2012 Season Part 2; Birding

by Richard Raby on September 10, 2012

During my extended time in the Marica Jungles photographing butterflies last season I made a few  interesting local bird records.  In late September I stumbled across a Flatbill in the dry streambed area (mentioned above as full of Ithomnid butterflies)that proved to be most interesting. I’ve never seen a Flatbill before in the Marica forests and the “common” Flatbill in Rio state is the Large-headed Flatbill, invariably found in extensive bamboo thickets that occur in more humid and often mountainous jungle. This Flatbill appeared to be in a “different habitat” and above all it moved around silently. I’m pretty sure that this bird was in-fact the much rarer Olivaceous Flatbill a bird that I’ve only seen once before, and then further North, in Espirito Santo state (at the famous Sooretama reserve).

At the present time,  to our knowledge, this bird appears to have virtually no vocalisations resembling song, it is generally  known as a “difficult bird to call in” and this one sighting  has proved impossible to repeat….for the moment.

Also in the Marica jungles I regularly heard (but did’nt see) Tatapau Tinamou. Again this is an unusual bird for Marica and I assumed that this species had been “eradicated ” by local illegal hunting. It was good to know that they still persist here.

On one occasion I observed an endemic Eye-ringed Tody  Flycatcher near my favourite butterfly Ridge. I’ve now found this species in  3 different seasonally dry jungle locations in the Marica region. This appears to represent a different ecological niche for this species , considered much more typical of humid coastal rainforest habitat.

In March I conducted a Birding trip to the Serra da Bocaina, Serra da Canastra and Central Minas Gerais. At the first location I managed to repeat recent sightings of the spectacular Long Trained Nightjar, this time 2 males still with fully grown tail feathers were encountered displaying just after dark. We also managed to find Slatey Bristle-front and call it in (a first for Bocaina where I’ve only heard them calling distantly on previous visits).

At Serra da Canastra we found a party of 4 Brazilian Merganser on our arrival evening, conveniently perched-up on a rock. We also found good numbers of Greater Rea, found a couple of giant Anteater and got great views of that unusually colourful tapaculo the Collared Crescent chest.

At  Rio Doce State park we found Plumbeous Antvireo and the parakeet  Pyrrhura leucotis, a new species for my  Rio Doce  Park list,  amongst a wealth of other rare lowlevel  jungle species . In the fruiting Ficus tree attracting the parakeets we also found a group of the endangered Woolly Spider monkey, the “muriqui”  south americas largest primate.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: