Aimee and I were fortunate to spend the holiday weekend in the Chapada dos Veadeiros region, about an hour outside the town of Cavalcante, in the good company of Brazilian colleagues and acquaintances, one of whom owns a peaceful retreat on the edge of the national park. Spectacular cliffs and rocky hills surround the remote valley where the house is located, encompassing campo sujo habitat and both deciduous and gallery forest. Although I spent most of my time relaxing on the deck and soaking up the scenery with the others, I managed to sneak away for a few hours early each morning to do a little birding. Activity was highest near the river nearby, where I encountered some common but engaging birds, including Rufous-Tailed Jacamar, Black-Capped Antwren, Buff-Breasted Wren, and Helmeted Manakin; happily, I was able to introduce our host to the adult male of the latter species, which is named the Soldadinho, or little soldier, in Portuguese. It was probably more rewarding simply being aware of birds all day, whether it was hearing a Common Potoo from the comfort of my bed or watching kingfishers dart across the swimming hole as I dove in.
Notable birds seen: King Vulture, Red-and-Green Macaw, Planalto Hermit, Green Kingfisher, Rufous-Tailed Jacamar, Black-Fronted Nunbird, Toco Toucan, Little Woodpecker, Narrow-Billed Woodcreeper, Black-Capped Antwren, Campo Suiriri, Brown-Crested Flycatcher, Short-Crested Flycatcher, Pearly-Vented Tody-Tyrant, Ochre-Lored Flatbill, Helmeted Manakin, Curl-Crested Jay, Buff-Breasted Wren, Masked Gnatcatcher, Wedge-Tailed Grassfinch, Crested Oropendola.