with Brett Whitney & Marcelo Pena Padua
of Field Guides, Inc.

and a special thank you to the
excellent crew of the Irecema

September 14-27, 2013

Narration by Martin Selzer - photos by Martin Selzer & Lynn C. Jackson

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September 13, 2013
... a travel day from Philadelphia to Manaus – Our flights today were all on American Airlines. The first was a 12:15 departure from Philadelphia to Miami scheduled to arrive at 15:00 with a connecting flight to Manaus at 17:20. This flight would get us into Manaus at 22:35. Both flights were more or less on time. Six other people on the tour were on the flight out of Miami so once we all cleared immigration/customs and gathered our bags we found our ride and were taken to the Park Suites Hotel which would be our home for the next 3 nights. There we met Marcelo who was waiting for us in the lobby and he helped us all check in. We planned to meet for breakfast and a morning of birding around the hotel. Night at the Park Suites Hotel, Manaus.

View of the Rio Negro from the hotel - lcj

September 14, 2013: Manaus -

We met at 7AM for breakfast and then walked the grounds of the hotel complex which consisted of the Park Suites and the Tropical Hotel from approximately 8AM-10AM. The hotels are right along the Rio Negro and are surrounded by a small patch of forest. It made for a nice way to stretch our legs after a long day of traveling as well as a start to seeing some birds and mammals. Actually, two of the first things we found on the walk were pleasant surprises that weren’t even birds: one was a Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth and the other was a group of Brazilian Bare-Faced Tamarins. These tamarins are extremely range limited to the Manaus region and are being squeezed out by Golden-handed Tamarins which we would see subsequently at Camp 41.

Bare-faced Tamarin - lcj

Birds of note seen this morning were Green-backed Trogon, White-eyed Parakeet, White-winged Parakeet, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Rusty-margined Flycatcher (they are not so rusty margined here in Manaus), Gray-breasted and Brown-chested Martins, Orange-fronted Yellow-finch, Chestnut-bellied Seedeater and the big three Tanagers (Palm, Blue-Gray and Silver-beaked).

White-eyed Parakeet- lcj

Orange-fronted Yellow-finch- lcj

Green-backed Trogon - lcj

Lunch was at noon at the hotel and we took it easy during the heat of the day before taking another walk around the grounds from 16:00-17:30. We really didn’t find much new on this walk. We met in the lounge to go over the day’s checklist and our first round of caipirinhas before dinner. Night at the Park Suites Hotel, Manaus.

September 15, 2013 -

Black Nunbird - mqs

Terra Firme forest birding. Breakfast was at 5AM as we wanted to get an early start to reach the Ducke Reserve. Today Bret would join us as he had said good-bye to the first Rio Negro tour the night before. Manaus, at the confluence of the Amazon and Negro rivers, is the capital of the huge state of Amazonas and has a growing population that already exceeds 2 million.

The Ducke Reserve is an extensive forest remains getting swallowed up by the city of Manaus and we birded there from 6:30-11:30.

Highlights of the morning included: Pied Puffbird, Black Nunbird , Black-spotted Barbet, Guianan Toucanet, Golden-collared Woodpecker, Caica Parrot (several seen phenomenally well), Dusky Parrots, Black-headed Antbirds, Black-banded, Red-billed, and Straight-billed Woodcreepers, Tiny-tyrant Manakin, White-crowned and Golden-headed Manakins, Dotted, Spotted and Paradise Tanagers.

Lunch was back at the Park Suites Hotel and then we had time ourselves to avoid the mid-day heat before heading out again. We went to an area with some Maritius Palms from 3PM -6PM, Bret called this area: Taruma . Birds closely associated with these palms are Fork-tailed Palm-swifts , Point-tailed PalmCreeper, Sulphury Flycatcher and Red-bellied Macaw... got them all; okay the Macaws were fly-bys not seen so well but we got the other 3 really well and the palmcreeper is a stunning bird.

We also had arguably one of the most cooperative birds one could ask for as a Golden-spangled Piculet flew into a hedgerow next to us and proceeded to feed while we all stood well within the focal distance of our binoculars. We also had lots of Swallow-winged Puffbirds, Vesicolored Hummingbirds, Fork-tailed Flycatchers several seedeaters in all it was a birdy afternoon.

We returned to the Park Suite to clean up and then walked across the street for dinner at the Tropical Hotel. It was a very nice buffet. In prior years the tour has stayed at the Tropical which is old school elegance in need of a bit of face lift versus the Park Suite’s more modern style. Night at the Park Suites Hotel, Manaus.

