HOTEL EL TIROL
27o11’S5o48’W ha c100m fairly flat
EBA075 interior Atlantic forest lowlands
no formal protection, private grounds
September-November (visited June 2005)
Birding Site Guide
This important site is easily accessible and easy to bird. The famous hotel is cheap, clean modern and comfortable. From Encarnacion (across from the Argentine border on the N bank of the River Paraná) head out of town N on the tarmac Route 6 for 12km. The hotel is well signed, and if travelling by town bus, get off where the bus stops to turn around. If you get the intercity bus ask the driver to stop for you. From the bus stop at the petrol station walk a little further to the entrance.
The main area to bird is a loop trail from the lower swimming pool through the forest. This main trail is about 1km long and takes you along either side of a steeply sloped main stream. The area is a little hilly but easy, and there are many short side trails which lead towards the road or down across the stream and up the other side. Along the main trail there are some degraded areas including a citrus orchard, eucalyptus and pine plantations and a derelict pig sty. At the plantations there is a trail through the eucalyptus to very good forest behind, the trail leads along a fence down to the stream and over the other side, this is a good area for Short-tailed Antthrush. After crossing the stream continue up through good forest to an obvious gap in the fence and follow the trail left, past small plantations and forest. The trail continues a few 100m across 2 small streams then up a steep stretch. Here you are approaching the edge of the forest and a small village.
There are other paved paths above the hotel through mature secondary forest, and these lead either to the road or to a bungalow on the main trail. At the bungalow there is another citrus plantation which you can go through and through a gap in the hedge next to a concrete structure. This leads to an open pasture area with ponds, which is still part of the hotel property. Alternatively you can reach this open area by driving out of the hotel and taking the first left. Further along this side road at or near the bottom of the dip is a side track and this leads to a marsh by some patchy forest where Large-tailed Antshrike is easily seen with use of tape playback. Other tracks may be worth exploring too.
The Hotel El Tirol is to have a mini field-guide to the birds of the area published, and it will be available from the hotel, author Paul Smith.
239 species have been recorded so far including many Sought After Species including Creamy-bellied Gnatcatcher. In all 42 Atlantic forest endemics have been recorded here, though some not in the present surveys. Particularly affected seem to be the bamboo specialists such as Blackish-blue Seedeater and Uniform Finch, both of which are increasingly hard to find anywhere and maybe soon will be upgraded to threatened? (P. Smith).
Relevant BENES list
SOUTH & EAST BRAZIL FORESTS BENES (Biome Endemics and Near-Endemics list) Other Fauna
Additional information: Paul Smith, thanks to Hemme Batjes and Regis Nossent