It was pouring in Rio when I was picked up Nick Athanas (our Tropical Birding guide) and the group. They arrived a little earlier than planned because the two people flying in were delayed. As a result, they were taking the rest of us to the lodge, then heading back for one, with the other expecting to arrive tomorrow.
On the way to the lodge we found several new trip species, including Osprey, Burrowing Owl, Smooth-billed Ani, and Snail Kite along the highway. We made a brief rest stop when we left the highway. By then, the rain had mostly stopped. We then found Cattle Egret, Least Grebe, Savanna Hawk, Wattled Jacana, and Southern Rough-winged Swallow along the rugged paved road and the dirt road to the lodge. I got two lifers as we approached the lodge: Campo Flicker and Picazuro Pigeon. We added Yellow-headed Caracara and Roadside Hawk before arriving.
The lodge has hummingbird feeders, and Glittering-throated Emerald and Swallow-tailed Hummingbird were quickly added to the list. I heard Common Gallinules (Moorhens) calling. We saw many later. A Boat-billed Flycatcher was in a tree next to the lodge. A plant with red flowers was visited by a fast-moving Reddish Hermit, that was soon joined by a Rufous-breasted Hermit.
I got my luggage squared away, then returned to the feeder area. A rather tame Red-billed Curassow was wandering around as a Brazilian Ruby appeared on a hummingbird feeder. The curassow is part of a recent reintroduction, and probably shouldn't be counted yet. That makes the Brazilian Ruby world bird #1700. Violet-capped Woodnymph was also present at the feeders.
|Rufous-breasted Hermit||Red-billed Curassow|
We went for a short walk to the wetlands before lunch. We saw a Yellow-backed Tanager, and got a not-so-good look at a Rough-legged Tyrannulet. A flock of Guira Cuckoos attracted our attention. The lodge manager, Nicholas, pointed out some roosting Tropical Screech-Owls, and we then caught up with a Chestnut-backed Antshrike that Nick (our guide) had been hearing. Some Brazilian Teal were in the water. Then our attention turned to some small birds in some trees, including Ochre-bellied Flycatcher and Planalto Tyrannulet. But we couldn't ignore the water, not with Purple Gallinule and Capped Heron demanding attention. A couple of Squirrel Cuckoos showed up before we returned to the lodge for lunch.
|Tropical Screech-Owl||Wing-banded Hornero|
At the lodge, someone had spotted a distant Maned Three-toed Sloth and set up a scope on it. We had an excellent lunch. After a short break, we headed out to walk more trails around the wetlands.
We added Snowy Egret to the trip list. Then a Southern Caracara / Southern Crested Caracara flew over. A number of Black-crowned Night-Herons were perched and a flock of White-faced Whistling-Ducks was in the water. Some Masked Ducks were a bit further out. At that point a Rufescent Tiger-Heron flew over. We also saw some Muscovy Ducks on the water.
A Lemon-chested Greenlet called loudly from some bushes. All of us got a good look before some Red-rumped Caciques distracted us. A White-tipped Dove called in the background as we encountered a flock of birds. The flock included Chestnut-vented Conebills, Turquoise Tanager, male and female Hooded Tanagers, Blue Dacnis, and Yellow-browed Tyrant.
Nick had spotted a White-headed Marsh Tyrant before the flock came through, and was able to refind it for the rest of us. A Yellow-chinned Spinetail popped up near the Marsh Tyrant. Pretty soon we had two of the spinetails in the scope. As we continued along, we found Yellow Tyrannulet and White-winged Becard.
We walked along a bit when someone spotted a red and black Brazilian Tanager. As we closed in on the area, a Sayaca Tanager flew into the tree next to us. White-bearded Manakins were also present, along with several species we'd seen previously. Some Chestnut-capped Blackbirds were in the marsh, right behind a herd of Capybara. A Short-crested Flycatcher, but I think I'm the only one who actually saw it. A Cocoi Heron flew up as we crossed to the next pool. We also saw a rather elusive Pale-breasted Thrush, which soon became two chasing thrushes. We got a good look at one later.
A Crane Hawk flew in and perched nearby. Nick said it was his first here, and it proved to be a write-in bird when we did the list later. We walked down another road a bit, then found more birds. The flock included Buff-throated Saltator, Flame-crested Tanager, Brassy-breasted Tanager, and others. While we were sorting them out, we noticed some birds overhead, including Gray-rumped Swifts, a Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, and Blue-and-white Swallows. We'd been trying to bring out a Long-billed Wren, and were eventually successful.
At some point in here it had started raining again. We added Ruby-crowned Tanager, Black-goggled Tanager, Crested Becard, and Streaked Xenops before continuing back toward the lodge. On the way back, we also re-encountered a White-barred Piculet which I had missed earlier.
We took a break before doing the list and having dinner.
It was a good day! I saw 89 species and heard several others (mostly not mentioned above). My trip total is now 110 (108 seen) including 43 lifers.
Guapi Assu Lodge, Rio de Janeiro State