Saturday 29 June 2013

Brazil summary

Although we spent a lot of time in Brazil we didn't really get a lot of Wader Questing done. São Paulo is a convenient gateway to South America, especially for us with our connection with the country. We spent some time out to be with both Elis' family and our friends. We also cancelled the trip to Rio Grande do Sul as I was having some back problems following a fall in Lima (most embarrassing) which now thankfully seems to have been resolved. So here are the birds we saw in Brazil.

Southern Lapwings on a dull morning at Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil. 
The first was predictably Southern Lapwing. We had expected to see them from the plane as it taxied at the airport, but we forgot that we were landing earlier than normal as we used BA and not TAM this time and it would still be dark. However we soon saw them on the road leaving the airport illuminated by street lamps. We caught up with them again soon after at a stop at Mogi das Cruzes, by then it was daylight even if it was a little dull and misty.

Southern Lapwings Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil. 
Also at the small swamp at Mogi we saw Wattled Jacanas, but the hoped for stilts at Salsópolis did not materialise, nor did South American Snipe, both due to the water level being unusually high.

Adult Wattled Jacana, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.

Juvenile Wattled Jacanas chasing insects, Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil.
Juvenile Wattled jacana, Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil.
At the coast we had hoped that we might find one or two of the wintering Collared Plovers. We knew a good spot in Ubatuba for them and were really pleased to see that they were there as expected, along with four Semipalmated Plovers, although it was a little frustrating to see them being chased around the beach by unleashed dogs.

Collared Plover Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil

Dogs chasing plovers.

Second Collared Plover, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.
Four Semipalmated Plovers, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.

After returning from Peru we headed for Minas Gerais. Here we had a site for Pied Lapwing, at least we hoped we did, it had been many years since we had seen them there on our last visit to Pirapora. Happily they obviously find the place to their liking as we saw two pairs.

Pied Lapwing, Pirapora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Pied Lapwing, Pirapora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
It was there too that we saw stilts. The first we saw were a bit confusing and looked to me like they might be hybrids. In the end I think I was right as we saw both Black-necked and White-backed, both adults and probably explaining the possible hybrids.

Adult Black-necked Stilt, Pirapora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Adult White-backed Stilt, Pirapora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Possible hybrid juvenile stilt, Pirapora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Possible hybrid juvenile stilt, Pirapora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Of course Wader Quest is about much more than simply ticking off wader species. It is designed to be a vehicle for raising awareness about the hardships faced by waders throughout the world and in particular the Spoon-billed sandpiper. With this in mind we were very happy to be presented with opportunities to talk to children in Ubatuba, and Matozinhos.

Talking to school children in Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.
We visited the group we used to work with in Ubatuba, 13 burger meals were consumed by way of celebration!
Talking to school children in Matozinhos, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


  1. There are several reasons I'm apprehensive of visiting Brazil. :D)) One of them will definitely come when I see my first ever Pied Plover. I am sure I won't want to come home. :)))

    Fantastic job my friends. Really!!!

    Best, Szimi

    1. I hope you meant to say anxious, there is no reason to be apprehensive about visiting Brazil (at least not at the time of writing he says cautiously). When you go, if I don't have the pleasure of being with you, let me know and I'll tell you where we saw them. I went to Brazil and didn't come home for 5 years!!! You'll love it!
      Cheers Rick.

  2. Brazil was where we first came across Rick and Elis, so it really can't be such a bad place to visit! All the best, Peter & Jenny Sharland

    1. Awww shucks! You're too kind Peter! Really looking forward to our trip to South Africa, Botswana and Namibia with you!!! All those lovely Vanellus species!