Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Southeast Brazil , July 2001,
- General Information
- Itinerary (summary)
- National Parks and Sites
- Systematic List of Birds
- Systematic List of Mammals (bottom of bird list)
This report covers a 12 days trip to southeast Brazil in July 2001.
Having visited South America already four times we decided to visit southeastern Brazil, a must for the serious global birder. The Atlantic rainforest area, one of the most threatened habitats in South America, is an area with a splendid variety of endemics. It has more species restricted to it than any other place of comparable compass, and many of them are among the rarest birds on the continent. Birding-wise, and ornithologically, Brazil is still a "frontier". Maybe 3-4 resident, experienced birders in all of eastern Brazil.
Brazil has approximately 1,660 species and 180 endemics, a virtual paradise for the serious birder.
Brazil is a huge country, the size of the U.S. It probably takes 4 - 5 separate (3 weeks) trips to really nail the country’s birds. Eric Wille and I joined a Sunbird/Wings trip, the first organised trip ever for both of us.
We flew Amsterdam – London – São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro return with British Airways costing € 850.
No visa is required for EU-citizens.
The Brazilian currency is the Real. The exchange rate
at the time of our visit varied from 2.44 to 2.50: US$1.
All major credit cards are accepted.
There is no shortage of accommodation in Brazil; any reasonably sized town will have a range to suit most tastes. Hotels along the coast and near the major tourist attractions are expensive.
FOOD AND DRINK
Food was generally fine, reasonably varied and of good quality. Drinks can be found anywhere.
Permits and/or permission to enter most parks and preserves are officially required, And very difficult to arrange from outside the country. Although habitat destruction is well publicised for Brazil, they do take their protected areas very seriously. In fact, much of the parks/preserves are "off limits" to public use. Birders, with the proper permits/ documentation, can arrange access.
No vaccinations are officially required to visit southeastern Brazil per se. Immunisation against polio, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis however is recommended, although vaccinations should not be treated as a substitute for careful eating and drinking habits. Malaria is apparently not a problem in the areas we visited, we did not take any anti-malarial treatment.
Mosquitoes, biting gnats and biting or simply annoying flies can be locally numerous (particularly in the lowlands), and especially in the wet season - another reason to visit during the dry season.
Chiggers, one of Brazil's many interesting South American affinities, can be a real pest, and you can pick them up in the field, often when you least expect it. Although there is no complete answer to the problem, as precaution wear long trousers tucked securely into your socks and spray insect repellent liberally on your clothing and boots!
Finally, beware of the sun. Hats and long-sleeved shirts is essential kit.
Brazil has a bad reputation as a high crime area; this reputation is probably not deserved. Brazil is a friendly country and at present a fairly safe place to travel. Forget the crime-and-violence headlines. Outside the tourist areas, you don’t need to worry, people are very nice and friendly
We travelled for two weeks had nothing stolen and never felt threatened or even uncomfortable and where in the world is safe these days. We were not hassled or bothered while birdwatching around the country. Still, in the larger cities you should take precautions against pickpockets and other theft. Lock your car at all times; never leave valuables in open sight.
Portuguese is almost all you’ll hear off the beaten path. With very few exceptions Brazil is a country were English is not spoken widely (some of the larger hotels have one or more employees who speak English) and very little Spanish, so at least a rudimentary command of Portuguese or a Portuguese dictionary will be helpful.
The best time to go to southeast Brazil is between September and November as this coincides with the Austral Spring and more birds are calling. July and August are also good as it is normally cool in the southeast.
Most of the time during our trip the weather was not warm, although even in the mountains we needed no more than a light jacket for the first few hours of the morning. We hit rain on the coast, but had great weather inland.
Daylight hours were generally 06.15 – 17.45.
NOMENCLATURE & TAXONOMY
I have decided to follow the English names of James F. Clements (Fifth Edition 2000, Birds of the World, A Check List). Species in brackets are the English names in “Birding Brazil, A Checklist and Site Guide” by Bruce C. Forrester, but only mentioned when these differ significantly from the Clements Check List.
I have not drawn maps but most sites are relatively straightforward to get to and the birding areas within, usually even more straightforward. Where necessary, I have described access to sites, which when used with other gen, should be sufficient.
The following list of birds we saw frequently and if you spend any sort of time in the right habitats you will too:
Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Black & Turkey Vulture, Roadside Hawk, Southern Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, Southern Lapwing, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Smooth-billed Ani, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Plain Antvireo, Long-tailed Tyrant, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Blue-and-white Swallow, House Wren, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Golden-crowned Warbler, Bananaquit, Sayaca Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Green-headed Tanager, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Burnished-buff Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Double-collared Seedeater, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Red-rumped Cacique.
¨ Allen Altman
& Byron Swift. Checklist of the Birds of South America.
