Back from Brazil

It’s been almost exactly a month since my last post due to my being gone for nearly 3 weeks on a fabulous trip to the State of Mato Grosso in Brazil, and busy for the last week culling through the more than 1800 pictures that ended up coming home with me.   During the trip, I first spent a couple of days in Cuiaba waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, after which we departed for the Pantanal, a huge wetland area that is seasonally flooded.

While a couple of us had a few days to spend before the trip started in earnest, the large Maes Bonifacio park in Cuiaba gave a couple of us an introduction to what was to come , with jacamars, trogons, ibis, and quite a few other birds, and trees in some areas where the marmosets were as abundant as squirrels back home.

Marmoset

Marmoset

This next picture is the Rufous-tailed Jacamar that we’d see again several times, but never this close and in such good light.

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

After about 5 days in the Pantanal, we flew to Alta Floresta for almost a week at Cristalino Lodge in Amazonian forest, and then wrapped up the trip with a few days in a completely different habitat up on the mesas at Chapada dos Guimaraes near Cuiaba.

Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth macaws were one of the special birds in the Pantanal, and we got to see them both in the wild and a small group that nested near one of the lodges we stayed in.  The large numbers of caiman (is ‘caimen’ the plural of ‘caiman’?) about were quite surprising, but seemed to spend most of their time dozing.

Caiman

Caiman

I really liked the way this picture of a Great Egret turned out,

Great Egret

Great Egret

and got a several good pictures of some goofy Chestnut-eared Aricaris that stopped by one morning.

Chestnut-eared Aricari

Chestnut-eared Aricari

In addition to the birds (and caiman), we also got to spend some time with 3 kinds of monkeys, lots of different toads in the Pantanal, and plenty of capybara.  There was one sighting of a crab-eating fox one night, tracks of an ocelet or other big cat, several otters, and more.

Toad

Toad

Capybara

Capybara

In Cristalino, things got kicked up a notch, not just with more otters, iguanas, caiman, and a great variety of birds including several more macaw species, but the butterflies were just extraordinary.  How we ever spotted this clearwing is a mystery, its cellophane-like wings camouflaged against the jungle floor.

Clearwing

Clearwing

Several species of ‘eighty-eights’ were also flitting about, bright red-orange on the upper wings hidden when they rested.

Eighty-eight

Eighty-eight

With nowhere near enough time in a week to fully explore the Cristalino area, it was time to move on to the Chapada, our third type of environment.  Hot and dry, the Chapada is a series of large mesas that rise above the otherwise flat terrain, and hosted a number of different birds.  Our lodging at Pousada do Parque was the most enjoyable of all the places we stayed, with great food and comfortable accommodations.  A highlight for me was a morning spent photographing hummingbirds feeding on a red penstemon-like bush that was lit just perfectly.

White-vented Violetear

White-vented Violetear

I’ve posted a lot more of my pictures at sandianet.com/brazil for anybody who might be interested.

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About joeschelling

Birding, butterflies, nature photography, and travel blog from right here in Albuquerque New Mexico.
This entry was posted in Birding, Butterfly, Critters, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Back from Brazil

  1. Rebecca Gracey says:

    What a marvelous trip you had; interesting mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, colorful birds, and gorgeous butterflies. Your pictures present a idea of what the experience was like.

  2. jlorman says:

    Photos of macaw and caimans are wonderful! Sounds like a great trip!

    John Orman

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