12 March 2014

REGUA, Atlantic Forest, Brazil: 12 March

For Rachel and I this is our tenth trip to REGUA, my tropical patch, located in Brazil's endemic-rich Atlantic Forest. Our first visit in March - which is early autumn in south-east Brazil - we were keen to find some of the invertebrates that are not around when we usually visit between June to October, and also to see how different the birding is at this time of year - very much out of season for birders.

This time we were travelling with Rachel's "gorgeous" friend Helen Russell, and the natty cuff-link adorned 'Non-stop Birder' Peter Alfrey, for both of whom this is their first visit to Brazil. After a late arrival last night we spent the day showing Helen and Pete around the core part of REGUA, taking in the conservation centre, tree nursery, wetland and part of the Forest Trail, and introducing them to friends and staff.

Sightings today include 2 roosting Tropical Screech-Owl near the conservation centre, 2 Black-legged Dacnis, a few Swallow Tanager, 2 Cattle Tyrant and a Streaked Flycatcher on the Forest Trail, and on the Wetland Trail: 1 Anhinga, 2 Sooretama Slaty-Antshrike near Amanda's Hide, a few Greater Ani, 9 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, 1 Rufescent Tiger-Heron, 1(H) Russet-crowned Crake, 1 Ringed Kingfisher, a few Swallow Tanager, 1f Crested Becard, 1 Variegated Flycatcher, several Pale-vented Pigeon, 2 Yellow-browed Tyrant, 1 Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet, 1 Snowy Egret, 1 White-barred Piculet, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, 1 Muscovy Duck, several Brazilian Teal, 1 Neotropic Cormorant, Striated Heron, Southern Lapwing, 1 Southern House Wren, a few Chestnut-capped Blackbird, Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher, Wing-banded Hornero, 1 Turkey Vulture, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, 1 Savanna Hawk, Roadside Hawk and plenty more common birds - Black Vulture, Cattle Egret, Purple Gallinule, Common Gallinule, Great Egret, White-bearded Manakin, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Masked Water-Tyrant and Great Kiskadee. Also a Broad-snouted Caiman Caiman latirostris was in front of Amanda's Hide.

The lodge garden was the quietest I've ever seen it, with not a single bird on the fruit feeders (probably because so many of the replanted trees around the lodge are fruiting), and just 1 Black Jacobin of note. A Southern Monarch Danaus erippus laying eggs on the Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica that REGUA's Research Co-ordinator Jorge Bizarro planted recently was great to see.

Tropical Screech-Owls roosting by the conservation centre today

Southern Monarch Danaus erippus laying eggs on the Tropical Milkweed Asclepias curassavica in the lodge garden

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