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Brazil 2010: Pantanal and Atlantic Forest (1 Viewer)

ovenbird43

Well-known member
My husband and I just got back from 2 weeks in Brazil, first visiting the Pantanal and then attending the International Ornithological Congress in the southeastern montane city of Campos do Jordao. What a blast! I will give more complete details in later posts, but here is the basic rundown:

We hired a guide through Boute Expeditions to take us on a 5 and 1/2 day tour through the northern pantanal region, with a stop at the end at Chapada does Guimaraes National Park for some cerrado specialties. Then Tom and I flew back to Sao Paulo where we had 2 nights before moving on. During our full day there I went to Cantereira Park for my first exposure to Atlantic forest species. Then we took a bus to Campos do Jordao and stayed for a full week for the conference, during which we had a couple mornings at some wonderful Aracauria woodlands at Horto Florestal, and a day trip to Itatiaia National Park. All in all the trip netted 329 species:

Undulated Tinamou
Brown Tinamou
Greater Rhea
Neotropic Cormorant
Anhinga
Cocoi Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron
Agami Heron
Whistling Heron
Capped Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Boat-billed Heron
Plumbeous Ibis
Buff-necked Ibis
Green Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
American Wood Stork
Jabiru
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Fulvous Whistling-Duck
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Brazilian Teal
Muscovy Duck
Southern Screamer
White-tailed Kite
Pearl Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite
Plumbeous Kite
Snail Kite
Roadside Hawk
Black-collared Hawk
White-rumped Hawk
Savannah Hawk
Great Black Hawk
Crane Hawk
Black Hawk-Eagle
Yellow-headed Caracara
Southern Caracara
American Kestrel
Chaco Chachalaca
Chestnut-bellied Guan
Common Piping-Guan
Bare-faced Curassow
Limpkin
Gray-necked Wood-Rail
Blackish Rail
Purple Gallinule
Sungrebe
Sunbittern
Red-legged Seriema
Wattled Jacana
Southern Lapwing
Solitary Sandpiper
Large-billed Tern
Black Skimmer
Rock Pigeon
Picazuro Pigeon
Pale-vented Pigeon
Plumbeous Pigeon
Ruddy Ground-Dove
Picui Ground-Dove
Long-tailed Ground-Dove
Scaled Dove
White-tipped Dove
Gray-fronted Dove
Hyacinth Macaw
Golden-collared Macaw
Red-shouldered Macaw
Blue-crowned Parakeet
White-eyed Parakeet
Maroon-bellied Parakeet
Peach-fronted Parakeet
Monk Parakeet
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet
Blue-headed Parrot
Scaly-headed Parrot
Blue-fronted Amazon
Vinaceous Amazon
Squirrel Cuckoo
Smooth-billed Ani
Guira Cuckoo
Tropical Screech-Owl
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
Burrowing Owl
Black-banded Owl
Band-tailed Nighthawk
Nacunda Nighthawk
Pauraque
Rufous Nightjar
Spot-tailed Nightjar
Scissor-tailed Nightjar
Long-trained Nightjar
White-collared Swift
Biscutate Swift
Fork-tailed Woodnymph
Violet-crowned Woodnymph
Swallow-tailed Hummingbird
White-throated Hummingbird
Black Jacobin
Plovercrest
Brazilian Ruby
White-tailed Goldenthroat
Glittering-throated Emerald
Ruby Topaz
Long-billed Starthroat
Blue-crowned Trogon
Surucua Trogon
Ringed Kingfisher
Amazon Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher
American Pygmy Kingfisher
Blue-crowned Motmot
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
Crescent-chested Puffbird
Black-fronted Nunbird
Saffron Toucanet
Chestnut-eared Aracari
Channel-billed Toucan
Red-breasted Toucan
Toco Toucan
White-wedged Piculet
White-banded Woodpecker
Campo Flicker
Green-barred Woodpecker
Golden-green Woodpecker
Yellow-browed Woodpecker
Pale-crested Woodpecker
Cream-colored Woodpecker
Lineated Woodpecker
White Woodpecker
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker
Little Woodpecker
Rufous Hornero
Pale-legged Hornero
Aracauria Tit-Spinetail
Chotoy Spinetail
Rufous-capped Spinetail
Spix's Spinetail
Gray-bellied Spinetail
White-lored Spinetail
Rusty-backed Spinetail
Yellow-chinned Spinetail
Pallid Spinetail
