Cabo Frio

Habitats: Restinga, salt pans, coast
Duration: Full day, return for dinner
Departure: 05:30
Journey time: 3 hours each way
What to take: Binoculars, telescope (if you have one), camera, sunscreen, hat, plenty of water, sturdy walking boots, a waterproof jacket (just in case). A light fleece can be useful in the early morning between May to August.
Useful info: Transport is via air-conditioned minibus. Please bring your passport with you on this excursion. We have an optional stop at a cafe in Cabo Frio for refreshments, however, a packed lunch is included in the excursion price.
Price: US$110 per person

A full day excursion to the coastal restinga for the endemic Restinga Antwren and other specialities of this threatened habitat.

Restinga is a vegetation type unique to the Atlantic Forest grows on sandy soils and consists of cactii, ferns, small palms, bromeliads and scrub, as well as some taller forest further inland.

Restinga has a tiny distribution along the coast of south-east Brazil, and as with other Atlantic Forest habitats has been dramatically reduced, with only about 10% of the original area remaining. Urban development, particularly for holiday homes, is a serious threat to the survival of this special habitat.

Restinga is the only habitat in which Restinga Antwren is found. The species restricted range and the continued loss of its habitat mean it is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

On this excursion we visit an area of restinga near the town of Cabo Frio, as well as lagoons and salt pans nearby for a variety of shorebirds, wildfowl and marshland species. During the austral winter months we might even be fortunate enough to find a Magellanic penguin offshore.

Target species:

White-cheeked Pintail
Brown Booby
Magnificent Frigatebird
Little Blue Heron
Roseate Spoonbill
American Oystercatcher
Collared Plover
Semi-palmated Plover
Black-necked Stilt
Hudsonian Whimbrel
Hudsonian Godwit
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Least Sandpiper
South American Tern
Royal Tern
Yellow-billed Tern
Cayenne Tern
Grey-hooded Gull
Hook-billed Kite
Plain-breasted Ground-Dove
Minute Hermit
Sooretama Slaty Antshrike
Restinga Antwren
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant
Hangnest Tody-Tyrant
Tropical Mockingbird
White-browed Blackbird

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The scenic Atlantic coastline at Cabo Frio (© Rachel Walls)
Restinga Antwren - restricted to a narrow strip of Atlantic Forest habitat in south-east Brazil (© Leonardo Pimentel)
Restinga Antwren – restricted to a narrow strip of Atlantic Forest habitat in south-east Brazil (© Leonardo Pimentel)
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Roseate Spoonbill – small numbers are usually present on salt pans near Cabo Frio (© Sam Woods)
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Little Blue Heron (© Lee Dingain)