Rio Aripuanã

Tuesday, August 11th: We again had our 5:30 breakfast. We birded a trail on the right bank of the Aripuanã about 2 miles below Nova Olinda. We saw Kawall's Amazon overhead before we reached the trail.

Trail north of Nova Olinda (right bank, 5° 28½' S, 60° 24' W)

My first bird on the trail was Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin. We were soon buzzed by a Needle-billed Hermit that was missing its long central tail feathers. A Yellow-margined Flycatcher was the nominate form assimilis (the birds on the left bank seen earlier are calamae). A Blue-crowned Trogon completed my set of the expected trogons. I got another look at Yellow-crowned Elaenia, but still haven't see the bird all that well. Gould's Toucanet is a different matter, and it was well-seen both in binoculars and the scope. We found a Brazil nut pod. One of the crew opened it and shelled the nuts using a machete. Fresh brazil nuts taste quite different from the version we're used to from the supermarket. They're sweeter.

Further along the trail, we got good looks at a pair of Red-necked Woodpeckers and a Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, and a decent look at Gray-chested Greenlet. We got very good looks at Rufous-winged Antwren. A Green Honeycreeper was overhead. A Bronzy Jacamar came very close. We worked our way down to the water. Along the way we found Gray Antwren, Spot-winged Antshrike, and Slender-billed Xenops. An Amazonian Streaked-Antwren was singing its muscial song near the water. We saw both members of the pair. One of the few familiar bird calls in the forest was that of the Dusky-capped Flycatcher. I got a good look at a Cinereous Mourner, which I had heard some days ago. We ran into an antswarm. Unlike yesterday, this one had antbirds, inluding Spix's Warbling-Antbird, Cinereous Antshrike, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Double-toothed Kite (!), and Black-faced Antbird. We heard Varzea Schiffornis before leaving.

Araçazinho Creek (5° 10½' S, 60° 23½' W)

We saw Greater Anis from the boat as we headed downriver. We stopped to go out in the canoes up Araçazinho Creek. The creek was choked with vegetation, and we did not get very far. Nonetheless, we managed to find a few birds. The most notable were Amazonian Tyrannulet and Black-chinned Antbird. Greater Anis were flying ahead of us as we came back along the creek.

After we got back to the boat (still in the Aripuanã), we saw a procession of Black Caracaras, a couple of Yellow-headed Caracara, and 20 or so Sand-colored Nighthawks perched on dead trees in the river. The nighthawks had been seen from the other canoe. We also added Black Skimmer, Crested Oropendola, and Yellow-billed Tern to the day list.

Novo Aripuanã (right bank, 5° 7' S, 60° 23' W)

We continued a bit further to Novo Aripuanã, at the mouth of the Aripuanã. As we approached town, we saw Snowy Egrets, a Black-necked Stilt, Collared Plovers and Cattle Egrets near the water's edge. A Burrowing Owl was perched atop a big pile of sand or fine gravel that had been dredged up from the river. We moored the Tumbira at Novo Aripuanã. We saw the first of about 30 Fork-tailed Flycatchers that were migrating eastward through town. Rock Pigeons were visible, and a number of Southern Martins were perched on a cell tower. A big flock of Short-tailed Parrots flew over. Chestnut-bellied Seedeater and Yellow-browed Sparrow were visible on the shore near the Tumbira, and Tropical Kingbirds were in a tree with some Fork-tailed Flycatchers. We walked up the steps into town and then to the square where we got some ice cream. Up on top, we found Blue-gray Tanagers Palm Tanagers, House Sparrows, a Red-capped Cardinal, and Shiny Cowbird. While we were eating ice cream, I saw a Bat Falcon land on a tower. It had caught something and was busy eating it. Then we returned to the Tumbira for dinner. We will remain here overnight.

I ended the day with 62 bird species including 5 lifers. This brings the trip total to 288, including 72 lifers.

Aboard Tumbira, Novo Aripuanã (5° 7' S, 60° 23' W)