Rufous-fronted Thornbird
Greater Thornbird
Rufous Cachalote
Streaked Xenops
Sharp-billed Treehunter
Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner
White-collared Foliage-Gleaner
Buff-browed Foliage-Gleaner
Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper
Tawny-throated Leaftosser
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
Planalto Woodcreeper
Scaled Woodcreeper
Lesser Woodcreeper
Buff-throated Woodcreeper
Straight-billed Woodcreeper
Narrow-billed Woodcreeper
White-throated Woodcreeper
Red-billed Scythebill
Great Antshrike
Spot-backed Antshrike
Barred Antshrike
Variable Antshrike
Planalto Slaty Antshrike
Rufous-winged Antshrike
Plain Antvireo
Ferruginous Antbird
Rufous-winged Antwren
Star-throated Antwren
Large-billed Antwren
Mato Grosso Antbird
Band-tailed Antbird
White-shouldered Fire-eye
Collared Crescentchest
White-breasted Tapaculo
Rufous Gnateater
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Mouse-colored Tyrannulet
Sepia-capped Flycatcher
Gray-hooded Flycatcher
Chapada Flycatcher
Forest Elaenia
Plain Tyrannulet
Gray-capped Tyrannulet
Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet
Sooty Tyrannulet
Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant
Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher
Brown-breasted Bamboo Tyrant
Eared Pygmy-Tyrant
Yellow-olive Flatbill
Vermilion Flycatcher
White-rumped Monjita
Gray Monjita
Crested Black-Tyrant
Velvety Black-Tyrant
Blue-billed Black-Tyrant
Subtropical Doradito
Black-backed Water-Tyrant
Masked Water-Tyrant
White-headed Marsh-Tyrant
Yellow-browed Tyrant
Cliff Flycatcher
Cattle Tyrant
Rufous Casiornis
Short-crested Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Tropical Pewee
Great Kiskadee
Lesser Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Rusty-margined Flycatcher
Streaked Flycatcher
Piratic Flycatcher
Gray-hooded Attila
Long-tailed Tyrant
Shear-tailed Gray Tyrant
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
White-throated Kingbird
White-naped Xenosparis
Green-backed Becard
Crested Becard
Masked Tityra
Black-tailed Tityra
Red-ruffed Fruitcrow
Black-and-gold Cotinga
Band-tailed Manakin
Fiery-capped Manakin
Blue Manakin
Helmeted Manakin
Blue-and-white Swallow
White-winged Swallow
Brown-chested Martin
Gray-breasted Martin
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Purplish Jay
Curl-crested Jay
Thrush-like Wren
Moustached Wren
Fawn-breasted Wren
House Wren
Masked Gnatcatcher
Black-capped Donacobius
Chalk-browed Mockingbird
Yellow-legged Thrush
Pale-breasted Thrush
Creamy-bellied Thrush
Rufous-bellied Thrush
White-necked Thrush
Yellowish Pipit
Rufous-browed Peppershrike
Red-eyed Vireo
Ashy-headed Greenlet
Rufous-crowned Greenlet
Tropical Parula
Flavescent Warbler
White-bellied Warbler
Golden-crowned Warbler
White-browed Warbler
Bananaquit
Blue Dacnis
Black-faced Tanager
White-banded Tanager
White-rumped Tanager
Burnished-buff Tanager
Gray-headed Tanager
Olive-green Tanager
Diademed Tanager
Black-goggled Tanager
Fawn-breasted Tanager
White-shouldered Tanager
White-lined Tanager
Silver-beaked Tanager
Green-headed Tanager
Brassy-breasted Tanager
Sayaca Tanager
Golden-chevroned Tanager
Palm Tanager
Swallow Tanager
Chestnut-vented Conebill
Grassland Sparrow
Saffron Finch
Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch
Uniform Finch
Blue-black Grassquit
Plumbeous Seedeater
Rusty-collared Seedeater
Double-collared Seedeater
Lesser Seed-Finch
Red-rumped Warbling-Finch
Saffron-billed Sparrow
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Red-crested Cardinal
Yellow-billed Cardinal
Buff-throated Saltator
Grayish Saltator
Green-winged Saltator
Black-throated Saltator
Crested Oropendola
Yellow-rumped Cacique
Golden-winged Cacique
Red-rumped Cacique
Solitary Black Cacique
Epaulet Oriole
Orange-backed Troupial
Unicolored Blackbird
White-browed Blackbird
Scarlet-headed Blackbird
Chopi Blackbird
Bay-winged Cowbird
Shiny Cowbird
Giant Cowbird
House Sparrow
Common Waxbill
Blue-naped Chlorophonia
Chestnut-bellied Euphonia
Hooded Siskin
 

