Trip Report

Bare-throated Bellbird - Macae de Cima, Rio, BrazilBare-throated Bellbird - Macae de Cima, Rio, BrazilBare-throated Bellbird - Macae de Cima, Rio, Brazil Blue Dacnis (m) - Rio, Brazil Brazilian Tapir - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil Cactus - Costo do Sol SP, Rio, Brazil Common Marmoset - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil Driving towards Serra de Orgaos NP - Rio, Brazil Lake view - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil Masked Water-Tyrant - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil Whistling Heron - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil<br/>
  • Bare-throated Bellbird - Macae de Cima, Rio, Brazil
  • Blue Dacnis (m) - Rio, Brazil
  • Brazilian Tapir - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil
  • Cactus - Costo do Sol SP, Rio, Brazil
  • Common Marmoset - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil
  • Driving towards Serra de Orgaos NP - Rio, Brazil
  • Lake view - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil
  • Masked Water-Tyrant - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil
  • Whistling Heron - Regua Lodge, Rio, Brazil<br/>

 


Trip Report for Regua Lodge and excursions, Rio do Janeiro,
Brazil November 22-30, 2019

 

 


To many people, Brazil evokes beaches, bronzed bodies and lively entertainment, while to others it’s a land of vast rainforests, unique birds and critically endangered ecosystems. It’s a huge country and on this trip we were only going to see a small part of the state of Rio de Janeiro along Brazil’s east coast.

 

We were all picked up at the very convenient Hotel Linx at the Rio Airport by Regua’s driver, Alceni, for our 1.5 hour drive to Regua Lodge, set in the shadow of Serra de Orgaos National Park’s craggy peaks. Originally a ranch, Regua is now a birding destination for birders and naturalists from all over the world, so our first walk was on the property around the large wetland complex that had been recreated in the valley. A haven for waterbirds, Cattle Egrets now nest, along with Black-crowned Night-Heron and Boat-billed Heron; Wattled Jacanas and Common and Purple Gallinules are abundant and Chestnut-capped Blackbirds nest in the reedbeds, along with Greater Ani, Great Kiskadee and Social Flycatcher. Highlights had to be a soaring Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle and the Common Pauraque which was sitting on 2 eggs along the side of the trail. The birding was excellent. Despite the gray conditions, we spent the afternoon in the open fields outside Regua. With the deforestation and the wet fields, birds like the uncommon Giant Snipe have now become far easier to see and this species has probably considerably expanded its range. Other birds of the open country included Burrowing Owl, Streamer-tailed Tyrant and the strange and entertaining Guira Cuckoo. A stop at the edge of the woods on the way home produced great views of a Tawny-browed Owl.

 

Our first excursion was north to search for the localized Three-toed Jacamar, which is restricted to a few locations in interior coastal Brazil. Stops along the way produced the beautiful and enigmatic Toco Toucan, as well as Crested Black-Tyrant and Ash-throated Crake. Despite their global rarity, it was not a difficult bird to find at all and I believe we saw at least 4 pairs. And because we were so close to the state of Minas Gerais we decided to cross the line to add an e-bird list; our Green-barred Woodpecker was the only sighting of the trip! It was off to the beach the next day, but not to Copacabana or any other famous Brazilian beach spot. Our final destination was the Restinga habitat along the coast; home to the endemic Restinga Antwren, but along the way we stopped at various wetlands and coastal habitats seeing Gray-hooded and Kelp Gulls, Common, Royal and Sandwich Terns and a good selection of migrant shorebirds. The Restinga Habitat has been destroyed along a good part of the coast, but thankfully we managed to see the Antwren without too much difficulty.

