the beach (just!)
Unidentified dolphin? species 12ft - 15ft long
we continued on to another area of open flooded grasslands and marshes. Long-winged Harriers flew alongside the minibus and then beside one of the marshes we witnessed hundreds of thousands of Chestnut-capped Blackbirds coming in to roost. Also here were Correndera Pipits and a superb close look at Short-billed Pipit. Many-colored Rush Tyrants and Wren-like Rushbirds were seen, plus Rusty-collared Seedeaters. We eventually left this wonderful place at sunset and returned to our hotel for a fabulous final dinner.
Short-billed Pipit
Day 14
This morning after breakfast we had an hour to go to the nearby marshes for the last time. A Rufous-capped Antshrike was heard and then showed very well, while nearby Spix’s and Yellow-chinned
Rufous-capped Antshrike
Spinetails. A couple of Tropical Parulas showed well and then in the more open areas we saw 3 Giant Wood Rails, Spectacled Tyrants, Plumbeous Rails, Rufous-sided Crake, and Blue-and-yellow Tanager ending what was superb trip.
Spectacled Tyrant
Many thanks to Eduardo for his fantastic guiding which produced many sought after and very difficult species, filling in many gaps on peoples Neotropic life lists.

I would also like to thank everyone else on this trip for spotting birds and making it a great fun and very successful tour to an area of Brazil that still as yet visited by very few birders!
Steve & Gina

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