Had an excellent day birding on the Waterfall Trail. One of the first birds we found was a superb male Shrike-like Cotinga at post 400, a very low altitude. This bird performed brilliantly, calling just a metre or so above our heads and feeding on caterpillars, and despite the severe lack of light I still managed a few reasonable pics (photos 1, 2 & 3). Note the rufous tips remaining on some of the greater and lesser coverts in photos 2 & 3 which indicate that this is an immature bird (click on photos to enlarge). Interestingly, it appears that most of the birds found at lower altitudes at REGUA at this time of year are immatures. Shrike-like Cotinga is something of a REGUA speciality, being much easier to find here than anywhere else. A second bird was later heard calling a little higher up the trail.
These three photos are dedicated to my good friend Sam Woods - one day mate!
We saw a lot of birds today but some of the highlights include a White-necked Hawk soaring with a Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, a Saw-billed Hermit seen well at last (with many others heard), 3 Surucua Trogon, 1 Buff-bellied Puffbird (photo 4), 1 Blond-crested Woodpecker, 1 Scaled Antbird, 1 Black-cheeked Gnateater, 1 Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper (at the waterfall), 1 Southern Antpipit, 2 Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, 2 Large-headed Flatbill, a fantastic male Pin-tailed Manakin, 1 White-necked Thrush, several Olive-green Tanager, 1 Azure-shouldered Tanager, 2 White-bellied Tanager, 2 Brassy-breasted Tanager (another atitudinal migrant found in small numbers on the lowland trails at this time of year) and a pair of Rufous-headed Tanager. We also came very close to finally connecting with Variegated Antpitta today, but unfortunately despite Adilei succeeding in calling it into an area of relatively open forest floor, only he managed to catch a glimpse of it.
Also noted today were 2 Whistling Heron, an Aplomado Falcon and a White-rumped Monjita on the dirt road from the lodge to the trailhead, and at the Conservation Centre 2 more Whistling Heron and the resident pair of Tropical Screech-Owl were seen. Last but not least, a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth was watched clambering about in a tree at the junction of the Waterfall Trail and Lost Trail.
The Waterfall Trail remains one of my favourite trails at REGUA. Over the last few years I've accumulated many many hours birding here, completely absorbed in the rainforest ecosystem, and I never tire of the birds or the views (photos 5 & 6). On my next Brazil trip I hope to explore the largely unexplored rough upper section of the trail.