 

We stayed on the grounds of Regua Lodge the next day and decided to hike the Green Trail to the waterfall. The trail is fairly steep, but we took it slowly finding a good selection of forest birds along the way. Flycatchers are always well-represented and we found Yellow-olive, Sepia-capped, Whiskered and Ochre-bellied. Swallow-tailed (Blue) Manakins were calling all along the trail and we all got great views of the gorgeous Black-cheeked Gnateater. The next day was to the higher peaks and it was quite hot high on Pico Caledonia above the lingerie capital of Brazil (Nova Friburgo) where we needed the 4 x 4 Toyota to climb the very steep cobbled road. Our target was of course the Gray-winged Cotinga, a critically rare species that lives within a 400m range and is probably below 1,000 individuals.

 

Unfortunately, we didn’t see any, but our supporting cast included Diademed Tanager, Black-and-gold Cotinga and Mouse-colored Tapaculo. On the way back to Regua we stopped at the old road now called the Theodoro Trail. This is a somewhat reliable spot for the uncommon Brazilian Laniisoma (Shrike-like Cotinga) - which alas we only heard in the high canopy. Bare-throated Bellbirds were clanging away in the canopy and a Rufous-breasted Leaftosser showed itself nicely along the edge of the trail.

The Waldenoor Trail was another trail on the Regua property. Only about a 30 minute drive away from the lodge over somewhat bumpy roads, this trail snaked up through the forest through a few private houses and gardens, but it was still a great birding spot. It was a great place for forest birds, and some of the highlights including nesting Long-tailed Potoo (with a delightful fluffy chick), nesting Chestnut-crowned and Crested Becards, and an impressive large White-throated Woodcreeper. A walk around the Regua wetlands in the afternoon produced a pair of delightful Rufous-sided Crakes, a couple of probably transient Snail Kites and a couple of Muscovy Ducks. We continued our search for Masked Duck, but once again they evaded us. The following day was another excursion, but to middle elevations at Macae de Cima – just this side of Nova Friburgo. The weather again was a little foggy but hopefully this would not affect the birding. We made our usual stop in the farm fields outside of Regua where an Ash-throated Crake gave us great views. Birding along the Macae de Cima road was very good and very easy with wonderful Green-crowned Plovercrests singing along the road where we also watched a Scale-throated Hermit building her nest. A Dusky-tailed Antbird showed very well, as did both White-browed Foliage-gleaner and Sharp-billed Treehunter; more somewhat-confusing furnarids! A drive to the very peak found us deep in the fog again but on the downhill hike we did find a couple of great birds: Hooded Berryeater and Sharpbill.

 

Our last morning of the week was again a walk down in the wetlands. Being only a 5 minute walk from the lodge, it was easy to walk through the woods to the lakes and enjoy the coming and goings of the heronry. This morning we witnessed a very strange nesting exchange at the colony. An adult Cocoi Heron was brooding the eggs; it got up, had a brief interaction with a Great Egret and the Egret then sat on the eggs. I am not sure which of the 2 species had built the nest or laid the eggs, but it was fascinating to watch the 2 species together. There was no aggression and we were never sure which species was the true owner of the nest. Many of the Cattle Egrets had well-grown young and there were at least 2 Boat-billed Herons actively brooding. Both Blackish Rail and Rufous-sided Crake were heard from the dense marsh vegetation and multiple pairs of Chestnut-capped Blackbirds were feeding young around the marsh. It was gratifying to see how birds (and other wildlife) moves in to utilize an essentially man-made wetland.

 

This was our first visit to Regua Lodge to enjoy the birdlife and forests of this part of Brazil. Nicholas and his family have done an amazing job reforesting this once patch of farmland. This large acreage joins both Tres Picos State Park and Serra de Orgaos National Park, so the future looks good for this section of Atlantic Coastal Rainforest.

 

We finished our tour with well over 300 species of birds, as well as Capybara, Caiman and Brazilian Tapir.

