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. Also please bring your passport with you on this excursion.
Useful info: Transport is via air-conditioned minibus. A packed lunch is included in the excursion price. We also allow for an optional stop at a cafe in Cabo Frio for refreshments.
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. The 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.

On this excursion we visit an area of restinga near the town of Cabo Frio, as well as stopping at lagoons and salt pans nearby for a variety of shorebirds, wildfowl and marshland species. The restinga is the only habitat in which Restinga Antwren is found and this species is our main target. During the austral winter months we might even be fortunate enough to find a Magellanic Penguin offshore!

Target species:

Restinga Antwren
White-cheeked Pintail
Magellanic Penguin (seasonal)
Pinnated Bittern
Roseate Spoonbill
Hook-billed Kite
Snail Kite
Mangrove Rail
American Oystercatcher
White-backed Stilt
Grey-hooded Gull
Cabot’s (Cayenne) Tern
Plain-breasted Ground-Dove
Minute Hermit
White-tailed Goldenthroat
Rusty-backed Antwren
Wren-like Rushbird
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant
Mouse-coloured Tyrannulet
Crested Doradito
Unicolored Blackbird
Black-backed Tanager
Bicoloured Conebill
Rusty-collared Seedeater
Copper Seedeater

Other species often seen include:

Magnificent Frigatebird
Brown Booby
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Little Blue Heron
Semi-palmated Plover
Collared Plover
Black-bellied (Grey) Plover
Hudsonian Godwit
(American) Whimbrel
Eurasian Whimbrel
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Yellow-billed Tern
South American Tern
Royal Tern
Sooretama Slaty Antshrike
Hangnest Tody-Tyrant
Tropical Mockingbird

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)
Roseate Spoonbill – small numbers are usually present on salt pans near Cabo Frio (© Sam Woods)
Little Blue Heron (© Lee Dingain)