Rest Day

Although the Atlantic trip ended yesterday in Rio, the Mato Grosso trip doesn't really start until tomorrow morning, so today is a rest day.

I birded close the hotel early this morning. Although the area did not look promising, I did fairly well. A couple of gnatcatchers flitting about in the top of a bush were Masked Gnatcatchers. I got a good look at one of the Pale-vented Pigeons. A flash of red was a male Vermilion Flycatcher, soon joined by a female. Some confusing birds (thrushes?, thrashers?) were Thrush-like Wrens. A flock of Chestnut-fronted Macaws soon flew over. Finally, I spotted a Bare-faced Ibis flying by as I returned to the hotel.

A little later I ran into David and Jack, who were just finishing breakfast. The three of us headed out for a longer walk. We saw many of the same species as before (often different individuals). We also found some new ones including Variable Oriole1, a flyby hawk that was apparently a Rufous-thighed Hawk (sometimes lumped with Sharp-shinned Hawk), White-bellied Seedeater, and Gray-breasted Martin. Perhaps the most surprising bird was a Squirrel Cuckoo in a tree at the airport.

Brian Rapoza arrived early this morning. As we were about to go in search of lunch, Nick, David, and Jack showed up. They were headed to the grocery to get supplies for tomorrow. We ended up eating in a cafeteria attached to the supermarket (definitely off the tourist track), after which we stocked up for tomorrow.

My bird total for the day was 27 species. Of these, 9 were new for the trip, including 4 lifers. The trip total is now 285 species (281 seen), with 169 lifers.

Diplomata Hotel, Cuiabá

1The Variable Oriole has recently (Aug 9, 2010) been split from the Epaulet Oriole by the AOU's South American Checklist Committee. Although the true Epaulet Oriole was possible near Alta Floresta, all of the “Epaulet Orioles” I saw on the trip were Variable Orioles.