¨ James F. Clements. Birds of the World. A Check List, Fifth Edition.
¨ John S. Dunning. South American Birds, a Photographic Aid to Identification.
¨ Louise H. Emmons and Francois Feer. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals – A Field Guide.
¨ Bruce C. Forrester. Birding Brazil, A Checklist and Site Guide.
¨ T. Narosky - D. Yzurieta. Birds of Argentina & Uruguay.
¨ Martín R. de La Peña and Maurice Rumboll. Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica (Collins Illustrated Checklist).
¨ Sick H. Birds in Brazil
¨ Robert S. Ridgely and Guy Tudor. The Birds of South America, Volume I, The Oscine Passerines.
¨ Robert S. Ridgely and Guy Tudor. The Birds of South America, Volume II, The Suboscine Passerines.
¨ Nigel Wheatley. Where to watch birds in South America.
Unfortunately, there is no fieldguide for southeastern Brazil. The Collins Illustrated Checklist covers 80% of the birds in southeast Brazil. The plates are not that great, but easy to use.
Sick’s. “Bird in Brazil” is too heavy, has few pictures and rather rudimentary descriptions
“Birding Brazil, A Checklist and Site Guide” by Bruce C. Forrester is not a field guide, but a very detailed "where and how" to go birding in Brazil. Maps and details on THE sites to bird, detailed site, region, and country bird list. However, this publication should be used together with recent trip reports since it is almost ten years old and some facts may be out of date.
Nigel Wheatley's "Where to watch birds in South America" is also useful at the planning stage.
¨ Jon Hornbuckle.
Birding in Eastern Brazil - 1995.
¨ Ron Hoff. Brazil - Southeast, 21 October - 11 November 2000.
¨ Samuel Hansson. Brazil 22 June – 21 July 2000.
¨ Rick Simpson. Brazil: 3rd – 22nd September 1997.
¨ Roger Wolfe. Brazil. September 5 – 20, 2000.
BIRDBASE & BIRDAREA
Since 1996 I use this software to keep track of the birds I have seen and to make lists of any country, labelling endemics and birds previously seen in that country, outside it, or both. BirdArea can produce checklists of the birds of any country of Clements’ world birds.
July 14 Chaam - Amsterdam - London
July 15 São Paulo - Rio de Janeiro - Teresópolis - Serra dos Orgãos National Park
July 16 Teresópolis - Sumidouro Road - Teresópolis
July 17 Teresópolis - Serra dos Orgãos National Park - Rio de Janeiro - Itatiaia National Park
July 18 Itatiaia National Park
July 19 Itatiaia National Park (Algulhas Negras)
July 20 Itatiaia National Park
July 21 Itatiaia National Park - Serra do Mar - Angra dos Reis
July 22 Angra dos Reis – Ubatuba – Pica Pau Road
July 23 Ubatuba * Fazenda Capricornio * Pica Pau Road
July 24 Ubatuba * Pica Pau Road * Fazenda Capricornio * Cornovado Road
July 25 Ubatuba* Fazenda Capricornio - São Paulo
July 26 London – Amsterdam - Chaam
NATIONAL PARKS AND SITES
These notes are only information supplementary to Bruce C. Forrester’s “Birding Brazil, A Checklist and Site Guide”, the excellent guide to most of the bird sites we visited.
For a detailed report of species and numbers please refer to the systematic list at the end of this report. Species in bold are endemic species to Brazil.
SERRA DOS ORGÃOS NATIONAL PARK
Accommodation: Hotel Pousada da Posse in Teresópolis.
This park is situated only 55 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro and the town of Teresópolis is nearby.
Serra dos Orgãos, home to more endemics than any other reserve in Brazil, has a habitat very similar to that of Itatiaia. However it is worth visiting Serra dos Orgãos, as this park holds Hooded Berryeater & the elusive Gray-winged Cotinga and some species that are easier to see here.
As the Park is only officially open from 8.00 to 17.00
on the first afternoon our leaders arranged to go in early the next days. We
stayed a very short while at the park, as we expected to find most species at
Itatiaia National Park. We only explored the lower stretches of the trail to
the top of the mountain, a path heavily used by hillwalkers.
Birds seen during our visit:
Brown Tinamou, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Roadside Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Dusky-legged Guan, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Pale-vented Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Squirrel Cuckoo, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Brazilian Ruby, White-tailed Trogon, Black-throated Trogon, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Spot-billed Toucanet, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Streaked Xenops, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Black-capped Foliage-gleaner, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, White-throated Woodcreeper, Scaled Woodcreeper, Lesser Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Giant Antshrike, Variable Antshrike, Plain Antvireo, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Star-throated Antwren, Rufous-tailed Antbird, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Variegated Antpitta, Rufous Gnateater, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Hooded Berryeater, Blue Manakin, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Gray-capped Tyrannulet, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Yellow-legged Thrush, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Creamy-bellied Thrush, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Golden-crowned Warbler, White-rimmed Warbler, Bananaquit, Brown Tanager, Black-goggled Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Green-chinned Euphonia, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Swallow-Tanager, Red-rumped Cacique.
