Day 1 – Arrival in Porto Seguro
Our Northeastern Brazil birding tour begins in Porto Seguro, which has direct flights from several Brazilian hubs. You may be arriving from our Central Brazil birding tour on a direct flight from Brasilia. We will meet for dinner and discuss the general aspects of the exciting tour ahead and, particularly, the next day. Night in Porto Seguro.
Days 2 & 3 – Around Porto Seguro
As this will practically be our only opportunity to see some birds of the Bahia lowlands, we will spend two full days in this area of Atlantic Forest. Much of the time will be spent birding at the privately-owned Veracel Reserve. One of the microhabitats here is patches of white-sand forest with trees of medium height, which is the perfect habitat for this reserve’s two spectacular cotingas, White-winged and the very rare Banded Cotinga. Other endemics and special species abound here too, including the colorful Blue-throated Parakeet (also known as Ochre-marked Parakeet) and the rare Racket-tailed Coquette. There are even a few recent records of Harpy Eagle!
Seafood is the specialty at Porto Seguro and we will have ample opportunity to taste the wide variety available. Nights in Porto Seguro.
Day 4 – Transfer to Serra Bonita
After another morning’s birding at Veracel Reserve, we will transfer to Serra Bonita (just over 4 hours drive), where we may have time to do a little birding in the afternoon. Serra Bonita is another private reserve, but this one protects a gradient of lowland to middle elevation Atlantic Forest. The owners, the retired entomologist Dr. Vitor O. Becker and his wife Clemira, have built a lodge and research station next to their home in the reserve; staying here is a great way to support their ongoing conservation efforts and will also enable us to see a number of great birds. Night at Serra Bonita Lodge.
Day 5 – Serra Bonita Reserve
A large number of Atlantic Forest endemics abound in this reserve, and some of the species we will be searching for include the very colorful Golden-capped Parakeet and the recently described Pink-legged Graveteiro, perhaps even our first chance to find the even more recently described Boa Nova Tapaculo (described to science 2014). A high diversity of tanagers and hummingbirds visit feeders at the research center. Night at Serra Bonita Lodge.
Day 6 – Transfer to Boa Nova
After a last morning birding at Serra Bonita, we will drive 4 1/2 hours to Boa Nova, probably arriving in the late afternoon. Night in Boa Nova.
Days 7 & 8 – Around Boa Nova
We will have 2 ½ days to bird this area of very high biodiversity, with dry caatinga vegetation to the west and humid montane Atlantic Forest to the east. We will be looking for birds in special microhabitats such as “lajeiros” (slopes with large slabs of rock, favorite roosting sites for Pygmy Nightjar) and “mata de cipó” (dry forest with ground bromeliads and cacti), as well as the typical caatinga (dry, thorny forest) and montane Atlantic Forest. This is another area with an impressive number of Atlantic Forest species. Temperatures will range from warm to comfortable. Nights in Boa Nova.
Day 9 – Transfer to Lencois
Today we will get up a little later than usual and we will spend the whole day on the road, stopping to bird at a couple of areas on the way to Lencois. After breakfast, we will drive about 4 hours to Ibicoará, where we will have lunch and look for the endemic Diamantina Tapaculo. After this we will continue on our way, driving another hour or so before looking for the recently described Sincorá Antwren (described 2007) and birding the cerrado (open low woodland) near Mucugé. Finally, we will drive the rest of the way to our hotel in Lencois, a drive of just over 2 hours. Night in Lencois.
Days 10 & 11 – Chapada Diamantina National Park
A change of scenery from the places we will have visited, the Chapada Diamantina is an area of deep rocky canyons, scrubby cerrado vegetation and patches of dry montane scrub, caatinga and humid forest. Again, this is an area with a huge number of bird species, some of them practically only found here. These include the spectacular Hooded Visorbearer, Sao Francisco Sparrow, Pale-throated Sierra-Finch and Gray-backed Tachuri. We have two full days to explore this region of interesting landscapes and birdlife.
Day 12 – Departure from Lencois or joining the extension
Those not taking the extension may depart today from the Lencois airport, flying to Salvador to connect to flights home.
Day 12 – Transfer to Canudos
After breakfast we will depart on a 7 hour drive to Canudos, where we will stay at very nice, rustic accommodations in the reserve, next to the only known roosting site of the Lear’s Macaw.
Day 13 – Lear’s Macaw search around Canudos
The exodus of Lear’s Macaw from their roost site early in the morning is a thrilling spectacle. Other interesting birds of this region include Scarlet-throated Tanager, Red-legged Seriema, Red-shouldered Spinetail, White-throated Seedeater and other caatinga specialties.
Day 14 – Transfer to Crato
After a morning’s birding near Canudos, it will be roughly a 5 hour drive to Crato, our base for searching for Araripe Manakin and other birds.
Day 15 – Araripe Manakin search around Crato
Our main target will be the spectacular and critically endangered Araripe Manakin at its only locality in the world. Other noteworthy birds we will be on the lookout for include Silvery-cheeked Antshrike, Caatinga Antshrike, Caatinga Antwren and Tawny Piculet.
Day 16 – Departure
Our Northeastern Brazil birding tour ends today. You can depart for flights home anytime today. There are direct flights from Juazeiro do Norte airport, 40 minutes drrive from Crato, to Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Fortaleza and Recife.