NE Brazil 20 days – states of Ceará, Bahia and Goiás


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Tour itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive in Fortaleza airport – transfer to Icapui ( 200 km) in the eastern coast of the state of Ceará, where the main target will be Little-Wood Rail. The place is also good for migrant shorebirds from September to February.

Day 02: Transfer to Serra de Baturité (230 Km). This mountain range lies at 800 m, c.120 km south of Fortaleza. The humid forested mountain slopes grade into deciduous forest then xeric Caatinga in lower areas. Some of key birds: Gray-breasted Parakeet, Buff-breasted Tody-Tyrant, Gray-headed Spinetail, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, Ceara Gnateater, Rufous-breasted (Ceara) Leaftosser, Lesser (Northern) Woodcreeper among others. Night in Guaramiranga.

Day 03: Bird Baturite area AM. PM transfer to Quixada (110 Km). One and a half hour drive from Serra de Baturité, Quixadá is characterized by inselbergs or monolitos (strange rock formations that resemble icebergs). At this usually hot and dry site, the target bird is Pygmy Nightjar, which roosts and breeds among the rocks, cacti and terrestrial bromeliads. We will stay on Hotel Pedra dos Ventos, which has very good accommodation and the birds are on the hotel’s garden. We also will start with the “Caatinga Endemics” such as Cactus Parakeet, Caatinga Cachalote, White-napped Jay, Ochre-backed Woodpecker, Ochraceus Piculet (among others) and with luck, the rare White-browed Guan.

Day 04: Early morning birding Quixada and transfer to Chapada do Araripe (500 Km – long drive). This is a plateau in the south of the state of Ceará. The region is rich in birds due the diversity of the habitats, the vegetation in the top of the plateau is a mixed of moist forest near the slopes, cerrado and caatinga. There are several springs along the foothills, with moist forest that is the only habitat for the amazing Araripe Manakin. In the dry vegetation of the top of the plateau we will also find many endemics such as Great Xenops, Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, Red-shouldered Spinetail, Caatinga Antshrike, Tawny Piculet, White-browed Antpitta, Caatinga Antwren, etc.
Day 05: Full day birding Chapada do Araripe.

Day 06: transfer to the unique Lear’s Macaw Reserve at Canudos (360 Km) where we will stay in the very nice and rustic accommodations of the Reserve, facing Lear’s Macaw roosting area. Birding in the afternoon in Caatinga nearby the Reserve for Red-shouldered Spinetail, the local races of Lesser and Greater Wagtail-Tyrant, Least Nighthawk, Blue-crowned Parakeet, etc.

Day 07: Early morning visit to Lear’s (Indigo) Macaw roosting site (always fantastic!!!). After birding, come back for breakfast in the Reserve accommodations and a long drive to Chapada Diamantina in the state of Bahia (560 Km). Night in the nice town of Lençois.
Day 08: Full day birding Chapada Diamantina. Due to altitudinal gradients, the mountains retain humid air from the sea and with rain shadows; there is a high diversity of habitats – caatinga, cerrado, campo rupestre (arid mountain shrubs), moist forest, gallery forest. Regional endemics include Hooded Visorbearer and the recently described Sincorá Antwren and Diamantina Tapaculo.

Lots of birds to see here, just to mention some other targets: Sao Francisco Sparrow, Grey-backed Tachuri, Pale-throated Serra-finch, Horned Sungem, Broad-tipped Hermit, Spotted Piculet, Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, Collared Crescentchest, White-banded Tanager are all around.

Day 09: Birding Chapada Diamantina part of the morning and transfer to Barreiras in the west of Bahia (470 Km) – where we will be based to bird next morning nearby Sao Desidério – main targets will be the rare Mustached Woodcreeper, Caatinga Black-Tyrant and Wagler’s Woodcreeper (still considered as subspecies of “Scaled” by IOC ).

Day 10: Birding São Desidério AM and transfer to São Domingos (220 Km) in the state of Goiás, stopping on route for some Cerrado specialties as Chapada Flycatcher. New chances for Horned Sungem. Our main target in São Domingos area will be the restricted Pfrimer’s Parakeet. Other targets in the area include Jandaya Parakeet, Helmeted Manakin and others Cerrado – Dry-forest specialties

Day 11: Bird the Terra Ronca State Park (very nice gallery and dry forest along limestone formations) in the morning for Pfrimer’s Parakeet and transfer (420 Km) to Bom Jesus da Lapa, back in Bahia, where we will look for Bahian-Nighthawk flying over Corrente river in the end of the day.

