18 July 2016

Camera trapping at REGUA: 11-16 July

Rachel and I put the camera trap out in two locations at REGUA last week - two nights in the forest just off the trail to the São José Tower (11th/12th-12th/13th) and then three nights along a stream in the forest along an unmarked trail off the Forest Trail (13th/14th, 14th/15th and 15th/16th), baiting both sites with bananas. I messed up the positioning of the camera on the São José Tower trail so nothing worth posting from that site, but I managed to capture a few nice videos from the forest stream site (to watch in HD click on the cog icon, click on Quality and the select the highest resolution).

Forest stream

This is the same stream along which I have placed a camera trap in the past, but this time the camera was placed further upstream into the forest.

Rusty-margined Guan Penelope superciliaris, 15 July 2016. Rarely encountered around the lodge area trails just a few
years ago, today Rusty-margined Guan are occasionally seen around the wetland and up to 4 birds visit the lodge
feeders daily.

Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima, 15 July 2016

Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas, 14 July 2016

Red-rumped Agouti Dasyprocta leporina, 14 July 2016

Capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris, 14 July 2016. Capybara appear to range widely from the wetland at night.

Atlantic Forest Nectomys or South American Water Rat Nectomys squamipes, 15 July 2016

Atlantic Forest Nectomys or South American Water Rat Nectomys squamipes swimming past, 15 July 2016

A small fruitbat species attracted to the bananas, 14 July 2016

Big-eared Opossum or Brazilian Common Opossum Didelphis aurita, 15 July 2016

16 July 2016

REGUA, Atlantic Forest, Brazil: 16 July

Our last day today. Rachel and I spent few hours walking around the Wetland Trail but we again failed to find the f/imm. Sungrebe that was seen by guests at the far corner of the wetland a few days ago. But we did see the male Sungrebe again, as well as 1 Scaly-headed Parrot over, 1 White-necked Heron, 2 Anhinga, 4 Muscovy Duck, 1 Ringed Kingfisher, 1 Striated Heron and lots of Capybara.

Along the Forest Trail we encountered a nice mixed species flock that contained more forest interior species (indicative of how successful the reforestation here has been) including 1 Golden-crowned Warbler (my first record along this trail), 2 Yellow-throated Woodpecker, 2 (1m, 1f) Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, 3 Green-headed Tanager, 2 (1m, 1f) Black-goggled Tanager, 2 Streaked Xenops and 1 Olivaceous Woodcreeper. Also noted were the more usual forest-edge/scrubland species including 3 (1m, 2f) Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike, 1 Chestnut-backed Antshrike, 1m Chestnut-vented Conebill, 1 Yellow-eared Woodpecker, 3 White-barred Piculet, 1 Rufous-tailed Jacamar, 1f Yellow-backed Tanager and 1m Violaceous Euphonia.

Female Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike Thamnophilus ambiguus, feeding at ground level along the Forest Trail, 16 July 2016

So another fantastic trip to REGUA comes to an end. Although I had a lot of work to get through and didn't have much time for birding, I had a great time seeing how successful the reforestation around the lodge area has been. I won't be leaving it so long until the next visit.

15 July 2016

REGUA, Atlantic Forest, Brazil: 15 July

Another day working on the Portuguese REGUA website. Spent a couple of hours in the lodge garden this morning where I managed some nice shots of a Rufous-tailed Jacamar that was taking out the moths leaving the moth wall, along with 2 Southern House Wren. 2 Giant Cowbirds perched in the eucalyptus on the edge of the lodge garden are my first record at the lodge, and 1m Purple-throated Euphonia visiting the feeders with 2 (1m, 1f) Blue Dacnis was the best of the other birds present.

Photographed some interesting moths at the moth wall, including some potential new additions to the REGUA moth list, but more on this is a later post.

Male Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda, lodge garden, REGUA, 15 July 2016

Record of 1 of 2 Giant Cowbirds Molothrus oryzivorus together in the lodge garden, 15 July 2016

A few hours spotlighting around the wetland this evening produced an excellent but yet another frustrating avian find. While photographing tree frogs at the wetland (by post 650 of the Wetland Trail) a Stygian Owl started calling (approximately by post 850). I quickly moved towards it and got quite close before it moved across the lake to the roughly where the tapir pen is being built. Despite the bird calling for over 10 minutes it didn't respond to playback (although I didn't have speakers with me and so the playback was very quiet) and I didn't see it - the theme for this year it seems - finding good birds by sound only. This is only the 3rd record for Rio de Janeiro State and the 2nd for REGUA, following 1 seen well on 31 July 2011 at the REGUA wetland (just a few day after I flew home from a two week trip, grrrr).

Anyway, found 5 Hypsiboas semilineatus tree frogs in the vegetation around the edge of the water, showing an incredible diversity of colouration and size - check out the individuals below seen this evening and compare to the one in the lodge garden on 8 July.

Hypsiboas semilineatus, REGUA wetland, 16 July 2016

Hypsiboas semilineatus, REGUA wetland, 16 July 2016

Also noted while spot-lighting were 4 (2m, 1f, 1) Pauraque, 3H Tawny-browed Owl, 12 Broad-snouted Caiman, several Capybara, and 2 roosting butterfly sp.

