February sightings

The peak period for visiting birders at REGUA is between August to November. This is generally considered the best time of year for sightings, because most birds are either busy feeding young or singing to attract a mate and so are more vocal and easier to find. But the quality of the birds seen last month (which include yet another new species for the reserve) just goes to show that the birding here can be excellent any any time of the year. Highlights around the reserve include:

Elfin Forest Trail: Adilei and Leonardo found some real rarities on this trail last month, including Brown-backed Parrotlet and White-bearded Antshrike. Other highlights were Dusky-legged Guan, Black Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Plumbeous Pigeon, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Tawny-browed Owl, Least Pygmy-Owl, Dusky-throated Hermit, Brazilian Ruby, Buff-bellied Puffbird, Spot-backed Antshrike, Giant Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, Salvadori’s Antwren, Ochre-rumped Antbird, White-bibbed Antbird, Rufous Gnateater, Spotted Bamboowren, Slaty Bristlefront, Such’s Antthrush, Scaled Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Pallid Spinetail, White-browed Foliage-gleaner, Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Pale-browed Treehunter, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Oustalet’s Tyrannulet, Large-headed Flatbill, Brown Tanager, Uniform Finch, Buffy-fronted Seedeater, Black-throated Grosbeak and Green-chinned Euphonia.

Grey Trail: A Russet-winged Spadebill has been showing well and Black-throated Trogon, Spot-billed Toucanet, Salvadori’s Antwren, Unicoloured Antwren, Scaled Antbird, White-bibbed Antbird and Yellow-green Grosbeak have also been seen.

Russet-winged Spadebill <em>Platyrinchus leucoryphus</em> (&copy; Adilei Carvalho da Cunha)
Russet-winged Spadebill Platyrinchus leucoryphus (© Adilei Carvalho da Cunha)

Waterfall Trail: Spot-winged Wood-Quail, White-necked Hawk, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Pileated Parrot, Saw-billed Hermit, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Spot-billed Toucanet, Spot-breasted Antvireo, Unicoloured Antwren, Black-cheeked Gnateater, White-throated Woodcreeper, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Southern Antpipit, Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant, Grey-hooded Attila, Pin-tailed Manakin and Yellow-green Grosbeak.

Wetland and adjacent forest trails: The pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks that turned up last November have now bred producing 8 young! Lets hope this is the start of a small range expansion for this species at REGUA. If this wasn’t exciting enough, on the 26th the lodge garden produced the first new bird for the reserve of the new decade – Yellow-billed Cuckoo! Found by Edson Endrigo, at least two birds were seen feeding alongside the closely related Dark-billed Cuckoo (bottom photo below) in a tree that had an infestation of catapillars. Nearby a third species of coccyzus cuckoo, Pearly-breasted Cuckoo, was also seen! Other birds logged around the wetland include Tataupa Tinamou, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Crane Hawk, Limpkin, Russet-crowned Crake, Rufous-sided Crake, Blackish Rail, Solitary Sandpiper, Tropical Screech-Owl, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Long-billed Wren, Black-capped Donacobius, Black-legged Dacnis, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Lined Seedeater and Red-cowled Cardinal.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo <em>Coccyzus americanus</em> (&copy; Edson Endrigo)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus (© Edson Endrigo)
Dark-billed Cuckoo <em>Coccyzus melacoryphus</em> (&copy; Adilei Carvalho da Cunha)
Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus (© Adilei Carvalho da Cunha)

Cabo Frio: Excellent views of the critically endangered Restinga Antwren, along with Brown Booby, Little Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Collared Plover, American Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, Grey-hooded Gull, South American Tern, Minute Hermit, Sooretama Slaty Antshrike, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, Hangnest Tody-Tyrant and Lemon-chested Greenlet.

Macaé de Cima: Plovercrest, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Bertonis Antbird, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Pallid Spinetail, White-browed Foliage-gleaner, Buff-browed Foliage-gleaner, Pale-browed Treehunter, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Grey-capped Tyrannulet, Hooded Berryeater, Black-and-gold Cotinga, Sharpbill, Serra do Mar Tyrant-Manakin, Pin-tailed Manakin, Bay-chested Warbling-Finch, Crested Oropendola and Green-chinned Euphonia.

Serra dos Órgãos National Park: Brown Tinamou, Dusky-legged Guan, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Plumbeous Pigeon, Pileated Parrot, Mottled Owl (photo below), Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Giant Antshrike, Tufted Antshrike, White-bibbed Antbird, Rufous-tailed Antthrush, Rufous-breasted Leaftosser, Black-billed Scythebill, Pallid Spinetail, Hooded Berryeater, Pin-tailed Manakin, Sharpbill, Buffy-fronted Seedeater and Half-collared Sparrow.

Mottled Owl <em>Strix virgata</em> (&copy; Leonardo Pimentel)
Mottled Owl Strix virgata (© Leonardo Pimentel)