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Independent Brazil August 2022: Chapada, Pantanal, Pompeu, Canastra & Campos do Jordao (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi all,

I don't know how long this is going to take me but there is a lack of independent trip reports so I thought I would do one for our recent trip. We travelled on 7th August and returned on 22nd August. We visited Chapada dos Guimaraes, Pantanal, Pompeu, Canastra and then a final long half day at Campos do Jordao.

The trip was a great success. I saw 391 bird species and 25 mammal species. Do not let anyone tell you that you need to go on a guided tour to do the Pantanal as we found that it is very easy independently.

Here are some photos as a taster.


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Day 1: 8th August

We flew from Heathrow to Sao Paulo overnight on 7th before catching our connection to Cuiaba. We arrived in Cuiaba shortly after 10 and, after picking up the car hire (Alamo booked through rentalcars.com), we were on the road up towards Chapada dos Guimaraes. Roadside birds during the 90 minute drive included Red-and-Green Macaw, Yellow-headed Caracara, Brown-chested Martin, Fork-tailed Palm Swift and White-lined Tanager.

Our first birding spot was the Veu da Noiva falls, which was really productive given the time of the day. Highlights included Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, White-eared Puffbird, Cliff Flycatcher, Great Dusky Swift, numerous Red-and-Green Macaw and the only Red-legged Honeycreeper and Rusty-backed Antwren of the trip. The full ebird list is here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S116578428

After dropping our bags at our accomodation, the basic but passable, Sossego Homestay, we headed towards the road to Aroe Jari caves in the hope of Yellow-faced Parrot. We made a brief stop at the Geodesic Viewpoint, where we found Biscutate Swift, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Crested Black Tyrant and Scaled Pigeon. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116578656

We failed to find any Yellow-faced Parrots but the road to the caves was full of birds that we really wanted to see including a Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Curl-crested Jay, Red-legged Seriema, Toco Toucan, White-tailed Hawk and Greater Rhea. Night birding produced a brief Band-winged Nightjar, Pauraque and numerous Scissor-tailed Nightjar. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116578759


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Sorry I have not posted any more updates. This report is going to take a while with everyone else that is going on. Anyway...

Day 2: 9th August

We got up far too early and waited for daylight on a side road to the Agua Fria road. Once it was light, we started to encounter good birds like large flocks of both White-rumped and White-banded Tanagers, as well as Plumbeous Seedeater, Chapada Flycatcher and Suriri Flycatcher. Flyovers included 4 White Woodpeckers, 6 Blue-winged Macaw and an Aplomado Falcon. Just as we were heading back to the car, we spotted a superb Coal-crested Finch. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116606688

We headed to the road to the stone city to find it fenced off. We had a little look in the area and, just as we were giving up, we heard the distinct call of Collared Crescentchest. We quickly enjoyed great views of two of this much-wanted target.

After a successful early morning, we headed to Vale da Bencao. It was surprisingly birdy with highlights including many birds we never saw again on the trip like Amazonian Motmot, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Western Fire-Eye, Swallow-winged Puffbird, White-throated Toucan, Streaked Flycatcher and Yellow-tufted Woodpecker. Best of all though was a superb Pavonine Cuckoo after a tip off from a tour group! Other highlights included Swallow-tailed Kite, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Crested Becard and Large-billed Antwren.

We then headed for a decent lunch in town before our 2pm booking at Jamaca das Araras. However, as we got out of lunch, the weather had changed and it was thick fog and strong wind. The weather did not improve but we headed up anyway and were rewarded with lovely views of a Tataupa Tinamou. We tried to look for some birds in the lovely garden but found none at all. Fed up with the weather and the owner's doom mongering about our independent trip to the Pantanal, we gave up after a couple of hours and tried to drive out the fog.

We tried a site with historic ebird records of Point-tailed Palmcreeper but it was quiet apart from some superb Brown Jacamars. We also saw Rusty-margined Guans but the wind and fog made any further birding difficult. We hoped for better weather tomorrow as we were driving to the Pantanal and there was plenty of unfinished business at Chapada dos Guimaraes.


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Day 3: 10th August

It was still windy and cold but the fog had dissipated so we headed back to Vale da Bencao that we hoped would be a bit more sheltered. It was far less birdy than the day before but we were thrilled to find a Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper and a Pectoral Sparrow at the small stream. Some fruiting trees attracted good numbers of birds including various hummingbirds and a surprise couple of Blue-necked Tanagers. As it was relatively quiet, we left for the Pantanal at around 08.30. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116687818 We would have another chance at the missing cerrado species later in the trip.

