We found very few trip reports covering the country, some of them written by mammal watchers (Andersen 2014, Buck 2014, Ollers 2009, Woolgar 2015). We had a good Neotropical Bird Club report from 2015, and as usual the Birdquest trip report (2010). For trip reports : cloudbirders.com, and for sounds : xeno-canto.org and hbw.com/ibc.
But the best help came from the fantastic website Fauna Paraguay by Paul Smith, who generously shares so many informations. He organises guided tours, and guides for other companies; as we have time, and our pleasure being the research of the birds by ourselves, we could organise our independant trip thanks to his website. On this link you have the clickable list of the birds : http://www.faunaparaguay.com/iimagesbirds.html with precious comments, and you'll find other links about the animals and the birding sites. After our trip, Paul Smith helped us to identify birds from sounds or videos that we sent to him, and corrected errors too, thank you Paul.
You need a 4x4 in the chaco and in general on the dirt tracks after the rain. We rent a Hyundaï Galloper with Touring Cars http://www.touringcars.com.py/index.html for 79€/day, unlimited km. The owner Sr Wenceslao waited for us at the airport and drove us to his office in town where he provided us many things for our trip : an additional spare wheel, a tank for fuel, a stove, and any useful things that we wanted. We had our camping gear but he can provide this too. After our technical problems in the chaco, the different repairs having failed, he changed our car for a Nissan Patrol which is more expensive, but without additional expenses. We really hate these noisy alarms, howling each time you close a door or shut the motor down, scaring birds and animals; ask for deconnecting them!
We bought a useful road maps book at the Touring Club office, but if you want to save time you should ask to Sr Wenceslao to buy it for you. On our smartphone we have the free app MAPS.ME which is very good, we use it all over the world, offline. But for the chaco and around San Rafael some dirt roads are missing. There were no problem to find a petrol station, a new one opened at La Patria on the way to Enciso, and there is one on the road to Madrejon (from Filadelfia); but the renter said that you never know if they have been provisionned, so it is better to have an additional tank in the chaco, surely he is right.
The wifi is widespread in the country. The hotels are not that cheap, prices with bathroom varied between 100000 and 280000G (16€ to 45€); the prices include the breakfast and we never could bargain a cheaper price without. Breakfasts are rarely interesting, and served too late for us, we have our Nescafé, powdered milk and musli in our room, and our usual gear (Steripen, portable water heater). Before leaving for the chaco we bought our supplies at the Supermercado España in Asuncion. At km410 the petrol station of Cruce de Los Pionero has a good supermarket. The supermercado Fernheim in Filadelfia is well supplied and has a good choice of breads. And you can buy food at Mariscal Estigarribia, and La Patria.
Our total expenses inside the country for 2 during 40 days : 2130€, + the car 3160€, total for the trip 5290€.
It was a nice trip, we saw 380 species and heard 14. We saw more flycatchers/elaenias than listed, but we are not experts enough to surely identify all of them when they didn't help us with their call. Our sightings of animals were numerous and we never saw as much in another south american country.
Our itinerary for 40 days: Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, Reserva natural Laguna Blanca, Reserva natural del Bosque Mbaracayu, Reserva San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta. We spent our first and last night in Asuncion in a very good quality-price ratio hotel : Residencial Los Leones de Castilla, 29€ on Booking.com. Good restaurant, good breakfast. The signpost of the residencia is not obvious, best to look for the restaurant "Taberna La Malquerida".
Before leaving Asuncion we wanted to bird the bay, were a concrete boardwalk was built all along; it was so dirty that it was difficult to spot the waders amongst the plastics, and most of all there is a feeling of insecurity which was confirmed by a paraguayan birdwatcher that we met. His name is Alberto Esquivel, and he is guiding for http://www.wildlife.com.py/about-us/alberto-esquivel-mattos/. He kindly gave us his phone n° and 2 or 3 times during our trip we asked him some help about a contact or a birding location. Gracias, Alberto! Anyway we left the bay, in a hurry to begin our trip, and made our way towards the bridge and the Transchaco.
THE CHACO (9 to 23/09)
We had some hopes to find a place to sleep near the km79 which is the Doraditos site, but couldn't find any before the km249, not even a good place to camp. We made several stops all along. The Doradito site at km79 is a zone of papyrus on both sides of the road, there is a place to stop. The traffic makes the taping difficult, but on the right side there was a path leading to the water, were we saw a Warbling Doradito. On the left side our taping of Dinell'is Doradito attracted a bird having a small greyish cheek, looking much like Paul Smith's picture of "Ticking Doradito". We can't be 100% sure that it is this bird, from our bad photo Paul said that it can be it or the Warbling; we saw other birds like Plumbeous Ibis, Rufescent tiger-heron, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Masked Yellowthroat, Unicolored Blackbird, and new for us, a pair of Tawny-bellied Seedeaters.
At km227 we enjoyed a fantastic dormitory full of herons and egrets (at 5:30pm).
We spent our 1st night in a comfortable room at km249 at Parador Pirahu (28€), there is fuel, snacks and a restaurant; in early morning we had a great birding in their garden. Birding there at dusk should provide some nightjars, but we arrived too late. Their rubbish site is at the back, and attract birds in the morning, may be animals by night...
Continuing on the Transchaco, there was a huge wetland in an estancia at km291 were we saw a pair of American Comb Ducks, and a few Black-bellied Whistling-ducks amongst many Brasilian Teals, White-faced Whistling-ducks, Jacanas...
At km410 is Cruce de Los Pioneros with a fuel station and a good supermarket.
THE CENTRAL CHACO
At Cruces de los Pioneros we turned right on the dirt road until LAGUNA CAPITAN (-22.540922, -59.674976), at about 20km, following our application MAPS.ME. When we passed the 1st entrance of the laguna, after a while we arrived at modern cattle-breeding farm, this is not the reserve, you have to continue until the end of the track. The Mennonite managers gave us a very good room with air con and wifi at 50000/pers, (8€). It is possible to camp. From the accommodation there is a small trail and a sandy track, joining the laguna. Tucuman Pygmy-Owl and Tropical Screech-owl were in the camp, Olive-crowned Crescentchest was seen in the woods not far from the camp, and we could hear him singing from daylight; Straneck's Tyrannulet, Many-colored Chaco-finch... It was a birdy place and a good base for birding around, we stayed 3 nights. And when we had to come back to Filadelfia for repairing the car we stayed another 2 nights. We saw few birds at the laguna itself, Coscoroba Swans, Ringed Teals, Collared Plovers, but the woods and the trails were good; we wandered around by car on the smaller tracks between Laguna Capitan and Loma Plata; there are some wetlands particularly Laguna Isla Po'i (-22.498940, -59.735111) where we saw a Brazilian Tapir quietly crossing the wetland rather close to the road; we had a pair of Red-legged Seriema along a road, at any time you can discover something. Note that in Laguna Capitan we were fleas and tiny ticks' infested, ticks bites still itching after 6 weeks. Better to check your clothes carefully.
One afternoon we drove to RESERVA NATURAL CAMPO MARIA (-22.5689332 -59.3411376), in a freshly ploughed field we filmed an Upland Sandpiper, and a White-bellied Nothura showed itself along the road. At the last house (-22.623568 -59.349093), where there is a sign Reserva Natural, a woman explained to us how to get there, and asked 20000/pers. On the way we saw a Greater Hairy Armadillo. It was rather quiet in the afternoon, very windy, we parked near the watch tower, a Chaco Earthcreeper was very responsive to the tape. Around 5:30pm, a Tucuman Pygmy-owl began to call and we had a nice view from the tower, capybaras were seen too; as we still had no sighting of Chilean Flamingoes, a hundred suddenly appeared in the sky from a hidden bent of the river, and disappear soon after. On the way back after dark we saw a Great Horned Owl after the 1st gate.
FILADELFIA is a town without interest with large avenues but only 1 tarred, so it is really dusty. Birdable as soon as you leave the town, we found a rather good dirt road from the Linea 5 at WP-22.427905 -59.981543 where we filmed a Jaguarundi in the afternoon, and saw a Chaco Owl at dusk. But any dirt track can bring something. We stayed 2 nights (not consecutive) in town, at Hotel Golondrina (there are 2 of them, 1 called central, 1 called avenue), where you have to insist for the cheapest room at 180000G. The "avenue" has a restaurant. During our stay in town, we had a tour in the afternoon to FORTIN TOLEDO at about 1h's drive. This is a place where they work for the conservation on the Chaco Peccary (-22.357488 -60.338910). From the Transchaco the dirt road is at WP -22.339632 -60.259208, and after 2,6km another smaller dirt road is signposted, we saw a Great Hairy Armadillo on the way; we began our birding stops here, it was good.
