July 26, 2013: We arrive at Foz do Iguazu

Boyero Cacique
Red-rumped Cacique. Photo by NativeTree.

Our travel from BH to Foz do Iguazu was uneventful, except that Hamner is having stomach problems. We got to our hotel about 3:30 or so, and immediately went for a walk on the grounds. The hotel San Martin is just a short walk from the entrance to the Iguazu falls park, and right next door to the Parque das Aves. It has extensive grounds with a very nice stone-paved trail through the forest, so we were able to get right in there an do a little birding.

The hotel also has a very nice pool, though it’s a bit cold right now, being winter — they just had a cold snap last week with lows in the 30s, though it’s not supposed to get below 50 while we’re here. We were able to go out in short sleeves, in 70 degree temps with low humidity and bright late afternoon sun. I wasn’t able to bird much on this first walk. People will talk, and keep walking, and so on. I did stop and wait for some thrushes to get comfortable enough to come out, and they turned out to be rufous-bellied thrushes. Then I caught up with the group, but on the way back I stopped again to watch what turned out to be red-rumped caciques. I knew they were around because I’d seen their nests. In Portuguese the bird is called a guaxe; we saw some nests at Inhotim, big pendulous snarls of twigs. Claudia says that her mother always told her and her sister that their rooms looked like guaxe nests, and it was years before they actually saw one and understood the reference. Anyway, there were guaxe nests on a tree right in front of the hotel, and sure enough, they were all over the place in the late afternoon.

Hamner and Peggy went back to their room, and Robin and I walked down to the park entrance to use an ATM. On the way we saw a chalk-browed mockingbird. When we started back we walked by the Parque das Aves, where two Southern Lapwings were standing around in the parking lot, walking out into traffic, and generally behaving like idiots. Very pretty birds, though.

Unfortunately, Hamner is still sick. The hotel got a nurse to come and check him out — it’s just Montezuma’s Revenge (well, I don’t know whose revenge it is in Brazil, actually), but he has to watch it because of being diabetic. So we hung around the hotel in the evening and Peggy, Robin, and I had dinner together.

List for the day:

Yellow-chevroned parakeet
*Chalk-browed mockingbird 2
*Rufous-bellied thrush 2
*Red-rumped cacique 6
*Southern lapwing 2
Great kiskadee 6
*Saffron finch 30

*Lifers.

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