The 3 or so hour drive to Pocone was uneventful with the weather gradually improving. We also started to see water birds including the only Least Grebe of the trip. After filling up the tank with petrol in Pocone, we headed to the Transpantaneira. Immediately there were birds everywhere and it was difficult to know where to look. Bucket list species like Jabiru, Plumbeous Ibis and Black-collared Hawk were common. We tried not to stop for too much to get to our overnight accommodation in time for plenty of birding but it often felt like fighting the inevitable. Highlights over the next couple of hours included Pearl Kite, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Large-billed Tern, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, Whistling Heron and Rusty-collared Seedeater. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116688469

A stop at the Pantanal Hotel Mato Grosso produced loads more birds like White-rumped Swallow, Black-backed Water-Tyrant and Red-crested Finch. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116688613

We arrived at SouthWild shortly before 3 and tried to arrange a boat trip but they insisted it was better in the morning (it wasn't based on what a boat with a Birdquest group saw that afternoon with all 5 kingfishers and spectacular views of Agami Heron!). Nevertheless, we had a very pleasant walk to a roosting Great Potoo. Birds on the walk included Chotoy Spinetail, Streaked Xenops, Chestnut-bellied Guan, Blue-tufted Starthroat and my 3000th bird in the world, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant! We also heard numerous Undulated Tinamou but unsurprisingly they would not show themselves. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116688137

Then we got ready for the main event of the day, the evening ocelot viewing. We sat in the viewing area with 20 other people, food was put out and almost immediately a Crab-eating Fox appeared. The local guides were about worried as they said the fox scares the Ocelot away so they took matters into their own hands and scared the fox away. They need not have worried as we soon heard the Ocelot and fox have an argument before the Ocelot came in and fed in front of us for over 30 minutes. A magical experience with extraordinary views.

After dinner, we headed back to the forest on a slightly mad unguided night walk ostensibly to try to find a roosting tinamou. We failed at that but did see 3 Barn Owl and a lovely Ferruginous Pygmy Owl right outside my room.


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Day 4: 11th August

We spent the first 45 minutes of the morning admiring the huge number of birds in the garden of the lodge including Red-billed Scythebill, Bare-faced Currasow, Greater Thornbird and Red-crested Cardinal.

After breakfast, we set off on a two hour boat cruise in search of one of my main targets of the trip, Agami Heron. I had missed them earlier in the year in Panama and in other countries previously. We went to several of the spots where they were apparently out in the open yesterday but initially had no luck. We did however see lots of other birds including several Sungrebe, both Red-throated and Blue-throated Piping Guan and lots of Boat-billed Heron. Eventually, one of our group spotted an Agami Heron and we all saw it! A real thrill even if it remained partially obscured and would not eat the fish the boat driver threw to it. An American Pygmy Kingfisher was only heard and there was no sign of Sunbittern or Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher but I was not too fussed as I did see these species in Panama!

After the boat ride, we headed in to the scrubby area outside the garden in search of Long-tailed Ground-Dove that one of our group heard earlier. We were successful and added some other species to our list like Variable Oriole, Pale-legged Hornero and Chestnut-vented Conebill. A return to the woods added Fuscous Flycatcher, White-crested Tyrannulet, Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher and the endemic Mato Grosso Antbird. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116722366

We had to tear ourselves away by 1pm as we had over 90km to travel south to Porto Jofre. We made a number of stops on the drive south adding species like Purple Gallinule, Capped Heron, a brief Orange-backed Troupial, Southern Screamer, Solitary Black Cacique and several White-banded Mockingbirds. A stop at the abandoned research station also added some new species, headlined by Yellow-collared Macaw and some flyby Hyacinth Macaws. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116741190

We arrived at our accommodation, Pousada Porto Jofre, as it got dark, seeing Band-winged Nighthawk just before we turned off the Transpantaneira. Despite some "interesting" reviews online, the Pousada was perfectly passable with good food and a much cheaper option than the alternatives. The main Pantanal Norte hotel would not take bookings of independent groups. The only problem was the disorganisation and the language barrier. Everyone else we encountered on the trip could understand me talking Spanish to them sufficiently even if it is not the same as Portuguese but for some reason the staff there could not. Anyway, tomorrow was the day we were heading out on the river to look for jaguars even if the precise arrangements were unclear!