When we arrived at the junction of the track leading to the center we continued and after less than 1,5km we saw a White-bellied Nothura. A rancher family (a man and his sons) stopped and kindly proposed us to follow them where they were going to count their livestock, what we did; we saw few things but chatted a lot with them and it was nice. Their land is very interesting and we had hopes for the Quebracho-crested Tinamou as it has been seen in the area; but it was late and we said that we would come back. After leaving them we took another dirt supposed to join the Transchaco according to MAPS.ME, but we were stopped at a gate, which is their property too and that they allowed us to bird next time. On the way in at WP -22.305868 -60.350198 we saw a family of hairy Chaco Peccaries, and on the way back we saw plenty of Scissor-tailed Nightjars. This area is sandy.
The time lost due to the problems of car prevented us to come back, and later when we could do it it rained a lot and were not tempted by this slippery adventure. But the site deserves more time. The groups look for the Black-bodied Woodpecker at Fortin Toledo, but we didn't hear or see it there.
THE DRY CHACO
Following eastwards on the Transchaco we joined Mariscal Estigarribia -(from here it is possible to drive northwards to PN Defensores del Chaco)- We continued 124km west towards La Patria, but the road was terribly potholed, being rebuilt in some parts; we had to take bad dusty tracks alongside. In a few months or 1 year it should be brand new. Once in La Patria, the tarred road turns west to Bolivia, but we continued straight on on the dirt road. The HQ of PARQUE TENIENTE ENCISO is 26km further on (-21.209164 -61.658066); a ranger welcomed us, and gave us a room with several beds. The bathroom is outside the room, and there is a kitchen. All was extremely dirty and had not been cleaned since months. But it is free, you give what you want. The ranger said that we couldn't stay more than 3 nights because they were preparing a meeting and were waiting many people; in fact the day we left, 2 women came for cleaning, and everything was perfect and we regretted that they didn't clean for us. Although sympathetic, but so occupied with this meeting, the ranger didn't help us much, and forgot to leave the gate open one night knowing that we had projected to leave at 4am the following day.
From the HQ a trail loops around, and there is a waterhole -which was dry at our 1st visit, we reported it to the ranger who turned on the water to fill it-. The birding was interesting on this trail, Black-legged Seriema heard in the morning, White-barred Piculet, Golden-green Woodpecker, Brown Cacholote, Crested Gallito, Golden-billed Saltator, several Cinereous Tyrants, Orange-backed Troupial... and Plains Viscacha, Grey-brocket Dear, Chaco Mara. Between the HQ and the accommodations builduing there was a cooperative pair of Chaco Owls and a Scissor-tailed Nightjar.
Outside the park the birding is by car on the long dirt road on the right side before the HQ, and along the main track going west to PN MEDANOS DEL CHACO. The 1st one has less traffic in general, and we had some good birds, but one day we crossed so many livestock trucks that we turned back. The main road is larger, so not as good, and we crossed some cars preparing the Transchaco rally, raising dust and making the birding impossible. Anyway we took it straight, seeing Black-crested Finch on the way, and met at one point a problematic sandy ascent that could be passed at a speedy rate. After this passage we stopped somewhere for relaxing, and heard a call close to us; once recorded we tried to attract the bird, but he answered sometimes, turning around without showing itself; we gave up after quite a long wait but we should have persevered and walk towards the bird because later Paul Smith told us that it was a contact call of Quebracho-crested Tinamou! You can hear this call on Xeno-canto and IBC.
Always straight ahead, with stops, passing signs of indigenous communities. We eventually saw on the right a sign for the PN Medanos, with a long stretch sandy trail; in the middle of the day it was totally dead with more than 40°, we didn't go there and we continued a little bit until the military post (-20.518105 -62.142872). Here the soldiers welcomed us with a glass of fresh water and we talked for a while. It was impossible to continue the road because a truck was stuck in the middle (anyway it seemed really too sandy), and the militars couldn't give us any informations about the birding sites; from their house we could see the airfield and a nice view over a good forest, and we supposed that this was the place for the Crowned Solitary Eagle; our things would have been with us, we would have asked to stay overnigh, they would have accepted. But we had to go back to Enciso, nothing was noted on the way. Not enough details and preparations...
After our 3 nights at Enciso we birded around again during the day, and stopped at La Patria to inaugurate the brand new petrol station. Our aircon had broken down, a bad thing in the chaco! The mechanic couldn't repair. We decided to spend the night in a small hotel (something like Hospedaje Rancho el toro, 180000G), simple but clean. The next morning, after the village on the left was a track where we saw a Brushland Tinamou and a Southern Three-banded Armadillo. Driving on ruta 9 towards Mariscal, we turned left after 12km from La Patria, on the dirt road leading to PN DEFENSORES DEL CHACO, we were attracted by the possibility to see animals. In fact this dirt road was very good, and our piece of luck was a Black-bodied Woodpecker after 1,5km (-21.410750 -61.421611). On the same road section Little Thornbirds were seen.
Following our route for about 170km, we turned right at a crossing roads where there is a military post (but no control), we eventually arrived (after 25km) at the entrance of CERRO LEON which is a place where it is possible to camp, in the park. There are 5km (to bird) until an abandonned guard house, a bit further there is a wetland on the left, and places for camping; further on a path on the right climbs up to a rocky promontory, and at the end of the road are several campsites and toilets. Good birds were Bolivian Slaty-antshrike, Black-bellied Antwren before the abandonned house, and Azara's Night Monkeys and Dusky Titis. From the viewpoint we saw Bicolored and Crane Hawk. The place was promising but as we were setting our tent we discovered that our fuel was seriously dropping under the car; we packed and decided to join Filadelfia as quickly as possible; it was getting dark, we returned to the main road and began our drive towards Madrejon; we quickly encountered a Geoffroy's Cat, then a Puma, then we nearly crushed a Great Horned Owl. Tired we stopped a few kms before Madrejon, and slept in the car a few hours. At dawn we drove straight on to Filadelfia; this problem cost us 2 days, but this can happen in any travel. It was the 17 sept.
The 21st, from Filadelfia we made our way back to MADREJON (-20.630088, -59.879568), the ranger station of Defensores. On the way we had 2 Black-legged Seriemas on the road; this dirt road is in good state and takes 4 to 5 hours; there is a petrol station with a restaurant and a shop at about 40km before Madrejon. At the HQ we were welcomed by a ranger and we had a room in a similar building than Enciso. There was no tap water anymore but the ranger drew water from the well. There is a pool attracting birds just behind the camp (Grey-necked Wood-rail), and a trail. Once we had set up in our room, we drove in direction of Cerro Leon in the afternoon, and came back after dusk. It was productive, with Puma again, Jaguarundi, Crab-eating Fox, a lovely Margay. The next morning we did a part again, we saw another Margay. One of the rangers (we don't remember his name but he was small) said that a good thing to do is to drive back on the road towards Cerro Leon and continue until the crossing of the military post, and continue straight on towards the west, and follow the northern boundary of Medanos NP. He had detailled maps and was very enthousiastic; it was very attractive, but we had no more time to spend in the Chaco, so we left with regrets. The following day at Filadelfia we had huge storms.
On our way back to Asuncion, we stopped again at km291 for at least 1 hour; disappointment at km79 where we wanted to try the Doraditos again, all had been burnt! We spent the night at km46,50 in the town of Benjamín Aceval, at Hotel Cerrido which is inside the agricultural school. It was in a beautiful park where we saw quite a few birds, but very expensive (280000G) with a dull room and a very poor breakfast.
Our conclusions of our trip to Chaco : the Transchaco is busy and is a mammal-killing road. Our only Tamanduas of the trip were dead on this road. We regret that we couldn't spend more time at Fortin Toledo, camp at Cerro Leon, bird the northern part of PN Medanos del Chaco. In 15 days we saw very few tinamous compared to Birdquest. The dream is to spend 1 month there, bird only mornings and evenings, ant rest during the heath of the day...!