Golden-spangled Piculet - lcj
September 16, 2013: Manaus to Presidente Figueiredo.
Breakfast was at 3AM so we could depart at 3:30. We planned to get away from Manaus early and try for Long-tailed Potoo along the road to the INPA Tower before dawn and be at the trail head to the tower at first light. We made a couple stops for the potoo along the road without any success before reaching the trail head and heading into the tower. The tower is a very sturdy tower with a series of biological test instruments on the top level. The lower platforms provide canopy level views for birds (permission must be sought in advance).

Pied Puffbird - lcj

This day we had Marail Guan, roosting Swallow-tailed Kites, Black-bellied Cuckoo, Chapman’s and Band-rumped Swifts, Black-tailed Trogon, Spot-backed Antwren, Guianan Tyrannulet, Short-tailed Pygmy-tyrant and Pied Puffbird (all eye-to-eye [ETE]), plus a Pompadour Cotinga female sitting on her nest. We spent from 6:30-9:30 actually on the tower and then another hour on the trail before we headed to the town of Presidente Figueiredo, about 110 kilometers north of Manaus. We checked into our hotel and then headed out for lunch.

In the afternoon we went to some private property, Lajes from 3:15-6PM. En route we got to see the Burrowing Owls which were nesting on the front yard of the hotel. We also found Bronzy Jacamar, White-fringed Antwren, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Black Manakin, the “BIG Three” Tanagers, and the star of the afternoon White-naped Seedeater. Bret had spent a lot of time saying how it hadn’t been seen on the last several tours and we had spent a lot of time playing “tapes when suddenly a male seedeater popped into view, WOW!!!! Dinner was back in town. Night in Presidente Figueiredo at Hotel Cachoeira do Urubui.

White-naped Seedeater - lcj

Cashews - mqs

Smooth-billed Ani- lcj

Wasps - mqs
September 17, 2013:
Presidente Figueiredo; then on to the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, BDFFP (WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE). Breakfast was at the hotel at 5:30 and then we were on our way as we had places to go and birds to see. Our first stop was at Iracema Falls where a Crimson Topaz has staked out some flowering blossoms. When we first arrived a Grey-breasted Saberwing was feeding on the blooms and this was not an encouraging sign but with a little patience we soon had a male and female Crimson Topaz.

male Crimson Topaz - lcj

Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock - lcj

We then moved on to the other big target of the morning and this was our date with Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock. These birds nest in caves in the sandstone escarpments and your best bet to see them is to visit a lek. Fortunately, we had one all lined up for us to visit the land owner would walk us right to the spot. Before we went to the lek we had a few birds around his property including Green Aracari and assorted flycatchers and tanagers that we had been seeing previously. The land owner is very protective of his Guianan Cock-of-the-Rocks and would only take us in to see them in small groups.

Those of us who hadn’t seen them before went in first, we got to see several, then we came out and the other went in. Apparently they only saw one bird. While they were looking we found Pelzeln’s Tody-Tyrant (which Bret made sure they saw when they came back) and the Rufous-throated Sapphire they had while we were watching the Cock-of-the-Rocks.

We then had lunch back in Presidente Figueiredo before heading to the BDFFP Camp 41, which is some forty kilometers down a dirt road, deep in terra firme forest. To get there we transferred from our nice Mercedes 20 passenger bus to three 4-wheel drive pick-ups. The drive took about an hour and we didn’t really make any birding stops although we did make a stop for a Yellow-legged Tortoise and a Walking Stick. Once you get to the “end of the road” you have a several hundred yard walk from the road to the camp.

White Peacock - lcj

Yellow-legged Tortoise - lcj

Walking stick - mqs

The camp consists of three large, roofed, open-air (no walls or screens) structures on cement foundations. We'll sleep in hammocks under individual mosquito nets. (Actually, there are essentially zero mosquitoes or other nighttime nasties here because of the tannic blackwater). There are two showers (the creek is wonderfully refreshing too), two flush toilets, lots of cold drinks (caipirinhas came by the pitcher at Camp 41), and lots of good food (yes it really was delicious)

Tonight we went for a night walk and found White-winged Potoo! Night at BDFFP camp.

Hey... it flushes. - mqs

Best spot to cool off - mqs
September 18, 2013... BDFFP Camp 41 -
Breakfast was at 5:30 and we then started by birding the trees observed from the clearing in camp before hitting the trails from creek. We stayed out until just before lunch.