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Sorry again for the delay. Life has got in the way.

Day 5: 12th August

Today was a key day as we were looking for jaguar. Due to something being lost in translation, we did not set off on the boat until around 8am but this give us time to see our first Rufous Cachalote and Crimson-crested Woodpecker in the lodge garden.

After some excellent views of a group of Giant Otter, we saw the other boats start hurrying but our boat was unable to keep up and we arrived too late. We need not have worried though as we soon headed off to another Jaguar sighting and enjoyed spectacular views. A little further down was another Jaguar and here we had a really special experience as the throng of boats arrived. This Jaguar walked in front of us along the bank before suddenly dropping into the water and emerging with a caiman in its mouth! Amazing!

We also saw both Long-winged Harrier and White-tailed Hawk flyover the chaos. Other birds along the river included Pied Lapwing, Black Skimmer, Yellow-billed Tern, Blue-throated Piping Guan and good views of various herons. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116773612

After being pulled over by the police for reasons I'm not sure and a stop back at the lodge for lunch, we headed back on the river. We did not see anything new but enjoyed 2 further Jaguar sightings and spent a good amount of time watching a charismatic family of Giant Otters (though my camera battery had died by this point so no pics!).

The day had a final surprise as we found two superb Brazilian Tree Porcupines in the lodge garden at night. The others also managed to tape in an Undulated Tinamou when I was instead unsuccessfully looking on the river for nighthawks.


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Day 6: 13th August

After yesterday's success, we decided against starting on the boats and instead headed towards the Hotel Pantanal Norte to get better views of Hyacinth Macaw and check out the wetland. As soon as we arrived, we had brief but definite views of 3 of the much-wanted Scarlet-headed Blackbird fly off. After obtaining permission to enter the grounds, we headed to the wetland where we found a long-staying Paraguayan Snipe amongst good views of several other waterbirds. The gardens also afforded good views of many species but strangely no Hyacinth Macaws.

We then tried the road back to Pousada Porto Jofre and this was fabulous birding. It was just full of birds with at least 2 Ferruginous Pygmy Owl attracting hoardes of mobbing species. It was difficult to keep up but amongst the highlights were Cinnamon-throated Hermit, an uninspiring female Helmeted Manakin, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Forest Elaenia, Mouse-coloured Tyrannulet, Swainson's Flycatcher, Great Antshrike, Moustached Wren, Grey-headed Tanager and the wonderful Hooded Tanager. Best of all were 3 Undulated Tinamou that showed well on the road.

We returned to the lodge just before midday and were delighted to find 2 Hyacinth Macaw outside our room. We had seen 113 bird species in less than 5 hours. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116844947

Two of the group headed out for an afternoon boat ride but I decided to rest. The group on the boat saw a Cream-coloured Woodpecker but me and the other person who stayed back saw two circling Maguari Stork. We headed out for an afternoon walk but did not find anything new beyond a ridiculous 9 different Undulated Tinamou all seen on the road.

In the evening, I was feeling slightly unwell from either food poisoning or possibly the unclean pool so I did not want to do much. We were however woken up just before 10 to go on the night drive we had booked. Clearly, they were not used to doing night drives despite advertising it in the package and the whole thing was a bit of a farce with 2 of us in the back and 2 on chairs placed loose on the open boot. We did not see a great deal beyond an opossum run across the road and a few deer so I was relieved when they decided to go back to the lodge.


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Day 7: 14th August

After successfully communicating we needed a bike pump to pump up our flat tyre, we set off back north on the Transpantaneira. We were slightly concerned about the amount of petrol we had and whether the tyre would make it!

We started at a lake south of Campos de Jofre where we found 35 roosting Nacunda Nighthawk, 10 White-faced Whistling Duck, 2 Collared Plover, 8 Lesser Yellowlegs and a surprise Stilt Sandpiper. Further along the road, we found Masked Yellowthroat, Little Cuckoo, Pearl Kite, Scrub Flycatcher, more White-banded Mockingbird and better views of Scarlet-headed Blackbird and Maguari Stork. Best of all was a chance encounter with the Pantanal race Doradito in some roadside shrubs. https://ebird.org/checklist/S116949343

We then tried the river trail by the Pantanal Mato Grosso hotel in search of the missing dry forest species but it was so hot and did not see anything new. A calling Band-tailed Antbird would not come in but we did tape in a family of Mato Grosso Antbird. A detour to Pousada Rio Claro in search of Nanday Parakeet was equally fruitless though the lodge does give good views of common species.

