A Quick Trip To Chapada Dos Guimaraes

A very easy and scenic drive from Cuiaba (once you find you way out of the town) is Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park.


Chapada 0Z3

Since we had driven all the way from the Pantanal, we arrived fairly late in the day so just made a quick drive through town and went looking for some place to stay.  This is the town square where Hahns Macaws roost in the evening.0Z4 0Z5 0Z8 0Z9

After driving around, we stumbled on this small traditional style pousada with a bird in its logo.  It means “Bird’s Corner” which was a good sign and it was ridiculously cheap, around $10 USD-ish!Z0 Z1 Z2 Z3

After checking in, we hurried back to the main square to wait for the Hahns Macaws.  They did not disappoint!

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A pair of Chestnut-eared Aracaris were also hanging around.C12 C13

I can’t seem to find this one in the book, any help appreciated!C16

We had dinner at one of the little restaurants in the main square, then got to bed early so we could make an early start to the park.

WWF Shares Their “Must Pack” List For The Rainforest

World Wildlife Fund has a list of items they feel are essential for traveling in rainforest areas.  See their list then see which items I agree with.

  1.  Hand Fan – I don’t normally use one.  Trying to juggle a camera and binoculars is enough!
  2.  Mosquito Repellant – absolutely!  Especially with Zika, Malaria and other nasties about!
  3.  Long Pants – another yes!  They add extra protection against mosquitoes.
  4.  Long socks – sort of.  I hate shoes and socks but will wear them if I absolutely have to, though I tend to stick to established trails when birding.  I do have leech socks and have worn them in Sri Lanka.
  5.  Poncho – yes, I bring one more for protecting my camera than myself!
  6.  Bandana – sort of.  I have lead bands to keep the sweat off and I recently bought a Buff (as seen in Survivor) for more variety in headgear.
  7.  Pencil – not really.  I probably should take more notes while birding but I really prefer to to my bird list back at the lodge, preferably with help from my guide.
  8.  Trail Mix – OK, not trail mix exactly but I usually bring some kind of snack and definitely lots of water.

And I have to add

9.  Scottevest – love all the pockets to carry stuff in!

Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri)

The Yellow-chevroned Parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri) also known as the canary-winged parakeet, is native to tropical South America south of the Amazon River basin from central Brazil to southern Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina.

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I spotted this little cutie in one of the large trees at Pousada Piuval, but they are easily seen in most of the Pantanal.  Their range extends throughout most of Brazil and Bolivia, into Argentina and Paraguay.




World Parrot Trust



Neotropical Birds


This little guy can’t figure out why he is the centre of attention!

And this one is hungry and wants everyone to know it!


Parrot Lover’s Cruise 2016 Announced

The annual Parrot Lover’s Cruise for 2016 has been announced by World Parrot Trust.  This year they have chosen a wonderful Southern Caribbean itinerary with two islands boasting endemic wild parrots – Puerto Rico & St Lucia!  I will be visiting these 2 islands in a few months on a land based trip so will have more details soon.  Start organizing your airline miles to get to the departure port of San Juan now!

wpt cruise

Set sail aboard the outstanding Carnival Fascination out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. With stops in St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts and St Maarten, this cruise promises to be the best yet!

Cruise-goers will have a chance to explore the islands and local sights, attend onboard seminars by experts from the avian community, and possibly see parrots in the wild!

You MUST use the official travel agency to take part in the WPT activities.

Book Today!

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Early Saver Rates
in effect – contact Carol to learn more!

A Morning At Pousada Piuval

After leaving Curicara Lodge and starting back towards Pocone & Cuiaba, we were birding the Transpantaneira and saw the turn-off to Pousada Piuval.

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Just for fun, we turned in for a look.  At the time, they didn’t have a day visit package (they do now) so we had coffee and a snack at the restaurant.

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They have a really nice little gift shop and I ended up buying a few things.

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Best of all – the garden is full of birds!