Day 12: Leave Bom Jesus da Lapa early morning and drive towards Boa Nova (480 Km) stopping on route (after + – 100 Km) to bird Caetite area for Minas Gerais Tyrannulet and other Caatinga specialties in case we still need. Arrive in Boa Nova PM. Boa Nova is located in the southwest of Bahia state where the Montane Atlantic forests meets the Caatinga. The region is home to over 400 bird species including the restricted Slender Antbird and Narrow-billed Antwren, both confined to a small area of eastern Brazil, a transitional area with dry vegetation known as “mata-de-cipo”. In less than 20 minutes of driving we leave the dry forest to a lush Atlantic forest, where we bird for species such as Striated Softtail, Bahia Spinetail, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Fork-tailed Tody-Tyrant, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, Pin-tailed Manakin, Pallid Spinetail, Ferruginous Antbird, Gilt-edged Tanager and several more Atlantic Forest species.

Day 13: Full day birding Boa Nova.

Day 14: AM Birding Boa Nova (if necessary) and transfer (290 Km) to Stresemann’s Bristlefront Reserve. This is the area where the enigmatic Stresemann’s Bristlefront was recently rediscovery. The American Bird Conservancy and its Brazilian partner Fundacao Biodiversitas have acquired almost 1,000 acres of this unique and isolated stand of Atlantic Forest to save that site, one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots in South America. Besides the mega-rare Stresemann’s Bristlefront, many others endemics occurs in the area, as Three-toed Jacamar, Maroon-faced Parakeet, Plumbeous Antvireo, Rio de Janeiro Antbird, Bahia Spinetail, etc.

Day 15: AM birding Stresemann’s Bristlefront Reserve and transfer to Porto Seguro (300 Km)
Day 16: Full day Porto Seguro; where we will be birding at Veracel Reserve (Lowland Atlantic forest). Several rarities as Hooked-billed Hermit, Red-browed Parrot, Ochre-marked Parakeet, Band-tailed Antwren, Bahia Antwren, White-winged Potoo, White-winged Cotinga and the super Banded Cotinga (very rare, here is the best place to try).

Day 17: Bird Veracel AM if necessary and transfer (200 Km) to Serra Bonita Reserve (very nice jungle lodge). The Serra Bonita Reserve is a pioneering, innovative private conservation enterprise, protecting submontane forest in Southern Bahia. It aims to protect the Brazilian Atlantic Forest through a consortium of several rural property owners, whose properties contain RPPNs (private reserves). Altogether, currently they protect 2,500 ha – the second largest privately protected area of the Central Biodiversity Corridor of the Atlantic Forest.
The RPPNs contained in each property are managed by Instituto Uiraçu, through agreements with the owners. In addition to managing these private reserves and its own, purchased through donations, the Institute aims to extend the protection to the entire Bonita Serra, one of the last remnants of submontane forest in the region, which covers an area of about 7,500 hectares in the municipalities of Camacan and Pau Brasil, Bahia.
Some of the main targets are the unique Pink-legged Graveteiro, Bahia Tyrannulet and many more rarities as Plumbeus Antvireo, Salvatori’s Antwren; the rare Atlantic race (to be split) of Rufous-brown Solitaire, Atlantic Birds as the beauty Blue Manakin, Eastern-striped Manakin, Spot-backed Antshrike, Spot-billed Toucanet, Sombre Hummingbird, etc. They have feeders for hummers and Tanagers (Red-necked, Green Headed, Golden-chevroned, Azure-shouldered Tanagers are some frequent visitors).

Day 18: Full day birding Serra Bonita Reserve.

Day 19: Transfer to Itacare (200 Km), a tourist town in the coast. Our main target will be another very rare bird: the Critically Endangered Bahia Tapaculo. New chances for lowland Atlantic Forest species in case we have missed some.

Day 20: transfer to Salvador (400 Km) (International Airport) or Ilheus (90 Km) airport from where you can fly to the main Brazilian airports.



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