We had slightly more luck on a detour to Pouso Alegre even if not on our quest for lunch as we arrived too late. Despite the extreme heart (38 + degrees), the entrance track was very birdy. Some speculative taping drew an instant response from a superb Great Rufous Woodcreeper, while the owner was kind enough to give us directions to a Great Horned Owl nest. We also saw the first Yellow-browed Tyrant of the trip and 8 Long-tailed Ground-Dove.

We then headed to Pocone to fix the tyre and fill up before returning to Pousada Piuval, where we were going to stay the night. We booked on to an evening night drive in one of the lodge jeeps. After a slow start, things picked up towards the end as we encountered 2 Brazilian Tapir, a huge Cerrado False Boa and a Common Potoo.

I was still feeling rough so I headed to bed. My friends went on another night drive along the entrance track and saw 3 Giant Anteater, 2 Brazilian Tapir, a Crab-eating Racoon and 3 Little Nightjar. Fair to say I was a bit gutted but could not complain after another excellent day despite my stomach bug.


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Day 8: 15th August

We were up early for another safari but this time we shared it with a large German tour group. They stopped for completely random things (3 times for Campo Flicker but would not stop for Red-legged Seriema for example) and birding was difficult. We did see some good mammals including 2 Coati, a Tamandua and some Black-tailed Marmoset. I also saw a very obscured Tropical Screech Owl roosting in the half dark that I could not get the others on to before the bus moved while some green macaws went unidentified.

The safari went on far longer than advertised and it was very hot by the time we returned. We were unsure of the spots for the missing specialities (Black-bellied Antwren, White-spotted Woodpecker) and our walk was completely fruitless though one of the group saw Plumbeous Kite. My stomach bug had got worse so after an hour, I chose to rest in bed.

I could not rest too long as we had to leave by midday to head back to Cuiaba for our 5pm flight to Belo Horizonte. We needed longer at Pousada Piuval and it was the only place in the Pantanal where I felt a guide may have been helpful.

Our flight was on time but the luggage took ages to arrive. After successfully sorting out the hire car in Spanish (nice to find someone who speaks it), we were on the road and arrived at the pompously named Nita Palace Hotel in Pompeu shortly before midnight. I was exhausted and had not even done any of the driving!
Day 9: 16th August

Another early start as we left the hotel at 5.20 to pick up our guide, Luiz Alberto dos Santos (highly recommended!) before heading to cerrado habitat about 50km from town. Luiz immediately heard Black-masked Finch and swiftly taped it in along with displaying Chapada Flycatcher, superb Coal-crested Finch, Wedge-tailed Grass Finch, Grassland Sparrow, White-banded Tanager and Lesser Elaenia. He then took us to a spot in the valley for one of the highlights of the trip. Luiz knocked on the ground and a superb Ocellated Crake came out to gratefully receive a mealworm. It came out several times and we enjoyed spectacular views.

We moved to a new area where we found Least Nighthawk, Tawny-headed Swallow, Southern Scrub Flycatcher and, best of all, 3 superb Blue Finch! A further area added displaying Campo Miner, while another spot yielded a superb Rufous-winged Antshrike. After a successful morning with the only disappointment being failing to find Horned Sungem, we headed back to town for a late lunch. https://ebird.org/checklist/S117046743

After a much needed but far too short rest, we headed to an area closer to town. We swiftly found Spot-backed Puffbird at one spot before a local rubbish tip / marshy area added a stunning Campo Troupial, numerous Scarlet-throated Tanager, Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Chestnut-capped Blackbird, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, a surprise Crowned Slaty Flycatcher and a furtive group of Rufous-sided Crake.

After a few hours, Luiz took us to a much more attractive area by a lake where we had wonderful views of many birds including Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and the target Red-bellied Macaw. https://ebird.org/checklist/S117067188 My stomach was still playing up and I was still tired so I was not keen on our lengthy unsuccessful search for Spot-tailed Nightjar but we did see a couple of Nacunda Nighthawk. However, it had been another very successful day.


