Friday 27 October 2023

Porto Jofre - jaguars - day 1/part 1

Without a doubt our main target for this trip was jaguar, and we were not be disappointed. All of our jaguar "hunting" was done by boat. Each day we had a morning and afternoon session out on the water, sometimes slowly cruising searching the river banks for any sign of a cat, and other times, when news was received of a sighting by radio, haring along at full pelt to try to get to the site before it disappeared.  

Each morning (for 5 days) we were up at 5am, breakfast at 5.30am, on the boat by 6am. Back on site around 11.30am, where we had a few hours to rest, swim and have lunch before back on the boat around 2,30pm until sunset. 

Pantanal friends (left to right): David, me, Donnie, Julia, Sergio, Iris, Brian & Chuck 

Day one, within an hour of being out on the water, news came over the radio of a sighting, and we were off! Around 20 minutes later we arrived in a small channel (Black Channel). Up in a tree, just 20-30 metres away was a beautiful jaguar.

Eventually she decided it was time for a change of scenery and she climbed down. We tracked her along the bank a short distance before she entered the water to swim across to the other bank.

Monday 23 October 2023

Pantanal, Brazil - birding from the bus

To get to our base in the northern Pantanal we had a long drive; 147k on a dirt track. Along the way we crossed 122 wooden bridges, some more rickety than others. The journey took around 5 hours with a few stops along the way to look at the birdlife inhabiting the many pools alongside the road. 

Maguari Stork

Southern Screamer

Vermillion Flycatcher 

Jaribu with chicks

Black-backed Water-Tyrant

White-headed Water Tyrant


Great Potoo - so much bigger than I expected it to be

Other birds seen on route: Greater Rhea, Muscovy Duck, Chaco Chacalaca, Bare Faced Curassow, Pale -vented Pigeon, Picazuro Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Smooth-billed Ani, Gray-cowled Wood-rail, Limpkin, Black-necked Stilt, Wattled Jacana, Solitary Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Tern, Large-billed Tern, Wood Stork, Neotropic Cormorant, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Striated Heron, Capped Heron, Black Crowned Night Heron, Green Ibis, Plumbeous Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Vulture, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Black-collared Hawk, Savannah Hawk, Great Black Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Crested Caracara, Yellow-chevroned Parakeet, Rufous Hornero, Cattle Tyrant, Great Kiskadee, Gray-breasted Martin, Red-crested Cardinal.   

We arrived at Port Jofre late afternoon with the sun fading. Just time to have a very quick look around before freshening up and heading over the restaurant for a welcome meeting, over dinner with the rest of the crew. 

The Pantanal, Brazil - Sao Paulo stop over and Parque Ibirapuera

Many months ago we hatched a plan to visit Brazil, and in particular, the Pantanal, with our good friends from the US, Chuck and Iris. Iris is originally from Rio, Brazil, so we couldn't have asked for better travelling companions.  

We flew overnight from Heathrow (11.5 hrs) to Sao Paulo. Chuck and Iris arrived a couple of hours later on a flight from New York. Iris had kindly sorted out accommodation for the night in a city centre hotel.  

After a power nap we headed to a city centre park called Parque Ibirapuera. It very much had the vibe of Central Park NYC or a central London park. We got the trip list off to a good start adding 30 birds: White Faced Whistling Duck, Brazilian Teal, Pied Billed Grebe, Feral Pigeon, Picazuro Pigeon, Eared Dove, Squirrel Cuckoo, Southern Lapwing, Neotropic Cormorant, Cocoi Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Striated Heron, Black Crowned Night Heron, Black Vulture, Turquoise-fronted Parrot, Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Rufous Hornero, Masked Water Tyrant, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Blue and White Swallow, House Wren, Pale Breasted Thrush, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Creamy-bellied Thrush, Red-crested Cardinal, Sayaca Tanager.

Later that evening we headed out for a traditional Brazilian meal in a lovely restaurant, with Iris' friend, Elaine, who lives in Sao Paulo and who also very kindly dropped us to the airport the following morning.