Today, 31st October, is our only full day at Pouso Alegre and was packed full of activities. We congregated outside the dining room in the half light at 5.15 a.m. and set off along the track from the lodge. In the muddy water holes along the track Limpkin and Plumbeous Ibis walked on the bank. Whilst White Necked (Cocoi) Herons, Green and Amazon Kingfishers watched the water for fish. Yacare Caiman lay in the water beneath the wooden bridges where Capybara sat in the reeds.  

Plumbeous Ibises at Pouso Alegre


Plumbeous Ibises at Pouso Alegre

Rhea


Rhea

A group of Rhea sheltered underneath some trees pecking at the ground. Two Toucans flew overhead and were silhouetted against the sky. The safari truck met us along the track and took us back for the 7.00 a.m. breakfast. As we drove back to the lodge a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl was sitting in the low branches of a tree near the lodge.

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl


Ferruginous Pygmy Owl

Ferruginous-Pygmy-Owl showing its false eyes


Pygmy-Owl showing its false eyes

Breakfast was limited but very adequate. The  scrambled eggs were freshly made and very tasty. We also appreciated the long awaited coffee. We were meeting at 8.00 a.m. for a drive in the safari truck and a short bush walk.

Morning Safari Drive 

As we climbed into the safari truck a large Common Tegu lizard, the equivalent of Old World’s monitor lizard, fled through the undergrowth. Along the track a family of Capybara with 3 young munched on the grassy reeds as Cattle Tyrants pecked insects from their fur. A large caiman lay close by apparently asleep. 

Capybara


Capybara

Capybara and Cattle Tyrant


Capybara and Cattle Tyrant

Cattle Tyrant


Cattle Tyrant the ox-pecker of the Panatanal

Potoo and chick


Potoo and chick

 

Potoo and Rheas

At one point along the track we stopped  got out and walked through the mud.  A Greater Potoo and it’s chick had been seen in a nearby tree. Eventually we spotted a fluffy round shape close to what appeared to be a dead branch.  The Potoo was roosting in the day, erect on the tree stump, mimicking a broken off branch. It’s camouflaged plumage was excellent making it very difficult to spot. They have a two incisions in their upper eyelids, which allows them to keep watch even with their eyes closed. The bird lays a single egg on the tree branch. When the chick hatches it stays close to it’s parent. At night the Potoo uses it’s wide mouth and whiskers to hunt for moths and other insects.

Male Rhea and his 10 offspring


Male Rhea and his 10 offspring

Pair of Rhea grazing by the track


Pair of Rhea grazing by the track

In an open area of grass a male Rhea and his 10 offspring walked in a single line. The male builds the nest and various females lay their eggs in it, leaving the male to incubate them and bring up the young. These eggs weigh about 600g  – the equivalent of about 12 chicken eggs. The flightless Rhea is the tallest bird in the Americas.

Back in the vehicle we travelled slowly along the track, halting at various wildlife sightings. It was incredible how Nuan and Antonio our driver saw some of the birds from the truck. In a shallow pond in the forest below the track a Pygmy kingfisher sat on a branch. This is the Pantanal’s smallest and rarest kingfisher. We saw an Amazon Kingfisher catch a fish, which it turned and twisted in it’s beak.

American Pygmy Kingfisher


American Pygmy Kingfisher

Male Brocket Deer


Male Brocket Deer

A Brocket Deer sheltered under some trees before quickly disappearing into the shade. Overhead a Black Hawk flew and landed in the branches of a tall tree. The truck came to a halt as in front of us a Red Footed Land Tortoise slowly crossed the track before vanishing into the undergrowth. This is an endangered species as its habitat is being destroyed by fire.

Red-Footed Land Tortoise


Red-Footed Land Tortoise

Back to the Lodge

As we approached the gate back onto the Transpantaneira highway a group of white cattle stood grazing with two Cattle Egrets at their feet. The vehicle turned around and as we started to head back towards the lodge Blue Gold Macaws flew past. We halted as Nuan had heard the call of Silvery Marmoset near the track. Although we could hear them we couldn’t see them in the dense foliage. 

Beside the track a large Jabiru nest nestled in the branches of a tree. Blue Fronted Parrots noisily flew in and out of their nests in the bottom of the nest. Two Jabiru stalked up and down on the ground beneath the tree. Hyacinth Macaws flew overhead giving us a flash of colour. So far we had only seen them flying and had not had the opportunity to view them more closely. 

Approaching the lodge the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl was still on its perch on the tree and a Black Hawk was hunting in a grassy area. We arrived back at the lodge at 11.20 a.m. There was just time for a quick shower before lunch at 12.30 p.m. Then there was an afternoon game drive at 3.00 p.m.

Jabiru Stork on its Nest


Jabiru Stork on its Nest

Pouso Alegre Lodge – Afternoon

More images from  Pouso Alegre Lodge

Day Two (Morning) : – Checklist

Mammals
Greater Fishing Bat  Brazilian Tapir Crab-eating Racoon Crab-eating Fox
Capybara Brown Brocket Deer Feral pig  Six Banded Armadilio
Lesser Bulldog Bat      
Reptiles & Amphibians
Yacare Caiman Red Footed Tortoise Common Tegu Lizard Tree Frog
Birds
Greater Rhea Neotropic Cormorant Whistling Heron Snowy Egret
Cocoi Heron Great Egret Cattle Egret Striated Heron
Rufescent Tiger-Heron Capped Heron Buff-necked Ibis Plumbeous Ibis
Jabiru White-faced Whistling-Duck Black-faced Whistling-Duck Muscovy Duck
Brazilian Teal Black Vulture Turkey Vulture Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Snail Kite Savanna Hawk Plumbeous Kite Black-collared Hawk
Great Black Hawk Southern Caracara Chaco Chachalaca Chestnut-bellied Guan
Blue-throated Piping-guan Gray-cowled Wood-Rail Limpkin Red-legged Seriema
Sunbittern Southern Lapwing Orange-backed Troupial Wattled Jacana
Scaled Dove Ruddy Ground-Dove Picui Ground-Dove White-tipped Dove
Hyacinth Macaw Monk Parakeet Turquoise-fronted Parrot Greater Ani
Smooth-billed Ani Guira Cuckoo Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Great Potoo
Common Pauraque Little Nightjar Ringed Kingfisher Amazon Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher American Pygmy Kingfisher Toco Toucan Campo Flicker (Campo)
Pale-crested Woodpecker Straight-billed Woodcreeper Rufous Hornero Cattle Tyrant
Short-crested Flycatcher Tropical Kingbird Rusty-margined Flycatcher Lesser Kiskadee
Great Kiskadee White-winged Swallow Brown-chested Martin Gray-breasted Martin
Purplish Jay Black-capped Donacobius Rufous-bellied Thrush Silver-beaked Tanager
Grayish Saltator Yellow-billed Cardinal Saffron Finch Rusty-collared Seedeater
White-bellied Seedeater  Bay-winged Cowbird Crested Oropendola Yellow-rumped Cacique
Solitary  Cacique  Unicoloured Blackbird Chopi Blackbird Bare-faced Curassow
Solitary Sandpiper Green Ibis