Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cristalino Departure – Loads of Lapwings and a Warm Pantanal Welcome

August 9, 2015

Alas, our day has come to depart my beloved Cristalino Jungle Lodge, much too soon. We did have some nice morning birding hours before our scheduled 10:00 a.m. departure. The most exiting few minutes was an enthusiastic mobbing response to my Amazonian Pygmy-Owl whistle and recording, which included this Amethyst Woodstar male.
Amethyst Woodstar

Our only Yellow-bellied Dacnis of the tour joined the mob.
Yellow-bellied Dacnis

And before we left, someone spotted this huge buprestid beetle high in one of the trees. My guess was that it was about 3 to 3.5 cm long (just over 2 inches).

On the wet sand by the boat were two eighty-eights in the same genus for good comparison: Diaethria candrena
Diaethria candrena

and Diaethria clymena.
Diaethria clymena

Here we are in the boat ready for departure.

Birding was largely over for the day, but we had to make a stop for this huge group of 78 Southern Lapwings in the ranchland on the way back to Alta Floresta. Apparently they will nest colonially in certain situations.

Later in the day, we flew to Cuiabá, greeted our driver José, and boarded the bus for the 3-hour drive to Pouso Alegre in the northern Pantanal. With a planned arrival right at dark, I decided we would not make any stops, despite the huge numbers of photogenic water birds and caiman along the roadside. Our timing was perfect: as José slowed down to make the turn into our lodge’s gate, a Giant Anteater crossed the Transpantaneira Highway right in front of the bus. What a nice welcome!

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