Hike to Campina:

Monday, August 3rd: We had moved further upriver during the night, putting us around 100 miles south of the mouth of the Aripuanã. We were near an illegal logging road, put in using a bulldozer. Our plan was to use the road to get to a campina, an open area with very sandy soils and scrubby vegetation. Campinas are an endangered habitat because they often end up being mined for the sand.

Campina Trail (left bank, 6° 36' S, 60° 28'W)

To get to the campina was not so easy. When they had scouted the place earlier, it was possible to take a canoe to the trailhead. Water levels are lower now, and there is a ridge on the bank, with a lake behind it. The lake lies between us and the trailhead. So they took the motor off one of the two canoes, and then hauled it up over the little ridge into the lake. We used one canoe to shuttle us from the Tumbira to shore, and the other canoe to get from the shore to the trailhead. Total distance covered was about 3.4 miles round trip, not including the ride from the Tumbira to shore.

We spotted an Amazon Kingfisher on our way to shore. While waiting on the canoe shuttle, we also found a Black Caracara that caught a fish and a Squirrel Cuckoo. At the end of the lake we tracked down a pair of Cream-colored Woodpeckers. Some Blue-headed Parrots were heard, and a Gray-headed Tanager worked its way through a tangle of dead vegetation.

Climbing up the hill, we found a perched White-browed Purpletuft. We were lucky in that it briefly revealed the purple patch on its wing that gives it its name. Our attention was soon drawn to a nearby Guianan Tyrannulet. We walked along the bulldozer track, finding Aripuana Antwren and a flyby Scarlet Macaw. We got great looks at a Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant. We also saw Spot-throated Woodcreeper and Gray Antwren. A Buff-cheeked Greenlet and a Chivi Vireo was singing.

The bulldozer track was slow walking as the areas where the treads had been were mostly either filled with water or mud. We walked on the hump in the middle. Eventually we got to the campina. The first new bird we saw there was a Blue-black Grassquit. Pretty soon, we had Chico's Tyrannulet in view. It put on a good show. Very few birders or ornithologists have yet seen this recently discovered species. We checked out a hammock in the campina, without success. As we returned to the forest, we saw a number of Wood Storks soaring overhead.

On the return hike we added Green-backed Trogon, a nice-looking Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Gray Antbird, and White-flanked Antwren. At the lake, we found Green Kingfisher, Lesser Kiskadee, and Red-capped Cardinal.

The Tumbira was right up to the shore. Most people walked up up a gandplank which was not terribly well secured. A couple of us took the other canoe instead (I was too tired to walk on such a tippy thing). The pulled the canoe back out from the lake using a rope attached to the Tumbira. That was much easier than hauling it out by hand.

Ilha do Mutum (6° 42' S, 60° 26½' W)

By then it was time for lunch and a break. During that, we traveled a few miles upriver to the Ilha do Mutum, Razor-billed Currasow Island. I added Southern Rough-winged Swallow to my list while we were waiting to go ashore.

We took the canoes to the island, landing near a previously prepared trail. The crew cleared some vegetation so we could easily get up the bank. We spent all of our time on the island on a ridge. We added several bird species, inluding a pair of Glossy Antshrikes, Striped Woodcreeper, heard-only Undulated Tinamou and Ruddy Pigeon. Then we saw a Zimmer's Woodcreeper and Cinnamon Attila. We heard a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, and were able to track it down, perched up somewhat above mid-level. While on the island we noticed a couple of rubber trees that had been tapped many times (but not recently). When we returned to the trailhead, we found the way down easier as steps had been cut in the bank and a rope banister added.

Soon we were back on the boat. Before dinner, we viewed some photos from one of the trail cameras they had set up at the campina. Sightings included Razor-billed Currasow, Ocelot, Black Agouti, and Red Brocket Deer.

I ended the day with 44 bird species including 12 lifers, bringing the trip total to 141 species including 27 lifers.

Aboard Tumbira, near Ilha do Mutum (6° 42' S, 60° 26½' W)