Tataupa Tinamou, Rufous-thighed Kite, Barred Forest-Falcon, Mantled Hawk, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Blue-winged Macaw, Pileated Parrot, Plain Parakeet, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Sooty Swift, White-collared Swift, Scale-throated Hermit, Planalto Hermit, Reddish Hermit, Black Jacobin, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Plovercrest, White-throated Hummingbird, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Sombre Hummingbird, Surucua Trogon, White-eared Puffbird, Rufous-capped Motmot, Three-toed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Itatiaia Thistletail, Pallid Spinetail, Chicli Spinetail, Red-eyed Thornbird, Pale-browed Treehunter, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Giant Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Large-tailed Antshrike, White-bearded Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Rio de Janeiro Antwren, Ferruginous Antbird, Bertoni’s Antbird, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Scaled Antbird, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, White-bibbed Antbird, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Variegated Antpitta, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Such’s Antthrush, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Gray-winged Cotinga, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Bare-throated Bellbird, Sharpbill, Cinnamon-vented Piha, Pin-tailed Manakin, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Planalto Tyrannulet, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Cliff Flycatcher, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Shear-tailed Grey-Tyrant, Gray-hooded Attila, Long-billed Wren, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Pale-breasted Thrush, Hellmayr’s Pipit, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Diademed Tanager, Red-necked Tanager, Cinnamon Tanager, Rufous-headed Tanager, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Red-rumped Warbling-Finch, Uniform Finch, Pileated Finch, Yellow-billed Blue Finch.
Accommodation: Hotel Pousada da Posse in Teresópolis
This is the easiest site in the world for Three-toed Jacamar, which were easily seen by the roadside. The dry forest is also a stake-out for the rare Rio de Janeiro Antbird.
Take the excellent highway out of Teresópolis towards Alem Paraiba. Coming from Rio de Janeiro birders will arrive at a roundabout just before Teresópolis. Left goes to the town of Teresópolis and Serra dos Orgãos NP and straight on the Alem Paraiba highway. At km 7 turn right on a dirt track sign-posted Sumidouro and drive 3 kilometres reaching an obvious loop in the road.
It is also worthwhile to check the marshy area on the left-hand site from the dirt road approximately 1,5 km from the highway. We found here amongst others Ash-throated Crake, Blackish Rail, White-rumped Monjita and Streamer-tailed Tyrant.
Birds seen during our visit:
Cattle Egret, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, White-tailed Kite, Savanna Hawk, Roadside Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Southern Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, Ash-throated Crake, Blackish Rail, Red-legged Seriema, Wattled Jacana, Picazuro Pigeon, Pale-vented Pigeon, Ruddy Ground-dove, White-tipped Dove, White-eyed Parakeet, Peach-fronted Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Red-bellied Macaw, Squirrel Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Guira Cuckoo, Striped Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Planalto Hermit, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Three-toed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Campo Flicker, Rufous Hornero, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Common Thornbird, Streaked Xenops, Variable Antshrike, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Yellow Tyrannulet, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Planalto Tyrannulet, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Euler’s Flycatcher, White-rumped Monjita, Masked Water-Tyrant, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Cattle Tyrant, Short-crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Brown-chested Martin, Blue-and-white Swallow, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Black-capped Donacobius, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Golden-crowned Warbler, Bananaquit, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Purple-throated Euphonia, Burnished-buff Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Blue-black Grassquit, Double-collared seedeater, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Saffron Finch, Golden-winged Cacique, Crested Oropendola.
ITATIAIA NATIONAL PARK
Accommodation: There are many places to stay inside the park, expensive or reasonable. We stayed at Hotel Simon, a splendid hotel with a garden filled with birds.
Just north of the Rio-São Paulo highway, Itatiaia National Park is the site of Brazil's third-highest mountain, the Pico das Agulhas Negras (2,878 meters). The park is home to over 250 species of birds, which attract birdwatchers from around the world.
Itatiaia hosts a variety of habitats ranging from Atlantic rainforest to the treeless summit of Algulhas Negras, the second highest mountain wholly within Brazil.
At the highest elevation, where temperatures sometimes drop below freezing, the desolate landscape is dotted with bizarre rock formations, the result of temperature extremes and heavy rainfall.
Brazil’s first national park is the crown jewel of all National Parks in southeast Brazil and thus well documented and probably the one most visited by birders. Many of the birds shared with Serra dos Orgãos are somewhat easier to find here.