THE EAST (24/09 to 16/10)
ARROYOS Y ESTEROS
All the reports refered to this town, and having no more informations we stayed there in the center at Hotel Olivares 180000G. Looking for a birding site, we continued on ruta 3 on an elevated road and found a beautiful wetland on the right between km68-69. We stopped and birded from here but the traffic made it a little bit uncomfortable, and we couldn't think that the tours were birding here. We only found a track on the right after km73, forking after a while, we birded the right and left forks. We saw the South American Snipe, Yellowish Pipits, Bearded Tachuris, Strange-tailed Tyrants, Rusty-collared and Tawny-bellied Seedeaters; also some seedeaters not found in our book, later identified as Ibera Seedeaters. Not conviced anyway that this was the real birding site, back to the main road we continued our drive. It is far away, at km100, that we turned right on the tarred road to Juan de la Mena. Several kilometers through a fantastic wetland! It was already in late morning, and we had to make our way to Laguna Blanca, so we didn't stay too long. Great Pampa-finch, Yellow-rumped Marshbird, Streamer-tailed Tyrant... many good birds, and we saw several Ibera Seedeaters again. We met a birdwatcher, Oscar Bordon, who confirmed that they were these seedeaters newly described in Argentina in the Ibera marshes; he has a facebook page : Naturaleza de Paraguay en fotografía. He told us that the Crested Doradito was easier in the 1st km in the morning.
Ater our visit to Laguna Blanca, we decided to visit this road again, we had seen a hotel 25km further on in the town of 25 de Diciembre. We set our bags in our room (100000G) at Hospedaje San Agustin, a good place with a restaurant. At 5pm we were on the Juan de la Mena road, just after 600m we saw a Crested Doradito! Sadly we had just the time to spot him, he was chased by a marshbird. The next morning again, we had a good birding with Donacobius, Great Thornbird, Long-tailed Reed-finch, different water birds, but no Doradito. Several Pampas Cavies (Guinea-pigs) along the road.
RESERVA NATURAL LAGUNA BLANCA
We called them prior to arrival, which was a sunday; they had been full for the week-end, but everybody had gone. We decided to camp (30000G/pers), but there are rooms (80000 to 100000G/pers). There is a restaurant. You can't just come without their previous agreement.
See details on their website : http://www.lagunablanca.com.py/
The access is easy, from Santa Rosa del Aguaray, turn right at the 1st large street (untarred), and follow straight on. A new road is in construction, maybe half way was tarred; it shouldn't be too long until the end of the roadworks. Dirt parts were good. At the entrance (a gate on the left side) a man asked us if we were expected and let us in.
We stayed only 2 nights, not enough. Just arrived they gave us a brochure with a map of the trails. Rather quiet in the forest, Undulated Tinamou heard but not seen. A Tataupa Tinamou crossed the main access track with a chick. Hook-billed Kite, Buff-bellied Puffbird...
The orange trail was good with interesting species, Curl-crested Jay, Lesser Elaenia, White-winged Tanager, Black-throated Saltator; we followed the trail until a fork, and tried both of them. It was flooded since recent rains and we couldn't go far. The owner said that she didn't know the state of the area so we dare not access with the car. We stayed as far as possible in the evening in case we would see a White-winged Nightjar, but we had nothing, they are further on in the dunes. Fortunately we had seen the bird in Brazil... We think that we heard the Lesser Nothura, although we wonder if there is not a frog having similar call... Our last morning we birded this good area again.
It was a good site, deserving more time, we couldn't visit all the trails.
RESERVA NATURAL DEL BOSQUE MBARACAYU
We called before at 021 3284 980 or 595 971 282 850, to know if a room was free for us. The access was easy from Villa Ygatimi, where we headed north-east and followed the signs. A 4x4 is not necessary until the HQ (-24.134883 -55.529371), but needed if you want to go to the other side of the park at Aguara ñu. We had a nice room (220000G), and there is a good campsite; meals are on request. Drinking water at the tap. The birding is at the HQ clearing, on a loop trail beginning after the campsite, and the 40km long dirt road leading to the other entrance of the park (Aguara ñu), through forest, then laguna and cerrado.
The Bare-throated Bellbirds are on the loop trail, where we saw Riverbank Warbler, White-bearded Manakin, and a few others. The clearing is good for Tityras, woodpeckers, flycatchers; on the dirt road we had 2 of our targets : a responsive Helmeted Woodpecker after km2, and Black-capped Screech-owl, not heard the 1st night, but heard and seen the 2nd around 9pm in the 2 first km. By car we flushed Solitary Tinamou; we went to the so-called Lagunita at km13. There was a laguna before, on the right, where we accessed to the edge, a Bat Falcon was perched and we flushed Little Bittern and Blackish Rail. On the left, the Lagunita had many Least Grebes, Jacanas, Brazilian Ducks...
The 3rd day, we met 2 argentinian students who wanted to study the Red-faced Crake. For that they needed to go to AGUARA ÑU (-24.186500 -55.279042), but they had a normal car. So we drove together in our 4x4, with the agreement of the staff. We were very happy as it was a target, and the Ocellated Crake as well; they were familiar to these birds, so we were very hopeful. On the way we stopped at all the lagunas, but they noted that the recent floods killed all the suitable vegetation. We made our way towards Aguara ñu, reaching an habitat of cerrado : Long-tailed Tyrant, Black-throated Saltator.
Approaching the border of the park, we discovered that all had recently burnt, even around the house of the rangers. Here we installed our tents and made our way towards the riverside below; the grasses were burnt, but there were some patches of vegetation remaining. We had some shy answers, our agentinian birders debated about the identification, but later confirmed that they were Red-faced Crakes. Anyway we didn't see them; we flushed an South American Snipe; at dusk, just back from the river to the ranger's house, we heard 2 Giant Snipes; we ran towards the birds, near the river, but we couldn't see them. After this attempt, we tried our luck with the White-winged Nightjar. The ranger recommended us to go about 100m above on the main road, and enter in the fields on the left; we tried hard with our friends, but didn't find any. Later they told us that they didn't find them during the 10 days that they remained here. And they heard Ocellated Crake.
It was difficult to decide if we were going to stay with the researchers or continue our trip, with many birds waiting for us; the weather forecast was bad for the next 2 days, so we thought that we would waste them; we drove back to the HQ, paid and left for Curuguaty and spent the night at the Oriental Palace (150000G). Heavy rainfalls during the night and the following day.
We have been disappointed by the very low activity in the forest in general, no dawn chorus, except the Bellbirds, though very promising. We expected to visit the reserves of Carapa, Limoy, and Itabo, administered by the Complejo Itaipu; we only had a general answer to our email, without details. By phone, a woman who told us to call another n°, where a man gave us another n°, and this number never answered. We gave up, and made our way towards Ciudad del Este, but the heavy rains discouraged us to visit Saltos del Monday falls; we stayed at a hotel along the ruta 6 further south. A good number of lifers were waiting for us at San Rafael, we decided to take our time there.
RESERVA SAN RAFAEL
There are 2 main birdwatching sites in this reserve. The first one in the south, in an estancia, run by PRO COSARA, and another further north-west, at KANGUERY, run by GUYRA PARAGUAY. We visited Procosara first, then Kanguery.
1. ESTANCIA NUEVA GAMBACH this name present in the trip reports only appears on the map given by the owner. It is refered as Pro Cosara (-26.637515 -55.663963). We called Christine Hostettler before (0985 710900- firstname.lastname@example.org). The access is easy from Ruta 6, we turned right for Pirapo center, left at the roundabout and followed the tarred road Graneros del Sur, at the T junction turned right. After a while we saw a roadsign "Pro Cosara" on the right, a dirt road, and followed the main road for kilometres, until we joined Ynambu. It permitted us to see 6 Upland Sandpipers in a field + Rusty-margined Guan along the track. If you don't take this shortcut, the tarred road continues and turn right after a lake, and goes to Ynambu. It is longer, but tarred. From Ynambu it is signposted and about 10km on a dirt road. If you come from the south, there is a direct route from Carmen del Parana. The Ynambu shop has limited supplies, it is better to buy goods in a bigger town.
At the estancia, Christine showed us our comfortable room, with shared bathroom (70000/pers).There is a fully equiped kitchen, and a sink outside for the laundry. There is also a campsite. Wifi. Christine's husband was in Switzerland and we didn't meet him; the meals are on demand and shared with her and the other guests, and are very tasty. In general, to avoid the loss of time, we prepared our meals in our kitchen. And sometimes we asked for sandwiches.
