Saturday, 31 October 2015

Birds Snakes and Spiders!

There have been regular sightings of raptors around the reserve. Plumbeous Kite have been observed flying over and perched in trees in the Atlantic Forest. Swallow tailed Kite numbers have reached eleven in one group passing over the Atlantic Forest.

I spent some time Tuesday on a lagoon watch and Jorge pointed out a pair of Crested Becard in a tree near the entrance to the Arroyito trail.

I returned to the base and began scanning the sky I noticed a high raptor which I identified as a White tailed Hawk circling above the house. This species is resident in the Cerrado area of Nightjar land.
Wednesday morning I was up early and set off with Al to check the pitfall traps at the seasonal pond. Frogs were our intended quarry and there were plenty of them with over thirty five in one bucket. After returning to base the remainder of the morning was spent helping Al and Stephan processing and photographing frogs. 

The afternoon was spent in the corn field with Becca and Jorge searching for the Capuchin Monkeys. The larger of the two groups were heard approximately 100m into the Forest. A single Capuchin was observed briefly as it walked along a branch briefly looking at us as it passed by.

Thursday morning I returned to the Atlantic Forest to look for Magpie Tanager. I had a brief view of a single bird the day before. My trusted bird watching friend Lobo joined me to scare off the horses and some of the birds too! I was fortunate to find a group of three birds which were very obliging. I also heard the Capuchins whilst walking the path.

I returned to the base and was sitting on the porch when the Jays started a frenzy of noise and swooping at the ground. This was a clear indication there was a snake in the vicinity. Al entered stage left and he was off into the scrub by the pitfall traps in search of the intruder! The rest of us followed on gathering the snake catching equipment (which included a pillow case). A short struggle later and Al had bagged the two metre long serpent with the assistance of Matt and Akira. “El hombre serpiente” has experience of handling snakes and this should not be attempted at home!!

The afternoon progressed into evening and I was just beginning to think that the day could not get any livelier a Brazilian Wandering Spider had decided to visit the house. This magnificent spider was removed by Jorge and was put into a jar and taken and released along the Mbopi trail close to the base.

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