From the clearing we had Screaming Piha, Fulvous-crested Tanagers, Slaty-capped Shrike-vireo and the resident Greater Yellow-headed Vultures. Before leaving camp, we scored Collared Puffbird by the showers and were able to show them to the pair of bat researchers who were in Camp with us. Later on we found White-chested Puffbirds which turned out to be lifers not only for many of us but also for Marcelo. These made a nice birthday gift for him. He didn’t know it yet, but the office had asked Lynn to bring a card for him and he was going to have an additional surprise at dinner (chocolate cake).

We also found White-throated Woodpeckers (before the tour was over we would sweep the 19 woodpeckers on the list) and a pair of Yellow-billed Jacamars (one of five jacamar species found). We then turned our attention to “ant-things” and picked up Fasciated, Dusky-throated and Cinereous Antshrikes along with Brown-bellied, Long-winged and Gray Antwrens plus Ferruginous-backed Antbird. We also continued to add to our woodcreeper list with Wedge-billed, Chestnut-rumped, Curve-billed Scythebill. Walking the trails Bret and I had a glimpse of a lone Gray-winged Trumpeter, sometimes it pays to be at the front of the line (which is why we rotated spots in line on a regular basis whenever we walked along narrow forest trails, this just happened to be my lucky moment.)

Remarkably comfortable sleeping quarters - mqs

Lunch was back at camp and we had a chance to relax before heading out again in the afternoon. It had rained overnight and we weren’t sure whether we were going back up to the road or back to the trails until Marcelo did some recon. The bat researchers were leaving this afternoon and had begun to pack their stuff up to the road and indicated that it was not a soggy mess so the plan was to head back up there at 15:00, however plans are made to be altered.

While visiting the facilities before meeting for the afternoon hike, I ran into Bret who noticed that there was an immature hawk-eagle in the trees next to the outhouse. Fortunately, I was on my way back to camp so he asked me to alert everyone and we went looking for this youngster. We were able to determine that it was a young Ornate Hawk-Eagle and eventually started our afternoon walk up to the road albeit 15-20 minutes late.

This afternoon we found Savanna Hawk soaring over the road. We then called in a pair of Guianan Puffbirds (one of 6 puffbirds + 3 nunbirds we would see on the tour). Along the road were found White-fronted Manakins although we did have to walk off road about 20 feet to see them well and they are a stunner. Coming out of the manakin site a few of us had an ETE moment with a Straight-billed Hermit. The real prize for the afternoon was a Dusky Purpletuft. While working on the manakin, Marcelo thought he heard one calling and sure enough he and Bret were able to call it into view. After seeing the White-chested Puffbird earlier, he was asked what other bird he would like to see while at Camp 41 and this was it. Yip, Yip Yip. It was high-fives all around once we all were done looking at this tiny bird. We then found Guianan Warbling-Antbird and Spot-winged Antbird later back along the creek near camp. We returned to camp as the sun was setting in time to clean up for dinner. No night walk tonight as we were all pretty done in after an outstanding day of birding. Night at BDFFP camp.

Not many leps on this trip but did find this beauty along the wooded trails- one of the Owl Butterflies

September 19, 2013: BDFFP Camp 41 -
Breakfast was again at 5:30 and we then started by birding the trees observed from the clearing in camp then hitting the trails along the creek. Today the plan was to find Capuchinbirds. If necessary we would walk the 1.8 km to the same lek at which David Attenborough’s remarkable "Life of Birds" sequence was filmed. Fortunately, we heard and saw a bird a third of the way there and then found several others so that everyone was able to see these strange members of the Cotinga family. I would describe their call as the feedback of a guitar solo resonating through the forest.

We also found another Marail Guan, Yellow-throated and Golden-green Woodpeckers, Short-billed Leaftossers, Spot-throated, and Plain-brown, Woodcreepers, Plain Xenops, Olive-backed Foliage-gleaners, the rothschildi type of the White-eyed Tody-tyrant, White-crested Spadebill and White-throated Manakin. It is a good thing we found the Capuchinbirds where we did. To get to the lek we would have had to cross a marshy area that thanks to the rain two days earlier was downright “WET”. Bret put the decision to cross the marsh to a vote and we all agree there was no reason to make two crossings to go to the lek. There was no guarantee we would see the birds any better than we already had and why add another 60 minutes of walking in the hot and humid conditions. We stayed out until just before lunch.