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Day 10: 17th August

My stomach bug had finally cleared and we had "lie in" until about 5.50 when we went to pick up Luiz again. After yesterday's success, we had updated our target list and he took us to a beautiful river valley in search of Black-collared Swallow. None were around but we did see Sooty Tyrannulet, Wing-banded Hornero, Crane Hawk and a Long-billed Starthroat. The latter was particularly exciting for Luiz as it was the first record for the area!

In the nearby woods, we encountered an excellent flock including Rufous-headed Tanager, Plush-crested Jay, Buff-breasted Wren, Chestnut-capped Foliage-Gleaner and several Helmeted Manakin including some superb males. Mobbing calls also attracted the stunning Black Jacobin and much wanted Amethyst Woodstar. We returned to the river for another go at Black-collared Swallow and Luiz soon spotted one which gave excellent views.

Another nearby area attracted more Helmeted Manakin, Long-tailed Tyrant, Black-capped Antwren and Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin. There was no sign however of Rusty-breasted Nunlet at their usual spot.

After an unsuccessful quick search for Spotted Nothura, we headed back to town to drop off Luiz and pick up our bags before heading towards Canastra. The 4 hour drive was uneventful apart from having to drive through a raging fire and we checked in to our slightly uncomfortable Air BnB late afternoon.

We met our new guide, Tico (less recommended than Luiz as he hardly speaks and does not know all the birds), here and headed off to the lower part of the river in search of our main target, Brazilian Merganser. We did not find any this evening but did see some Surucua Trogon. We spent another evening with a lengthy search for nightjars but were rewarded with only very brief views of Sickle-winged Nightjar for some of us.
Day 11: 18th August

We headed back to the lower reaches of the river to continue our search for the much-wanted Brazilian Merganser. We tried numerous different spots for a couple of hours before we eventually spotted one and we enjoyed good views. We were not looking for other birds in this time but did notice Sick's Swift, Dusky-legged Guan and Pileated Finch. The others also saw a Southern Antpipit while I was checking a different patch of river.

After the success with the main target, the rest of the morning was a bit more relaxed. We headed towards the lower part of the national park stopping to enjoy a distant Short-tailed Hawk, Hooded Siskin, Golden-capped Parakeet and Plush-crested Jay. A walk to the bottom of the Casca D'Anta waterfall produced a lovely flock of Gilt-edged Tanager, Pin-tailed Manakin, Grey-eyed Greenlet, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Black-capped Antwren and 2 Surucua Trogon. At the waterfall itself were hundreds of Great Dusky Swift plus several Crested Black Tyrant. https://ebird.org/checklist/S117174227

After sampling the local speciality cheese for lunch, we headed back to town and up towards the plateau. The road was in good condition so was easily drivable in our vehicle. On the drive up, we spotted two King Vulture.

On the plateau, Tico was much more familiar with the birds and he taped in some lovely Grey-backed Tachuri at the first stop. Further stops yielded the lovely Sharp-tailed Tyrant, flighty Grassland and Stripe-tailed Yellow Finches, Firewood Gatherer, Cock-tailed Tyrant, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch and Grey-headed Tody-Flycatcher. Brasilia Tapaculo was frustrating as it was only seen by some by the source of the river but we all enjoyed good views when we tried again at dusk. We also had reasonable views of both Red-winged Tinamou and Spotted Nothura along the road.

Mammals were frustrating by their absence as there was no Giant Anteater that I was desperate to see. More frustrating still is we saw a Maned Wolf in a trap laid by scientists that was not in the trap an hour earlier meaning we narrowly missed seeing one in the wild.

We had to turn around before it was too late to get out the park before closing (although Tico is licensed to be in the park after closing, our hire car is not). This time the search for nightjars was marginally more successful as we saw a Band-winged Nightjar and another very brief Sickle-winged Nightjar.


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Day 12: 19th August

We arranged an expensive 4x4 to get us into the park before opening time to search for Maned Wolf. We were unsuccessful in our quest but generally birds were much more common than they day before with loads of Cock-tailed Tyrant and Grassland Yellowfinch flying about. We added a couple of new birds like Great Pampa Finch, Grass Wren, Ochre-breasted Pipit and some superb Cinnamon Tanagers. We also finally saw House Wren on the trip and had superb views of Aplomado Falcon. Best of all was a couple of Giant Anteater, which I was delighted to see after missing them earlier on the trip, and a Yewllow Armadillo.