Once installed for 4 nights, with our map in hands, we began the birdwatching on the small trail near the accommodations, the sendero Saruku'a Sayru, very birdy, with 2 of our targets : Dusky-tailed Antbird and Southern Bristle-tyrant. Azara's Agouti crossed the trail. Our main concern at dusk was the Rusty-barred Owl and we tried the 4 evenings in different sites, we had absolutely no answer. On a report we had understood that the Owl was near a plantation, so we taped on the west side of the sendero Chachi along the pines and the eucalyptus, nothing.
The camp is to bird, all the way to the lake; here at the extreme left along the fence, we played the call of Red-and-white Crake and waited. Suddenly we had a strident answer, coming from the lower bushes behind the fence! The time to turn our head and try to distingues the bird in the bush, it was too late. Another target, the Violet-crowned Plovercrest, eluded us during the 4 days; the sendero Urutau is good too, looping around the lake, and crossing a river; Grey-headed Kite over the river, Olive Spinetail, Grey-bellied Spinetail, and much more; checking the giant bamboos in search of roosting owl, we found a lovely Brazilian Porcupine. We couldn't do the entire sendero Chachi, only about 1,5km on each side, productive : Spot-billed Toucanet, Magpie Tanager, Sirystes, Barred Forest-falcon, Short-tailed Antthrush, Streak-capped Antwren, and an agressive Tayra, grunting and making strange sounds, great!
The Rusty-margined Guans were heard in the football area, behind the estancia, and short-tailed Nighthawk at dusk. The sendero Tuka Pakova is a loop with a flooded part, better done with rubber boots. From the small platform at dusk we heard the Collared Forest-falcon calling; at dusk we tried the R-B Owl at the entrance of the trail, along the eucalyptus, but only saw Tropical Screech-owl.
After our stay at Kanguery, we decided to come back and stayed 2 more nights, because we still needed the R-B Owl, Red-and-white Crake, Common Nighthawk, Creamy-bellied Gnatcacher, Russet-winged Spadebill, Rufous-tailed Attila, Green-chinned Euphonia. We found none of them! Anyway we added a few birds to our list; the evening of the 12th, after a stormy day, a gale was blowing at dusk; we drove to the west track bordering the eucalyptus trees, convinced that we would see nothing; walking and spotlighting along the track, we had a beautiful Tawny-browed Owl perched rather low and very close, a fantastic view for 2-3 minutes.
2. KANGUERY a ranger station inside the park, offers another habitat. For booking, write to email@example.com, or call Guyra Paraguay (021) 229 097, or Daniel Espinola 0986 649 634.
Christine explained to us the direction to Kanguery, but it seems that the rangers prefer to take you in charge, even if you have your proper car. One of them named Guillermo came to the estancia, and we made our way; he drove behind us in case we would see something on the way. It is at about 30km, at WP-26.474444 -55.772056. We crossed fields and deforested habitats, then eventually the road entered in the forest; after 5km we came out and crossed a large plain (pastizal) before ascending and discover the camp. Here there are dormitories, a campsite, but we had a room in the house of the biologists, with a bathroom and a kitchen (you have to bring your food). We paid 100000/pers. and stayed 4 nights (8 to 11/10)
There are 4 rangers, but 3 always present as the fourth has his free week. They were all nice, Guillermo en particular took care of us. Each evenigh they asked us at what time we were expecting to come back from our night drives, and came to meet us to check if all was OK. Guillermo gave us a map showing the trails, then we followed him to a place where the Saffron-cowled Blackbirds come to roost on the ground at the end of the afternoon (-26.484350 -55.772308). They can be on the right or left side of the road, we saw a large flock at 5:30pm. Then he took us to a laguna invisible from the road (-26.496653, -55.780520), where we saw an Purple Gallinule, Nacunda Nighthawks... and a Rococo Toad. We have been waiting for a potential Great Snipe, but nothing was heard.
The trails behind the HQ pass through a degraded forest, without old trees. Anyway the open area between the HQ and the forest is interesting in the morning, and in the forest we had Black-capped and Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner, Greenish Elaenia, Lesser Woodcreeper, Blue Manakin, Blond-crested Woodpecker... At the large pastizal before the HQ, Capped Seedeater, Lesser Grass-finch, Sedge Wren; we tried our luck here too for the Giant Snipe in vain.
We birded the access track through the forest, which was good, with Sao Paulo Tyrannulet, close view of Brown Tinamou, and eventually a female Violet-crowned Plovercrest. In search of the Rusty-barred Owl we had an answer and a nice view of a Mottled Owl.
One day we tried the Giant Snipe near the Saffron-cowled Blackbirds site; nothing. Then we continued on the road north-east, pass a bridge before entering in a woody area; around this point -26.474444 -55.772056 we heard an Ocellated Nightjar that we tried to find during a long time, without success, and we only heard a Silky-tailed Nightjar... what a frustration. On the way back, (we forgot to note the WP but it was between the Blackbirds site and the laguna trail), we saw a Sickle-winged Nightjar at a flooded grassland area where the road makes a very short descent. We spotlighted the bird in flight, then he landed and emitted his low "pit" call.
The 3rd day there was a crossover between the rangers, and Daniel Espinola arrived, a very interesting and enthousiastic person and we were pleased to chat with him. Strong storms our last day, no birding attempt until the middle of the afternoon. We had decided to try our luck again at Pro cosara and called Christine Hostettler. The next morning the tracks were wet but with the Nissan Patrol we could drive carefully our 30kms without problems.
We loved these 2 sites in San Rafael, and if you don't have a car you can stay in Pro Cosara for 1 or 2 weeks and just bird; it is cheap and Christine is a nice host.
On our way south, we stopped at Hotel Tirol (-27.183378 -55.780006), just before the town of Capitan Miranda on ruta 6. If you come from the south it is after the crossroad with Ruta Graneros del Sur. At the reception at 9:30, we asked the permission to bird and then have lunch at their restaurant, they said "no problem, enjoy". We stopped at the upper carpark. The hotel seemed totally empty of guests and staff; we birded until noon, not bad, with Plain-winged Woodcreeper, Streaked Xenops, Rough-legged Tyrannulet added to our birdlist. We came back for lunch but it was deserted and we didn't see any restaurant, so we left.
AYOLAS and ISLA YACYRETA
We only had 2 days left before the end of our trip, that was short for the site. Coming from the north on ruta 6, we passed Encarnacion and Carmen del Parana, then Coronel Bogado, and turned left 11km after this town, on the road to San Cosme. After 23,5km, we turned right on a road leading to Ayolas, fringing the dike in a very good habitat, after registration at a security gate.
We quickly encountered some seedeaters, and saw 2 males and 1 female Rufous-rumped Seedeater at WP-27.319397 -56.414436; while the difference between them and the Tawny-bellied is tiny, we played the call and they quickly came close to us, allowing good views. We continued and after about 11km, we saw a sign "Reserva Guasu Puku"; we turned there and arrived to a village constructed for the engineers who worked on the dam, and totally deserted since 20 years. This is a really strange atmosphere, we checked a few houses, seing small nests hanging from the ceiling, and a Common Barn-owl installed on a beam. Still continuing, there is the Refugio Faunistico Atinguy after 19km, and the main road 5km further on. Once in Ayolas the hotels were full, it was saturday; we stayed at Hotel Ranoni, 200000G, conveniently situated near the entrance road of Isla Yacyreta.
We still had 1 hour before dusk and we went to Isla Yacyreta, crossing the Rio Parana; 1,3km after the bridge, there is a dirt track on the left that we followed until the entrance of the sendero Akuti Po'i. Having no idea of the place where to observe the Sickle-winged Nightjar, that we wanted to see again, we waited around here, and only saw Pauraque; but we should have tried the track under the powerline that we crossed before (maybe).
The next morning we came back to the sendero Akuti Po'i. Quickly we saw a pair of Bare-faced Curassow; the Black Howlers began their chorus above our heads; nice birding with Lineated Woodpecker, Olive Spinetail, White-winged Becard, Pheasant Cuckoo... the trail ends on the main track, we followed it on the right until the river, where there is a watching tower. Greyish Saltator, Greater Thornbird, from the tower Blue-winged Parrotlet, several Orange-headed Tanagers. The wind increased and blew really hard, the chances to spot something were reduced and we had to leave the forest to avoid an accident with a broken branch. We drove from Ayolas to Ruta 1, saw a good reedbed at a small bridge about 7km before the ruta 1, saw nothing because of the wind, but the next morning when we left we saw Capped Seedeater, Black-capped Donacobius, White-rumped Swallow, Yellow-rumped Marshbird.
