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A visit to Ujarras and the river Tuis and transfer to the Airport.

Weather:  sunshine all day, a nice cooling breeze.

Our last morning had arrived, we had time for some birding before we had to set off to the airport so we planned a couple of outings. The first trip began straight after breakfast, drove for 50 minutes to a small river where we hoped to see the magical Sunbittern. We parked near a small bridge and walked back to view the river and there it was!! A male Sunbittern was feeding just below and even though 13 pairs of eyes and several camera lenses were pointing at the bird it wasn’t bothered at all.

this is a photo of the Back of Eddie Baxter's Camera - he appeared to take the best of the flight shots of the Sunbittern

We watched this bird for 30 minutes, it jumped from rock to rock, it made a few short flights and it stood and preened for 10 minutes, stretching out its wings and showing us its beautiful and unusual markings. In the meantime, Jason, found the actual nest of the Sunbittern, the female was sitting on the nest on a horizontal branch above the water.


showing both wing markings taken by Chris Perry

a single wing-stretch captured by Chris Perry

Torrent Tyrannulet taken by Chris Perry

the female Sunbittern sitting on her nest some 20-30ft above the river

When everyone was satisfied with their pictures we got back onto the bus and drove back to the hotel. At 10am we were all packed up, luggage locked and loaded and everyone on the bus. This time we drove for an hour to Ujarras where an area of coffee plantations held a population of Cabanis’s Ground Sparrow and the White-faced Ground Sparrow.

After stepping from the bus we were quickly tracking down a couple of sparrow-like birds, they turned out to be Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrows, we all had fleeting views odf them and ity could have been better. We also noted lots of Variable Seedeaters, a Black-headed Saltator and many common species. We stayed for another hour hoping for another sightings without seeing one.

At 12noon we drove to a local dam where we sat in a roadside restaurant and ate our lunch, I must say that for a dingy little shack of a restaurant the food was excellent. We saw nothing on the water below us and only common species in the bushes around us.

All that was left for us to do now was to drive to the airport. We ad a decent run and arrived around 3:30pm. We said goodbye to Jason ur guide, Romel our driver and Rob parsons who was staying an extra night.

The group of '24 - a lovely bunch of cocoanuts

Our flight departed 30 minutes late, it was a relatively smooth flight except that as I write this we are being jostled about by turbulence.

We ended the tour on 463 sightings and another 7 heard not seen, some of the birds were seen by Jason only and one or two were solo sightings by individuals in the group. All in all it was a wonderful trip with a great set of characters in the group, a very enjoyable experience come and join me next year!!

Friday February 22nd - March 9th 2025