The spring continues untypicaly wet

by Richard Raby on November 25, 2008

The spring continues untypicaly wet here in South eastern Brazil with overcast sky and virtualy daily rains.
I have just returned from a three-centre trip around Itatiaia, Ubatuba and Campos Jordao. These are three great birding spots, but also places where it rains more frequently, even during a normal spring. So it is with certain amazement that I report that our trip went very smoothly, and that we never really got “rained-out” at any one of our stops.

Birding was good at all places that we visited but especially so at our later two stops. The high-lights of the trip were many but I considered the Tawny-browed Owl, spot-lighted in the mist at hotel Ype, the numerous Frilled Coquette, visiting flowers and feeders, and the nesting Yellow Tyranulet, that had built a nest right out in the open on the highest arcing branch of a bamboo-dome, to be the best at Itatiaia? At Ubatuba I found that the seasonally active Slatey Bristlefronts vocalizing frequently with that amazing song, the sometimes elusive Buff-throated Purpletufts, performing for us in treetops surrounding the clearing at Fazenda Angelim and the very cooperative Spotted Bamboowren, that firstly announced itself and then came right out into the open in response to our playback, were the high-lights there. During our very brief stay at Campos Jordao I was delighted to find a pair of Swallow-tailed Cotinga, perched reasonably closely to us, next to a saw-mill on the road to Pedra do Bau, latter, at the Pedra do Bau view-point we located a pair of Hellmayr’s Pipit that gave amazing photographic opportunities, both close to and in great light conditions.

The bird of the trip though just had to be a brilliant male Black-capped Piprites, found on the afternoon of our first day at our last stop. We had heard a brief vocalization at a stop to check on some other bird-activity.

Upon cueing a pre-recorded call, the bird responded immediately, after rapidly moving to a suitable position to call the bird in, we repeated the playback song and this beautiful bird came straight in to a small tree, a few meters ahead, immediately in front of us and at head-height. My camera was ready and this time (a similar opportunity had been missed on a previous visit here) the event was captured!

This trip started and finished at Sao Paolo Guarulhos International airport. It lasted a week and proved that this Itinerary of combining Ubatuba, Itatiaia and Campos Jordao (with a brief stop at Pereque for black-hooded Antwren) is a very viable one, especially for those visitors with limited time available to spend in this region.

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