A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about blackbird

Araras Day Three - Bridge 3, swimming pool, anteaters

A great finish to our stay in Araras


View Pantanal and Amazon 2022 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Another early start this morning: up at 04:15 for a 05:00 safari.

We stop at the statue of São Francisco, the protector of ecology, to photograph the sunrise, before continuing to Ponte 3, our favourite bridge (I never thought I'd end up with a favourite bridge on the Transpantaneira).

large_69cb8440-14a8-11ed-b0a8-8bba6eb78aee.jpg

Bridge # 3
There are way more birds flying this morning than yesterday, and in greater quantities.

large_f0258520-14aa-11ed-8566-09bfb7b92aa9.jpg

Most birds roost near water at night, as the sun heats the water during the day, which helps keep the birds warm during the night. In the morning they fly off in search of food.

large_00d64940-14ab-11ed-8566-09bfb7b92aa9.jpg

It is mesmerising to watch.

large_00e0f7a0-14ab-11ed-9ead-31140360d781.jpg


Flash Gun
After the problems I had with low light necessitating high ISO (= noisy/grainy images) yesterday, I brought my Speedlight with me this morning, plus my Better Beamer.

large_f1d3d7c0-14b2-11ed-baa0-bf9685f77833.jpg
Ringed Kingfisher

The Better Beamer is basically a fresnel lens on a frame. Its main purpose is to extend the range of the flash, although it will also reduce the possibility of the lens hood casting a shadow.

large_f1ce3270-14b2-11ed-9138-2b2cfc5fa3ea.jpg
Green Kingfisher

large_f19dfab0-14b2-11ed-805f-39681c4c57ad.jpg
Caiman

I am impressed that it seems to work all the way across the other side of the pond!

large_cef7c800-14b3-11ed-9138-2b2cfc5fa3ea.jpg

As well as into the sky above.

large_b1a93320-14b7-11ed-bffb-a132aa643005.jpg
Large Billed Tern

large_32ca6170-14ba-11ed-bbd6-6d6e85def2df.jpg
Black Vulture

large_5bbd71f0-14bd-11ed-be85-f91c4cd8de74.jpg
Black Bellied Whistling Ducks

large_eaf93a10-14c8-11ed-a69f-999c5046c0f2.jpg
Orange Winged Parrots

After a while, I abandon the flash.

large_78020cb0-14c0-11ed-a0f6-99af71c9bbcc.jpg
Caiman

large_eef380e0-14c2-11ed-a8ff-abf342590bc1.jpg
Wood Stork

large_02146790-14f8-11ed-8adb-a385c317130e.jpg
Jabiru

Black Skimmers
I love watching the way these birds fish by skimming the water with their beaks open. The lower mandible is larger than the top one, allowing them to more easily hook up some breakfast.

large_562c28b0-14c9-11ed-a69f-999c5046c0f2.jpg

This one's got a fish!

large_56f0b130-14c9-11ed-9dc7-45d75504123d.jpg

large_6bd2ea00-14c9-11ed-9dc7-45d75504123d.jpg
Large Billed Terns having a bit of a domestic

large_c085ce50-14c9-11ed-9dc7-45d75504123d.jpg
Yellow Billed Cardinal with a colouration issue

This is what he is supposed to look like:

large_ba4a6360-14ca-11ed-9f10-e18cfe8c57f0.jpg

large_5d1bc110-14cb-11ed-a78b-e72efb44c91c.jpg
Southern Caracara

large_aa666850-14ce-11ed-9f10-e18cfe8c57f0.jpg
Black Capped Night Heron

large_2a73b5a0-14d1-11ed-8682-b39d701a3b79.jpg
Maguari Stork

large_504a3950-14d3-11ed-8682-b39d701a3b79.jpg
Peach Fronted Parakeet

large_b0637110-14d5-11ed-8be4-2911740df3af.jpg
Unicoloured Blackbird

large_9d3be090-14d5-11ed-8be4-2911740df3af.jpg
Striated Heron

large_2853c990-14d6-11ed-8be4-2911740df3af.jpg
Great Egret

Reluctantly we move on from the pond at Bridge # 3, and slowly make our way back towards the lodge.