The two main trails in the lower part of the park are the Três Picos and Jeep trails. Both wind up hill in Atlantic rainforest, the Jeep trail is wide enough for two people to walk side by side, but the Três Picos trail is only wide enough for single file.
We explored the garden of Hotel Simon (the feeders in Harold Simon’s Garden attract many hummingbirds and tanagers), the trail near Hotel Domenti, the Jeep Trail, the Três Picos Trail and the Maromba Trail. It is also worthwhile to check the feeders at the chocolate store in the park. While we were staying at the park there was a big forest fire that had got out of control. While birding in Itatiaia all the time helicopters where flying over the forest, making a lot of noise of course. We were lucky that the fire had not affected the areas we visited.
Birds seen during our visit:
Brown Tinamou, Tataupa Tinamou, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Southern Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, Dusky-legged Guan, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Pale-vented Pigeon, Plumbeous Pigeon, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Squirrel Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Tawny-browed Owl, Pauraque, White-collared Swift, Biscutate Swift, Gray-rumped Swift, Scale-throated Hermit, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Black Jacobin, White-vented Violetear, Frilled Coquette, Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-throated Hummingbird, Versicoloured Emerald, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Brazilian Ruby, Black-eared Fairy, Surucua Trogon, Rufous-capped Motmot, Saffron Toucanet, Spot-billed Toucanet, Red-breasted Toucan, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Green-barred Woodpecker, Robust Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Pallid Spinetail, Streaked Xenops, Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Black-capped Foliage-gleaner, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Thrush-like Woodcreeper, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, White-throated Woodcreeper, Planalto Woodcreeper, Scaled Woodcreeper, Lesser Woodcreeper, Giant Antshrike, White-bearded Antshrike, Variable Antshrike, Spot-breasted Antvireo, Plain Antvireo, Star-throated Antwren, Ferruginous Antbird, Bertoni’s Antbird, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Streak-capped Antwren, White-shouldered Fire-eye, White-bibbed Antbird, Such’s Antthrush, Variegated Antpitta, Rufous Gnateater, Slaty Bristlefront, Blue Manakin, Pin-tailed Manakin, Yellow Tyrannulet, Gray-hooded Flycatcher, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Planalto Tyrannulet, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Eared Pygmy-Tyrant, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Large-headed Flatbill, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, White-throated Spadebill, Black-tailed Flycatcher, Cliff Flycatcher, Tropical Pewee, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Masked Water-Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Sirystes, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Chestnut-crowned Becard, Sharpbill, Blue-and-white Swallow, House Wren, Yellow-legged Thrush, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Pale-breasted Thrush, Creamy-bellied Thrush, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Hooded Siskin, Golden-crowned Warbler, Bananaquit, Magpie Tanager, Rufous-headed Tanager, Olive-green Tanager, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Black-goggled Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Diademed Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Purple-throated Euphonia, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Green-headed Tanager, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Gilt-edged Tanager, Burnished-buff Tanager, Black-legged Dacnis, Blue Dacnis, Blue-black Grassquit, Double-collared seedeater, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Green-winged Saltator, Red-rumped Cacique.
The higher parts of Itatiaia NP
are along the Algulhas Negras road. Starting below the tree line in Atlantic
rainforest the habitat soon opens out and becomes more typical of high altitude
The road that leads to this high alpine area is in bad shape with lots of potholes and rocks etc.
Birds seen during our visit:
Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Roadside Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Crane Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Southern Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, Barred Forest-Falcon, Dusky-legged Guan, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Blackish Rail, Southern Lapwing, Picazuro Pigeon, Gray-fronted Dove, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Smooth-billed Ani, Scale-throated Hermit, White-vented Violetear, White-throated Hummingbird, Plovercrest, Brazilian Ruby, Black-throated Trogon, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Campo Flicker, Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Pallid Spinetail, Streaked Xenops, Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Itatiaia Thistletail, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, White-throated Woodcreeper, Scaled Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Giant Antshrike, Variable Antshrike, Plain Antvireo, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Rufous Gnateater, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Black-capped Piprites, White-crested Tyrannulet, Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Greenish Tyrannulet, Eared Pygmy-tyrant, Blue-billed Black-Tyrant, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Shear-tailed Gray Tyrant, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Blue-and-white Swallow, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Hooded Siskin, Golden-crowned Warbler, White-rimmed Warbler, Bananaquit, Black-goggled Tanager, Diademed Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Red-rumped Warbling-Finch, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Green-winged Saltator, Thick-billed Saltator, Golden-winged Cacique.