Back to Asuncion, we left the country with some regrets, after such a nice trip.
Our videos are on HBW on our account : http://www.hbw.com/ibc/u/1160, select Paraguay.
Our bird list follows the taxonomy order of HBW.
LC = Laguna Capitan SR = San Rafael
AE = Arroyos y Esteros Y = Isla Yacyreta
DC = PN Defensores del Chaco LB = Laguna Blanca
Mb = Mbaracayu PN Enciso = inside and around the NP
Greater Rhea Rhea americana : Several seen around Laguna Capitan and on the way to Campo Maria.
Solitary Tinamou : seen twice on the track at Mbaracayu.
Brown Tinamou Crypturellus obsoletus: 1 singing very close to the track in the end of afternoon, staying hidden, with patience and a long taping, we eventually had a good view.
Undulated Tinamou Crypturellus undulatus : heard at DC and LB
Small-billed Tinamou Crypturellus parvirostris : heard in Mb and San Rafael.
Tataupa Tinamou Crypturellus tataupa: heard LC, seen crossing the track with a chick at LB.
Red-winged Tinamou Rhynchotus rufescens: heard at LB and Mbaracayu, 2 good sithings at Kanguery.
Brushland Tinamou Nothoprocta cinerascens: 2 brief views in the Chaco, 1 good near La Patria.
White-bellied Nothura : 1 crossed the road in Central Chaco, 1 at Fortin Toledo.
Spotted Nothura Nothura maculosa: only 1 seen on a road around Filadelfia.
Quebracho-crested Tinamou Endromia formosa : heard between Enciso and Medanos NP.
Chaco Nothura Nothura chacoensis:
Rusty-margined Guan Penelope superciliaris: around Procosara station in San Rafael.
Chaco Chachalaca Ortalis canicollis: easy in the Chaco.
Bare-faced Curassow Crax fasciolata : a pair on the sendero Akuti Poi on Isla Yacyreta.
Spot-winged Wood-quail Odontophorus capueira : heard in SR and from our room in Ayolas.
Southern Screamer Chauna torquata: good numbers in the Chaco, and 1 around Ayolas.
White-faced Whistling-duck Dendrocygna viduata: Many of them in the Chaco, a few in the southeast.
Black-bellied Whistling-duck Dendrocygna autumnalis : wetland at KM 291 on the transchaco.
Fulvous Whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor : Laguna Capitan area
Masked Duck Nomonyx dominicus : Laguna Capitan, Laguna Blanca, San Rafael (Kanguery).
Coscoroba Swan Coscoroba coscoroba : Laguna Capitan.
Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata: 2 at the Lagunita in Mbaracayu.
American Comb Duck Sarkidiornis sylvicola : wetland at KM 291 on the transcaco.
Ringed Teal Callonetta leucophrys: numerous in the Chaco and Laguna Capitan, a few near Arroyos y E.
Brazilian Teal Amazonetta brasiliensis: Numerous in the Chaco, several sightings in the east.
Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus: numerous at Laguna Capitan, and at Mbaracayu.
Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps: central Chaco, Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu.
Chilean Flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis: a group flew at the end of afternoon Campo Maria reserve.
Rock Dove Columba livia
Picazuro Pigeon Patagioenas picazuro: seen in many places.
Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis: hotel garden in Ayolas.
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi: numerous.
Grey-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla: 1 in Mbaracayu.
Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata: numerous and widespread.
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti: a few at Arroyos y Esteros, LB, SR y Isla Yacyreta.
Picui Ground-Dove Columbina picui: in great numbers.
Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus: heard at LB and Mbaracayu, seen in San Rafael (Procosara).
Nacunda Nighthawk Chordeiles nacunda : Transchaco, Laguna Blanca, Kanguery.
Short-tailed Nighthawk Lurocalis semitorquatus: seen in Mbaracayu and San Rafael.
Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis: common in SR, 1 on the nest behind the guard's house of Aguara ñu, Isla Yacyreta;
Sickle-winged Nightjar Eleothreptus anomalus: 1 seen at Kanguery between the HQ and the Saffron-cowled Blackbird site.
Little Nightjar Caprimulgus parvulus: heard at Enciso and LB, seen on PN Defensores road.
Scissor-tailed Nightjar Hydropsalis torquata: Very easy on the sandy track of Laguna Capitan just before the lagune (coming from the accommodation), and Enciso and Laguna Blanca.
Ocellated Poorwill Nyctiphrynus ocellatus: we spent a lot of time in search of a singing bird very close at Kanguery, but we couldn't see it. Leaving the Saffron-cowled Blackbird area we continued the track and it was at the entry of a forested area.
Silky-tailed Nightjar Antrostomus sericocaudatus : heard only at same site than Ocellated Poorwill.
Rufous Nightjar Caprimulgus rufus: seen at Laguna Blanca.
Southern Swift (Sick's) Chaetura meridionalis: seen in the dry Chaco.
Planalto Hermit Phaethornis pretrei: 1 came inside the veranda of our accommodation in Mbaracayu.
Scale-throated Hermit Phaethornis eurynome: 1 in San Rafael.
White-tailed Goldenthroat Polytmus guainumbi : 1 seen at Mbaracayu.
Glittering-bellied Emerald Chlorostilbon lucidus: seen at KM79 on the Transchaco.
Violet-crowned Plovercrest Stephanoxis lalandi: much wanted, but we only saw a female at Kanguery.
Gilded Sapphire Hylocharis chrysura: Humid Chaco and Mbaracayu.
Blue-tufted Starthroat Heliomaster furcifer : seen at Campo Maria and Laguna Capitan.
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani: in many sites.
Guira Cuckoo Guira guira: seen in many places.
Pheasant Cuckoo Dromococcyx phasianellus : heard at dusk at SR Procosara, seen at Isla Yacyreta.
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana: seen at several places in the east.
Red-and-white Crake Laterallus leucopyrrhus : heard at the lake of SR Procosara, after playback, on the left just along the fence. We were waiting near the water, but he answered just on the left from the limit of the wood... and we missed it.
Rufous-faced Crake Laterallus xenopterus : heard beyond the guard's house of Aguara ñu (Mbaracayu).
Giant Wood-Rail Aramides ypecaha: numerous in the humid Chaco
Grey-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea: 1 behind the HQ of Madrejon (Defensores del Chaco).
Slaty-breasted Wood-Rail Aramides saracura: 1 at Kanguery.
Blackish Rail Pardirallus nigricans : 1 flushed at the lagune before the Lagunita in Mbaracayu.
Ash-throated Crake Porzana albicollis: seen near Laguna Capitan, and at Laguna Blanca.
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinicus : 1 seen at the lagune of Kanguery (SR).
Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata : many were seen in the Chaco, and Lb and Mbaracayu.
Limpkin Aramus guarauna: numerous in the Chaco and Arroyos y Esteros.
Wood Stork Mycteria americana: along the Transchaco and PN Defensores del Chaco.
Maguari Stork Ciconia maguari: several sightings in the Chaco.
Jabiru Jabiru mycteria: several sightings in the Chaco.
Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja: in the humid Chaco and at Laguna Capitan.
Plumbeous Ibis Theristicus caerulescens: km79 of the Transchaco, PN Defensores del Chaco.
Buff-necked Ibis Theristicus caudatus: humid and dry Chaco, PN Mbaracayu.
Bare-faced Ibis Phimosus infuscatus: Laguna Capitan, Arroyos y Esteros
White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi: 1 between LC and Campo Maria, wetland of Km291, AE, Kanguery.
Rufescent Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma lineatum: km79 of Transchaco, around LC, Arroyos y Esteros.
Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius : km227 of Transchaco.
Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis: 1 flushed at the lagune before the Lagunita at Mbaracayu.
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax: km227 on the Transchaco.
Green-backed Heron Butorides striatus : Chaco, Laguna Blanca, San Rafael.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis: seen in several sites.
Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi: humid Chaco
Great White Egret Ardea alba: humid Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, Kanguery;
Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix: in many sites.
