Pied Lapwing on boat trip at Rio Aquidauana

DiademkiebitzDue to the long drive from Campo Grande to the Pousada Toca da Onca, I arrived on the first day in the southern Pantanal in the late afternoon. But it was not too late to join a boat trip. It is very cloudy, but also very warm and humid. The clouds in the sky indicated rain in the next few hours.

The highlight of the trip was a striking black and white small wading bird. It is the Pied Lapwing (Vanellus cayanus). This lapwing has since been given a new scientific name: Hoploxypterus cayanus. Nimbly the white-black bird runs in front of us in the boat on the sand of the Rio Aquidauana. Again and again it stops and seems to hesitate to start moving again. I lie down on the edge of the boat and let the bird come closer in the deep photographic perspective.


Initially I was very excited to see what animals would show up during our boat ride in the Pantanal. Maybe a Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)? And what about Jabirus (Jabiru mycteria) and other birds?

To cut right to the chase: I was able to see them all and photograph many as well. Already on the way to the boat weh ad to pass through a group of Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris). The first bird I see was a typical bird of the Pantanal. A Jabiru. Later we were to see more of them. Everywhere brown tree trunks are lying in the water or on the sandbanks. When we get closer they turn out to be Yacare (Yacaré) Caiman (Caiman yacare), also known commonly as the Jacare Caiman. They all lie very inconspicuously in the water and watch very attentively the boat when it just passes their resting place.


Another bird family that I encounter quite frequently on these and the following days in the Pantanal is the family of kingfishers. Quietly, a Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata) stands on a branch above a side arm. Slowly, the boat glides up. However, the bird, formerly known scientifically as Ceryle torquata, is so eager to observe its prey that it pays no attention to the boatman and me.  On our boat trip we see more individuals of this kingfisher species. In the following days we should meet this species again and again. Another bird species I am very happy about is the Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco). At first I see only a single Toco Toucan, later a pair. The first time I saw a Toco Toucan in Brazil was in in Parque Nacional Foz do Iguaçu. Here the Toucans can be admired very close to the Iguazú Falls and on the Argentine side.

It is quickly getting dark and we have to make our way back. On the way back we meet some fishermen. And again we are accompanied by a beautiful rainbow in the background.


The best time to visit the Pantanal in Brazil is known to be the dry season. Originally I wanted to visit the Pantanal in March. But a local recommended me to visit the Pantanal later in the dry season. The later, the better. Therefore, the Pantanal became my last destination on the Brazil trip and I decided to visit the Pantanal at the end of April. In hindsight, I can say that it would have been better to visit the Pantanal even later. However, our tour operator told us that you can visit the Pantanal all year round. In general, it is said that the best time to visit the Pantanal is from June to August. That is, during the driest months.


To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic and beyond.  Trips to remote places like this one to capture images not only of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice image of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give bird-lens.com a message, if bird-lens.com could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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