September 27 to October 26, 2011
Tuesday, September 27
Wednesday, September 28
Fly from Houston Intercontinental Airport (9:00 PM) to São Paulo, Brazil.
Arrive São Paulo Airport (8:50 AM).
Fly from São Paulo to Iguaçu Falls (1:30 PM to 3:05 PM). Settle in at Hotel das Cataratas. Early arrivals bird hike to Devil's Throat overlook (4:00 to 6:30 PM). Dinner at hotel.
Iguaçu Falls Pre-Trip September 29 - October 1, 2011
The Hotel das Cataratas at Iguaçu Falls
Our room at the Hotel das Cataratas
Thursday, September 29
Late breakfast enjoyed outside by the pool. Second early arrivals bird hike to Devil's Throat overlook (8:30-10:30 AM). Brad and I birded hotel grounds. Lunch in room. Brad and I walked road to Devil's Throat overlook. Took elevator down to catwalk. Hiked back to hotel via canyon trail hugging the Brazilian side. Joined group bird hike to Devil's Throat (4:30 to 6:30 PM). Dinner at hotel.
Friday, September 30
Up at 3:30 AM, breakfast at 4:00 AM, depart for Iguaçu Falls National Park at 4:30 AM for predawn owling along Poço Preto Road. Bird this area (lots of wonderful birds!) until 6:00 PM. Dinner at hotel.
Saturday, October 1
Up at 3:30 AM, breakfast at 4:00 AM, depart for Iguaçu Falls National Park at 4:30 AM for predawn owling along Poço Preto Road. Mid-morning heavy rains. Managed some birding during lulls in the rain. Had catered lunch in covered garage area. Heavy mid-afternoon rains sent us back to hotel by 3:30 PM. Dinner at hotel.
Southeastern Brazil Part I: Coastal Paraná/Santa Catarina & Rio Grande do Sul October 2 - 12, 2011
Sunday, October 2
Up at 3:15 AM, breakfast at 4:00 AM, drive to airport at 6 AM. Fly from Iguaçu Falls to São Paulo (7:35 AM) and then on to Curitiba (11:25 AM to 12:30 PM). Lunch at Lonatto Churrascaria. Post lunch drive to Itapoá with a stop at Garuva from 4:00 to 5:30 PM for birding. Arrive very late at Pousada Vila da Glória in São Francisco do Sul, Santa Catarina, after getting lost en route. Dinner at hotel.
Monday, October 3
Up at 5 AM, breakfast at 5:30 AM, leave for day of birding at Reserva Volta Velha (located in Itapoã on the northern coast of Santa Catarina state). Arrive at 7:15 AM, lunch and siesta 12-3 PM, bird until 6 PM, return to Pousada Vila da Glória, dinner at 7:30 PM, owling on hotel grounds 9:30-10 PM.
Tuesday, October 4
Up at 4:30, luggage out by 5 AM, breakfast at 5 AM, leave at 6 AM for a day of birding at Reserva Volta Velha. Arrive at 7 AM and bird main clearing near dining hall until 9 AM because of threatening rain and heavy overcast conditions. Bird main forest trail until lunch at 12:30. Siesta and individual birding around dining hall until 2:30 PM. Leave Reserva Volta Velha. Bird along beach (Itapma du Norte) and mouth of Mirim-Guacú River. Drive to Curitiba with late afternoon and night birding until 8 PM at marsh just outside of Curitiba (Chara Familia Moro). Dinner at local churrascaria from 8:30-10 PM. Night at Tulip Inn São José dos Pinhais (Curitiba, Paraná).
Wednesday, October 5
Up at 5:30, breakfast at 6 AM. Leave at 6:55 AM for morning birding at Serra da Graciosa (the southern extension of the Serra do Mar at 3,000 feet in elevation) from 8 AM-1 PM. Lunch from 1:30-2:30 PM at Dona Siroba's in Morretes - Paraná. Drive to Pontal do Sul (Paraná) on coast where we took a boat to Superagui National Park. Birded near Pinheiro and Pecas Islands from 4-7 PM. Return to our hotel, the Tulip Inn São José dos Pinhais (Curitiba, Paraná), at 7 PM for late dinner 9:30-10:15 PM.
Thursday, October 6
Up at 5:30 AM, breakfast at 6 AM, leave for Guardião das Aguas (Boy Scout Camp marsh) at 6:45 AM and bird there from 8-11 AM. Bird in Bariguí Park until 12:30 PM. Lunch at a local churrascaria until 2:30 PM. Post-lunch birding at the Zoobotanical Park and along its entrance road until 5 PM. Dinner 6:30-8 PM and spend night at Tulip Inn São José dos Pinhais (Curitiba, Paraná).