Snowy Egret Egretta thula: in several sites.
Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus: regular.
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga: 1 at the marsh of Cerro Leon in Defensores del Chaco.
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus: Laguna Capitan and a few other sites.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola : 1 on the way to Laguna Capitan.
American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica: Laguna Capitan and other places west.
Collared Plover Charadrius collaris: a few at Laguna Capitan.
Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis: Everywhere.
Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana: Everywhere.
Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda : Happy to find one in a freshly returned field near Laguna Capitan, we saw 6 more on the way to Ynambu (the village before San Rafael Procosara).
White-rumped sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis: Laguna Capitan.
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanonotus: Laguna Capitan, Arroyos y Esteros.
South American Snipe Gallinago paraguaiae: 2 near Arroyos y Esteros, and Mbaracayu (Aguara ñu).
Giant Snipe Gallinago undulata: a pair heard in the dark that we couldn't see, near the river lower down the guard post of Aguara ñu.
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitarius: Asuncion bay, Laguna Capitan.
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes : Asuncion bay, humid Chaco.
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca: Laguna Capitan.
Black Skimmer Rynchops niger: 2 at Laguna Capitan.
Yellow-billed Tern Sternula superciliaris: Arroyos y Esteros, and river after the Aratingua Zoo.
Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex: Laguna Capitan.
Common Barn-owl Tyto alba: heard at San Rafael Procosara, seen in an abandonned house near Ayolas.
Ferruginous Pygmy-owl Glaucidium brasilianum: Laguna Blanca and Mbaracayu.
Tucuman Pygmy-owl Glaucidium tucumanum : in the garden at Laguna Capitan even in day time, at the watch tower of RN Campo Maria. Not recognized as full species by others.
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia: In many places.
Tropical Screech-owl Otus choliba: Laguna Capitan Mbaracayu, San Rafael, heard on Isla Yacyreta.
Black-capped Screech-owl Megascops atricapilla : 1 seen after playback at Mbaracayu, others heard.
Tawny-browed Owl Pulsatrix koeniswaldiana: Close view of one perched at San Rafael Procosara.
Chaco Owl Strix chacoensis: a pair near the accommodation at Enciso, 1 seen PN Defensores del Chaco and 1 around Filadelfia.
Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus : 1 at dusk at Campo Maria, and 1 on the road at DC
Mottled Owl Ciccaba virgata: 1 reacted to our sound of Rusty-barred, and came to her proper taped call.
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura: widespread.
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes burrovianus: humid chaco.
American Black Vulture Coragyps atratus: Common and widespread.
Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis: 1 perched above the river on sendero Urutau in San Rafael.
Hook-billed Kite chondrohierax uncinatus : 1 at LB, and 1 perched in the eucalyptus of sendero Chachi west at San Rafael.
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus : Laguna Blanca.
Rufous-thighed Kite Harpagus diodon: Mbaracayu and San Rafael.
Long-winged Harrier Circus buffoni: several seen in the east over the wetlands.
Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor : 1 flying over at Cerro Leon (Defensores del Chaco).
Black-collared Hawk Busarellus nigricollis: 1 seen along the Transchaco.
Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens: 1 flying over at Cerro Leon (Defensores del Chaco).
Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea: several seen in the east, first at Laguna Blanca.
Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis: very common in the Chaco and in the east.
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris: Common and widespread.
Harris’s Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus: a few sightins in the dry Chaco.
Savanna Hawk Heterospizias meridionalis: common in the Chaco.
Great Black-Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga: PN Defensores del Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros.
White-tailed Hawk Buteo albicaudatus: west of PN Enciso, aroud Laguna Capitan, and PN Defensores.
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus: Campo Maria and Enciso.
Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus: around Filadelfia, and at Defensores del Chaco.
Southern Surucua Trogon Trogon surrucura: very common in the forests of east.
Black-throated Trogon Trogon rufus : Mbaracayu and San Rafael.
Rufous-capped Motmot Baryphthengus ruficapillus : Seen at Mbaracayu and heard at San Rafael.
Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquatus: seen at several sites in west and east.
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona: Arroyos y Esteros, San Rafael, around Ayolas.
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana: Arroyos y Esteros, Laguna Blanca.
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher Chloroceryle inda : river of the small loop trail at Mbaracayu station.
Buff-bellied Puffbird Notharchus swainsoni: seen at Laguna Blanca and Mbaracayu.
White-eared Puffbird Nystalus chacuru: Mbaracayu.
Spot-backed Puffbird Nystalus maculatus: PN Enciso, Laguna Capitan.
Rusty-breasted Nunlet Nonnula rubecula : 1 seen on the sendero Saruku'a Sayru at San Rafael.
Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco: Hotel Cerrito km46,5 of transchaco, and San Rafael Kanguery.
Red-breasted Toucan Ramphastos dicolorus : seen twice at Mbaracayu.
Spot-billed Toucanet Selenidera maculirostris : nice view of 1 at San Rafael Procosara.
Chestnut-eared Aracari Pteroglossus castanotis: Laguna Blanca.
White-barred Piculet Picumnus cirratus: PN Enciso.
Robust Woodpecker Campephilus robustus: at SR Procosara near the west entrance of Urutau trail.
Cream-backed Woodpecker Campephilus leucopogon: Parador Pirahu, Campo Maria and PN Enciso.
Golden-green Woodpecker Piculus chrysochloros : PN Enciso.
Green-barred Woodpecker Colaptes melanochloros: Isla Yacyreta.
Golden-breasted Woodpecker Colaptes melanolaimus : seen in humid and dry Chaco.
Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris: humid Chaco, Mbaracayu;
Pampas Flicker Colaptes campestroides : San Rafael. Not split from Campo Flicker by others.
Blond-crested Woodpecker Celeus flavescens: in the forest behind the HQ at SR Kanguery.
Helmeted Woodpecker Hylatomus (Celeus) galeatus : answered to playback between km2 and 3 at Mbaracayu.
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus : San Rafael and Isla Yacyreta.
Black-bodied Woodpecker Dryocopus schulzi : answered to playback near La Patria WP -21.410750 -61.421611 (21°24'38.7"S 61°25'17.8"W).
White Woodpecker Melanerpes candidus : Chaco, Laguna Blanca, San Rafael.
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes flavifrons : Mbaracayu and San Rafael.
White-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes cactorum : Laguna Capitan, Central Chaco, PN Enciso.
White-spotted Woodpecker Veniliornis spilogaster : San Rafael.
Checkered Woodpecker Veniliornis mixtus : Laguna Capitan, PN Enciso.
Little Woodpecker Veniliornis passerinus : 2 at Laguna Blanca.
Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata : a pair seen near Laguna Capitan, heard at LB and Mbaracayu.
Black-legged Seriema Chunga burmeisteri : heard at LC, a pair on Filadelfia-Defensores rd, PN Enciso.
Barred Forest-falcon Micrastur ruficollis : 1 perched briefly in front of us on sendero Urutau San Rafael.
Collared Forest-falcon Micrastur semitorquatus : heard before dusk on sendero Tuka Pakova SR.
Southern Caracara Caracara plancus : mostly transchaco;
Chimango Caracara Phalcoboenuso chimango : Arroyos y Esteros, Laguna Blanca, Kanguery;
Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachim a: humid Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, San Rafael Kanguery.
American Kestrel Falco sparverius: regular encounters.
Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis: 1 at the laguna just before the Lagunita at Mbaracayu, and SR Kanguery.
Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis : dry Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, Laguna Blanca.
Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachu : abundant in the chaco, a few at Kanguery, around Ayolas...
Yellow-chevroned Parakeet Brotogeris chiriri : Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu HQ.
Pileated Parrot Pionopsitta pileata: 1 at San Rafael Kanguery.
Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani : Mbaracayu, San Rafael Procosara.
Turquoise-fronted Parrot Amazona aestiva: abondant in the Chaco.
Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius : Isla Yacyreta from the mirador along the river.
Maroon-bellied Parakeet Pyrrhura frontalis : Mbaracay, San Rafael.
Nanday Parakeet Nandayus nenday : numerous in the Chaco.
Blue-crowned Parakeet Aratinga acuticauda: PN Enciso.
White-eyed Parakeet Psittacara leucophthalma: Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu.
Chaco Earthcreeper Upucerthia certhioides: reacted to the tape just down the tower, on the right.
Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus: everywhere.
Crested Hornero Furnarius cristatus : Campo Maria, Laguna Capitan.
