Around the Castanheira Trail

Upriver Trail (left bank, 6° 55½' S, 60° 32' W)

Wednesday, August 5th: We started by birding a trail on the left bank a bit upriver of the Castanheira Trail near Mutum. As we came up to the shore, we startled a Sungrebe. We heard Rufous-browed Peppershrike as we climbed up the bank. Prince Bernard's Titi-Monkeys and Collared Trogon were also heard before we got to the terra firme portion of the forest. We saw Common Scale-backed Antbird, Amazonian Barred-Woodcreeper, and White-chinned Woodcreeper. We were trolling for another bird when a falcon shot through. It stopped, and we were able to find it. It was a Cryptic Forest-Falcon! Before we left the left bank, we also found a Striped Woodcreeper.

Castanheira Trail (right bank, 6° 54½' S, 60° 31' W)

We then returned to the Castanheira Trail on the right bank. Again, a Peppershrike was calling as we climbed up the bank. Our first seen bird was an Olivaceous Woodcreeper. It was soon followed by a Red-fronted (Tawny-crowned) Greenlet. A little later on, we managed to get excellent scope views of Pavonine Quetzal. This is a bird that has eluded me for some time. I'd heard it on several occasions in Ecuador and Peru, but had never seen one before. I also got a brief look at a Plain Xenops and Elegant Woodcreeper. Later, I finally caught up with a Saturnine Antshrike. We had encountered others on this trip, but I had not seen them. Our last new bird on the trail was Yellow-throated Woodpecker.

We returned to the boat, which headed further upriver. Various birds were seen in route, including Swallow-winged Puffbirds, two species of swift, two species of swallow, Black Skimmers, Yellow-billed Terns, Black Caracara, and Pink River Dolphin. A Ringed Kingfisher was on a brushpile at a logging road. We pulled right up with the Tumbira, and used the gangplank to get ashore rather than canoes.

Cotovelo Trail (left bank, 7° 7' S, 60° 44½ W)

We called the logging road the Cotovelo (Elbow) Trail. Walking up the hill, we found a Yellow-bellied Dacnis and 4 species of swift overheard (Pale-rumped, Gray-rumped, Short-tailed, and Fork-tailed Palm-Swift). A male Chestnut-bellied Seedeater was in a brushy area. We also spotted a couple of females. There were a lot of tagged trees that had been felled. Apparently, this had been an illegal logging operation. They were caught. In such cases, the machinery and wood is confiscated and the people present are sent to jail. If they can find the principals, they too would be punished, but these operations typically operate through front men, and the principals are often never found.

Further along the road, some Crimson-bellied Parakeets flew by and briefly perched in a tree. We found a Rondonia (Lineated) Woodcreeper at a nest. Later, we found Striolated Puffbird. This species may be split into three, in which case it would be a different species from the Striolated Puffbird I saw 5 years ago at Cristalino Lodge. We got a brief look at Blue-cheeked Jacamar. As we walked back toward the Tumbira, a Short-tailed Nighthawk flew overhead (yes, it was getting dark), and both Rufous Motmot and Spix's Guans were heard.

I ended the day with 41 bird species including 6 lifers. This brings the trip total to 183, including 39 lifers.

Aboard Tumbira, Ilha do Quadro (7° 9' S, 60° 42' W)