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Yellow-chevroned Parakeet

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Quaker Parrot


Vermilion flycatcher

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Saffron Finch ZP-16

Blue-crowned Parakeet

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It’s a shame we didn’t have more time (and money) as this place looked really nice, but there is hopefully a next time!  For now, we were bound for Chapada dos Guimarães!

Scottevest’s Annual 40% Off Sale Through 8 Feb

It’s that time of year when Scottevest puts some of their most popular items on sale with huge discounts!  I always travel with one and it really helps me get through with carry on only on those airlines that are stingy with weight requirements for carry on bags.  Jackets aren’t weighed!  If you have a city-based trip, there are some more professional looking jackets that allow you to keep your valuables securely pocketed away.


14 styles including men’s & women’s styles and some jackets suited for the working porfessional – all with the trademark Scottevest pocket system.


Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata)

The bare-faced curassow (Crax fasciolata) is a species of bird in the Cracidae family, the chachalacas, guans, curassows, etc.  Males and females are quite different as you can see in these pics I took in the Pantanal.




They have quite a large range throughout Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.  Probably the easiest place to see them is in Brazil’s Pantanal.





Neotropical Birds


Sadly I couldn’t find a video of them in the wild but this clip of captive birds shows the sounds they make.

AA Offers Buy Miles Promo – Good For Pre-Devaluation Bookings

While I am normally not a fan of buying miles (kind of defeats the purpose of free travel from everyday activities), in this case you may want to top up your account to book an award before the 22 March devaluation.

Here’s the offer, be sure to read the T&Cs.  It’s probably the best price you will get and may be worth it if your desired award will be increasing quite a bit and you don’t have time to get the miles any other way.

AA buy promo

Old chart which expires 22 March 2016

AA old chart

Horrendous new chart

AA 2016 chart

Birding The Grounds Of Curicaca Lodge

I had absolutely no information about this hidden gem before we showed up, but Curicaca Lodge delivered some fantastic and easy birding.  Before the sun actually rose, we could hear the resident Hyacinth Macaws calling while some monkeys and Blue-fronted Amazons looked on.

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As the sun rose, the light got better so better pics!ZC-18 ZC-19 ZC-20 ZC-21 ZC-22 ZC-23 ZC-24 ZC-25 ZC-26 ZC-27 ZC-28 ZC-29 ZC-30 ZC-31 ZC-32 ZC-33 ZC-34 ZC-35 ZC-36 ZC-37 ZC-38 ZC-39 ZC-40 ZC-41 ZC-42 ZC-43 ZC-44 ZC-45 ZC-46 ZC-47 ZC-48 ZC-49 ZC-50 ZC-51 ZC-52 ZC-53 ZC-54 ZC-55 ZC-56 ZC-57 ZC-58 ZC-59 ZC-61 ZC-62 ZC-63 ZC-65


Some gorgeous little hummingbirds, not sure of exact species.ZC-66 ZC-67 ZC-68 ZC-69 ZC-70 ZC-71 ZC-72

Blue-headed ParrotZC-73 ZC-74 ZC-75 ZC-76 ZC-77

WoodpeckerZC-78 ZC-79 ZC-80 ZC-81 ZC-82 ZC-83

As you can see there are plenty of birds to keep you busy at Curicaca!

Lodge Review: Curicaca Lodge, Transpantaneira, Brazil

Curicara Lodge has a stunning location along the Transpantaneria in the northern Panatanal fo Brazil.  They don’t seem to have a website of their own, but there is good information here.

We were there in Sept, 2012 so things may have changed.  The one thing that needed improvement was the access road which was very bumpy!  Hopefully they have fixed it up since then.


Once you get to the lodge, it is beautiful and natural with lots of bird-attracting habitat so you don’t even have to leave the grounds to find birds.


This was our cottage – very cute!ZC-06 ZC-03 ZC-04 ZC-05


Monkey keeping an eye on us.ZC-07

This is the dining room – most rates will include full board and you need this because there are no other places to eat except at other lodges.ZC-08 ZC-09 ZC-85


Take a stroll down to the river and look for caiman.ZC-84 ZC-86 ZC-87

Of course I will save the best for the next post – birding the grounds of Curicaca Lodge!