 

Simon Thompson

 

 

Birdlist for Regua Lodge and Excursions, Rio do Janeiro, Brazil
November 22-30, 2019

 

Brown Tinamou (Heard)
White-faced Whistling-Duck
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Muscovy Duck
Brazilian Teal
White-cheeked Pintail
Rusty-margined Guan
Dusky-legged Guan
Spot-winged Wood-quail (Heard)
Least Grebe
Rock Pigeon
Picazuro Pigeon
Plumbeous Pigeon (Heard)
Plain-breasted Ground Dove
Ruddy Ground Dove
Blue Ground Dove
White-tipped Dove
Gray-fronted Dove (Heard)
Guira Cuckoo
Greater Ani
Smooth-billed Ani
Striped Cuckoo
Squirrel Cuckoo
Common Pauraque
Long-tailed Potoo
White-collared Swift
Sick’s Swift
Black Jacobin
Saw-billed Hermit
Reddish Hermit
Scale-throated Hermit
White-tailed Goldenthroat
Frilled Coquette
Brazilian Ruby
Amethyst Woodstar
Glittering-bellied Hummingbird
Green-crowned Plovercrest
Swallow-tailed Hummingbird
Violet-capped Woodnymph
Sombre Hummingbird
Versicolored Emerald
Glittering-throated Emerald
White-chinned Sapphire
Ash-throated Crake
Blackish Rail
Uniform Crake (Heard)
Gray-cowled Wood-Rail (Heard)
Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail
Common Gallinule
Purple Gallinule
Russet-crowned Crake (Heard)
Rufous-sided Crake
Black-necked Stilt
American Oystercatcher
American Golden-Plover
Southern Lapwing
Semipalmated Plover
Wattled Jacana
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
White-rumped Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
South American Snipe
Giant Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper”
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Gray-hooded Gull
Kelp Gull
Common Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich “Cayenne” Tern
Magnificent Frigatebird
Brown Booby
Neotropic Cormorant
Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Cocoi Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron
Whistling Heron
Capped Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Boat-billed Heron
Roseate Spoonbill
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Gray-headed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle
Snail Kite
Plumbeous Kite
Long-winged Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Savanna Hawk
Roadside Hawk
White-tailed Hawk
Tawny-browed Owl
Burrowing Owl
Surucua Trogon
Rufous-capped Motmot

 

Ringed Kingfisher
Amazon Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
White-eared Puffbird
Crescent-chested Puffbird
Three-toed Jacamar
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
Toco Toucan
Channel-billed Toucan
White-barred Piculet
White Woodpecker
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker
Yellow-eared Woodpecker
Blond-crested Woodpecker
Yellow-throated Woodpecker
Green-barred Woodpecker
Campo Flicker
Collared Forest-Falcon (Heard)
Southern Caracara
Yellow-headed Caracara
Laughing Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Plain Parakeet
Scaly-headed Parrot
Blue-winged Parrotlet
Maroon-bellied Parakeet
Blue-winged Macaw
White-eyed Parakeet
Spot-backed Antshrike (Heard)
Large-tailed Antshrike
Rufous-capped Antshrike
Chestnut-backed Antshrike
Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike
Variable Antshrike
Star-throated Antwren
Plain Antvireo
Rufous-backed Antvireo
White-flanked Antwren
Unicolored Antwren
Restinga Antwren
Dusky-tailed Antbird
Scaled Antbird
Streak-capped Antwren
White-shouldered Fire-eye
Black-cheeked Gnateater
Mouse-colored Tapaculo
Rufous-tailed Antthrush (Heard)
Rufous-breasted Leaftosser
Olivaceous Woodcreeper
Plain-winged Woodcreeper
White-throated Woodcreeper
Lesser Woodcreeper
Scaled Woodcreeper
Plain Xenops
Streaked Xenops
Wing-banded Hornero
Rufous Hornero
Sharp-billed Treehunter
Black-capped Foliage-gleaner
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner
White-browed Foliage-gleaner
Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner
Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner
White-eyed Foliage-gleaner
Rufous-fronted Thornbird
Orange-eyed Thornbird
Pallid Spinetail
Yellow-chinned Spinetail
Rufous-capped Spinetail
Spix’s Spinetail
Serro do Mar Tyrant-Manakin
Swallow-tailed (Blue) Manakin
Pin-tailed Manakin
White-bearded Manakin
Hooded Berryeater
Swallow-tailed Cotinga
Black-and-gold Cotinga
Bare-throated Bellbird
Shrike-like Cotinga (Heard)
Green-backed Becard
Chestnut-crowned Becard                    
White-winged Becard
Black-capped Becard
Crested Becard
Sharpbill
Whiskered Flycatcher
White-throated Spadebill
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Gray-hooded Flycatcher
Sepia-capped Flycatcher
Serra do Mar Tyrannulet
Southern Antpipit
Eared Pygmy-Tyrant
Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant
Hangnest Tody-Tyrant
Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher
Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Yellow-olive Flycatcher
Yellow-breasted Flycatcher
Cliff Flycatcher
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
Mouse-colored Tyrannulet
Small-headed Elaenia

