Northeastern Brazil Extension Birding Trip

Northeastern Brazil Extension Trip: Murici Reserve

Extension Trip: Murici reserve in Alagoas, 04 Days / 03 Nights

Days 01, 02, 03 and 04, Murici Reserve

Seven-colored Tanager is one of the good birds awaiting for us in this tour We will have three full days to explore the remnants of the vast expanses of humid Atlantic forest that once covered the coastal strip of Alagoas. Several ridges clad in this dense evergreen forest have been preserved near Murici, whilst everywhere else cattle raising and sugarcane production have taken a heavy toll and so these woods are like fertile islands in a sterile sea. Protection is only partial, so the future of these reserves is still a question mark. These woods, which can be difficult of access after heavy rain, harbour some of the most localized and threatened birds in South America and no less than four species new to science have been described from here in the last 20 years. The very poorly-known Alagoas (or Novaes's) Foliage-gleaner was described as recently as 1983 and can be located by its raucous calls, whilst the unobtrusive Alagoas Antwren was described in 1979 and makes a living in the dense mid-canopy. The Orange-bellied Antwren (also described as recently as 1983) is a bit more widespread, but still restricted to the state of Alagoas and flits about in the highest canopies. Finally, described only in 1987, the Long-tailed (or Alagoas) Tyrannulet is yet another Alagoas endemic which leads a quiet existence in the mid-strata of these forests. We will have to get up very early to reach this splendid habitat before the sun reaches the horizon. The dawn chorus is dominated by the bubbling trills of Cinereous Antshrikes, the penetrating whistles of White-backed Fire-eyes, the loud ringing and unmistakable song of Screaming Pihas and the monotonous voices of Long-billed Gnatwrens. Colourful endemic Jandaya Parakeets inspect promising-looking holes in dead stumps and endemic Black-headed Berryeaters may perch on exposed branches. Rare and localized Pinto's Spinetails and Scalloped Antbirds grovel about in the undergrowth, where the tiny endemic Black-cheeked Gnateater perches close to the ground. Firecracker-like snaps and whistled ‘weeo' calls betray a large lek of pied White-bearded Manakins, whilst nearby their Red-headed and Blue-backed relatives display in a more discrete way. Other species we may well add to our tally include four more endemics, Plain Parakeet, the adorable Scaled Antbird, the gorgeous Rufous-headed Tanager and the colorful Seven-colored Tanager, plus Little Tinamou, Zone-tailed Hawk, Grey-fronted Dove, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Black Jacobin, the endemic Long-tailed Woodnymph, White-chinned Sapphire, Channel-billed Toucan, Golden-spangled Piculet, Red-stained and Lineated Woodpeckers, White-eyed Foliage-gleaner, Plain Xenops, White-flanked and Rufous-winged Antwrens, White-eyed Tody-Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, Olivaceous Flatbill, Greyish and Thrush-like Mourners, White-winged Becard, Chestnut-vented Conebill, Flame-crested and Opal-rumped Tanagers, Violaceous Euphonia, Green and Red-legged Honeycreepers, Yellow-green Grosbeak and Red-rumped Cacique. Skittish Black-rumped Agoutis can often be found shuffling about. The almost unknown White-collared Kite (known from just a few specimens and sightings) and the almost certainly extinct Alagoas Curassow (maybe a few birds still survive in the wild, but the last confirmed observation dates from the 1970s – a small population survives and breeds in captivity) both used to occur in an area south of Maceio that has now been almost totally cleared for sugarcane.

INCLUDED: The tour fee includes all lodging, meals chosen from the regular menu from dinner on Day 01 to lunch on Day 04, all ground transportation, entrance fees, the services of a full time Pantanal Bird Club naturalist guide. Rates are based upon group tariffs. If the tour does not have sufficient registration, a supplement for a small party size may have to be charged.

NOT INCLUDED: Items not included are airfare to and from Brazil and the flights within the country from your home to Maceio or Recife, airport departure taxes, drinks of any kind including mineral water, special gratuities, phone calls, laundry, or items of a personal nature.


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