Saturday, 27 June 2015

SE Brazil: Intervales State Park.

My guide for the next twelve days is Guilherme Battistuzzo organised from the Pantanal Bird Club. He proved to be an excellent guide & a very pleasant travelling companion. I can whole-heartedly recommend him to others.


We spent the morning driving to Intervales State Park, arriving around 2pm. Intervales is probably the best location for many of the Atlantic forest specialties & is a must see & stop destination on any birders itinerary to this part of the world.

The wonderful Intervales state Park.

The famous Pica Pau Lodge,
 where many birding groups stay.

After a brief lunch, we set about birding around the lodges in bright afternoon sunshine. While you are birding inside the state park, you must employ a local guide for all of the trails, apart from the immediate vicinity of the lodges. So we birded the road & around the lake & it was very productive, good birds, in very scenic surroundings.

The lake, near park HQ.

Good birds on the first afternoon included:

Dusky-legged Guan.

Southern Lapwing.

Burrowing Owl

Plumbeous Pigeon.

Violet-capped Woodnymph.

Sapphire-spangled Emerald.

Yellow-fronted Woodpecker.

 Campo Flicker.

Chalk-browed Mockingbird.

Male Variable Antshrike.

 Rufous Hornero.

Rufous-bellied Thrush.

Red-rumped Cacique.

Olive-green Tanager.

Ruby-crowned Tanager.

Golden-cheveroned Tanager.

Azure-shouldered Tanager.

Red-necked Tanager.

Green-headed Tanager.

 Male Blue Dacnis.

Female Blue Dacnis.


Rufous collared Sparrow.

Dusky-legged Guan; Buff-necked Ibis; Southern Lapwing; Wattled Jacana; Burrowing Owl; Violet-capped Woodnypmh; Yellow-fronted Woodpecker; Campo Flicker; Variable Antshrike; Rufous Hornero; Rufous bellied Thrush; Chalk-browed Mockingbird; Golden winged & Red-rumped Caciques & eight species of Tanager!

However, during the night the clouds rolled in & from 4 am we endured torrential rain! This continued for most of the day & effectively put an end to any meaningful birding. We did go out but it was very tough going!

Did I mention the rain?

Red & White Crake.

Blackish Rail.

 Fantastic views of this scarce &
 normally hard to see species!

We visited a small marsh where the local guides had habituated both Red & White Crake & Blackish Rail! Within minutes of the guard stamping his feet in the mud to let the birds know we were there, they performed wonderfully!

A Puma footprint! 

Thick mid-altitude rainforest 
cloaks the surrounding hills.

We woke early on 16th June. It had been raining most of the night, but miraculously, it had stopped just before dawn! We picked up our local guide & hit the trails. It was wet, slippery going but the birds never stopped & it proved to be a wonderful days birding!

Tataupa Tinamou.
This was a tick for both guides!
How lucky can I get?

 Mantled Hawk.

 Terrible photos - but it is a Mantled Hawk!

White spotted Woodpecker.

Pavonine Cuckoo - 
a hard to see species!

Streaked Xenops.

Such's Ant-thrush.

What a bird!

The very hard to see Sharpbill.

Chestnut-crowned Becard.

Female Squamate Antbird.

Grey Elaenia.

Male Blue (Swallow-tailed) Manakin.

Male Pin-tailed Manakin.

What a way to end off the day!
Rusty-barred Owl!

Best birds were:

Solitary & Tataupa Tinamous seen! Mantled Hawk; Rusty-barred Owl; Ochre-collared Piculet; White-spotted Woodpecker; Plain Antvireo; Giant Antshrike; Ferruginous, Dusky-tailed & Ochre-rumped Antbirds; White-breasted & Mouse-coloured Tapaculos; Such's Ant-thrush; five species of Woodcreeper; eight species of Foilage-gleaner; Chestnut-crowned Becard; a host of Tyrant Fycatchers; Brown Tanager & three species of Euphonias.

The lake at dusk.

The 17th June was my last full day at Intervales. I still had one big target bird to see. We had heard Variegated Antpitta each day, but hadn't got anywhere close to seeing it. This was the day when one of the great birds was to fall!

 Variegated Antpitta.

I can't tell you how good this bird was!

Bird of the trip? You bet!

Rufous-bellied Thrush.

We were on a small trail before dawn, it was very dark indeed. We knew the Antpitta was around because we had heard it call close by & then it was on the trail! Whow! One of the great birds of Brazil!

After this great start we again hit the trails, this time at a slightly higher elevation. It proved to be yet another great day.

Black-fronted Piping Guan.

Tropical Screech Owl.

Crescent-chested Puffbird.

Helmeted Woodpecker.

A very desirable species!
On the list!

Spot-backed Antbird.

Pale-breasted Thrush.

Best birds were:

Black-fronted Piping Guan; Tropical Screech Owl; Long-trained Nightjar; three species of Trogon; Crescent-chested Puffbird; Helmeted Woodpecker; Spot-backed Antshrike; Serra do Mar Tyrant Manakin; Pin-tailed Manakin; Blue Manakin; Pale breasted Thrush & Buffy-fronted Seedeater.

My last sunset at Intervales State Park.
It had been a great start to the tour.

The next day (18th June) was a little bit of birding around the lodges & then a long drive to our next destination, the equally wonderful Italia National Park.

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