Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Brazil Day 3 - Bacury

Today we woke up before the alarm a little after 5AM.  I just wasn't tired enough to ignore the hard short bed I was sleeping in. We aren't used to firm beds but they are the norm in Brazil.  There was a Common Paraque outside our room calling as we were getting ready which is a nice way to ease into the day.  But, the coffee I had right after that was even a better way.

I have failed to mention the weather so far.  In a word, it was perfect.  The nights and mornings were cool and a bit windy. But, the days were clear and in the 70's.  It was hard to complain about that.

Today, we had a boat trip planned.  So, at 8:45AM we left for Tanqua which was a nearby town where we would jump on the boat.

On the way, one of the many resident Burrowing Owls was out:
Burrowing Owl

The boat trip can be summed up in two words..."birds" and "cows" because we saw lots of both.

Here are a few of the birds and cows that we saw:
Curious Cows

Cocoi Heron:
Cocoi Heron

White-backed Stilt:
White-backed Stilt

Fulvous Whistling Ducks:
Fulvous Whistling Ducks

It was interesting to see how high the water gets in the wet season.  Here you can see the shoreline and the dead debris from the last wet season:

River Bank

Bare-faced Ibis:
Bare-faced Ibis

One of these ducks doesn't belong:
One of These Doesn't Belong

Savanna Hawk:
Savanna hawk

All in all, it was a really nice boat trip and it was cool to see some water birds that we wouldn't have otherwise gotten a chance to see.

Once again, I took a mid-day stroll around the grounds of the Fazenda to see what was out.

Curl-crested Jay:
Curl-Crested Jay

We spent the whole afternoon in the forest and driving around some of the local roads. One of the cowboys (Luis) came with us to increase the number of eyes looking.  The goal was to find the Southern Muriqui and maybe even a Hoary Fox.  Interestingly enough, Luis has worked at the Fazenda for years and has only seen the Buffy-tufted Marmosets twice.  So, our sighting a few days back was truly a very lucky one.

Here is a look at the narrow road through the forest:
Bacury Atlantic Forest

Unfortunately, we struck out on the Southern Muriqui but did get brief looks at the Black-horned Capuchin.  So, we ended up seeing two really rare primates at Bacury and didn't see the one that is "common".  I guess that's a decent trade off.

As we drove around some of the roads, our guide heard a Helmeted Manakin so we got out and finally lured it into photo range:
Helmeted Manakin

Not far from this spot, Karen found a Puma track but there were no signs of the creature that left it.  There was a small pond nearby and Carlos was trying to call out a rail or crake of some kind.  But, the call was quite humurous to me with a low rumbling and then high pitched squeaks.   I commented that I thought it sounded like a flatulent dolphin.  I figured that would be an easy thing to spot...just search the water for a stream of bubbles...

Right at dusk, as we were approaching the Fazenda, Luis spotted some eye shine in one of the fields.  We stopped to take a look and it turned out to be a Hoary Fox.  We all got good looks but my only decent photo was taken at ISO 25,600 and is a really noisy.  But, my wife insists that I post it so she won't forget about the experience:

Dinner consisted of chicken tetrazzini and rice which was very good.  But, no one paid any attention to dinner because sitting in the middle of the table was...the dessert button.  Tonight, I believe it was Bill that had the honors and like clockwork the doors opened and out came some Apple Pie for dessert. It was going to be REALLY hard to leave Bacury.

Looking back, there are so many things to like about Fazenda Bacury.   The food was varied and every dish was superb.  Carlos Leoncio and his wife were delightful to talk with and were excellent hosts.  The grounds were large and filled with bird life.  And, of course, the Atlantic Forest was fantastic to hike and drive in.  We were a bit disappointed to not see the Southern Muriqui but seeing the Capuchin and Marmosets made up for that.

Regarding bugs, there were a few mosquitoes around dusk in the forest and lots around the marshes at mid-day.  We also did have a few tiny ticks on us (mostly me) so the normal bug prevention methods are recommended.

Overall, we had a great time at Bacury and would return in a minute if we ever go back to Brazil.  It would be worth it not only to try to see the Southern Muriqui but to also enjoy the fantastic food and to ring that dessert button one more time.

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