Lunch was back at camp and we had a chance to relax before heading out again in the afternoon at approximately 2:45PM. This afternoon we went back up to the road and started down the forested path until the weather turned ominous. We picked up Olive-green Tyrannulet, Glossy-backed Becard some Paradise Tanagers, and many of the usual suspects that are common to Camp 41. However, the day did cloud over and there was lots of thunder so we took a conservative approach with the weather and were back in camp by 17:00. Of course it didn’t rain but that was better than getting soaked and having to walk down the hill in a down pour. Night at BDFFP camp.
September 20, 2013: Return to Manaus; boating up the Rio Negro. –
Breakfast was again at 5:30 and we needed to have our bags packed by 6AM so the crew could begin carrying them up to the vehicles for us. We did a little birding around camp before we walked up the hill ourselves and started the ride out. We did pick up Black-faced Antthrush before leaving.

Of course the vehicle I jumped into had trouble with its fuel line and had trouble with the hills in the road so the 45 minute ride out ended up taking closed to 75 minutes. Oh well, stuff happens. In spite of the delay, we made out stop at a campina for some target birding and picked up Northern Slaty-Antshrike, Bright-rumped Attila, Swainson’s Flycatcher (phaeonotus), Saffron-crested Tyrant-manakin. We then headed to the Park Suites to pick up some stored luggage and then headed to the Iracema, our home for the next week. After meeting the crew and settling into our rooms, we had lunch.

The awesome Irecema

One of the greatest rivers on Earth, the Negro, as the name implies, is "blackwater," which refers to the clear, dark appearance of the water. Blackwater carries virtually no silt, since its drainage is almost entirely through sand, which adds no suspended particles and leaches the tea-colored tannins from vegetation decaying on the ground. We cruised from Manaus to the Anavilhanas Archipelago. We kept a watch from the upper deck finding Muscovy and Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, Neoptropical Cormorants, Cocoi Herons, Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, Band-tailed Nighthawks, Ringed Kingfishers, That night after anchoring we took the canoes on a night outing in the and found Crested Owl as well as Gladiator Tree Frogs, Marine Toads and a Brown Tree Boa. Night aboard the Iracema.

Cabins on the Irecema - mqs

Best hang out spot - mqs

September 21, 2013: The Anavilhanas Archipelago. - Lago Urua` to bird. Here we found some specialty birds of the archipelago including: Blue-chinned Sapphire, Streak-throated Hermit, Green-tailed Jacamar, Cream-colored and Ringed Woodpeckers, Black-crested and Blackish-gray Antskrikes, Klage’s Antwren, Leaden Antwren, Ash-breasted and Black-chinned Antbirds, Zimmer’s Woodcreeper, Rusty-backed and Speckled Spinetails, White-throated Kingbirds and Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Wire-tailed Manakins and Varzea Schiffornis.

Pink River Dolphins - lcj

We were back on the Iracema for lunch and then went further up river to Novo Airao to see Pink River Dolphins and Night Monkeys.

We did another night boat trip after dinner and found Spectacled Owl, Common Pauraque, and Ladder-tailed Nightjar. Night aboard the Iracema as we continued up river to reach Jau National Park at sunrise.

Night Monkey movie - double click to view

September 22 Jau National Park. –
Jau NP is a remote and seldom-visited park forming the eastern portion of the second-largest conservation unit in the world (the first is also in Brazil). We awoke today anchored just below the park ranger’s station. We got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise from the topdeck before beginning our day.

After Checking in with the park rangers we continued up until we reached our anchorage at the Nazare Trail. En route we had a close encounter with a Great Potoo and a not so close encounter with a Crested Eagle. As we had been sailing, folks had been watching a “termite nest”. When it was across from us I noticed that this termite mound had a crest and quickly refocused people’s attention on it. Regrettably, stopping and turning around a ship the size of the Iracema doesn’t happen quickly. By the time we got back the bird had flown. Thankfully Marcelo had his camera at the ready and had snapped a couple of shots including at least one that proved the identity of the bird.

Before Lunch we took a canoe ride the resulted in Ringed, Amazon, Green and Rufous and American Pygmy Kingfishers, Cherrie’s Antwren, Amazonian Scrub-flycatcher and Amazonian Tyrannulet.