Other possibilities at Itatiaia National Park:
Mantled Hawk, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Pileated Parrot, Plain Parakeet, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Sooty Swift, Ashy-tailed Swift, Planalto Hermit, Reddish Hermit, Sombre Hummingbird, White-eared Puffbird, White-spotted Woodpecker, Pale-browed Treehunter, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Firewood-gatherer, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Tufted Antshrike, Large-tailed Antshrike, Rio de Janeiro Antwren, Rufous-tailed Antbird, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, White-breasted Tapaculo, Black-cheeked Gnateater, Gray-winged Cotinga, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Bare-throated Bellbird, Brown-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Gray-hooded Attila, Rufous-tailed Attila, White-rumped Monjita, Curl-crested Jay, Tawny-headed Swallow, Brown Tanager, Cinnamon Tanager, Chestnut-headed Tanager, Long-tailed Reed-Finch, Great Pampa-Finch, White-bellied Seedeater, Temminck’s Seedeater, Black-throated Grosbeak, Uniform Finch, Chestnut-capped Blackbird, Chopi Blackbird.
ANGRA DOS REIS AREA
Accommodation: We stayed at Hotel Pousada Porto Marina Bracuhy.
The coast from Angra dos Reis – Paratí contains the most reliable site for the critically endangered Black-hooded Antwren. A few kilometres from Porto Marina Bracuhy we explored a coastal forest, where the recently re-discovered Black-hooded Antwren, a cosmic amongst antbirds with a strikingly plumage, can be found.
Birds seen during our visit:
Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Pale-vented Pigeon, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Squirrel Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Striped Cuckoo, Least Nighthawk, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Versicoloured Emerald, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Brazilian Ruby, Amazon Kingfisher, White-barred Piculet, Campo Flicker, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Chicli Spinetail, Red-eyed Thornbird, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Black-hooded Antwren, Rufous-capped Antthrush, White-bearded Manakin, Yellow Tyrannulet, Gray-capped Tyrannulet, Fuscous Flycatcher, Masked Water-Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Chestnut-crowned Becard, Blue-and-white Swallow, Long-billed Wren, Rufous-bellied Thrush, White-necked Thrush, Red-eyed Thrush, Masked Yellowthroat, Bananaquit, Neotropical River Warbler, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Flame-crested Tanager, White-lined Tanager, Brazilian Tanager, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Palm Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Violaceous Euphonia, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Red-necked Tanager, Burnished-buff Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Blue-black Grassquit, Double-collared seedeater, Uniform Finch, Half-collared Sparrow, Red-rumped Cacique.
Accommodation: hotels are plentiful in Ubatuba. We stayed in the excellent Hotel Solar Das Aguas Cantantes.
Ubatuba is well known as a birding destination, not only for its' location and easy access, but for it's endemics and rarities. Ubatuba itself is nice, resort-type community, a favourite beach resort midway between Rio de Janeiro & São Paulo and a good jump-off spot for a number of good-great birding spots and some very desirable species. The rainforest near Ubatuba is situated in the shadow of Pico do Corcovado.
The area is generally known as "Serra do Mar" which are the coastal mountain range a bit inland.
Most of our time was spent at the well-known Fazenda Capricornio, in the past owned up by the Dane Paul Thompsen. We also spent a few hours at the nearby Pico Pau Road and along the dirt road to Corcovado, six kilometres south of Ubatuba en route to Sao Paulo.
Fazenda Capricornio is located north of the BR101, just a short way east of kilometre post 45, on an obvious bend. Having turned off the BR101, continue straight ahead for the fazenda.
Fazenda Capricornio is an overgrown cacao plantation and is a good place for seeing canopy species like São Paulo Tyrannulet and Buff-throated Purpletuft in the tall trees scattered among the cacao.
The Pico Pau road (look for an obvious sign to Pico Pau) is also located north of the BR101. The dirt road is 100 metres north from the side road to Fazenda Capricornio.
Birds seen during our visit:
Brown Booby, Neotropic Cormorant, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Egret, Little blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret, Striated Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bicolored Hawk, Mantled Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Southern Caracara, Yellow-headed Caracara, Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail, Southern Lapwing, Kelp Gull, Royal Tern, Pale-vented Pigeon, Plumbeous Pigeon, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Plain Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Scaly-headed Parrot, Squirrel Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, White-collared Swift, Gray-rumped Swift, Ashy-tailed Swift, Saw-billed Hermit, Scale-throated Hermit, Reddish Hermit, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Frilled Coquette, Festive Coquette, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Versicoloured Emerald, Surucua Trogon, Ringed Kingfisher, White-necked Puffbird, Channel-billed Toucan, Red-breasted Toucan, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker, Little Woodpecker, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Pale-browed Treehunter, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Black-capped Foliage-gleaner, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, Lesser Woodcreeper, Rufous-winged Antwren, Ferruginous Antbird, Streak-capped Antwren, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Squamate Antbird, Slaty Bristlefront, Buff-throated Purpletuft, Bare-throated Bellbird, White-bearded Manakin, Blue Manakin, Pin-tailed Manakin, Gray-hooded Flycatcher, Bay-ringed Tyrannulet, Gray-capped Tyrannulet, Eared Pygmy-Tyrant, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Bran-coloured Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Cliff Flycatcher, Tropical Pewee, Long-tailed Tyrant, Gray-Hooded Attila, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Chestnut-crowned Becard, Sharpbill, Blue-and-white Swallow, White-thighed Swallow, House Wren, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Creamy-bellied Thrush, Tropical Parula, Neotropical River Warbler, Bananaquit, Orange-headed Tanager, Rufous-headed Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager, Ruby-crowned Tanager, Black-goggled Tanager, Brazilian Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, Palm Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Violaceous Euphonia, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Green-headed Tanager, Red-necked Tanager, Gilt-edged Tanager, Burnished-buff Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Swallow-Tanager, Blue-black Grassquit, Double-collared seedeater, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Red-rumped Cacique, Golden-winged Cacique, Crested Oropendola.
