Wednesday, 6 March 2019

NE Brazil Day 9: Boa Nova

This was our busiest morning of the tour so far as we followed a trail into the Atlantic Rainforest and were bowled over by the volume of new trip birds with a constant flow of new species making it hard at times to keep up. We started birding the trail at 06:30am with Saffron Finch, endemic Brazilian TanagerRufous-winged Antwren and the endemic Yellow-lored (Grey-headed) Tody-Flycatcher all showing well. The endemic Bahia Spinetail then showed reasonably well as it crept up a vine tangle and whilst watching this an endemic Rio de Janeiro Antbird appeared. Moving on Ciro called in an endemic Crescent-chested Puffbird that posed nicely in front of us, and we followed this with several sightings of Red-crowned Ant-TanagerGreyish Mourner, flyover Channel-billed ToucanVariable Antshrike and an endemic Rufous-headed Tanager fed quietly high up in the canopy above us.

Crescent-chested Puffbird - endemic

And the birds kept on coming with Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant skulking in the tangles in front of us, Moustached Wren, a superb endemic White-collared Foliage-Gleaner that showed really well, and a pair of Tufted Antshrikes also came into the same spot. Following a few gulps of water there wasn’t much time for a pause in proceedings as female Pin-tailed Manakin was seen a few times, along with a scoped Long-tailed Tyrant, the endemic race of Golden-spangled Piculet, which is sometimes known as Bahia Piculet. Nearby a Whiskered Myiobius showed, and just then a Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper appeared in the small stream below us. 

White-collared Foliage-Gleaner - endemic

Whiskered Myiobius

What followed this was simply amazing as we came across a large mixed feeding flock with a number of really great birds present. We began with a pair of Chestnut-crowned Becards overhead, followed by a couple of endemic Striated Softtails feeding in the tree above us, Tropical Pewee and Rufous-winged Antwren. And more birds kept appearing with the endemic Pallid Spinetail, another Spotted Piculet (endemic), Black-eared FairyWhite-necked Thrush and another Rufous-headed Tanager (endemic). A trio of woodcreepers passed by: Northern Lesser and Scaled (both endemics) and a huge White-throated Woodcreeper. The action was relentless with Red-crowned Ant-TanagersPlain XenopsSquirrel CuckooLittle Woodpecker, a superb Spot-backed Antshrike, and a Golden-crowned Warbler. Phew!

It was getting pretty hot by now but we continued walking a little further seeing Euler’s FlycatcherPectoral Sparrow, a pair of Yellow Tyrannulets, a Scale-throated Hermit flew around us, Violet-capped Woodnymph posed and a superb Least Pygmy-Owl flew in that attracted Rufous-browed PeppershrikeYellow-olive Flatbill and other common birds to mob it. 

Scale-throated Hermit

Next up was Drab-breasted Bamboo-Tyrant showing quite well in the shadows, female White-bearded ManakinViolaceous EuphoniaYellow-bellied ElaeniaGolden-chevroned Tanager and Sooty Grassquit before we decided it was way too hot to continue and started walking back to the minibus. Along the way we saw Short-crested Flycatcher,White-shouldered Fire-Eye, and a Black-billed Scythebill that showed just a couple of times but never perched out in the open. Near the waiting minibus we fond a group of Black-necked Aracaris feeding in a fruiting tree and a pair of Striated Softtails performing well in front of us. And that was our morning, so we drove 25 minutes back to the hotel arriving just after 11am for an early lunch and a siesta.

Striated Softtail - endemic

In the afternoon we visited a drier area of habitat and spent a while finding the endemics Narrow-billed Antwren and the stunning Slender Antbird– but we did. 

Slender Antbird - endemic

Slender Antbird is a fascinating species, as it is endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic forest of SE Bahia and NE Minas Gerais states, where it is further restricted to mato-de-cipo woodland on hillsides - so it's pretty localised!

Also seen here were the endemic Hangnest Tody-Tyrant,  and a female endemic Planalto Slaty Antshrike

Planalto Slaty Antshrike

Crane Hawk

Walking on we had a flyover Crane Hawk before driving to an open area where some hummers were feeding on flowering cacti. New for us was a Sapphire-spangled Emerald and also a Rufous-fronted Thornbird. But the endemic Dubois Seedeater was a bonus here.

Then we drove to a marsh I the forest where we had a flyover Short-tailed Nighthawk before incredibly a Giant Snipe flew down and landed right in front of us. A much-wanted bird for everyone including yours truly who had dipped on this species in Brazil some 9 years ago. What an incredible bird!

Giant Snipe - wow!

A Common Pauraque on the track as we drove out was the last new trip bird of the day!

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