large_f997e940-14d7-11ed-8652-9f8a960edc0b.jpg
Maguari Stork

large_89f9e2e0-14d8-11ed-8652-9f8a960edc0b.jpg
Savanna Hawk

large_3b0d3220-14da-11ed-91cd-2100ff82074e.jpg
Southern Lapwing coming in to land

large_9b6ab0c0-14da-11ed-91cd-2100ff82074e.jpg
Black Stilt

large_4bf31a90-14db-11ed-b95c-d96c74ca3251.jpg
Wood Stork

large_bcfacda0-14db-11ed-96b6-439f12612976.jpg
Wattled Jacana

large_2f09e1c0-14e0-11ed-b393-a9e8bba2b958.jpg
Monk Parakeets

large_1476d880-14e6-11ed-a32b-716451731efe.jpg
Roseate Spoonbill

large_4eea4410-14e7-11ed-912c-ed6012bf0092.jpg
Rufous Cachalote

large_be0980b0-14ea-11ed-855f-dd001b6ae4f4.jpg
Bared Faced Ibis

We see a Southern Caracara have a wrestling match with a stick.

large_938e1b20-14ea-11ed-9930-a51cdd62782c.jpg

large_938eb760-14ea-11ed-855f-dd001b6ae4f4.jpg

large_6ffa1090-14ec-11ed-9a8e-5ddf0fa4b6e5.jpg
Guira Cuckoo

large_517cbfb0-14f0-11ed-ad5a-b18c36a26985.jpg
Lesser Yellow Headed Vulture

large_89eed270-14f0-11ed-ad5a-b18c36a26985.jpg
Black Vulture

large_e292f8b0-14f1-11ed-ad5a-b18c36a26985.jpg
Snail Kite

Breakfast
By the time we get back to the hotel, we are too late for the breakfast buffet, but the lodge has laid our usual table in the shade of a tree on the patio, and they bring us a number of different dishes.

It seems the chachalaca have got to the butter, however, before we can.

large_b3caedf0-14f4-11ed-b465-eff6c521f3a5.jpg

Caught red-handed - or is that red-beaked - with a large knob of butter in his mouth.

large_b4b63850-14f4-11ed-8175-679f2ff9c52d.jpg

I bet the butter does melt in his mouth, though!

This is the most we've eaten for any breakfast so far. Disclaimer: we didn't eat everything served! We do feel obliged to eat more than we normally do, however, as they've brought us all this food.

large_b3e18330-14f4-11ed-861a-256d6be9ccb8.jpg

Chill time
Mid-afternoon we spend some time in the pool cooling down. We are the only ones around, so have the pool to ourselves. I guess everyone else has gone out for a strenuous walk or horse-riding.

large_f5a7ed50-157a-11ed-be49-b9e63b3256a0.jpg

large_f5f3ea70-157a-11ed-b836-57766c0f9698.jpg

large_f59db420-157a-11ed-be01-2beedf93c428.jpg
This is not a sign you really want to see right next to the pool

large_f59a31b0-157a-11ed-baa9-2918b140116b.jpg

large_f654cf20-157a-11ed-a35b-cdd14677ceee.jpg

Afternoon safari
At 16:00 we set off for our very last safari in the Pantanal, as tomorrow we are moving on to pastures new.

