We left Guapi Assu at 5am. It started getting light as we headed up the Serra dos Orgaos mountain range. The fog in the valleys was quite a sight as we neared the pass. Traffic and road construction slowed us down, but we eventually neared our first birding spot. However, we stopped for some White-eyed Parakeets that we spotted in a tree shortly before the turnoff. After a brief roadside stop, we turned onto a dirt road, excellent for birding.
|White-eyed Parakeets||Rocky Hillside|
We didn't get far before we stopped at spot that's supposed to have jacamars. A Purple-throated Euphonia briefly captured our attention. Then the advertised Three-toed Jacamars appeared. Other birds kept trying to distract us as we studied the jacamars and their toes. These include Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, and Pileated Finch.
|Purple-throated Euphonia||Pileated Finch|
|Three-toed Jacamar||Thornbird Nest|
A little further down the road, two Toco Toucans flew by and into a tree. However, we didn't find the hoped-for puffbird there. Our next stop proved to be quite birdy. I finally saw the Rufous Hornero. A Blue-black Grassquit was mixed in with some Saffron Finches. The swallows included not only Blue-and-white and Southern Rough-winged Swallows, but also Brown-chested Martins. We also got our first Crested Oropendolas of the trip. I caught up on the Yellow-olive Flycatcher, and two Blue-winged Macaws flew by. These small macaws are about the size of a large Aratinga parakeet.
|Roadside Hawk||Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl||Southern
We kept driving and walking, sometimes encountering flocks. The Green-barred Woodpecker is much prettier in person than in the field guide. A Scaled Woodcreeper then provided some photo opportunities. I also caught up with the Eared Pygmy-Tyrant at this point. We walked up the road a little, and found a Moustached Wren that seemed to be paired up with a Long-billed Wren. One of our targets, White-eared Puffbird, appeared in force. Some Curl-crested Jays shared a tree upslope with some Crested Oropendolas. We got distant views of a Streamer-tailed Tyrant. Fortunately, we had scopes to make it a decent look. A White-rumped Swallow flew by. Some Chopi Blackbirds remained distant even through the scope. Later on, some moved into better scope range.
|White-eared Puffbird||Cattle Tyrant|
A White-rumped Monjita delayed our lunch slightly. We continued to bird while eating, fairly quickly finding Long-tailed Tyrant and Bran-colored Flycatcher. A likely Aplomado Falcon zoomed by (we saw one perched later) and a White-tailed Hawk landed in a tree far upslope. Another White-tailed Hawk flew overhead. I don't think anyone mentioned when the Whistling Heron was spotted, but it became obvious to us all anyway. It was even more obvious later when it flew off whistling. We found a Rufous-capped Spinetail and Ferruginous Antbird in close proximity. A Rufous-browed Peppershrike came up the road as we walked the other way. A White-crested Tyrannulet surprised us by perching on a wire. Finally, we added some Cinnamon Tanagers before heading out.
|White-rumped Monjita||Rufous Horneros at Nests|
|Saffron Finch||Masked Water-Tyrant|
|Wing-banded Hornero||Cinnamon Tanager|
Two more new species were added while in transit from the Sumidouro area to Serra dos Tucanos Lodge: Dusky-legged Guan, and Crested Black-Tyrant. The latter is rather Phainopepla-like, and even has small white patch in the wings.
|Dusky-legged Guan||Crested Black-Tyrant|
We drove through the city of Nova Friburgo on our way to Serra dos Tucanos Lodge. As we drove into the city, we went through the same kinds of very poor areas as in various towns we went through, but there was also a substantial area that shows signs of vigorous economic growth. Brazil has recently shown signs of having found the keys to sustained economic growth (as China and India seem to), and I think this was on display in Nova Friburgo. I'd not encountered this in the other Latin American countries I've spent much time in (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela).
One odd feature of Nova Friburgo was an area devoted to lingerie. There must have been over 100 lingerie shops along the road in this area. Someone later told me that Nova Friburgo is well-known for both furniture and lingerie.
It was still light when we arrived at Serra dos Tucanos Lodge. A couple of Sombre Hummingbirds were dominating the feeders. A little later, some tanagers were spotted near the pool, including two Olive-green Tanagers. The last new bird before dark was a White-throated Woodcreeper.
I ticked 97 species today, including 26 lifers. The trip total is now 218 species (215 seen), with 113 lifers.
Serra dos Tucanos Lodge, Rio de Janeiro State