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9–30 March 2020

With over 200 endemics in the largest country in South America, Brazil is one of the world’s top birding destinations. A visit to the northeast combining the threatened Atlantic Forest and Caatinga offers some truly spectacular endemic-rich birding with species including Hooded Visorbearer, Indigo Macaw and Gould’s Toucanet.

Day 1 Overnight flight from London to Fortaleza via Lisbon. Overnight in Forteleza.

Day 2 Early morning departure from Fortaleza to make the 140-mile drive south eastwards to Icapuí to visit the mangroves in search of Little Wood-rail, Mangrove Rail and the endemic Bicoloured Conebill. En route we will start looking for species such as Cactus Parakeet and White-bellied Seedeater. We will spend our first night at the Casa do Mar Hotel, which offers us comfortable accommodation, great food and a beachside location.

Day 3 After an early breakfast we will return to the mangroves to search for any species we may have missed yesterday. We will then head towards our next birding location of Guaramiranga, located in the mountain range of Serra do Baturité some 150 miles away. This is a pocket of Atlantic Forest with very special birds including Grey-breasted Parakeet, Spot-winged Wood-quail, Gould’s Toucanet, Ochraceous Piculet, Ochre-backed Woodpecker, Rufous (Ceará) Gnateater and Rufous-breasted Leaftosser. We will spend the night at the Alto da Serra Lodge, which is located in a forested area, allowing us to watch some of the above-mentioned species within the Lodge grounds.

Day 4 After another early breakfast we will spend the morning exploring the forests at Guaramiranga. Afterwards we will transfer to the town of Quixadá (55 miles away) where we will check into the Hotel Pedra dos Ventos for a one-night stay. There is good birding in the hotel area, and we hope to see species such as White-browed Guan, Pygmy Nightjar (everywhere on the outcrops), Spot-backed Puffbird, Black-bellied Antwren, White-naped Jay, Red-cowled Cardinal, Campo Troupial and Pale Baywing.

Day 5 Today we will drive some 210 miles to Crato, to bird Chapada do Araripe National Forest. Along the road we will make a few stops to check several ponds where we should find White-faced, Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling-ducks, Southern Pochard and, with luck, Comb Duck. Our accommodation will be the charming Encosta da Serra Hotel, where we will have a panoramic view of the Chapada (Tablelands) of the Araripe National Forest. If time allows, in the afternoon we will visit the Araripe Manakin site. Two nights in Crato.

Day 6 We will spend the day birding at the buffer zone of Araripe National Forest. The arboreal Caatinga habitat here is simply the best area for most of the Caatinga endemics. We should find the localized Tawny Piculet, Silvery-cheeked and Barred (Caatinga) Antshrikes, Caatinga Antwren, Speckle-breasted Antpitta, Great Xenops, Pale-bellied Tyrant-manakin, Grey-eyed Greenlet, Cinnamon Tanager and Ultramarine Grosbeak.

Day 7 There will be another early breakfast this morning followed by a 200-mile drive to our next stop of Canudos. Upon arrival we will have lunch and check into the Biological Station. This afternoon we will be looking for species such as White-bellied Nothura, Least Nighthawk, Little Nightjar, Stripe-breasted Starthroat, Indigo (Lear’s) Macaw, Red-shouldered Spinetail, Southern Scrub-flycatcher, Greater and Lesser Wagtail-tyrants, White Monjita and Ash-throated Casiornis. Overnight at the Biological Station.

Day 8 This morning we will take an early birding excursion to watch the Indigo Macaws taking off from their night roost. After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and transfer to Estancia, making a couple of stops en route – one to look for the very rare Pectoral Antwren near Jeremoabo and another for lunch. We will arrive in Estancia with some time for birding. Some of our target species in this area include Fringe-backed Fire-eye, Golden-tailed Parrotlet, Jandaya Parakeet, Sooretama Slaty-antshrike, White-flanked Antwren, the very-difficult Pernambuco Foliage-gleaner and Stripe-necked Tody-tyrant. Overnight at the Magnus Hotel, Estancia.

Day 9 We will take an early breakfast again this morning in order to give us time to continue our search of the local forest for any species we missed yesterday. The remainder of the day will be spent driving the 340 miles to Lençóis. Three nights in the Hotel de Lençóis

Days 10–11 We will spend two full days birding the spectacular Chapada Diamantina. Target birds for this area include Yellow-legged Tinamou, East Brazilian Chachalaca, Rufous Nightjar, Biscutate Swift, Broad-tipped and Planalto Hermits, Hooded Visorbearer, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Spotted Piculet, Russet-crowned Crake, Stripe-backed Antbird, Black-capped and Sincora Antwrens, White-browed Antpitta, Diamantina Tapaculo, Caatinga Cacholote, White-crested Tyrannulet, Rufous-sided Pygmy-tyrant, Scarlet-throated Tanager, Stripe-tailed Yellow-finch, Blue and Pileated Finches and Pale-throated Pampa-finch.

