Trip report: Brazil: The Pantanal and Amazon (June-July 2019) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Andrés Vásquez. This was a set departure tour.

In this tour we combine some of the World’s best birding regions like the mega diverse Amazon rainforest, the seasonally flooded Pantanal plains, and just shortly the dry and unique Cerrado. This combination brings a HUGE amount of birds to our checklists out of which there are many of South America’s MEGAS, not only in terms of special birds but also in terms of “special bird families” (sbf – families that many tour participants haven’t seen before).

As an example of some of these that we saw, we can mention Collared Crescentchest (spf), Coal-crested Finch, Red-legged Seriema (sbf), White-eared Puffbird, Red-shouldered Macaws, Band-tailed and Fiery-capped Manakins, White-rumped Tanager and Chapada Flycatcher in the cerrado, Zigzag Heron, the rare and local Fiery-tailed Awlbill (photo below), Pompadour Cotinga, Black-girdled Barbet, Red-billed Pied-Tanager (sbf), Sunbitterns (sbf), Sungrebe (sbf), Amazonian Umbrellabird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Bare-eyed Antbird, Rose-breasted Chat, Gould’s Toucanet, 6 species of macaws, Hoatzin (sbf), and nearly three hundred more birds in the Amazon, and, last but not least, in the Pantanal we saw Helmeted Manakin, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Hyacinth Macaws, Nacunda Nighthawk, Toco Toucans, Jabirus, Maguari Stork, five species of Kingfishers (in one day) including the highly desired Green-and-rufous, and more Seriemas, many more, maybe 12 in total.

Back to mammals, apart from the Jaguar, which hands down is the most wanted target in this birding tour, we got very lucky with another mammal, an Ocelot (photo right) that came to drink water on the river in front of our boat on afternoon when we decided to take a relaxed canoe ride down the Cristalino River in search of a couple of targets in the river islands that avoided us earlier. In a way we can say that we were “unlucky” with mammals since we did not see a great variety of them but the numbers got compensated with the quality of sightings that we got, especially with these two species of kitties. Worth mentioning though, among other animals that we did see, are Giant Otters, Tamandua, Neotropical River Otter, South American Brown Brocket, tons of Capybaras, and the huge Greater Bulldog Fishing Bats.

Read the full report full of great photos from the trip by clicking the link below.

Click this link to view the full report (5 MB PDF file).