Brown Tinamou, Solitary Tinamou, Tataupa Tinamou, Rufous-thighed Kite, White-necked Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Pileated Parrot, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Planalto Hermit, Brazilian Ruby, Glittering-throated Emerald, Rufous-capped Motmot, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Pallid Spinetail, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Gray-capped Spinetail, Red-eyed Thornbird, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Plain Xenops, Giant Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Spot-backed Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Salvadori’s Antwren, Unicoloured Antwren, Bertoni’s Antbird, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, White-breasted Tapaculo, Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Such’s Antthrush, Short-tailed Antthrush, Rufous Gnateater, Brown-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant, São Paulo Tyrannulet, Oustalet’s Tyrannulet, Large-headed Flatbill, Grayish Mourner, White-winged Becard, White-rumped Monjita, Long-billed Wren, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, Lemon-chested Greenlet, Long-billed Gnatwren, Olive-green Tanager, Black-legged Dacnis, Black-throated Grosbeak, Uniform Finch, Sooty Grassquit, Buffy-fronted Seedeater, Pileated Finch, Giant Cowbird.
Saturday/Sunday July 14/15
Our trip started with a British Airways flight from Amsterdam via London and São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro.
We landed at Rio, around 8.00 a.m. local time (5 hours time difference with the Netherlands).
After arriving in Rio (all night flight), we met the leaders Judy Davis and David Fisher with the other birders. There were 10 of us, amongst them two artists, Karen Phillipps and Ian Lewington. Having changed money we left the confines of the airport building and headed to Teresópolis.
After we had checked into the hotel Pousada da Posse we drove to nearby Serra dos Orgãos National Park and parked the minibus at the dam.
We birded the first section of the main trail in the lower part of the park seeing lots of birds, including Brazilian Ruby, Blue Manakin, Lesser Woodcreeper, Rufous Gnateater, Hooded Berryeater, White-rimmed Warbler, and Brassy-breasted Tanager amongst others.
Monday July 16
We started early on our second day driving northwards to Alem Paraiba, to the ‘third’ Sumidouro Road at a remnant area of dry forest. Leaving Teresópolis on the drive north we stopped for some roadside birding and had good views of Rufous-capped Antshrike, Chicli Spinetail and best of all Cinnamon Tanager.
Stopping to check a small wetland along the dirt road to Sumidouro, a wealth of species here quickly expanded our list amongst them Peach-fronted Parakeet, Guira Cuckoo, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, White-rumped Monjita, White-chinned Spinetail and Black-capped Donacobius. We also ‘scoped a Streamer-tailed Tyrant, perhaps the most impressive of all Neotropic flycatchers.
One of the first birds we saw upon entering the dry forest was one of our target birds the endemic Three-toed Jacamar. We spent most of the day along this very dusty road, but our search for Rio de Janeiro Antbird was unsuccessful.
New birds came quickly and among the many good birds here were Barn Owl, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Crescent-chested Puffbird, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Variable Antshrike, Planalto Flycatcher, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Short-crested Flycatcher and Chestnut-vented Conebill.
In the late afternoon we made another stop at the marshy area and with a little help from the tape we managed to entice a very responsive Ash-throated Crake from the long grass.
Tuesday July 17
The following morning we set off again for nearby Serra dos Orgãos NP. We again explored the lower parts of the park. Here, among many other species, we found Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Scaled Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Rufous-backed Antvireo, very obliging Star-throated Antwrens, Black-and-gold Cotinga and Brown Tanager. Star finds were a pair of Green-chinned Euphonias in the top of the trees. Great looks were had by all – this is a rare species, which is seldom seen – luck was really with us! On our way down we spotted a group of six Spot-winged Wood-Quails right in front of us on the trail.
From Teresópolis we left for Itatiaia NP. On the way we saw a number of birds including Picazuro Pigeon, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Campo Flicker and Swallow-Tanager.
We arrived after dark in Itatiaia NP and checked into Hotel Simon.