The first thing we spot is another armadillo.

large_459d5420-157c-11ed-8bfb-578c90164be3.jpg

large_442cad20-157c-11ed-8bfb-578c90164be3.jpg

Agouti
He is a long way away, there is lots of dust in the air, and I am shooting into the sun, so unfortunately I don't get any good pictures of the agouti.

large_44a73450-157c-11ed-be01-2beedf93c428.jpg

A Crab-Eating Fox rushes past us.

large_44a5d4c0-157c-11ed-8bfb-578c90164be3.jpg

Blue Crowned Parakeets

large_42fcb8a0-157c-11ed-be01-2beedf93c428.jpg

large_42b9e340-157c-11ed-be01-2beedf93c428.jpg

Yellow Collared Macaws

large_43019aa0-157c-11ed-baa9-2918b140116b.jpg

large_433fb510-157c-11ed-be01-2beedf93c428.jpg

Collared Anteaters
Leaving the best until last, Roberto slams on the brakes and reverses the car back a few yards before jumping out with his binoculars. Soon he beckons us over: he has seen an anteater in a tree.

large_4543c270-157c-11ed-8bfb-578c90164be3.jpg

Wow!

large_4394b2e0-157c-11ed-be01-2beedf93c428.jpg

Not just one, but there is another one in a nearby tree, which is quite surprising, as they are normally solitary creatures.

large_43d7fd70-157c-11ed-8bfb-578c90164be3.jpg

Once the sun's gone down, leaving the anteaters in very low light, we reluctantly return to the lodge for a shower, dinner and packing before bed.

Goodnight and goodbye from Araras. Thank you to Undiscovered Destinations for arranging this trip for us.

large_da83c470-157c-11ed-8bfb-578c90164be3.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 19:30 Archived in Brazil Tagged birds wildlife breakfast kite safari parrots pool hawk brazil birding brasil ducks fox swimming_pool south_america caiman swimmingpool heron egret stilt stork vulture ibis armadillo cardinal caracara blackbird kingfisher pantanal butter cuckoo bird_watching transpantaneira anteater jacana undiscovered_destinations tern lapwing parakeets bird_photography wild_birds flying_birds speedlight flash_gun skimmer araras sao_francisco bridge_three roosting_birds better_beamer cachalote chachalaca butter_wouldn't_melt_in_his_mou chill_time agouti Comments (0)

Araras Day One - walking tour and Jeep safari

A bird-watcher's paradise


View Pantanal and Amazon 2022 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Another slightly later start this morning: up at 05:30, breakfast at 06:30, leave at 07:00 for a wee walk around the hotel grounds to check out what's about.

large_57377390-131b-11ed-ba2b-6f15182c37f4.jpg
Red Breasted Cardinal

large_78eaec60-131b-11ed-ba2b-6f15182c37f4.jpg
Little Woodpecker, hiding

large_79dfd3b0-131b-11ed-9cb8-0da36273f65b.jpg
Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork

large_3e65bed0-1320-11ed-a47c-719c6d9a19fe.jpg
One in, one out!

large_9ac7f0c0-131c-11ed-ba2b-6f15182c37f4.jpg
Wattled Jacana

large_0ca17d50-131e-11ed-a460-5dfa668ec063.jpg

We see Mr & Mrs Hornero, and this is their somewhat unusual nest.

large_608b2bf0-1323-11ed-85b1-557586c4dca3.jpg

large_0cea1f10-131e-11ed-81a9-ad039d85c8b9.jpg
Greater Kiskadee

large_d9e1ab80-1320-11ed-a47c-719c6d9a19fe.jpg
Ringed Kingfisher

large_3489df20-1322-11ed-96f1-451d3336202a.jpg
Chopi Blackbirds

The grounds are surrounded by ponds covered in vegetation, amongst which caimans hide, waiting for an unsuspecting breakfast.

large_f5037120-1323-11ed-ad08-c1655c91a5f4.jpg

large_ec5ad6c0-1324-11ed-a927-d563298b6318.jpg

We hear several loud grunts and look around expecting to see wild boar or something similar. “It's the mating call of the caiman” explains Roberto.

large_a8ece040-1324-11ed-a927-d563298b6318.jpg
Monk Parakeets

Black Collared Hawk
The hawk has caught something, although at first, I cannot make out what it is.

large_5c4fa850-1327-11ed-a0d9-373ae32c8173.jpg

On closer inspection, I can see it's a fish, and he is having quite the feast!

