Thursday 7 June 2012

Buff-throated Purpletuft

Here's todays offering marking Elis' absence. It is perhaps an obvious choice. The Buff-throated Purpletuft was probably the bird most sought after by my visitors in Brazil. It is a smashing little bird, endemic and rare and its descreet habits make it hard to find at times. Once its soft and high pitched call is learned and instilled into the subconscious it is surprising how often one hears this little chap singing while walking in the lowland forest around Ubatuba. Seeing it there is of course quite another matter as it would stay right at the tops of the trees under which the forest tracks lay. Its diminuitive size coupled with the thick canopy rendered this little bird virtually invisible.
However, on the forest edge at places such as Rancho Pica Pau, which I always claimed was probably the best place in the world to look for this species, and also Fazenda Angelim, another popular desination, these cheerful little birds could be more readily seen on their lofty perches. Their lively bounding flight becoming diagnostic after a few observations.

This bird was the symbol of the ill-fated Ubatuba Birdwatching Centre that failed due to local ill-will particularly on the part of one spiteful character who was determined not to let anything flourish that he was not in control of in the local birding world. I expect that he is very happy now that we have left, but he should know that we too are very happy, or will be when Elis gets back anyway!

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