Jardim Botânico, Brasília: December 30, 2012

After a short but productive trip to the Pantanal in early November, I took off to West Africa for three weeks on temporary assignment while still finding time to do a bit of birding in South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana. After returning to Brazil, I fell ill with a nasty cough that kept me out of the field for another three weeks. Only this weekend did I finally feel well enough to stretch my legs and lift my binoculars. A midday outing to the botanical gardens yielded a nice mixed flock in a small patch of gallery forest that included the uncommon Planalto Foliage-Gleaner. Checking in at the flower gardens near the park headquarters, I found a few Stripe-Throated Starthroats, large hummingbirds with long, straight bills. While this is a Brazilian country endemic species (the adult male is spectacular), I’ve still yet to see the real prize, the Blue-Tufted Starthroat, which is found occasionally at this same site. A quick stop on the way home at Parque Garça Branca along the southern shore of Laka Paranoá produced Ringed Kingfisher, Purple Gallinule, and Lesser Kiskadee. It's good to be birding Brazil again.

Notable birds seen: Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Striated Heron, Purple Gallinule, Southern Crested Caracara, Swallow-Tailed Hummingbird, Glittering-Throated Emerald, Stripe-Breasted Starthroat, Violet-Capped Woodnymph, Ringed Kingfisher, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Narrow-Billed Woodcreeper, Planalto Foliage-Gleaner, Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Black-Capped Antwren, Yellow-Bellied Elaenia, Gray-Hooded Flycatcher, Yellow-Olive Flatbill, Lesser Kiskadee, Variegated Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, Helmeted Manakin, Buff-Breasted Wren, Masked Gnatcatcher, Rufous-Browed Peppershrike, Red-Eyed Vireo, White-Bellied Warbler, Guira Tanager, Buff-Throated Saltator, Gray Pileated Finch.

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