Friday, October 7
Slept in until 6:30 AM, breakfast at 7:00, 8 AM departure from Curitiba to Porto Alegre (flight delayed 90 minutes). Lunch at Schneider's Churrascaria in Porto Alegre.
Drive to Hotel Veraneio Hampel in São Francisco de Paula, Rio Grande do Sul. Arrive at 4:30 PM. Bird from 5 to 6 PM on hotel grounds. 7:30 dinner at hotel.
Our room at the Hotel Veraneio Hampel
Our balcony at the Hotel Veraneio Hampel
Outside the dinning room at the Hotel Veraneio Hampel
Saturday, October 8
Up at 4:30 AM, breakfast at 5 AM. Leave for nearby Colinhas de São Francisco. Bird escarpment there from 6 to 11:30 AM. Heavy rain sent us back to Hampel for lunch and a siesta until 3 PM (Brad and I birded off the second floor porch). Afternoon birding along RS235 along the road to Canela for approximately 10 kilometers. Major birding stops at kilometer 68 and kilometer 65. Rain drove us back to Hampel at 5 PM. Dinner at 7:30 PM at hotel.
Sunday, October 9
Up at 5 AM, breakfast at 5:30 AM, depart at 6:15. Take RS020 to Tainhas. Stop at Ponte Rio do Pinto at kilometer 98.5, then kilometer 104, and kilometer 107 to bird. At 1020 start making our way to Cambará do Sul and Aparados da Serra National Park. Walk to Itaimbezingo Canyon viewpoints. Picnic lunch followed by birding around picnic tables and Visitor's Center. At 3:30 PM leave park and bird 1 kilometer stretch of forest 8-9 kilometers north of Cambará do Sul until 5 PM. Drive back to Hampel amid heavy thunder storms. Arrive at 6:30 PM. Dinner at 7:30 PM.
Monday, October 10
Up at 5 AM, breakfast at 5:30 AM, depart at 6:15 for nearby Colinhas de São Francisco. Bird escarpment until 10:30 AM. Bird grounds at Hampel for remainder of morning (intermittent fog and rain). 12:30 lunch at Hampel followed by a siesta until 3 PM. Late afternoon birding on hotel grounds. Dinner at 7:30.
The grounds at the Hotel Veraneio Hampel
Tuesday, October 11
Up at 6:30 AM, breakfast at 7 AM. Leave hotel at 8:30 AM. Arrive at airport at 11 AM for flight from Porto Alegre to Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo (1:02 PM to 2:35 PM). End of Part I and the beginning of Part II. Drive to Parque Estadual Intervales (situated on a 3,300 foot high escarpment in the Serra do Mar that parallels the Atlantic coast of SE Brazil). Lead van driver got us lost in São Paulo which delayed our arrival at Intervales until 9 PM. Eat, and get to bed by 10:30 PM in our room at Pousada do Esquilo.
Southeastern Brazil Part II: Heart of the Atlantic Forest & The Serra do Mar October 11 - 25, 2011
Wednesday, October 12
Parque Estadual Intervales.
Up at 4:30 AM, breakfast at 5:00 AM. Begin birding at 5:55 AM around the main clearing and later at the Sede de Pesquizas clearing around the research station. Intermittent heavy rains kept us close to shelter. Lunch at 12:30 PM followed by a siesta until 3:00 PM. Afternoon birding along the Mirante das Antas trail with a last stop at Sede de Pesquizas looking for the Long-trained Nightjar (unsuccessful). Dinner at 7:30 PM followed by bed at 9:30 PM. (Note: all meals eaten at Intervales main dining hall.)
Thursday, October 13
Parque Estadual Intervales. Up at 4:30 AM, breakfast at 5:00 AM. Because of heavy rain and rain delayed birding , Brad and I went back to bed until 7:30 AM. Morning birding from Pousada Pica Pau covered balcony and along the road below. Lunch followed by a siesta from 12:30-2:30 PM. Afternoon trip to Plovercrest lek and birding along the adjacent trail. Another dusk vigil waiting for the Long-trained Nightjar (again unsuccessful) near Sede de Pesquizas clearing. Dinner at 7:30 PM followed by bed at 9:30 PM.
Friday, October 14
Parque Estadual Intervales. Up at 4:30 AM, breakfast at 5:00 AM. Depart 5:45 AM for Sede de Pesquizas and Estrada de Carmo. Approximately 2 Km into the hike, heavy rain forced us to turn back (Helmeted Woodpecker-unsuccessful). Break to dry off and change from 10:30AM until lunch at 12:30 PM. Lunch followed by a siesta until 2:30 PM. Afternoon birding along Carmo Road. Dinner at 7:30 PM followed by owling (Variable Screech Owl, Common Potoo and Stygian Owl-successful). Bed at 10:00 PM.