Hamhed

Well-known member
299? That's all? :-O

I've read about the Pantanal and it's likely that's as close as I'll ever get. Sounds like a fascinating place. Any pictures on the way?

Steve
 

ovenbird43

Well-known member
Yep, I do have pictures! All I have is a point-and-shoot digital camera, although with a decent zoom. Here are a few to start with, of some of the iconic Pantanal birds: Jabiru, Hyacinth Macaw, Buff-necked Ibis, and Toco Toucan.
 

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Hamhed

Well-known member
Thanks, Ovenbird. The Macaw is beautiful!
I see I misquoted the number of birds. 329 is an amazing number for two weeks.

What camera do you have? I have a Canon S3IS, an "older" model. I put a teleconverter on it to get 18X zoom and it's only 6 mp's.

Steve
 

Steve Schoech

Well-known member
I too just returned from the IOC. Unfortunately, with a lecture given 3 hours after my arrival in Memphis and piles of duties backed up have yet to collate my lists. With three weeks of pre-congress birding a completely new avifauna it was amazing and often overwhelming. Phenomenal place and I can't believe I waited all those decades to go to our neighboring continent.

I'll try and get some photos and a list posted in the not too distant future....ss
 

ovenbird43

Well-known member
I too just returned from the IOC. Unfortunately, with a lecture given 3 hours after my arrival in Memphis and piles of duties backed up have yet to collate my lists. With three weeks of pre-congress birding a completely new avifauna it was amazing and often overwhelming. Phenomenal place and I can't believe I waited all those decades to go to our neighboring continent.

I'll try and get some photos and a list posted in the not too distant future....ss

Three weeks of birding before the congress... wow! I look forward to seeing your photos and list.
 

ovenbird43

Well-known member
What camera do you have? I have a Canon S3IS, an "older" model. I put a teleconverter on it to get 18X zoom and it's only 6 mp's.

Steve

I have a Kodak EasyShare Z612, with a 12X zoom. Don't know much else about it, I bought it a year or so ago from Craig's list. I like it.
 

Birdingcraft

Well-known member
That sounds incredible. How I wish I would have gone there before my daughter was born. I plan on getting down there some day but I am sure it will be at least a few years before I do.
 

ovenbird43

Well-known member
Aug 15: arrival

Tom and I left from Chicago on Aug 14 after a friend's wedding. The trip was off to a rough start: our plane was delayed several hours, and then after we finally got on and the plane was taxiing, the pilot came on the speakers to tell us that there was something wrong with the hydraulic system, so we had to go back to the gate and sit there for an hour while it was being fixed. Great. At least they played a captivating documentary on marine life in the meantime. Needless to say we ended up missing our connection in Miami, and little did we know at this point but despite ample time to get it onto the plane, our luggage never made it out of Chicago.

