Pantanal 2018 - To the Paraguay River and (almost) Bolivia

Oct 25

This morning we would continue towards the west and then turn north onto the Paraguay River. The scenery really began to change here. Accustomed to a very flat landscape, hills and mountains were now visible to the west.

Sergio spotted a LEAST BITTERN peeking up through the tops of marshy riverside vegetation. Raptors really took to the air mid-morning, and glancing upward paid off in the form of a dark morph adult WHITE-TAILED HAWK. Had never before seen a dark morph before!

Least Bittern

White-tailed Hawk (dark morph adult)

immature Rufescent Tiger-Heron

Bare-faced Curassow

Wattled Jacana on giant lily pad

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks

Hyacinth Macaws

Straight-billed Woodcreeper

Brown-crested Flycatcher

Later that afternoon we would set foot on land for the first time in a while, at the Acurizal Reserve on the west bank of the Paraguay River. Safe from jaguars here, we could actually walk around a bit. The forest here was a bit quiet, but we did manage fine views of a GUIRA TANAGER.

Oct 26

We returned to Acurizal in the morning for a walk and tractor ride around the grounds. The bird of the morning was certainly the BOLIVIAN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE that spent several minutes singing off-trail. We did manage a few brief views. This is about as far east as this species gets.

Bolivian Slaty-Antshrike
After our walk, we continued north up the Paraguay River to Lagoa Gaiva, which lies partly in Brazil and partly in Bolivia. We motored right up to the marker, where an Osprey was guarding the border.

This was as far northwest as we would get. It was time for us to turn around and head back in the direction of Porto Jofre. As we cruised back down the Paraguay we noted two migratory flocks of SNAIL KITES, one 155 birds and the other 110. These birds keep very tight kettles in migration, which was a first for me to witness.

migrating Snail Kites

Later that day we returned to the stellar oxbow with all the terns that we had seen a couple days prior. This time we had more light to enjoy the show.

Large-billed Tern

juv Large-billed Tern

Large-billed Tern

Large-billed Tern

Southern Screamer

Roseate Spoonbill

Oct 27 (AM)

This morning's wildlife cruise took us almost all the way back to Porto Jofre. A flyby BICOLORED HAWK was a nice surprise, as was a flock of 21 MISSISSIPPI KITES. The status of MIKI in the Pantanal has apparently only been clarified in recent years, as difficulty in separating from the resident Plumbeous Kites kept the MIKIs hidden in plain sight for a long time.

Mississippi Kites

The Negrinho tributary was again productive.

Amazon Kingfisher

Green Ibis

Cocoi Heron

Rufescent Tiger-Heron

Black-and-Gold Howler Monkey

Hooded Capuchin

Amazon Kingfisher

Toco Toucan


We would return to the heart of Jaguar country for the afternoon...

 - NB


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