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.