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Who could resist the prospect of birding from a sunny verandah with a free cup of coffee in one hand and binoculars in the other? Such was the appeal of the inaugural Birdfinders trip to Brazil at Serra dos Tucanos Lodge and many happy hours were spent doing just that.

Of course, we did get out and about as well, clocking up a total of 225 species seen (of which 64 were endemic to the area) with a further 16 species heard only (including 9 endemics). Highlights included a Spot-billed Toucanet within a few yards of the front door on day 1, a small party of exquisite Gilt-edged Tanagers, a totally unexpected Sapphire-spangled Emerald feeding on flowers in a garage forecourt, excellent views of Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, a Black-cheeked Gnateater that nearly took Peter and John's ears off, eating our lunch surrounded by Three-toed Jacamars, good ’scope views of Swallow-tailed and Black-and-gold Cotingas, a wonderful Red-legged Seriema, and, for five of us at least, the calling Channel-billed Toucan we ’scoped on the last morning.

Everyone will have their own special memories of this trip, from Tony's Pirates of the Caribbean impression to the endless lingerie shops and billboards in and around Nova Friburgo to the fantastic close-up views of overhead Magnificent Frigatebirds on the journey to and from the airport. In all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday, with good food, stunning birds and a great bunch of people. Thankfully, we were also lucky with the weather, having little in the way of serious rain. Special thanks must also go to Andy, Cristina, Pete and all the staff at the lodge for their hospitality and endless help.

Spot-billed Toucanet

Spot-billed Toucanet