Sunday, 31 January 2016

Southern Bahia Extension


Petrobas Forest & Chapada Diamentia


Raso de Catarina & the drive to Catu


Petrolina Area & the journey to Canudos

It is a grey dawn on the morning of 18th January & I am looking over the vast Rio San Fransisco River from our hotel. Birding doesn't look very promising but how wrong can I be?

Rio San Fransisco River.

We travel out of town, down a sandy side road towards a hill used for communications. It proves to be an outstanding morning & eventually the sun shines!

Pepe, Bret & Marcello.
In the afternoon we travel across the bridge to the neighbouring Bahia State, mainly for a stake out for Pygmy Nightjar. After a bit of effort in the heat, we are successful!

Not all plans go to plan!
Our bus driver manages to bog down our transport in a patch of mud & we get back to our hotel quite late, but enjoy another good meal with beer & wine! Another great day on the tour!

Serra de Baturite & Chapada do Araripe National Forest.

Our hotel, set amid great scenery & right in the 
middle of the birding habitat.

A series of great hiking trails
 run through the forest.
Wing banded Hornero

Masked Water Tyrant
Grey breasted Martin

Yellow bellied Seedeater
Straight billed Woodcreeper.
This is probably a young bird, showing more dark 
on the bill than normal.

Large Elaenia
Yellow breasted Flycatcher
Sayaca Tanager
Rufous bellied Thrush

Buff breasted Tody Tyrant

Grey headed Spinetail

Rufous Gnatcatcher

Band tailed Manakin

Purple throated Euphonia
This frog had amazing camouflage!

On 14th January I awoke to a misty dawn set in magnificent forest. Birding began right outside the door of the hotel & it was fast & furious! New birds fell into my notebook at regular intervals. We walked the entrance road to the hotel in the morning & then a slightly higher forest trail in late morning.
The N E Brazil group

The rare Grey breasted Parakeet
Yellow chevroned Parakeet
Showing the chevrons!

Red cowled Cardinal

The village was full of beautiful flowers.
A fine looking Tarantula!
On returning to the hotel at dusk, I found this 
hunting insects in the car park!
Great Antshrike
After an afternoon break, we drove to a small village set amongst great forest, manly for the range restricted Grey breasted Parakeet. The area proved ot be very birdy & we had a great afternoons birding.

It is amazing how the scenery 
can change so quickly!

Caatinga or Cactus Parakeets

The long drive to Crato.
The polluted river at the edge of town
 which proved to be the only water for miles.

As we got nearer to Crato, the landscape
 got a little greener.

White faced Whistling Ducks &
 a Common Gallinule
Masked Ducks doing what hey normally do - hiding!
Male Masked Duck

This is a scarce & nomadic bird throughout its range.
It can be hard to find.

Rather easier to see here!
White faced & Black bellied Whistling Ducks
Brazilian Teal
A whole host of stuff on here!
Wood Storks & Great Egrets.

On 15th we left early & drove south to Crato. It was an all day drive through semi arid scrub with intermittent granite domes dotting the landscape. We birded several ephemeral wetlands alongside the road which proved to be quite productive. We arrived at out hotel well after dark, it was a very long day!

The very charismatic Great Xenops

Don't you just hate leaves!
Rufous tailed Jacamar
Grey eyed Greenlet
(split from Rufous capped Greenlet)

The 16th proved to be  brilliant days birding. Dawn saw us birding the Chapada do Araripe National Forest. It was a slow start but soon activity picked up & we saw some brilliant species including the charismatic Great Xenops! 

This is the famous water park 
& it is surrounded by this....
The wonderful Chapada do Aripe

Tufted Ear Marmoset
This one was hunting for insects.
Planalto Hermit
Araripe Manakin

Straight billed Woodcreeper
Tawny Piculet
Most of the late morning & afternoon was spent in the nearby water park, where we saw the Araripe Manakin well.

Scissor tailed Nightjar
Common Potoo
We then returned to the National Forest for some outstanding nocturnal birding recording four species of night bird!