So we eventually arrive late the next morning at the Sao Paulo airport, no luggage, and during a cold snap- Tom in his t-shirt and I in my shorts were pretty cold in the blustering wind! Our first mission after checking into Hotel Panamby (chosen largely for the reasonable price and free shuttle) was to find sweaters, toothpaste, etc. We were in a rather sketchy, industrial-looking area with a salvage yard right by the hotel, so birding was mostly out of the question, although a quick check of the pool and football field grounds revealed Rufous-bellied Thrush (Brazil's national bird), Ruddy Ground-Dove, Rufous-collared Sparrow, and a flock of Common Waxbills. Oh yes, and some domestic chickens.
 

ovenbird43

Well-known member
Aug 16: travel to Pantanal

We returned to the airport early the next morning to retrieve our luggage (yay!), which had arrived on an early flight. We flew without event to Cuiaba, the northern entry point to the Pantanal. I was surprised by the thick haze as we approached, almost entirely obscuring the view of the ground from the plane until we started descending. We would soon learn from our guide that this was mostly smoke from numerous wildfires raging throughout the region.

We met our guide Ricardo at the airport and were off for several hours of driving to reach the Transpantaneira Road. Along the way we stopped for lunch at a churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse), our first exposure to this type of restaurant- the veggies and other side dishes are served buffet-style, but the waiters walk around with sticks of meat of various cuts and types and slice you off a piece if you want. I was pleased to learn that coffee is often free, but soon disappointed when I found out that it is also usually syrupy-sweet.

The plan was to bird about 60 km of the Transpantaneira Rd en route to our lodge. The magic started almost as soon as we entered the dirt road. We stopped along a canal, and everywhere I looked there was something new: Yellow-browed Flycatcher (Ricardo was VERY excited about this one!), Unicolored Blackbird, 2 striking Scarlet-headed Blackbirds, Picazuro Pigeon, Brazilian Teal, Chotoy Spinetail, Rufous Cachalote. Tom was off to the side and called out "anteater!". Ricardo and I came running, and sure enough, right by the side of the road was a Giant Anteater. Wow! It was quite a start to the trip.

The next stop, at a ranger station of sorts, was equally productive. Feeders had brought in hordes of Shiny Cowbirds, several Gray-necked Wood-Rails, lots of Yellow-billed Cardinals and Saffron Finches, and a few Red-crested Cardinals. A little puddle by the side of the road held Wattled Jacana, Sunbittern (really? do you know how hard I worked for this species in Costa Rica?!), Green Ibis, and Cattle Tyrant. Some raucous calls in the distance announced the presence of Hyacinth Macaws, and Ricardo wasted no time getting the scope on them for nice views. A Crane Hawk was another great find, foraging not far from the road.

A couple more stops at some wet areas netted many waterbirds: Great, Cattle, and Snowy Egrets, Cocoi, Striated, and Whistling Herons, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Plumbeous and Buff-necked Ibises (the latter in a dry field), Limpkins, Jabiru, Wood Stork, Black-capped Donacobius, and Large-billed Tern.

We didn't make it anywhere near our lodge by dark, and so drove about half the distance after dusk, arriving at the lodge just in time for dinner.
 

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ovenbird43

Well-known member
Aug 17

This was a whole day of birding the grounds surrounding the Mato Grosso Hotel. After some coffee at first light, we went for a short pre-breakfast walk in the grassland right behind the hotel. We got some nice looks at Rusty-collared Seedeaters, Blue-black Grassquits, and Grassland Sparrows. A nice White-rumped Monjita practically glowed in the sunrise. A big surprise for the area was a Subtropical Doradito.

After breakfast we birded along the trails through the gallery forest behind the hotel. The first couple hours were quite busy with songbirds, including several mixed flocks. It was a good day for antbirds: Mato Grosso Antbird, Planalto Slaty-Antshrike, Band-tailed Antbird, Large-billed Antwren, and Barred Antshrike. Other songbirds included Masked Gnatcatcher, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Pale-legged Hornero, White-lored and Rusty-backed Spinetail, Greater Thornbird, and Streaked Xenops. And let's not forget the flycatchers- Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Southern Beardless-Tyrannulets, and Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher were among those in the forest, while gorgeous Vermilion Flycatcher and White-naped Xenosparis were in an adjacent field.

