Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

Text only

 

Monday (Day 6)

With 2½ days of the trip to go, we sat down the previous evening to decide on what plans would give us the most enjoyment birding wise. Cirilo seems to count the Bamboo Trail as one of his favourite sites, but we decided against this. The factors dissuading us from following his favoured spot were that it is a very enclosed and dark trail, which wouldn’t suit our preference for photography. In addition, it would seem that a lot of the birds potentially on offer could be seen at the national park. So it was that today we would spend some time at Portao Azul, and then call in at the mountainous location that is Macae de Cima. The usual hour long lodge garden foray offered as its new treat today a massive tight flock of White-collared Swifts overhead, following the predicted showing of the Blond–crested Woodpecker before 6.30 at the fruit feeders. We checked the stream again for the Streamcreeper and Puffbird, but to no avail.

Track

Farmland

Track on initial part of walk

Farmland

Considering that this site basically consists of a dirt track, of which no more than a mile is covered, a lot of time can be spent here and an excellent variety of birds seen. In fact, we spent the first 2 hours or so just walking what must have been no more than 200 metres, with birds more or less constantly in view. As soon as we clambered out of the car, we were in amongst birds new to us, the very first being small hummingbirds. A female Frilled Coquette danced around in the flowers next to the track, showing off her banded rump, pumping tail, and slightly rufous throat. She was quickly followed by a Reddish Hermit on the same group of flowers. Neither bird had the good manners to rest on a nearby branch. There then followed a series of birds which were no more than a few metres in front of us, but provided a challenge to merely see them well, since they kept well into the vegetation, and were constantly on the move – Orange-eyed Thornbird, Blue-billed Black Tyrant, Rufous-capped & Pallid Spinetail, and Variable Antshrike were good examples of these. Thankfully, Yellow Tyrannulet, White-throated Hummingbird, and female Glittering-bellied Emerald were more generous with their performances. We continued our very slow but deliberate progress along the track, and were rewarded with brief views of Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, and even briefer views of the notoriously skulking Dusky-tailed Antbird, of which there was a brace.  A couple of Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaners reappeared constantly within the low bushes to our right, and an Olivaceous Woodcreeper flew over them. Looking high, we picked out a female Surucua Trogon resting directly under some high palm fronds, and a little further on, a pair of Saffron Toucanets were at a similar height. When we scanned the tops of the trees in the distance, we could easily make out a Cliff Flycatcher Long-tailed Tyrant sharing the upper storey of the same tree. This track is reputed to be one of the best spots for Half-collared Sparrow, and this proved to be the case this morning, with a skulking twosome of separate birds eventually being seen half well.

The track now opened out into a small cultivated farm to the rear, and a small private plantation to one side. After picking out Green-winged Saltator in the opposite trees, we entered the beginning of the plantation and dug up a bit of a Tanager fest! The more common Golden-chevroned & Sayaca Tanagers were quickly joined by a trio of Magpie Tanagers, followed by Black-goggled & Burnished-buff lower down and closer. At the tree canopy over the track, which was by now much lower in our vision, we could make out a small bird wave, which included in its ranks Gilt-edged & Rufous-headed Tanagers. Not to be outdone, the conifers over the entrance sported an active (and endemic) Grey-capped Tyrannulet, as well as Yellow-legged Thrush. From the edge of the plantation, our second Surucua Trogon of the morning (and the trip – this time a male) was rested for a short time opposite and a stunning Green-backed Becard hunted down the oranges within. We made our way a little further along the track to eat our lunch beside a decent sized pond, which bizarrely had no birds on it whatsoever.

Sustenance completed, and we once again made our way along the track, which by now was in the form of a low avenue. A female White-bearded Manakin preceded a much more showy male. In an opening with spaced out larger trees, a Yellow-browed Woodpecker pecked away at the bark. We tried to lure out Drab-breasted Bamboo Tyrant unsuccessfully at the turning point, but did see White-browed Foliage-gleaner instead. On the return, a Long-tailed Tyrant was again in the company of a Cliff Flycatcher, with a pair of Hooded Siskins just before reaching the van.

Yellow Tyrannulet

Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher

Yellow Tyrannulet

Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher

White-bearded Manakin

Saffron Toucanet

White-bearded Manakin

Saffron Toucanet

Scaled Woodcreeper

Half-collared Sparrow

Scaled Woodcreeper

Half-collared Sparrow

Green-backed Becard

Magpie Tanager

Green-backed Becard

Magpie Tanager

In contrast to the track we had spent so many hours on this morning, this site is set against stunning mountain scenery, and wall to wall forest on its slopes. The birds are also more difficult to pin down, and are in smaller numbers. The site is best known for Bare-throated Bellbird in season, whose distant views must be worth the bone-shaking drive up. We parked the van at a suitable spot, and patiently waited out some skulkers, following a very showy if brief Scale-throated Hermit. We had luck to varying degrees with three of these – Rufous-capped Spinetail was in the open briefly, a pair of Orange-eyed Thornbirds whizzed past our heads repeatedly to land back in the shadows, and brief views were had of a pair of Dusky-tailed Antbirds. A little higher, a White-collared Foliage-gleaner, which had been calling regularly, finally appeared in the open for a few seconds. At the bend in the track, a trio of Blue Manakins included a male, female, and immature male, with a much drabber Greenish Schiffornis close by. A Drab-breasted Bamboo Tyrant kept more to the understorey in the same area. We meandered down the track, picking up White-barred Piculet and a rather excitable hound on the way, before trying to lure a calling Variegated Antpitta into view. Optimists! On the way back to the van, we scanned some overhanging trees below us to pick up a small assortment of Scaled Woodcreeper, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, and Golden-chevroned & Rufous-headed Tanagers. Our last treat of the afternoon was to stop of half way back down to the main road to scope a distant calling Black-and-gold Cotinga to add to the female on the High Altitude excursion.

Macae de Cima

Blue Manakin

Macae de Cima - view from the track

Blue Manakin

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

Text only