Great Potoo on day roost - lcj
After lunch we took a walk along the Nazare Trail from roughly 3-6PM. We managed to pick up Great Jacamar, Red-stained Woodpecker, Amazonian Antshrike, Yellow-browed Antbird, Ringed Antpipit, Amazonian Black-tyrant, Rufous-tailed Flatbill, and Yellow-crowned Flatbill. After dinner, some of us went for Rufous and White-winged Potoos back along the Nazare Trail. Bret had to go and find the Rufous Potoo and then call us into the forest. Now he was here 10 days earlier and has been coming to Jau NP for over 10 years, still it was pitch black to be stumbling around out there but somehow he found the bird and it sat there as we encircled it. The White-winged Potoo was back on the main trail and we called it in too. So it was back to the boat by 22:00 and time for my 3rd shower of the day to try to revive myself a bit in order to go to bed. Nights aboard the Iracema.

the "black water" creates strange reflections along the Negro

September 23 Jau National Park. –
Breakfast was on the top deck at 5:30. We birded the Nazare Trail again this morning from 6:00-12:15. We were hoping to catch up with an ant swarm (we found two different ones) and some of the birds we found at dusk the day before. Today we came across Scale-breasted Woodpecker, White-shouldered Antshrike (including a pair on a nest), Black-faced Antbird (ardesiaca), Bicolored Antbird, Chestnut-crested Antbird, White-plumed Antbird (for some but not me), Chestnut-belted Gnateater, Long-billed, Ocellated and Buff-throated Woodcreepers. We had a glimpse of Black Uakari Monkeys.


one of the many hardships - mqs

Lunch was back on board and we had a rest until we had another walk along the Nazare Trail from 14:30-17:00. It was very hot (the temperature was again in the mid-90s) so there wasn’t much new activity.

We did another night canoe trip and tonight we again found Common Pauraque, Great Potoo, Common Potoo (4 potoos in ~24 hours, not too shabby eh!!) and Boat-billed Herons. We also had Ghost Bats and Greater Bulldog Bats. Night aboard the Iracema.

September 24, 2013: On to the Solimoes. –
"La Traviata" plays and your day starts. You go grab a cup of coffee, a couple bananas and then see what is for breakfast in the main salon. Today we started with one last canoe trip within Jau National Park from 6:15 -10:00 to an area specifically called Igarape Preto. Birds found during this morning’s adventure included White-necked Jacobin, Blue-crowned Trogon, Ringed, Amazon and Green Kingfisher (Green being kingfisher #5 for the trip), Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Chestnut Woodpecker, my best views of Festive Parrots for the trip, the yet to be named Tody-tyrant species (one of several birds we all have once they are named), Swainson’s Flycatcher, and assorted honeycreepers.

Blue-crowned Trogon - lcj

The Meeting of the Waters - where the Solimoes and the Negro join to form the Rio Amazon

We then were back on the Iracema and heading back down river towards Manaus and the Solimoes River: that part of the Amazon above the meeting of the waters with the Negro. The Soilmoes is "whitewater," meaning that it is laden with fine silt, and you can’t help but notice that the vegetation is quite different from that on the islands of the Anavilhanas (and whitewater means more mosquitoes). The plan is to stop for late-afternoon birding wherever we happen to be as we had traveled a long way up river to get to Jau NP.

That spot turned out to be Isla Cameleao. Along the way we picked up assorted herons, terns, parrots and raptors. It was a leisurely way to travel, bird, and relax. The next two days we would be birding on river islands of varying sizes to pick up those island endemics. As we would finally be in whitewater, we would be in a new cast of characters. Night aboard the Iracema

Amazon Kingfisher - lcj

September 25, 2013: Islands on the mighty Rio Amazonas. –
Today we did a pre-breakfast landing on Isla Da`Flexal (Cane Grass Island) from 5:30-7:00.

Because the water level has dropped since the last tour the canoes landed well away from the vegetation line and we actually had to be walked onto the sandbars where we watched a wide selection of shorebirds including Collared Plovers, American Golden Plovers, Spotted, Solitary, White-rumped, Pectoral and Least Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, we also had Yellow-billed, Large-billed, and a single Gull-billed Tern (a very, very rare sighting) and lots of Black Skimmers, we also had Sand-colored Nighthawks, Red-breasted , Oriole and Yellow-hooded Blackbirds. All in all not a bad bit of birding before breakfast.

After breakfast we made stops on Marchantaria and Quicksand Island staying out from about 7:30-noon.Between these two stops we picked up Hooked-billed Kite, Green-throated Mango, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Tui Parakeet, Short-tailed Parrot, Castelnau’s Antshrike, Lesser Hornero, Parker’s, Red and White, Dark-breasted, White-bellied Spinetails (it was a big day for spintetails!!!), Brownish Elaenia, Riverside Tyrant, Island streaked Flycatcher (someday it will be split), and Pearly Breasted Conebill. River islands are great and so different from the tropical rainforest. Also islands of different size are so different from each other. It was a great morning.