Yellow-bellied Elaenia

 

Olivaceous Elaenia
White-crested Tyrannulet
Rough-legged Tyrannulet
Planalto Tyrannulet
Gray-capped Tyrannulet
Bran-colored Flycatcher
Crested Black-Tyrant
Blue-billed Black-Tyrant
Yellow-browed Tyrant
White-rumped Monjita
Streamer-tailed Tyrant
Shear-tailed Gray Tyrant
Masked Water-Tyrant
White-headed Marsh Tyrant
Gray-hooded Attila
Grayish Mourner
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Swainson’s Flycatcher
Short-crested Flycatcher
Cattle Tyrant
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Streaked Flycatcher
Piratic Flycatcher
Variegated Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Rufous-browed Peppershrike
Gray-eyed Greenlet
Lemon-chested Greenlet
Chivi Vireo
Curl-crested Jay
Blue-and-white Swallow
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
Gray-breasted Martin
Brown-chested Martin
White-rumped Swallow
House Wren
Moustached Wren
Long-billed Wren
Chalk-browed Mockingbird
Tropical Mockingbird
Pale-breasted Thrush
Yellow-legged Thrush
White-necked Thrush
Rufous-bellied Thrush
Creamy-bellied Thrush
Common Waxbill
House Sparrow
Purple-throated Euphonia
Violaceous Euphonia
Orange-bellied Euphonia
Chestnut-bellied Euphonia
Hooded Siskin
Grassland Sparrow
Rufous-collared Sparrow
White-browed Meadowlark
Crested Oropendola
Red-rumped Cacique
Campo Troupial
Shiny Cowbird
Giant Cowbird
Chopi Blackbird
Chestnut-capped Blackbird
Masked Yellowthroat
Tropical Parula
Golden-crowned Warbler
White-browed Warbler
Red-crowned Ant-Tanager
Ultramarine Grosbeak (Heard)
Red-cowled Cardinal
Cinnamon Tanager
Hooded Tanager
Chestnut-headed Tanager
Black-goggled Tanager
Flame-crested Tanager
Ruby-crowned Tanager
Brazilian Tanager
Diademed Tanager
Sayaca Tanager
Azure-shouldered Tanager
Golden-chevroned Tanager
Palm Tanager
Burnished-buff Tanager
Green-headed Tanager
Red-necked Tanager
Brassy-breasted Tanager
Swallow Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Red-legged Honeycreeper
Rufous-headed Tanager
Yellow-backed Tanager
Bicolored Conebill
Chestnut-vented Conebill
Bay-chested Warbling-Finch
Saffron Finch
Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch
Blue-black Grassquit
White-bellied Seedeater
Double-collared Seedeater
Bananaquit
Green-winged Saltator

Thick-billed Saltator

 

 

Mammals:

Brazilian Tapir
Common Marmoset
Guianan Squirrel
Capybara
Tayra
Three-toed Sloth

 

 

 

Reptiles and Amphibians:

Yacare Caiman
Tegu
House Gecko
Red-tailed or Common Boa Constrictor
Tiger Rat Snake (Spilotis pullatus)
Rainforest Toad 2 species

 

 

 

Other Species:

Fiddler crab sp.