13 July 2016

REGUA, Atlantic Forest, Brazil: 13 July

Retrieved the camera trap today from a site chosen in the forest just off the trail to the São José Tower, only to discover on return to the lodge that I had completely misjudged the positioning and placed it too high up and close to the bananas I'd put down - live and learn! The camera recorded 2+ Big-eared Opossum Didelphis aurita and several small bats dropping down to eat the bananas I'd left out.

A walk along the Forest Trail to produced a nice mixed species bird flock that included 1 male Black-goggled Tanager, 1-2 Fuscous Flycatcher, 1 Grey-hooded Attila and 1H Southern Antpipit (the first time I've recorded these species along this trail) along with 1 Tropical Parula, 1m Crested Becard, 3 (2m, 1f) White-flanked Antwren, 2m Chestnut-vented Conebill and 1 Yellow-throated Woodpecker,

At the wetland, 1 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, 33 White-faced Whistling-Duck, 3 Muscovy Duck and a Broad-snouted Caiman hauled out on an island.

Male Black-goggled Tanager Lanio melanops, Forest Trail, 13 July 2016. This forest interior species is currently fairly common along
the Forest Trail and around the wetland - an indicator of the success of the reforestation at REGUA.

Fuscous Flycatcher Cnemotriccus fuscatus, Forest Trail, REGUA, 12 July 2016

11 July 2016

REGUA, Atlantic Forest, Brazil: 11 July

Rachel and I put the camera trap out today, just off the trail leading to the São José Tower and baited the area with bananas - let's see what comes in? Walked to the site via the Forest Trail and had a nice winter mixed species bird flock that included 1 Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant (yet another forest interior species moving into the area), several Black-goggled Tanager, 1 Sepia-capped Flycatcher, 1m Crested Becard, 1 Yellow-backed Tanager, 2-3 Squirrel Cuckoo, and 1f White-bearded Manakin.

On the wetland, 2 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, 2 Anhinga, 8 White-faced Whistling-Duck, several Muscovy Duck, several Brazilian Teal and an adult Rufescent Tiger-Heron were logged, and over the lodge several Biscutate Swift were quite low mid afternoon.

A couple of hours walking the Wetland Trail after dark was unsurprisingly very quiet for nocturnal bird activity, producing just 1f Pauraque (down to 2 metres in torch light) and 2H Tropical Screech-Owl, along with a roosting Purple Gallinule, 2 Capybara and an incredible 41 Broad-snouted Caiman - by far my highest count here and only one short of the REGUA record!

Female Pauraque Hydropsalis albicollis, REGUA wetland, after dark 11 July 2016 (taken using a torch - no flash)

1 of 41 Broad-snouted Caiman Caiman latirostris at the REGUA wetland this evening. Amazing to think that just 11 years go the
wetland was farmland, and none of these reptiles have been introduced.

Roosting Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica, 11 July 2016

9 July 2016

REGUA, Atlantic Forest, Brazil: 9 July

Another busy day at the screen so this post is merely a notebook entry. A few notables logged in the lodge garden throughout the day - 1f Chestnut-bellied Euphonia coming to the bananas (my first record for the lodge garden) along with 1m Purple-throated Euphonia, 5 (2m, 3f) Violaceous Euphonia, 4 (1m, 3f) Brazilian Tanager, several Golden-chevroned Tanager, lots of Blue Dacnis (both sexes) and Maroon-bellied Parakeets. Also around the garden were 1+ Rufous-tailed Jacamar and a Planalto Tyrannulet.

An evening walk around the wetland to photograph bats produced several species, and birds noted include 1 Capped Heron and lots of Cattle Egret coming into roost.

8 July 2016

REGUA, Atlantic Forest, Brazil: 8 July

Spent a couple of hours this morning paddling around the wetland in the research canoe checking out the progress of the replanted Tabebuia cassinoides - a slow growing swamp-loving climax tree species that once covered many lowland areas in the Atlantic Forest. The trees are doing very well but I am a little concerned that the Cattle Egret roost has partially moved to the Tabebuia, which could threaten their survival.

From the canoe had nice views of the male Sungrebe (although it was not very tolerant of the canoe and so there is no chance using it to get close to photograph it), along with 2 (1 ad and 1 imm) Rufescent Tiger-Heron, 2+ Striated Heron, 1 Snowy Egret, 1-2 Anhinga, 3 Muscovy Duck, 1 Amazon Kingfisher, 1 Ringed Kingfisher, 2 Brazilian Teal, 2 Broad-snouted Caiman, and plenty of Capybara.

In the lodge garden a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl posed nicely for photos late morning, and 3 (1m, 2f) Flame-crested Tanager, 3+ Chivi Vireo and 1m Yellow-backed Tanager showed at very close range from the lodge tower early morning.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum, lodge grounds, REGUA, 8 July 2016

Spent a couple of hours after dark photographing at least 5-6 Bokermann's Nectar Bats Lonchophylla bokermanni that were drinking sugar water from the lodge hummingbird feeders. I'm quite pleased with these pics considering this was my first attempt.

Bokermann's Nectar Bat Lonchophylla bokermanni, lodge garden, REGUA, 8 July 2016 (taken using a torch - no flash)

Bokermann's Nectar Bat Lonchophylla bokermanni, lodge garden, REGUA, 8 July 2016 (taken using a torch - no flash)

Also found a nice Hypsiboas semilineatus tree frog hoping around on the veranda. Amazingly variable this species - compare this individual to one I had at REGUA in 2014.

Hypsiboas semilineatus, lodge garden, REGUA, 8 July 2016