At the top of the waterfall, there were numerous Great Dusky and White-collared Swift as well as a Black-chested Buzzard Eagle and King Vulture. We searched extensively for Dwarf Tinamou, Cinereous Warbling Finch and Horned Sungem but no luck on those fronts.

Just before midday, we left the park. The rest of the group went on a crazy 14 hour round trip to search for White-winged Nightjar near Uberaba while I took a much-needed rest. My walk round town did not produce much, while there crazy trip failed to produce White-winged Nightjar but they did see 2 Maned Wolf, Ash-throated Crake and Sickle-winged Nightjar. They returned close to 5am after getting horribly lost on the way back.


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Day 13: 20th August

We had planned to go to Lavras this morning to look for Rock Tapaculo but the drivers understandably needed a lie in. Instead, I walked with one of the others around town until about 9. We found a surprisingly birdy spot and added a few trip birds including Bran-coloured Flycatcher, Orange-headed Tanager, Planalto Hermit and Small-billed Elaenia.

We eventually set off for our next destination of Conceicao dos Ouros. It was a fairly tedious six hour drive and we saw little en route. We stopped at a marsh near Pouso Alegre as mentioned in de Temmerman's trip report but saw very little.

At 4.30 pm, we met our guide for the evening (Wagner). He initially took us to a Great Horned Owl nest before taking us towards the spot he normally sees Buff-fronted Owl. The chicks had fledged a few weeks ago but he was confident we would be able to find them. We heard several but they refused to come into tape. Lengthy traipsing around the forest brought us very close to at least 3 different birds but we failed to get a glimpse despite several hours of searching. Tropical Screech Owl was equally uncooperative. We did have more luck with Striped Owl as we eventually tracked down a calling bird. It was well past 11 before we got back to town before an early start for our last day in Brazil.


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Day 14: 21st August

We set off at 5am for the 90 minute drive to Campos do Jordao, where we met our very good guide Thiago. We started at a private residencial area where we found numerous showy Dusky-legged Guan, Blackish Rail, Buff-browed Foliage-Gleaner, Greenish Tyrannulet, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow and two fantastic Black-capped Piprites. Diademed Tanager and Buff-throated Warbling Finch were pleasingly common as they were all day.

We then moved up the hill regularly hearing Pileated and Vinaceous-breasted Parrot. We eventually tracked down the latter and enjoyed good views. Up the hill, the views were fantastic and we came to a sudden halt when we spotted a Swallow-tailed Cotinga by the side of the road. Unfortunately, it did not stay long but there were plenty of other birds around including White-throated Hummingbird, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Grey-capped Tyrannulet and Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet. Best of all was a Rufous Gnateater that came in superbly to tape. A grassy area held a brief Long-tailed Reed Finch, numerous Cliff Flycatcher and several Hellmayr's Pipit, which were particularly pleasing after not finding them at Canastra. Frustratingly Black-and-gold Cotinga was only heard.

We then headed into the woods and enjoyed superb views of 3 wonderful Rufous-tailed Antthrush. Also around were Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, while Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo and Ochre-breasted Piculet were only heard. Returning back down the hill, we found a superb Green-crowned Plovercrest, Pallid Spinetail and Variable Antshrike.

We then tried a completely different area the other side of town and this was even more birdy! Highlights included showy Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, superb Rufous-tailed Antbird, Thick-billed Saltator and a fantastic flock including Brassy-breasted Tanager, White-spotted Woodpecker, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch and Fawn-breasted Tanager. Just fantastic! The final stop added several Shear-tailed Grey-Tyrant and Scalloped Woodcreeper. https://ebird.org/checklist/S117365772

We reluctantly had to tear ourselves away mid afternoon and headed to Bom Succeso to look for Sao Paulo Antwren. I'd seen them before ten years ago but it was a key target for the others. The traffic was really heavy and we did not arrive until late. I had brief views of the Antwren but the others missed it as they had walked down the path. We also saw Orange-breasted Thornbird and Planalto Hermit before it got dark and we had to head to the airport.
After a jam-packed final day (that gave no time for photos), we headed to the airport to fly home after a very enjoyable and successful but intense trip.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if questions.


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