Tuesday, 16 June 2020

16th June, 2020 Beachy Head

We received a telephone call from RJF with the news that LP had found a Blyth's Reed Warbler at Belle Tout and this is just the third record for Sussex. Many thanks Richard for the telephone call.
We quickly made our way to Belle Tout and joined about 20 birders looking .It took around an hour before it showed well and everyone was well behaved and stayed a fair distance from the bird. It showed several times out in the open but it was very active and never stayed long in one place. I heard it sing on one occasion although it had been singing a lot more earlier.
As we were leaving a Hobby flew over Belle Tout.
Well done to Laurence for this excellent find on what is usually a very skulking bird.

Hobby flying over Belle Tout

Taken by Matt Eade
Adult Blyth's Reed Warbler at Belle Tout clearly showing the short
primary projection
I didn't attempt to photograph the Blyth's Reed due to the distance I was from the bird, but I 
attach two pictures of Blyth's Reed which I took during the Autumn on Unst. I also attach a picture of a Marsh Warbler which David has recently taken on Unst for comparison.
Blyth's Reed can be tricky to correctly i/d it as Marsh Warbler is very similar, both lack the rufous tones of a Reed Warbler being quite pale brown on the upper-parts. The most important pointer is the 
short primary projection on Blyth's it is much longer on Marsh, also the greyish tips to the primaries
on Marsh. Marsh can Sometimes show just a feint pale yellowish tone on the underparts

Blyth's Reed Warblers taken on Unst in September, clearly showing 
the lack of rufous on the upperparts and the short primary projection,
 dull legs and the second picture shows the banana posture which is 
sometimes associated with Blyth's.

Adult Marsh Warbler taken by David Cooper on Unst 
on the 15/6/2020.
This clearly shows the long primary projection and also pale
 greyish tips to the primaries.

Friday, 5 June 2020

The Good Old Days - South Eastern Brazil - 26th June, 2003 - 19th July 2003 No. 6

Our 6th and final blog on David's and myself trip to South Eastern Brazil in 2003. The weather was excellent and the local people very friendly with generally good accommodation.

Views taken along the Agulhas Negras Road

View of Hotel Simon in Itatiaia Nat. Park, where we stayed for
several nights on our return from Antarctica in January, 1993.

View taken at Ubatuba

Great White and Snowy Egrets at Ubatuba

Araucaria Tit-Spinetail
Leptasthenura Setario
Unfortunately, this species has been classified as near threatened due to the destruction of Araucaria forest as a result of clearance for pastureland and cultivation. We recorded two pairs in the Araucaria trees along the Agulhas Negras Road.

Black and Gold Cotinga
Tijuca atra
Endemic to Brazil. It is threatened by habitat loss although it is present in several national parks. We saw them at several sites including four lekking birds along the Agulhas Negras Road.

Male Blue-naped Chlorophonia 
Chlorophonia cyanea
It has a large range in South America, with seven sub-species. They are associated with humid forests and they also occur in gardens and parks especially in the Atlantic Forest region. We saw eight feeding in a flowering tree in the Caraca Nat. Park, and twelve were present in the Itatiaia Nat. Park.

Diademed Tanager
Stephanophorus diadematus
We only saw these Tanagers along the Agulhas Negres road with 20 on our first visit and an impressive 60 on the following day. Its range is in S Brazil, NE Argentina and Uruguay and it is chiefly found in open areas and the edges of montane forests.

Green-headed Tanager
Tangura seledon
Its range is in SE Brazil, E.Paraguay and NE Argentina and chiefly spends its time in the tree canopy. We recorded it on six dates with a daily maximum of 15 in Itatiaia Nat. Park.

Blue Naped Chlorophonia and Green Headed Tanager in
Itatiaia Nat. Park.

Golden Chevroned Tanager
Thrapus ornate 
Endemic to Brazil, with the main habitats being in both moist lowland and montane forests. We saw it on eight dates with a daily maximum of 20 in the Itatiaia Nat. Park.

Male Helmeted Manakin
Antilophia galeata 

This Manakin has a large range in South America and can be found in various types of forests often near water. We just found a single male in the forest at the base of the Casca D'Ante waterfall.

Rufous Tailed Ant-Thrush
Chamaeza ruficauda
This Ant-thrush was a species we really wanted to see on this trip. It is endemic to the Atlantic Forest in SE Brazil and NE Argentina and can be difficult to find in the dark forest undergrowth. We were fortunate to discover two of these skulking birds in the forest undergrowth along the Agulhas Negras road, and after careful approach we obtained good views and manage to photograph them without to much disturbance. Without doubt one of the highlights of our trip

Saffaron Toucanet
Baillonius balloni
The range of this Toucanet is the Atlantic Forest of SE Brazil, E Paraguay and NE Argentina. They mostly occur in lowland and montane regions up to 1,550m, generally on slopes and by streams.
Its numbers sadly are declining due to habitat destruction, hunting and capture for the pet trade and they have now been classified as Near Threatened.
We saw a party of 5 in the Serra dos Orgaos Nat. Park and parties of 6 and 8 in the Itatiaia Nat. Park.

Shear-Tailed Grey-Tyrant.
Muscipipra vetula
It is found in SE Brazil, E. Paraguay and NE Argentina in moist lowland and montane forsests. After much searching, we finally obtained good views of a pair along the Agulhas Negras road.

Streamer Tailed Tyrant
Gubernetes yetapa
It has a large range in South America and its natural habitat are dry or flooded lowland grasslands. During our trip, we saw small numbers on six dates.

Tail Banded Hornero
Furnarius figulus
Endemic to Brazil, with its natural habitats are woodland areas, especially near water. We just saw two individuals during our trip at Semiduro.

Three-toed Jacamars
Jacamaraleyon ruficapillusonly
This was one of our most wanted species on the trip. It is endemic to SE Brazil and is found in drier parts of the Atlantic Forest. Habitat loss and degradation has lead to a steep decline in its population with an estimate of only 355-1,500 individuals and it is now classified as vulnerable.
We had superb views of a party of six along the Semiduro road and was one of the main highlights of our trip. 
Tropical Parula
Parula pitayumi
We just saw  two briefly in the clearing at Corcovado. It breeds from NW Mexico through Central America to N. Argentina. It has been seen in Texas and we remember looking for it in Texas many years ago but without success.

 Male Chestnut Bellied Euphonia
Euphonia pectoralis
This Euphonia's range extends from Brazil to Paraguay and Argentina. We recorded it on eight dates  with a daily maximum of ten birds.

White-throated Spadebill
Platyrinchus mystaceus
Has an extensive range from Costa Rica through South America. Seen on seven dates with a daily maximum of three.

 White Rimmed Warblers
Basileuterus leucoblepharus
It was seen on six days with a daily maximum of four. Its range is from Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay.

White-necked Thrush
Turdus fumigatus
Has seven subspecies, and a large range in South America. We recorded it on a number of days with a daily maximum of three

Now a selection of Hummingbirds all taken at or near Itatiaia Nat. Park

White-Throated Hummingbird
Leucochloris albicollis


Black Jacobin
Florisuga fusea

 Frilled Coquette
Lophornis magnificus
Just two females seen

Veriscoloured Emerald
Agyrtria veriscolour

Violet Woodnymph
Thalurania colombica