After lunch and a siesta, it was time for our boat ride down the Pixiam River. Interestingly, this river becomes an elongated lake during the dry season, cut off from other rivers. The birds were amazing: all five Neotropical kingfishers, including my long-awaited lifer Green-and-rufous Kingfisher and the delightful little American Pygmy Kingfisher. We found not one, but two Sungrebes. We saw nearly all the possible herons and egrets as well, the highlights being 2 gorgeous Capped Herons, several roosting Boat-billed Herons, and 1 juvenile Agami Heron. On our way back we stopped to watch a small group of Golden-collared Macaws, a specialty of the area.

We topped off the day with a night drive along the nearby roads. Right at dusk, before we left, several Band-tailed Nighthawks flew over the river. The night drive bagged 3 more nightjars: Paraque, Spot-tailed Nightjar, and the amazing Scissor-tailed Nightjar.

Below are some pictures of a male Mato Grosso Antbird, some blooming Tabebuia trees, and some visitors to the hotel grounds: a Toco Toucan and Chestnut-eared Aracari.
 

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ovenbird43

Well-known member
Some pictures from the river: Capped Heron, Southern Caracara, Neotropic Cormorant, and Spectacled Caiman.
 

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ovenbird43

Well-known member
Some of the feeder activity at the Mato Grosso Hotel: Cattle Tyrant, Yellow-billed Cardinals, Saffron Finches, Gray-fronted and Scaled Doves, a Grayish Saltator giving a Rufous Hornero a piece of its mind, and a male Silver-beaked Tanager.
 

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ovenbird43

Well-known member
... and a couple more pictures from the day: Ringed Kingfisher and Pale-crested Woodpecker.
 

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ovenbird43

Well-known member
Aug 18

We had a couple hours of early morning birding before heading off to our next lodge. A wander through the fields before breakfast produced a few new birds, including Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Golden-green Woodpecker, Lesser Seed-Finch, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, and Chestnut-bellied Guan. After breakfast and packing, I wandered around while waiting to check out. A small pond to the side of the hotel held a pair of Southern Screamers, numerous Muscovy Ducks, and a Fulvous Whistling-Duck. I told the guide about these birds just before we left, and he grabbed his scope and ran to check it out- the whistling-duck was a lifer for him! While we watched the ducks, a seedeater popped into view- a beautiful male Double-collared Seedeater.

We drove back toward the entrance of the Transpantaneira Road, with plans to arrive at Piuval Hotel in time for lunch. We birded en route of course, stopping at a few spots for key birds. A brushy field held Yellow-chinned Spinetail and Rufous-fronted Thornbird. We pulled over for numerous parrots, adding Scaly-headed Parrot and Blue-crowned Parakeets to our lists, and also getting close views of a couple of Hyacinth Macaws. A patch of forest by the road was hopping with activity- Chestnut-vented Conebill, Little Woodpecker, White-wedged Piculet, and numerous other birds only heard or seen flitting away. Further up the road Ricardo spotted a group of Greater Rheas, and a little farther still one was walking right next to the road. Tom thought they were neat but ugly;) Along the entrance road to the hotel, a Pearl Kite was perched on the wire, and we watched as it dove down to the ground after something.

We set out again at 3 pm, driving along the dirt roads behind the hotel, through a variety of shrubby and woodland habitats. I was dumbfounded when Ricardo announced that we were going to try for Cream-colored Woodpecker- a bird I associate with Amazonia, and which I had tried unsuccessfully to find during my field work in Ecuador- and I was even more amazed when his iPod brought 3 of these beauties into view! The exact same spot also produced nice views of a Red-billed Scythebill. Later we tried for White-fringed Antwren, which called back frequently but remained maddeningly out of sight in the thick brush. There were numerous Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrants, a Saffron-billed Sparrow, and a nice male Blue-crowned Trogon. A Rufous Casiornis and Epaulet Oriole were also welcome finds. The road terminated into a large open bay, where we watched the sun set. A White-throated Kingbird was by the dock, and another Fork-tailed Flycatcher was foraging from the scattered trees. As dusk fell we spotted an Undulated Tinamou as it crossed the road. On the drive back we spotted Paraques and a Rufous Nightjar by the road.

Below: Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Blue-crowned Parakeets, Greater Rhea, another blooming Tabebuia, and Capybara.
 

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