Brazil Travel Diary - p 5 of
9 Sept 2012
I really enjoyed setting up the camera with
flash unit near Santa Tereza's hummingbird feeder. Birds landed on a shady limb and
then drank from the feeder. In the shade of the terrace, I sat in a comfortable
chair and got photos of some colorful birds like this Troupial Oriole.
|This afternoon we left
the Fazenda and drove back toward Pousada Piuval. We will end our trip to the
Pantanal where it began.
Along the Transpantaneira was a stretch of wetlands, rife with birds
and caimans, or jacare in Portuguese. We had Green and Plumbous Ibis, Snowy
and Great Egrets, Rufescent Tiger-Herons, Savanna Hawk, and even a passing White
Cocoi Heron is the most abundant heron in the Pantanal. In this
photo, the Cocoi is too big in the frame, and the background is busy. But I liked
the shot of it with a big fish it had just caught and soon managed to swallow.
This Capped Heron had a punk look as it
fluffed its feathers.
|10 Sept 2012
On our last day in the Pantanal, we set out in
the morning with Jean, guide and driver of our pickup truck. He asks us what we
especially want to see. Coatis, we reply, and a Whistling Heron too. Ten
minutes later, there they are, as if on cue. On our right is a family of half a
dozen coatis messing around near a forested area to which they soon retreated.
And on the left, two handsome Whistling Herons, whose ecological niche seems
to be wet grasslands, not bodies of water.
|Jean then leads us to a tree
containing a Hyacinth Macaw nest hole, one of two active nests near the pousada.
Then he shows us a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. Although detested by all songbirds, the
owl was quite good-natured about posing for a shot or two.
|The Pantanal has lots of noisy
birds. One, a sort of oversized duck, is aptly called the Southern Screamer.
Then you have those Rufous Horneros around the lodges who squawk from dawn to dusk.
The last bird photographed was also making a racket. This calling
Red-ledgged Sereima's claim to fame is that it is one of two surviving member of
phorusrhacids, the so-called "terror birds." These carnivorous flightless
birds were among the dominant predators in South America during the Miocene period.
visited the Pantanal 20 years ago, before it was on the birders' & ecotourists' radar.
Now it has become "Africanized." Just as in Africa, the Pantanal has
numerous ecolodges whose clients are mostly participants in birding and wildlife tours.
But that is good. The $$ we ecotourists put into the local economy
helps insure the survival of Hycinth Macaws, jaguars, and even those otters. All
seem now more plentiful than ever.