Sunday, August 26, 2018

Brazil Day 7 - Baia das Pedras

Once again today the feathered alarm clocks went off before 5:30AM.  It's not the worst way to wake up in the world although Howler Monkeys or Gibbon alarm clocks are better in my opinion.  After another nice breakfast (with cake of course) we were ready for a 7:30AM game drive.

The weather was warmer than yesterday but Rita had blankets for the ladies and I wore an extra T-shirt.  There was a low mist in the morning but it cleared quickly so we had the sun to warm us up.

Baia das Pedras Pasture

Not long into the drive we saw something out in one of the fields by a small lake.  Once we stopped and got binoculars on it Stefan identified it as a Crab-eating Raccoon.  We saw one at night our last trip but Stefan says it's the first one he has ever seen in the day time.

Crab-eating Raccoon

It didn't pay any attention to us and just walked around in the shallow water using its hands to feel around for...well, I guess crabs.  We never did see it catch anything but after about 15 minutes we left it in peace.

The next sighting was of a Pampas Deer and fawn.  The fawn was super cute and still had lots of spots:

Pampas Deer with Fawn

Eventually, Mom gave it some unseen signal and the fawn wandered off into the bushes and sat down hiding while Mom continued to graze.

Pamas Deer Fawn Being Sent to the Trees

A bit later, Stefan spotted a Tinamou wandering in the grass which turned out to be a Red-winged Tinamou.  I have never seen a Tinamou so unafraid before.  Usually you just hear them or see a butt disappear into the jungle.  But, this one just walked around right in front of us.

Red-winged Tinamou

We also saw a small group of Collared Peccaries.  Even though we get these in our yard at home, they are always fun to see:
Collared Peccary

As we were passing by a lake, we spotted a South American Coati headed towards some ducks.  It wasn't actually trying to hunt them was it?

Coati Duck Hunting

Well, the ducks weren't sure either so they took off:
Yeah, THAT didn't work

South American Coati

This was already turning into an eventful game drive. But, we weren't done yet because the next thing we saw was this Six-banded Armadillo:
Six-banded Armadillo

It didn't quite know what to make of us but must have assumed we were Star Wars fans since it proceeded to do a great Yoda impression:
Inspiration for Yoda?

"Smelling humans I am...Yes"

On the game drive we also saw a Trogon (which I spotted while peeing.  Not sure why I shared that information, but it does point out you should always be looking), Gray Brocket Deer, some White-lipped Peccaries, and a few more Coati.  So, it was a great morning.

Since I don't tend to sit around on vacations I spent the time before and after lunch wandering around the grounds a bit.  In hindsight, I probably should have tucked my pants in my socks because I had quite a few ticks on me by the end of the day.

Anyway, the grounds were quite active since the temperatures were mild and the sun was out.

Here is a full shot of the Jabiru Nest and the tree on which it sits:
Jabiru Nest

Great Kiskadee (their calls were ever present at EVERY stop on the trip)
Great Kiskadee

Red-crested Cardinal:
Red-crested Cardinal

White Woodpeckers:
White Woodpecker Pair

White Woodpecker

The more I saw and heard the Blue-crowned Parakeets, the more I liked them.  Not only were they very social, they just talked all the time and it was closer to "cooing" than it was to "Squawking".

Blue-crowned Parakeets

The afternoon activity consisted of a boat trip on a nearby lake which started at 3:30PM.  It had warmed up quite a bit which made it a bit hot in the boats on the water.  We didn't see anything besides birds and our boatman wasn't that interested in getting close to shore.  So, we have some great shots of Bill, Peggy, and Stefan in their boat near shore, but not many other ones.

Neotropic Cormorant with an early dinner:
Cormorant with Lunch

Its buddies were quite jealous:
Neotropic Cormorants

I didn't know it yet, but I would grow to dislike these birds a bit later in the trip (Yup, that's foreshadowing folks).

The sunset at the end of the trip was the highlight though.  Unfortunately, I had my long lens with me and not a wide-angle so these shots are from my Sony point and shoot.  I think they came out pretty good.

Stefan, Bill, and Peggy coming to shore:
Paddlers at Dusk

Pantanal Sunset

Back at the lodge we enjoyed our nightly Caipirinhas and conversation.  Dinner was really good again and include some very tasty meatballs.  Since a few of us have the maturity of teenagers the theme of the conversation revolved around "balls".  Oddly enough, most of the other guests left after dinner while we continued talking. Go figure.

Since it was much warmer today, we booked the optional $R80 p/p night drive which went from 8:30 to about 10:00PM.  On the drive we saw another Crab-eating Raccoon, a Crab-eating Fox running in front of the truck, a Little Nightjar, a great look at a Scissor -tailed Nightjar flying, some Pampas Deer, and a Common Potoo.

Common Potoo

While it wasn't an incredible night drive, there is potential to see some rare mammals and birds at BdP so we had to give it a try.  The one thing to note is that the night drives are not private so you may end up sharing them with other people like we did.

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