Friday, June 23, 2017

A Night Walk at Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Full birding days on my WINGS tours don’t leave much time for blog posts, and yesterday was even longer than normal, as I offered an after-dinner night walk. We usually see something, and everyone usually really hopes for owls, but you never know what you’ll find at night. As it turned out, within about 15 minutes we were looking at a Crested Owl at the first spot we stopped at along the trail. It came into playback and perched high in a tree, not at all conducive to photos. But we saw other stuff. Almost back to the lodge, I spotted this ball of fluff on a sapling just off the trail. I couldn’t tell if it was feathers or fur, but the spherical shape indicated a sleeping bird.

My attempt to get closer woke it up, and out came a very, very long bill on a tiny bird: Long-billed Gnatwren. They live high in vine tangles during the day, and apparently sleep within a meter of the ground. We’ve heard a couple over the past days without seeing one.

Down at the river’s edge we found a Hypsiboas boans, Gladiator Tree Frog in the leaf litter after it had fallen out of a tree. It’s the largest tree frog here.

There were lots of interesting fish to look at in the shallows, but most fascinating was this Trechaleid spider feeding on a fish it had caught.


  1. Marvelous photos, Rich! Will your tour dip down into Mato Grosso do Sul at all? I'm flying into Campo Grande soon for three months in Pantanal and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the place.

    1. We're on the border now, the Rio Cuiabá at Porto Jofre, but we don't go any farther south than this. And I've never been to the southern Pantanal. You're so lucky to get to do that. You'll certainly have an amazing time, and I look forward to reading about it on your blog.