large_5c637e70-1327-11ed-9fd7-d10bd1e153f6.jpg

large_5c5a0890-1327-11ed-a377-6dccd79c2aa1.jpg

large_123fe2f0-1333-11ed-822b-b11f6d924521.jpg
Cattle Tyrant - it is the first time we have seen that red crest on the top of its head

large_acfef2d0-1334-11ed-be6a-03221f6131d2.jpg
Yellow Rumped Cacique

large_e06a2c90-1341-11ed-ad78-31175fcacd42.jpg
Rufous Bellied Thrush

large_35c64b60-1351-11ed-9f4d-ffd402ac9738.jpg
Rufous Cachalote. That is one very ambitious nest builder!

large_c84a1160-1342-11ed-844e-b590d13a409c.jpg
Boat Billed Heron

large_2d9421e0-1344-11ed-844e-b590d13a409c.jpg
She is feeding her young

large_6362f680-1343-11ed-844e-b590d13a409c.jpg
Black Vulture

large_fb4e84f0-134d-11ed-9e4b-4fa7d4a61376.jpg
Thrush Like Wren

The property owns a lot of land surrounding the lodge, and several boardwalks lead out across the marshland into the jungle beyond. There is also an observation tower, but neither of us feels up to climbing it.

On one of the boardwalks, we see a couple of spoonbills. I suggest Roberto walks onto the bridge so that I can catch the moment they fly away.

large_215c4fd0-1351-11ed-9e01-0952996903ef.jpg

Unfortunately, they both fly in the opposite direction from what I wanted them to do.

large_21726fe0-1351-11ed-9b76-e11c732a068a.jpg

large_217fdd60-1351-11ed-9f4d-ffd402ac9738.jpg

A caiman looks as if he is heading to the swimming pool.

large_88ea94e0-135b-11ed-ae91-9179391a2d2f.jpg

Another is making a beeline for David.

large_19b9cf40-135c-11ed-a7ee-0bb09792c4e9.jpg

This one makes me laugh - I don't think the camouflage is working!

large_89afb9a0-135b-11ed-a7ee-0bb09792c4e9.jpg

They are awfully close to the hotel in my opinion.

large_0928d2b0-135d-11ed-837e-a57ad6dc36a8.jpg

Roberto assures me that no attacks on guests have been recorded. “They are more afraid of you than you are of them”

large_09549da0-135d-11ed-9afb-2df5af96a499.jpg

large_42f4f730-135d-11ed-9afb-2df5af96a499.jpg
Amazon Kingfisher

large_9d780c10-135d-11ed-837e-a57ad6dc36a8.jpg
Savanna Hawk

large_f1d30c60-135d-11ed-837e-a57ad6dc36a8.jpg
Purple Gallinule, hiding

large_1906a480-135f-11ed-837e-a57ad6dc36a8.jpg
Black Capped Donacobius

large_cf8f9db0-135f-11ed-af8c-1761d65d3f07.jpg
Plumbeous Ibis

large_e971f060-1360-11ed-b77f-6192f1c9ac32.jpg
South American Ground Lizard

This place really is a birdwatcher's paradise. On a three-hour walk, during which we strayed no more than a few hundred metres from the lodgings, we have seen 34 different bird species, 22 of which are new to us on this trip.

Very satisfied, we return to the room for a few hours in the air conditioning before lunch. David is feeling only slightly better from his throat infection, and I still have the runs, so it is nice to chill for a bit.

Lunch
We make sure we go down to the restaurant as soon as the food is ready when they ring the bell at 11:30. I dislike buffets, and I dislike buffets that have been left out for an hour or two even more.

large_885f9950-1363-11ed-ae46-5d1e42db8366.jpg
Chicken stew, rice, and beans

large_8842e990-1363-11ed-bdbf-05d9f8a4ff8f.jpg
Caramelised payaya - very nice!

We have it on good authority that the large tree in the courtyard of the lodge attracts macaws most afternoons, so after a post-lunch siesta, I wander out there to see if I can spot any.