Saturday, October 15
Up at 4:45 AM, breakfast at 6:00 AM. Depart Parque Estadual Intervales 7:00 AM for long (rainy) drive to São Paulo and finally to our destination at Ubatuba. Rest stops, snack stops and a lunch stop helped to break up this long drive. Targeted birding stop at marsh in Biritiba-Mirim area for the São Paulo Antwen (successful for both male and female). Arrive at our inn, Pousada Recanto das Palmeiras, at 6:00 PM.
Hotel Recanto Das Palmeiras - our room
Hotel Recanto Das Palmeiras - Grounds
Go over birds at 7:00 PM. Dinner at a local Churrascaria at 8:30 PM. Bed at 10:00 PM.
Sunday, October 16
Ubatuba. Up at 5:30 AM, breakfast at 6:00 AM at Pousada Recanto das Palmeiras. Depart 6:45 AM for rainforest at Fazenda Angelim. Arrive at 7:15 AM and spend morning birding trails there. Lunch 1:00-2:00 PM. in Ubatuba at Restaurante Refúgio da Louca, a kilo restaurant.
Restaurante Refúgio da Louca
Siesta until 3:30 PM followed by birding along the Folha Seca Road. Stopped at Jonas d’Abronzo's house and birded from his covered porch until 7:15 PM. Enjoyed pizza for dinner, 9:00 PM in Ubatuba. Bed 10:30 PM.
Monday, October 17
Up at 5:30 AM, breakfast at 6:00 AM at Pousada Recanto das Palmeiras in Ubatuba. Depart 6:45 AM for hike along Folha Seca Road. Fog and rain.
Folha Seca Road
Brad and I decided to remain on the bus. Birded open area near bus and along the road when rain slowed. Lunch 12:30-1:30 PM. in Ubatuba at Restaurante Refúgio da Louca, a kilo restaurant. Drove to Pereque via BR101 with a stop at Parati en route to look for shore birds. Stopped at our hotel, the Hotel do Bosque, an eco resort (located at - Rodovia Mário Covas, Km 533 (antiga Rio-Santos) - Mambucaba - Angra dos Reis - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil) at 4:30.
Hotel do Bosque - our room
Hotel do Bosque - Grounds
Hotel do Bosque - Entry
Spent from 5:30-6:30 looking for the antwren (Brazilian endemic Black-hooded Antwren, saw both male and female) in the pouring rain. Had to drive over a flooded bridge to get to/from our birding destination in the Pereque lowlands in Brazil's Mambucaba Valley. Dinner at hotel at 8:00. Bed at 10:00.
Tuesday, October 18
Pereque-Brazil's Mambucaba Valley. Up at 5:30 AM, breakfast at 6:00 AM at Hotel do Bosque. Depart 7:00 AM for hike in same area as last night (Pereque lowlands in Brazil's Mambucaba Valley). 12:00 PM check out of our hotel. Lunch 1:00-2:00 PM. in Pereque at Restaurante Delicias do Norte, a kilo restaurant in Pereque.
Restaurante Delicias do Norte
Four hour drive to Itatiaia National Park (via BR101 to Angras dos Reis and then to BR155 to the Dutra or BR116) with stops along the Atlantic coast to appreciate the beautiful scenery of the ocean and the Serra do Mar coastal forests (2:00-2:30).
Bird marshy area below Itatiaia National Park 5:00 PM - 5:30. Arrive at Hotel do Ype at 6:00 PM.
Hotel do Ype - our cabana
Bird from restaurant's back balcony until 7:00. Settle in to our chalet. Dinner at hotel at 8:00. Bed at 10:00.
Wednesday, October 19
Itatiaia National Park.
Up at 4:30 AM, breakfast at 5:00 AM at Hotel do Ype restaurant. All meals at Itatiaia were buffet style. Depart 5:45 AM for Agulhas Negras Road. Arrive at lower level of road at 7:30 AM and birded to a maximum elevation of 2,150 meters
Scenery from Agulhas Negras Road
where we had a picnic lunch around 1:00 PM with no real break. Continue birding along same road until 5:00 PM. Return to Itatiaia and our chalet, Cabana Icarai, at 7:00 PM. Bird list at 7:30 PM followed by dinner. In chalet at 9:00 PM. Enjoyed a roaring fire in our fireplace. Bed at 10:00 PM.
Thursday, October 20
Itatiaia National Park. Up at 6:00 AM, breakfast at 6:30 AM at Hotel do Ype restaurant. Bird hotel grounds including deck area off restaurant and forested area below the pool until 8:30 AM. Drive to Hotel Simon and bird nearby Tres Picos Trail until 12:30 PM.
