Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brazil 1 - Rio

Always good to see a first bird from the plane before disembarking, and in this case it was a Black Vulture. In the minibus to the hotel there came suddenly a bellow of 'Frigatebird' from Leo and there they were - MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD huge birds, very distinctive shapes. And a Great Egret.Off to Christ the Redeemer statue, where there were SWALLOWS in the air and RUFOUS COLLARED SPARROWS on the ground. And an Aqaati!The next morning off to Sugar Loaf. In the car park there, in a mango tree, GREAT KISSADEE and RUDDY GROUND DOVE. From the top, great views BLACK CHESTED BUZZARD EAGLE, hovering 300m up. Little Marmosets running around. And a LESSER KISKADEE in the trees.At the Maracana stadium, SOUTHERN LAPWING in Pele's spot on the goal line.In the afternoon, off to the Botanic Gardens which is a great birding spot. Lots of RUFOUS-BELLIED THRUSH, GRAY-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER, CREAmY BELLIED THRUSH, BROWN TANAGER. A lovely MASKED WATER TYRANT. A RUFOUS HORNERO taking a dustbath. TROPICAL KINGBIRD. Anne spotted 2 DUSKY LEGGED GUANS. At the pool, Kiskadee's in classic flycatcher action. Then we started seeing parrots - PLAIN PARAKEET. I had just seen glorious GREEN HEADED TANAGERs when Anne spotted our first Toucan (albeit with a cry of 'Hornbill'!). RED BREASTED TOUCAN, probably the most extraordinarily striking first sight ever. Unbelievable.We came back towards the Leme hotel along the lagoon and saw through the dusk COCAL HERON and STRIATED HERON and Common Moorhen.Next morning we trooped down on to Copacabana beach and identified the birds glimpsed yesterday as BROWN BOOBYs. Superb birds, perfect markings, streamlined and sometimes skimming inches above the water.

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