Hyacinth Macaw

large_91cb8dd0-13dd-11ed-af20-87b32c1bfbfd.jpg

This is the largest parrot in the world, and I hear them before I see them. They are loud, very active, and quite humorous to watch.

large_91fb9e80-13dd-11ed-94bb-3d013694eda4.jpg

They are not so easy to photograph, however, and for the best part of an hour, they play hide and seek with me.

large_91ef4270-13dd-11ed-bb94-e523cd4327d5.jpg

I swear they are laughing at me.

large_91f0f020-13dd-11ed-b0b3-c5907eb14298.jpg

Mind you, chasing them around the tree with a walking stick in one hand and a chair in the other must have looked quite amusing. My balance is pretty awful (David would say I am 'unstable'), hence the chair for when I want to look straight upwards holding a long lens up to my face.

large_91e97610-13dd-11ed-a486-2f8c766b4a69.jpg

Jeep Safari
Here at Araras, a number of activities are included in the package, such as trekking, climbing the observation tower, horseriding and canoeing. Obviously, I am unable to partake in any of those, so Roberto is taking us out on a Jeep Safari this afternoon.

large_670f78f0-13e1-11ed-b373-6fbba13fdfd0.jpg

The safari vehicles are converted pick-ups, where the tiered seating on the back can be removed if the Jeep is needed for something else, like transporting luggage.

large_67176830-13e1-11ed-977f-d72850b0c8d5.jpg

David sits on the back, while I sit inside the back seat – I choose the back rather than the front, as I then have unobstructed views out both sides.

large_66e115f0-13e1-11ed-b8d0-89c238810ac8.jpg

large_aabe9720-13e1-11ed-977f-d72850b0c8d5.jpg
Ringed Kingfisher

large_aada3570-13e1-11ed-b373-6fbba13fdfd0.jpg
Whistling Heron

large_aaf166f0-13e1-11ed-b8d0-89c238810ac8.jpg
Thrush-Like Wren

large_aafcffb0-13e1-11ed-977f-d72850b0c8d5.jpg
Purpleish Jay

large_ab3092d0-13e1-11ed-b8d0-89c238810ac8.jpg
Black Collared Hawk

large_abbb94c0-13e1-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg
Southern Lapwing

large_445d5f60-13e2-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg
Orange Backed Troupial

large_44944de0-13e2-11ed-b8d0-89c238810ac8.jpg
Great Black Hawk

large_44a95c80-13e2-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg
Green Ibis Eating a Frog

large_45189910-13e2-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg
Grey Necked Wood-Rail

large_7bd9a070-13e2-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg

Marsh Deer

large_7aa82550-13e2-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg

Before dinner, a group of guests have gathered around the camp fire, singing songs and playing the guitar.

large_7b8a47f0-13e2-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg

After the meal, David and I wander down to the boardwalk for some light painting.

large_7ab71970-13e2-11ed-b373-6fbba13fdfd0.jpg

large_e25325b0-13e2-11ed-a2e3-2d8da148b593.jpg

I also try my hand at some more astrophotography. I do think that I need heaps more practice!

large_a0dad2c0-13e4-11ed-9156-c3c683592316.jpg

Goodnight from Araras, and thank you to Undiscovered Destinations for arranging this trip.

large_d42f8a30-13e4-11ed-9156-c3c683592316.jpg

Posted by Grete Howard 22:46 Archived in Brazil Tagged birds wildlife safari hawk brazil lunch lizard birding brasil deer jay caiman woodpecker heron stork vulture ibis cardinal spoonbill blackbird kingfisher macaw pantanal astro bird_watching eco_lodge camp_fire milky_way jacana undiscovered_destinations lapwing astro_photography light_painting thrush after_dark wildlife_photography parakeets kiskadee araras jeep_safari hornero pousada_araras_eco_lodge tyrant cacique chachalote troupial wood_rail marsh_deer wild-birds wren galinule caramelised_papaya rice_and_beans Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]