Down the Rio Aripuanã

Sunday, August 9th: We woke up this morning still tied up at Ilha Trindade. Rather than go for a morning birding walk, we started cruising downriver. We saw a number of birds on the way. Festive Amazons flew over as we were still tied up. We also quickly added Guira Tanager, Olive Oropendola, Blue-headed Parrot, and Spot-winged Antshrike. Then we were on the move. A Southern Lapwing flew by, as did the first of many Amazonian Yellow-rumped Caciques. There were Kawall's Amazons, Anhinga, and Cocoi Heron. Further along, we spotted a pair of Crimson-crested Woodpeckers. Parrots continued to fly over, including Red-and-green Macaws. A Pale-vented Pigeon flew by, and a couple of Chestnut-eared Aracaris were in the trees on shore, as wes a Great Kiskadee. A Black Caracara flew over the trees. Some of the group spotted a mystery hawk. We turned the boat around for a better look, but it was only a Roadside Hawk. We added Lettered Aracari and Spangled Cotinga. The latter bird has been seen quite a bit on this this tour. Some Orange-winged Amazons flew by. White-throated Toucans were rummaging about in a tree. Golden-winged Parakeets flew over, showing off their yellow wing patches. We saw Crested Oropendolas along the shore. A Red-capped Cardinal was down near the water. It continued to alternately perch and fly ahead of the boat. An Amazon Kingfisher was also down low. Both Slate-colored Hawk and Gray-headed Kite were perched on bare trees, as were a Greater Yellow-headed Vulture and Bat Falcon. A Yellow-headed Caracara flew by. Another tree with toucan had both White-throated and Channel-billed Toucans. Finally, we added a Tropical Kingbird before arriving at our first birding destination.

Dirt Road (right bank, 5° 43½' S, 60° 15½' W)

We walked up a dirt road on the right bank that connects to the road between Novo Aripuanã and the Trans-Amazon Highway. It obviously doesn't get much use as there were treefalls that would block vehicles. One was something of an impediment to us on off, and our machete guys hacked through it. We met up with a couple of locals who had just killed a peccary—food for their families. One area along the road contained some fruiting trees and was full of birds. The first tree included Red-billed Pied Tanagers, a Black-girdled Barbet, Blue Dacnis, Epaulet Orioles, and a Plumbeous Kite. Birds were moving between and several other trees. These included an austral migrant, Pearly-breasted Cuckoo. There was also Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher and Black-fronted Nunbirds. We got a great look at a Chestnut-winged Hookbill. Several Flame-crested Tanagers were present. A small group of King Vultures flew overhead. A flock of tanagers came in. They were mostly Paradise Tanagers, but there was also an Opal-rumped Tanager. Other birds seen included Rufous-tailed Xenops and Red-stained Woodpecker. On our way back, some Scarlet Macaws flew over. Somewhere in here we saw a Gray-crowned Flycatcher. Finally, I was looking the wrong way when we flushed a Cinerous Tinamou.

Jaguar Trail (right bank, 5° 35½' S, 60° 20½' W)

We finished the day by taking a creek on the right bank to a trail that we've dubbed the Jaguar Trail, for a Jaguar that was photographed by a trail camera there. On the way, we saw a few birds including Fork-tailed Flycatcher and another Bat Falcon. Screaming Piha was heard. We got only a few birds on the trail. A pair of Chestnut-belted Gnateater were relatively easy to see. We spent a long time, around 45 minutes, getting everyone views of a Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo. Some Crimson-bellied Parakeets flew over while we looked for the vireo. We attempted to tease out some other birds, but without success.

I ended the day with 67 bird species including 2 lifers. This brings the trip total to 246, including 63 lifers.

Aboard Tumbira, near Nova Olinda (5° 30' S, 60° 24.5' W)