Day 12 Today we will drive 80 miles to Mucugê, situated in the southern range of the Chapada Diamantina. Targets here include Sao Francisco Sparrow, Collared Crescentchest, Plumbeous Seedeater, Grey-backed Tachuri, Spotted Nothura, Stripe-backed Antbird, Narrow-billed Antwren and Scissor-tailed Nightjar. Overnight at Mucugê Lodge.

Day 13 Our destination today will be Boa Nova, and we will break the 183-mile drive by taking lunch en route. There are many targets at this fantastic spot, some of which include Amethyst Woodstar, Red-stained and Yellow-eared Woodpeckers, Golden-capped Parakeet, Rio de Janeiro, Slender and White-bibbed Antbirds, Pink-legged Graveteiro, Grey-headed, Bahia and Ochre-cheeked Spinetails, Large Elaenia, Bahia Tyrannulet, Smoky-fronted Tody-flycatcher, Black-headed Berryeater, Dubois’s and White-throated Seedeaters, Sooty Grassquit and White-browed Meadowlark. Two nights at the Pousada dos Passaros Lodge.

Day 14 Boa Nova is a birder's paradise, containing both forest and Caatinga birds. We will spend the whole of today exploring the area further in search of all of the species mentioned above. One of our main targets here will be the very rare and endemic Slender Antbird.

Day 15 After an early breakfast we will take the 240-mile drive to Porto Seguro, where we will spend the remainder of the day birding the Veracel Reserve. Some of our targets here will include Variegated Tinamou, Rusty-margined Guan, Rufous-thighed Kite, White-necked Hawk, White-winged Potoo, Hook-billed Hermit, Racket-tailed Coquette, Plain-bellied Emerald, Rufous-throated Sapphire, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-necked Aracari, White-barred Piculet, Ringed Woodpecker, Brown-backed Parrotlet, Red-browed and Orange-winged Parrots, Ochre-marked Parakeet, White-fringed Antwren and White-winged and Banded Cotingas. Two nights at the Hotel Tropical Oceano Praia.

Day 16 We will make the most of our time in the area by spending another whole day enjoying the birds of the Veracel Reserve.

Day 17 Today’s drive of around 155 miles will take us to Serra Bonita, one of the most stunning locations of the whole tour. Target birds here include Brown Tinamou, Mantled Hawk, Blue-chinned and Rufous-throated Sapphires, Golden-spangled Piculet, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Maroon-faced Parakeet, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Plumbeous Antvireo, Salvadori’s Antwren, Boa Nova Tapaculo, the newly-described Bahia Treehunter, White-lored Tyrannulet, Olivaceous Elaenia, Three-striped Flycatcher, Rufous-brown Solitaire, Temminck’s Seedeater, Pectoral Sparrow and Yellow-green Grosbeak. Two nights at the Serra Bonita Reserve.

Day 18 We will spend another full day birding this spectacular area in search of any species that may have eluded us yesterday.

Day 19 After an early breakfast we will drive some 155 miles to Itacaré. Our target birds here include Least Pygmy-owl, Cinereous Antshrike, Striolated Manakin, Band-tailed and Bahia Antwrens and the silvery-flanked subspecies of White-flanked Antwren, Striated Softtail, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Screaming Piha, Turquoise (White-bellied) Tanager and Olivaceous Flatbill. Two nights at the Vila dos Passaros Lodge.

Day 20 We will spend the whole of today further exploring the Itacaré area looking for any species that may be missing from our lists.

Day 21 This morning will be spent visiting the Agua Boa Reserve not far from Itacaré. Along the dirt access road we will stop at some marshes and ponds to look for the uncommon Masked Duck, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Bahia Tapaculo, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Blue-backed and White-bearded Manakins, Bright-rumped Attila, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher and Rufous-sided and Grey-breasted Crakes. In the afternoon we will then make the 175-mile drive to Salvador to catch our late evening flight back to the UK arriving on day 22.

General Information Brazil can be hot and humid with rain likely at any time. The tour pace is moderate with generally easy walking. There are some health requirements which should be referred to your GP. Insects can be a problem at times and repellents are recommended. Visas are not required for EU citizens.

Group Size Minimum number for tour to go ahead: 6; maximum group size: 10 with 2 leaders.

Hooded Visorbearer

Hooded Visorbearer

Recommended books available from NHBS