Chotoy Spinetail Schoeniophylax phryganophilus : Laguna Capitan Area, Arroyos y Esteros.
Rufous-capped Spinetail Synallaxis ruficapilla : Mbaracayu, San Rafael Kanguery.
Grey-bellied Spinetail Synallaxis cinerascens : San Rafael.
Sooty-fronted Spinetail Synallaxis frontalis : Laguna Capitan, Defensores del Chaco, Laguna Blanca.
Pale-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis albescens: Laguna Capitan, Laguna Blanca.
Olive Spinetail Cranioleuca obsoleta: 1 pair on Urutau trail SR, and on Akuti Poi trail Isla Yacyreta.
Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomeus: km79 ruta Transchaco, LC, Arroyos y Esteros.
Little Thornbird Phacellodomus sibilatrix: dry Chaco.
Greater Thornbird Phacellodomus ruber: Aroyos y Esteros, several on Isla Yacyreta.
Lark-like Brushrunner Coryphistera alaudina: first at Parador Pirahu, then common in dry Chaco.
Brown Cacholote Pseudoseisura lophotes: PN Enciso.
Ochre-breasted Foliage-gleaner Philydor lichtensteini: San Rafael Kanguery.
Black-capped Foliage-gleaner Philydor atricapillus : forest behind the HQ Kanguery.
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner Philydor rufum : several seen at Mbaracayu and San Rafael.
White-eyed Foliage-gleaner Automolus leucophthalmus: Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans : a pair at Hotel Tirol.
Plain-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla turdina: 1 at Hotel Tirol.
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus: several seen at San Rafael, and Isla Yacyreta.
Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper Drymornis bridgesii: Laguna Capitan, PN Enciso.
White-throated Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes albicollis: 1 at San Rafael.
Great Rufous Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes major: humid Chaco, around Filadelfia.
Planalto Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes platyrostris: 1 at San Rafael.
Lesser Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus fuscus: 1 at San Rafael Kanguery.
Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris: LC, Enciso, Mbaracayu, Isla Yacyreta;
Scalloped Woodcreeper Lepicocolaptes falcinellus : 1 at San Rafael Procosara.
Red-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus trochilirostris: Enciso and around Filadelfia.
Spot-backed Antshrike Hypoedaleus guttatus: 2 times at San Rafael Procosara.
Large-tailed Antshrike Mackenziaena leachii : heard on sendero Saruku'a Sayru at San Rafael.
Tufted Antshrike Mackenziaena severa: 1 male at San Rafael.
Great Antshrike Taraba major: humid an dry Chaco, Isla Yacyreta.
Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus: Laguna Capitan.
Bolivian Slaty-antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus : seen at Cerro Leon at Defensores del Chaco.
Variable Antshrike Thamnophilus caerulescens: Enciso, Laguna Blanca, San Rafael, Hotel Tirol and Y.
Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis: Mbaracayu and San Rafael.
Stripe-backed Antbird Myrmorchilus strigilatus: Laguna Capitan.
Rufous-winged Antwren Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus: Mbaracayu ane San Rafael.
Black-bellied Antwren Formicivora melanogaster : Cerro Leon at Defensores del Chaco.
Dusky-tailed Antbird Drymophila malura: on sendero Saruku'a Sayru at San Rafael Procosara.
Streak-capped Antwren Terenura maculata: west entry in the forest of sendero Chachi at San Rafael.
White-shouldered Fire-eye Pyriglena leucoptera: Mbaracayu.
Short-tailed Antthrush Chamaeza campanisona: on sendero Chachi at San Rafael.
Rufous Gnateater Conopophaga lineata: San Rafael.
Crested Gallito Rhinocrypta lanceolata: several heard and a few seen around PN Enciso.
Olive-crowned Crescentchest Melanopareia maximiliani : a pair near our accommodation at LC.
Sharpbill Oxyruncus cristatus : heard at San Rafael.
Red-ruffed Fruitcrow Pyroderus scutatus: 1 at San Rafael Procosara.
Bare-throated Bellbird Procnias nudicollis : on the small loop trail of Mbaracayu.
Blue Manakin (Swallow-tailed M) Chiroxiphia caudata: seen in the forest behind the HQ of Kanguery.
White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus : near the river on the loop trail of Mbaracayu.
Wing-barred Piprites Piprites chloris : heard on sendero Chachi, San Rafael.
Greenish Mourner Schiffornis virescens: seen at San Rafael.
Rough-legged Tyrannulet Phyllomyias burmeisteri : good views of this lifer at Kanguery and Hot.Tirol.
Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata: a pair building a nest at Kanguery, one seen at Isla Yacyreta.
Large Elaenia Elaenia spectabilis: San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta.
White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps : San Rafael Kanguery.
Lesser Elaenia Elaenia chiriquensis : Laguna Blanca.
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum: Isla Yacyreta.
Suiriri Flycatcher Suiriri suiriri : seen at Laguna Capitan and between Enciso an Medanos del Chaco NP.
White-crested Tyrannulet Serpophaga subcristata : 1 in the bushes along the dike, 1 on Isla Yacyreta.
Straneck's Tyrannulet Serpophaga griseicapilla : a very responsive bird at Laguna Capitan.
Yellow Tyrannulet Capsiempis flaveola: seen once at San Rafael.
Sharp-tailed Tyrant Culicivora caudacuta: 1 in the grassland before the Kanguery HQ.
Bearded Tachuri Polystictus pectoralis : Arroyos y Esteros, Laguna Blanca.
Crested Doradito Pseudocolopteryx sclateri: 1 quick view at Arroyos y Esteros.
Warbling Doradito Pseudocolopteryx flaviventris : 1 responsive bird at the bridge km79 of transchaco.
Tawny-crowned Pygmy-tyrant Euscarthmus meloryphus : San Rafael Kanguery.
Greater Wagtail-Tyrant Stigmatura budytoides : Laguna Capitan, Enciso.
Sao Paulo Tyrannulet Phylloscartes paulista : a nice view of this lifer at San Rafael kanguery.
Southern Bristle-tyrant Pogonotriccus eximius : another lifer seen twice on the trails of San Rafael.
Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus: 1 seen at San Rafael.
Southern Scrub-Flycatcher Sublegatus modestus : Laguna Capitan, Enciso, around Filadelfia.
Plain Tyrannulet Inezia inornata : several seen and heard in the dry Chaco.
Eared Pygmy-Tyrant Myiornis auricularis : seen 3 times at Mbaracayu.
Drab-breasted Pygmy-Tyrant Hemitriccus diops : singing close by at SR, but never came to view.
Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer: common almost everywhere.
Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps: one at San Rafael.
Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens: seen at San Rafael.
Bran-coloured Flycatcher Myiophobus fasciatus: 1 at Aguara ñu in Mbaracayu.
Cliff flycatcher Hirundinea ferruginea : 1 on the orange trail at Laguna Blanca the 27/09.
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus: humid Chaco, San Rafael.
Spectacled Tyrant Hymenops perspicillatus: Laguna Blanca.
Cinereous Tyrant Knipolegus striaticeps: several at Laguna Capitan and PN Enciso.
Yellow-browed Tyrant Satrapa icterophrys : 1 in Mbaracayu.
Black-backed Water-Tyrant Fluvicola albiventer: Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, Laguna Blanca.
White-headed Marsh-Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala: 1 at Arroyos y Esteros.
Strange-tailed Tyrant Alectrurus risora: several after km73 after Arroyos y Esteros.
Grey Monjita Xolmis cinereus : humid Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, Mbaracayu.
White-rumped Monjita Xolmis velatus: seen at Laguna Blanca.
White Monjita Xolmis irupero: humid Chaco, Laguna Capitan.
Streamer-tailed Tyrant Gubernetes yetapa: road to Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu (Aguara ñu), SR.
Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus: 1 in the dry part of Mbaracayu, 1 in San Rafael.
Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosa : regular encounters.
Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius : 1 at San Rafael Kanguery.
Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis: Laguna Blanca, San Rafael.
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus: everywhere.
Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus: Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu, San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta.
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua: only seen at Laguna Blanca.
Variegated Flycatcher Empidonomus varius: Laguna Blanca, San Rafael.
Crowned Slaty-Flycatcher Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus: Enciso, dry Chaco.
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus: widespread.
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana: seen in good numbers almost everywhere.
Sirystes Sirystes sibilator: 1 at San Rafael Procosara.
