Parque Nacional de Brasilia: November 20, 2011

Aimee and I had access to a car for the weekend, so we decided to visit Brasilia NP on Sunday morning even though we were warned from several sources that it is incredibly crowded on the weekends. Located on the northern edge of the city, the modest park protects thirty square kilometers of cerrado habitat and gallery forest. Visitors are primarily attracted to the mineral pools though, and there were literally hundreds of people noisily swimming and sunning themselves when we visited. Supposedly, there are a variety of trails that extend through the park behind the principal pool, but we only walked the popular shorter trail, called the Capybara Trail, which passes through good gallery forest. Despite it already being late morning when we arrived, the bird activity was high, and the site should prove excellent on a weekday morning.

According to Jeremy Minn's Brazil site notes, some of the more interesting birds to be found along this trail include the Helmeted Manakin; White-Striped, White-Bellied, and Flavescent Warblers; Black-Goggled Tanager; Planalto Foliage-Gleaner; and Saffron-Billed Sparrow. I thought we were lucky to see the Ochre-Faced Spinetail, two out of the three warblers (we missed the endemic White-Striped Warbler), and Southern Antpipit given all the traffic along the trail, mostly people walking along barefoot in their swimming suits. In comparison, we were the ridiculous ones, I guess, attracting a lot of attention for wearing binoculars and long pants (at least I didn’t bring my audio equipment!). Towards the end of the trail we were rewarded for our patience with a pair of striking Burnished-Buff Tanagers and a stout Yellow-Olive Flatbill foraging in the undergrowth.

Notable birds seen: Fork-Tailed Woodnymph, Glittering-Throated Emerald, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Ochre-Cheeked Spinetail, Yellow-Olive Flatbill, Southern Antpipit, Ashy-Headed Greenlet, White-Bellied Warbler, Flavescent Warbler, Bananaquit, Burnished-Buff Tanager.

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