Traffic Jam on the Amazon - lcj

We ended the day birding by boat at Jaguar Island from the Iracema and by the canoes. Here we added Horned Screamer, Black-collared Hawk, Snail Kite, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Southern Lapwing, Lesser Nighthawk, Wing-banded Hornero, Yellow-chinned Spinetail (another 24th hour find as the thunder was rolling and this is the most common spinetail we found all day jeez).Night aboard the Iracema.

Gnidus Metalmark - Helicopis gnidus -
stow-away on topdeck - lcj

September 26, 2013
Today we birded the mouth of the Rio Madeira and the north bank of the Rio Amazonas. – We sailed down the Amazon for much of the night and awoke at the mouth of the Rio Madeira to begin our birding on two islands of different ages, one young and one old, with different species at each. These were Buffalo and Machado Island.

We then crossed the Rio Amazonas to bird varzea forest on the bank of the Amazon. This was our chance to clean up on anything we missed the day before as well as some species that that find their homes on these islands. Again, the drop in water was evident compared to the earlier tour as we could see the marks their canoes made in the river banks a good 10 feet above were we disembarked.

Birds we found while on these islands included a soaring Wood Stork, Little Cuckoo, Green-tailed Jacamar, Varzea Piculet(piculet #3 for the trip), Little and Spot-breasted Woodpeckers, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Tui Parakeet, Glossy and Barred Antshrikes, Black and White Antbird, Plan Softtail (obidensis subspecies), Scaled, Pale-breasted and White-bellied Spinetails, Yellow-crowned Elaenia and River Tyrannulet, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Rusty-fronted and Spotted Tody-flycatchers, Island Fuscous Flycatcher (another subspecies just waiting to be split), Dull-capped Attila, Black-capped Donacobius, Hooded and Orange-headed Tanagers, Bicolored Conebills, and the host of island blackbirds.

In other words, it was another great morning of birding on the river islands.

female Barred Antshrike- lcj

Snail Kite - lcj

3 Toed sloth w/baby - lcj

Blue-chinned Sapphire

We then returned to the Iracema for lunch and our return voyage to Manaus which would take the better part of the day without stopping. Enroute we managed to find Pied Lapwings, Southern Lapwings, lots of long-legged waders, raptors, parrots, macaws, and swallows from the top-deck. Night aboard the Iracema.

September 27, 2013 -
Breakfast was again at 3:30 as we landed this morning at the Manaus main port well before dawn. Here we were met again by Francisco with our bus so we could return to the INPA tower for a last, morning of birding before lunch and preparation for flights home. We gave the Long-tailed Potoos another try and again they gave us the slip.

Up the tower we could see that in the 10 days since our last visit had allowed some trees to leaf out and others to flower. This in turn resulted in some different birds or at least different trees to look in for the birds we had seen on our first visit. The one flowering tree, held a constant flow of Green, Purple, Red-legged and Short-billed Honeycreepers along with Blue Dacnis.

The local colony of Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers was also making a constant stream of visits to these flowers. We also found Red-billed Pied Tanagers this morning from the tower, a pair a Glossy-backed Becards, a White-lored Tyrannulet, a young Yellow-throated Woodpecker begging food from one of its parents, a very cooperative Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, a female Black-throated Mango, long-distant male Spangled and Pompadour Cotingas and ETE Guianan Gnatcatchers.

Amazonian Pygmy-Owl

On the way back to the bus we tried for Guianan Red Cotinga and we managed to pull one out at the 11th hour. While having a cold drink and some trail mix, we dropped some on the road and stirred the interest of some ants that quickly started to take the discarded peanuts, cashews and pieces of dried fruit back to their colony. We watched in amazement as these amazing creatures made quick work of our waste.

After birding at the tower, we headed back to the boat for lunch which was back at the Park Suite dock. We then headed into town for some sight-seeing at the Manaus Opera House and Central Markets from 3PM to 6PM.

We had our last caipirinhas and dinner at Junior’s home, then on to the airport for our flights home. Our flight left at 11:55PM landing in Miami on the 28th at 5:20AM. We then had to clear Immigration, transfer our bags and then catch an 8:50 flight to Philadelphia. We landed about 11:45, gathered our bags, called Pacifico for my car and finally arrived home at 13:30, only a little worse for the wear.

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