Recce for new birding excursion in Guanabara Bay

Spectacled Tyrant Hymenops perspicillatus (© Nicholas Locke)

REGUA is looking at offering a slightly different off-reserve excursion to its lodge visitors in the future. Specialities of another rare Atlantic Forest habitat – mangroves.

The mangroves at the back of the Guanabara Bay are quite inaccessible unless one organises a small boat to negotiate the straightened channels. Led by the birding twins, Daniel and Gabriel Mello, members of the Rio de Janeiro Bird Club (COA) converged on the quay at seven in the morning to board three boats and search for species known specifically from this habitat.

Along the way we soon found many common species including Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja, Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi, a lone Harris Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus, Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata, Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea and Snowy Egret Egretta thula. Alighting to explore some marshy areas, we soon found the target birds of the trip – Crested Doradito Pseudocolopteryx sclateri, Spectacled Tyrant Hymenops perspicillatus and Rusty-collared Seedeater Sporophila collaris.

Crested Doradito is a fairly widespread species but difficult to see as it is restricted to marshy inaccessible areas. Spectacled Tyrant is known mainly from the south of Brazil but migrates to Rio de Janeiro for the winter, so we were all very pleased to see it. Rusty-collared Seedeater is fairly widespread along the Atlantic Forest but is difficult to see at REGUA. The excellent views and interesting habitat make it an ideal trip for visitors and REGUA is excited to be able to offer this new trip in the near future.