Wednesday July 18
Next morning birding in the hotel grounds was excellent with large numbers of birds coming in to the flowering bushes. Wandering around the back of the hotel we spotted the endemic Black-legged Dacnis and Black Jacobin.
The hummingbird feeders at Harold Simon’s house gave us prolonged views of Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Chestnut-bellied Euphonia, Golden-chevroned Tanager and Olive-green Tanager.
Other noteworthy birds in the garden were Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Saffron Toucanet, Red-breasted Toucan, Yellow-fronted Woodpecker, Scaled Woodcreeper, Sharpbill, Cliff Flycatcher, Velvety Black-Tyrant, Green-headed Tanager, Rufous-headed Tanager and the beautiful Diademed Tanager.
The rest of the morning we spent on the first hundreds of metres of the Maromba Trail. This trail gave us a most productive morning and Rufous-capped Motmot, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Planalto Woodcreeper, Lesser Woodcreeper, Streak-capped Antwren, White-bibbed Antbird, Pin-tailed Manakin, Gray-hooded Flycatcher, Eared Pygmy-Tyrant and Green-winged Saltator all showed well.
During lunch we were able to spot a group of Biscutate Swifts above the hotel and early afternoon found us at the chocolate store and at the small curio shop with the hummingbird feeder.
A tiny little hummer whirred in, a Frilled Coquette and then other hummers, Scale-throated Hermit, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Black Jacobin, Violet-capped Woodnymph and Versicoloured Emerald.
The last hours of daylight we spent at a small trail behind Hotel Domenti. The birding was slow, but some species surrendered themselves eventually amongst them Spot-billed Toucanet, Pallid Spinetail, a Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper along a small forest stream, Rufous Gnateater and Rough-legged Tyrannulet.
We spent a long time playing hide and seek with the endemic Slaty Bristlefront, but never did have good looks.
The day was capped off with fantastic looks at a Tawny-browed Owl, although the owl was only in sight for twenty seconds.
Thursday July 19
With a pre-arranged early breakfast and picnic, we went around to the backside of Itatiaia NP to Algulhas Negras. This was an excellent birding area with virtually no traffic and great habitat. Our first stop was at a Plovercrest lek where we had excellent views of a male Plovercrest and also discovered the nest of a Plovercrest.
En route to the top we encountered some very large mixed species flocks including Pallid Spinetail, Black-billed Scythebill, Black-capped Piprites, Serro do Mar Tyrannulet, Rufous-crowned Greenlet and Bay-chested & Red-rumped Warbling-Finch. Other noteworthy birds en route were Mouse-coloured Tapaculo and Shear-tailed Gray-Tyrant.
After we birded this section of the road, we drove much higher up into the park till we reached the tall Araucaria trees, where we had good views of a pair of Araucaria Tit-Spinetails. Other birds we found in this area were Slate-breasted Wood-Rail, Itatiaia Thistletail, Black-and-gold Cotinga and Thick-billed Saltator.
We had our picnic at a swampy area and then made our descent back coming across many cars from the press, radio and television no doubt on their way to the forest-fire.
Friday July 20
The following day was also spent in Itatiaia. In the early morning we headed to the Jeep Trail. Exploring this trail with most of the time helicopters above our heads nevertheless was rewarding. White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, Spot-breasted Antvireo, Ferruginous Antbird, Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant, Large-headed Flatbill, White-throated Spadebill and one of the quests of the trip, a fabulous male White-bearded Antshrike were all coaxed into view.
The delightful Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher responded well to the tape although this method was less successful with the Giant Antshrike, which remained resolutely in the thick forest. Luckily Eric and I had seen this bird already a few years ago in northwestern Argentina.
After a mid-day break, we ventured out again and explored the Três Picos Trail. This trail, which starts close to Hotel Simon, didn’t add much in the way of new species, but we found Bertoni’s Antbird and in a mixed flock of tanagers we saw the stunning Gilt-edged Tanager and on our way back to the hotel a Pauraque.
Saturday July 21
This morning we concentrated on the short Maromba Trail as it is considered good for bamboo specialities.
Along this trail we saw many species. Most noteworthy were Versicoloured Emerald, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Thrush-like Woodcreeper, White-throated Woodcreeper, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Black-tailed Flycatcher and Golden-winged Cacique. We also had close encounters with a group of Brown Capuchin Monkeys.
Reluctantly we left Itatiaia NP behind and headed to the coast. We made a short stop in Itatiaia town and at a swampy area we added Rufous-sided Crake, Bran-coloured Flycatcher, White-rumped Swallow, Masked Yellowthroat and Chestnut-capped Blackbird to our trip list.
The final part of the trip took us to the coast and some of the birds we encountered along the mountainous road were Brazilian Teal, Rufous Hornero, Crested Black-Tyrant, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch and Chopi Blackbird.