Rufous Casiornis Casiornis rufa: 1 at Laguna Blanca.
Swainson's Flycatcher Myiarchus swainsoni : 1 at San Rafael.
Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannus: humid Chaco, Defensores, Laguna Blanca, San Rafael.
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata : in the clearing of the HQ at Mbaracayu.
Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor: seen at San Rafael.
Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana: Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
White-winged Becard Pachyramphus validus: San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta.
Plain Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus : Mbaracayu, building a nest at San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta.
Collared Sand Martin Riparia riparia : Arroyos y Esteros.
White-rumped Swallow Tachycineta leucorrhoa : Laguna Capita, Arroyos y Esteros, Ayolas-ruta 1 road.
Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea : Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu.
Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera : humid Chaco.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis : Arroyos y Esteros, San Rafael Kanguery.
Tawny-headed Swallow Alopochelidon fucata : Arroyos y ESteros.
Yellowish Pipit Anthus lutescens : Arroyos y Esteros on trail after km73.
Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis : in the grassland just before the HQ at Kanguery.
Southern House Wren Troglodytes musculus : Laguna Capitan, Arroyos y Esteros, Mbaracayu...
Donacobius Donacobius atricapilla : Arroyos y Esteros, road Ayolas-ruta 1.
White-banded Mockingbird Mimus triurus : seen at Laguna Capitan.
Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus : dry Chaco, Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
Creamy-bellied Thrush Turdus amaurochalinus : regular sightings;
Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas: Laguna Blanca, Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
Rufous-bellied Thrush Turdus rufiventris : widespread.
Masked Gnatcatcher Polioptila dumicola: humid and dry Chaco.
Purplish Jay Cyanocorax cyanomelas : humid Chaco, Defensores, Lagu. Blanca, Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
Curl-crested Jay Cyanocorax cristatellus : a group on the orange trail at Laguna Blanca.
Plush-crested Jay Cyanocorax chrysops : very common on many sites.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus : in towns.
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis : humid Chaco, Enciso, San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta.
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus : Arroyos y Esteros, Isla Yacyreta.
Rufous-crowned Greenlet Hylophilus poecilotis: building a nest at San Rafael.
Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica: San Rafael.
Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi: humid Chaco, Laguna Capitan, San Rafael.
Masked Yellowthroat Geothlypis aequinoctialis: humid Chaco, San Rafael.
Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus: very common in the east.
White-browed Warbler Basileuterus leucoblepharus: very common at San Rafael, Isla Yaceryta.
Riverbank Warbler Basileuterus rivularis : along the river on the loop trail of Mbaracayu.
Magpie Tanager Cissopis leverianus: One on sendero Chachi at San Rafael Procosara.
White-banded Tanager Neothraupis fasciata: One on the orange trail at Laguna Blanca.
Hooded Tanager Nemosia pileata: Garden of Hotel Cerrito.
Orange-headed Tanager Thlypopsis sordida : along the river near the mirador on Isla Yacyreta.
Chestnut-headed Tanager Pyrrhocoma ruficeps : 1 at San Rafael.
White-rumped Tanager Cypsnagra hirundinacea: on the orange trail at Laguna Blanca.
Black-goggled Tanager Trichothraupis melanops: very common at San Rafael.
Ruby-crowned Tanager Tachyphonus coronatus: common at San Rafael.
White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus : Laguna Capitan.
Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca : common throughout.
Blue-and-yellow Tanager Thraupis bonariensis : 1 seen at Filadelfia;
Swallow Tanager Tersina viridis : a pair at Mbaracayu.
Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana : Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
Guira Tanager Hemithraupis guira : San Rafael.
Chestnut-vented Conebill Conirostrum speciosum : Laguna Blanca, San Rafael.
Purple-throated Euphonia Euphonia chlorotica : Mbaracayu, San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta.
Chestnut-bellied Euphonia Euphonia pectoralis : 1 at Mbaracayu.
Blue-naped Chlorophonia Chlorophonia cyanea : seen at San Raphael.
Lowland Hepatic-tanager Piranga flava : a female at Enciso.
Red-crowned Ant-tanager Habia rubica : several seen at San Rafael.
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis : a few in humid Chaco, Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis : Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, Kanguery.
Black-crested Finch Lophospingus pusillus : seen between PN Enciso and PN Medanos.
Long-tailed Reed-finch Donacospiza albifrons : seen at km100 after Arroyos y Esteros.
Ringed Warbling-finch Poospiza torquata : PN Enciso.
Black-capped Warbling-Finch Poospiza melanoleuca : Laguna Capitan.
Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola: Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros, Mbaracayu, San Rafael.
Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch Emberizoides herbicola : Arroyos y Esteros, San Rafael;
Lesser Grass-Finch Emberizoides ypiranganus : only 1 seen in the grasslands before the Kanguery HQ.
Great Pampa-Finch Embernagra platensis : humid Chaco, Laguna Capitan, Arroy. y Esteros, Kanguery.
Red Crested-Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus: common in the Chaco; Arroy. yEsteros, LB, San Rafael.
Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata : common in the Chaco; Arroyos y Esteros, Laguna Blanca.
Yellow-billed Cardinal Paroaria capitata : humid Chaco, Laguna Capitan.
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina: a few in the Chaco, San Rafael...
Plumbeous Seedeater Sporophila plumbea : 1 seen at Aguara ñu at Mbaracayu.
Rusty-collared Seedeater Sporophila collaris : seen only at Arroyos y Esteros.
Double-collared Seedeater Sporophila caerulescens: humid Chaco, San Rafael, Isla Yacyreta.
Capped Seedeater Sporophila bouvreuil pileata : in the grasslands before the Kanguery HQ, and road Ayolas-ruta 1. Subspecies pileata split by many as Pearly-bellied Seedeater.
Tawny-bellied Seedeater Sporophila hypoxantha : km79 of Transchaco, Arroyos y Esteros.
Ibera Seedeater Sporophila sp. nov. : several seen at km73 and km100 after Arroyos y Esteros. We name this bird like this for the moment, as it looks like the new species described in the Ibera marshes of Argentina, it is not clear. See video on HBW/IBC
Rufous-rumped Seedeater Sporophila hypochroma : 2 males and a female along the dike between San Cosme road and Ayolas; WP-27.319397 -56.414436 (27°19'09.8"S 56°24'52.0"W).
Blackish-blue Seedeater Amaurospiza moesta : border of forest Chachi trail west.
Many-coloured Chaco-Finch Saltatricula multicolor : seen at Laguna Capitan.
Green-winged Saltator Saltator similis : San Rafael Kanguery, Isla Yacyreta.
Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens: bizarrely only seen on Isla Yacyreta but mayby overlooked.
Golden-billed Saltator Saltator aurantiirostris : Laguna Capitan, Enciso.
Black-throated Saltator Saltator atricollis : orange trail at Laguna Blanca, near Aguara ñu at MB.
Ultramarine Grosbeak Cyanocompsa brissonii : a pair seen at Laguna Capitan.
Golden-winged Cacique Cacicus chrysopterus : seen at San Rafael.
Red-rumped Cacique Cacicus haemorrhous : Arroyos y Esteros, Mbaracayu, Kanguery.
Solitary Cacique Procacicus solitarius : Laguna Capitan.
Orange-backed Troupial Icterus croconotus : PN Enciso.
Variable Oriole Icterus pyrrhopterus : seen in most of the sites.
Screaming Cowbird Molothrus rufoaxillaris : a few in humid Chaco, Mbaracayu.
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis : in several places.
Scarlet-headed Blackbird Amblyramphus holosericeus : humid Chaco, AE, Kanguery, around Ayolas.
Chopi Blackbird Gnorimopsar chopi : in several sites.
Unicoloured Blackbird Agelasticus cyanopus : humid Chaco, AE, Kanguery, around Ayolas.
Chestnut-capped Blackbird Chrysomus ruficapillus : Laguna Capitan area.
Saffron-cowled Blackbird Xanthopsar flavus : a large group at San Rafael Kanguery.
Yellow-rumped Marshbird Pseudoleistes guirahuro : AE, Mbaracayu, San Rafael, around Ayolas.
Greyish Baywing Agelaioides badius : humid and dry Chaco, Arroyos y Esteros.
White-browed Blackbird Sturnella superciliaris : Laguna Capitan, Arroyos y Esteros, Mbaracayu, SR.