Waterfall near Hotel Simon
Return to Hotel do Ype for lunch 1:00 PM. Bird from rear balcony off restaurant and pool deck area until 2:30. Short siesta until 3:30. Return to Hotel Simon area and nearby trail to look for Atlantic Royal Flycatcher (unsuccessful). From 4:30-7:00 PM bird pasture lands and marshy areas below park. Return to Hotel do Ype at 7:45 PM. Brad and I ate dinner at 8:00 PM and did bird list with group after that. Bed at 10:00 PM. Enjoyed another roaring fire in our fireplace.
Friday, October 21
Itatiaia National Park. Up at 5:00 AM, breakfast at 5:30 AM at Hotel do Ype restaurant. Depart at 6:15 AM for Hotel Simon area and nearby trail for second attempt at finding the Atlantic Royal Flycatcher (successful at 7:55 AM). Bird Tres Picos Trail until 11:00 AM. Return to hotel to pack. Lunch at 12:00 PM. Leave at 1:00 PM to drive to REGUA. Stop to bird at Agulhas Negras military area at 2:00 PM to look for Half-collared Sparrow (Successful). Stop along Rio Alambari to bird. Late afternoon snack stop at Mamaó. Arrive at Guapi Assu Bird Lodge near Nova Friburgo (Rio de Janeiro) at 8:00 PM.
Guapi Assu Bird Lodge
Guapi Assu Bird Lodge - our room
Dinner 8:30 and bed by 10:00 PM.
Saturday, October 22
REGUA (Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu). Up at 5:30 AM, breakfast at 6:00 AM. All meals at Guapi Assu Bird Lodge were buffet style. Depart at 6:45 AM for hike on Green and Red Trails (Cotinga Trail). Transportation was provided for the first kilometer of the trail where the road was drivable.
Cotinga Trail - Transportation for first kilometer
Rest of the hike was all up hill. Target bird was the Shrike-like Cotinga (Elegant Mourner) which we saw at 10:51 AM. Return to Guapi Assu Bird Lodge at 1:30 PM followed by lunch. Went over bird list at 2:30 PM on covered porch. Birded from porch and feeder area for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner at 6:30 PM, bed at 10:00 PM. Did not go on post dinner snipe and owling outing lasting until 9:00 PM.
Sunday, October 23
REGUA. Up at 5:00 AM, breakfast at 5:30 AM. Leave at 6:15 AM to bird along wetlands loop until 9:00 AM. At 9:20 AM drive to Nova Friburgo and on to Sumidouro. Rest stop and coffee break in Sumidouro. Bird from 12:15 PM until 2:30 PM.
Picnic lunch while birding.
Had good looks at our targeted bird, the Three-toed Jacamar. Return to REGUA via Teresopolis and a scenic drive through Serra das Orgãos National Park. Dinner at 8:00 PM followed by owling around REGUA from 9:00 PM until 12:00 PM. Bed at 12:30 AM.
Monday, October 24
REGUA. Up at 5:15 AM, breakfast at 5:45 AM. Depart REGUA at 6:35 AM for primate sightings (8:30-9:40 AM) of Golden Lion Tamarins located in a privately owned forest. On way there stop at Sabor Rural at 8:00 AM for a snack.
Wonderful looks at a troop of eleven tamarins. Attend a 10:30 AM presentation at the Golden Lion Tamarin Reserve (Poço das Antas Biological Reserve) to glean information about ongoing conservation efforts to save this primate in Brazil.
Lunch (and Joanne) at Sabor Rural around noon
before heading to Praia Seca and a stop among some windswept restinga scrub to look for the endemic Restinga Antwren (successful). Drive to Rio de Janeiro and our beachside hotel, the Leme Othon Palace, on the Copacobana Beach. Arrive at 5:00 PM. Do bird list at hotel 6:00 PM followed by farewell dinner at Marius Crustaceos Churrascaria.
Marius Crustaceos Churrascaria
Pack and bed by 11:00 PM.
Tuesday, October 25
Hotel Leme Othon Palace, Rio de Janeiro. Breakfast at hotel at 7:00 AM followed by tour of Rio and a trip to Cristo Redentor with our guide, Ricardo.
Tijuca National Park and Ipanema Beach were also included on this tour.
Return to hotel around noon. After lunch, Brad and I walked along Copacabana Beach. 3:30 PM head to airport. Fly from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Houston Intercontinental Airport (depart at 9:55 PM).
Wednesday, October 26
Arrive Houston Intercontinental Airport (5:15 AM)