Upon reaching the coast we headed to a rainy “Black-hooded Antwren“ site. We spent the last hours of the day in this forest along the coastline. The birding here was quite good and we noted our first flashy Brazilian Tanagers & Red-necked Tanagers, the difficult to find Red-eyed Thornbird, a pair of Chestnut-backed Antshrikes and Long-billed Wren.
We did not find the Antwren, but unfortunately the rain got heavier and heavier and continued until dark so feeling rather frustrated we headed to the nearby Hotel Pousada Porto Marina Bracuhy.
Sunday July 22
We returned to the same area the following morning in pouring rain searching for the Black-hooded Antwren.
The bird only sang a few times, but didn’t come into view and drizzling rain didn’t help matters. Other birds we did see were Uniform Finch and the recently split now endemic Half-collared Sparrow. Perseverance as always paid off and finally we caught up with a male Black-hooded Antwren along the river known only from a handful of sites along the coast. Thanks Judy.
Our last destination in Brazil was the Ubatuba area. It was already pretty late when we arrived at Ubatuba and went to a place called the Pico Pau road. Along the road we added Reddish Hermit, White-necked Puffbird and had a poor look at the secretive Spotted Bamboowren.
Later we arrived at the excellent Hotel Solar Das Aguas Cantantes in Ubatuba, which was our base for the final part of the trip.
Next morning found us at the overgrown cacao plantation of Fazenda Capricornio. Ricardo filled the hummingbird feeders on the veranda at the house near the entrance with sugar water and within five minutes Saw-billed Hermit and the beautiful Festive Coquette were new additions to our trip list.
We spent all morning at the fazenda and our stroll produced a great diversity of species and a high bird list including Plain Parakeet, Surucua Trogon, Channel-billed Toucan, Streak-capped Antwren, Gray-capped Tyrannulet, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Gray-hooded Attila, White-thighed Swallow and Neotropical River Warbler.
The main reason for coming here was in order to find the rare and localised Buff-throated Purpletuft. The species surrendered itself eventually and we were treated to some great views as the bird posed for us nicely in the top of a cecropia tree. We had lunch in a restaurant near the beach and did some seawatching noting Kelp Gull, Royal Tern and Brown Booby.
A steady rain most of the afternoon pretty much killed birding. In the afternoon we went to the Pico Pau road, but were only able to bird sporadically. In spite of the rain we were able to see Reddish Hermit, Rufous-winged Antwren, Orange-headed Tanager and Fawn-breasted Tanager.
With help from the tape we at last managed to entice a superb Slaty Bristlefront out into the open within decimetres from our feet, but then consistent heavy rain sabotaged further birding.
At last the weather had changed along the coast and the Pico Pau road was our next morning venue. We were only a short time there, but we managed to lure into view the superb tiny Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant and Scaled Antbird.
We then headed to Fazenda Capricornio. Throughout our stay here we were taunted by the calls of Bare-throated Bellbird, so it was with considerable relief when Ian finally ‘scoped four birds, amongst them a fine male.
Other interesting birds we saw at the cacao plantation included Surucua Trogon, Blond-crested Woodpecker, Streak-capped Antwren and Gray-hooded Attila.
At midday we returned to our hotel and Eric and I said goodbye to the group, when they headed off to the airport in São Paulo.
In the afternoon Eric and I went to a place just south of Ubatuba called the Corcovado road. We didn’t add much in the way of new species, but found White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, Pale-browed Treehunter and heard many Bare-throated Bellbirds
Our final birding day was warm, sunny and calm. We spent all morning at Fazenda Capricornio and diligent searching resulted in great close-up views of an Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant and a Mantled Hawk flying overhead. Most noteworthy of the other birds seen here were a noisy Striped Cuckoo, Gray-hooded Flycatcher, Sharpbill, Azure-shouldered Tanager and Crested Oropendola.
At 11.30 a.m. we returned to our hotel and then headed to São Paulo for our British Airways flight to London The plane was on schedule and the following day we arrived at Schiphol Airport at 11.00 a.m.
The entire trip went very smoothly with most of the time excellent weather and no car troubles. It was also a fairly successful trip. We had good views of most possible endemics and near-endemics.
We ticked 297 species and I finished this trip with 104 lifers, this in spite of having spent quite a lot of time in South America. My ten best birds of the trip? Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Tawny-browed Owl, Saw-billed Hermit, Three-toed Jacamar, White-bearded Antshrike, Black-hooded Antwren, Slaty Bristlefront, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Buff-throated Purpletuft and Green-chinned Euphonia, lifers all of course.
Systematic List of Birds
Chaam, 31 August 2001
If you need any help or further information, contact me at the following address and I'll try and help if I can!
4861 AH Chaam
Telephone: 0161 - 491327
Systematic List of Birds