Welcome to Birdquest
Saturday 17th November - Sunday 9th December 2012
Mark Van Beirs
Araripe Manakin, Lear’s Macaw and Hooded Visorbearer were the three birds that made the trip and that all tour members will remember for years to come. The male Araripe Manakin performed at eye-level at close range, leaving us totally speechless. Several impressive Lear’s Macaws offered lengthy scope views and the exquisite male Hooded Visorbearer showed off its amazing array of colours in its special habitat on the Chapada Diamantina. We observed the rare and little-known White-collared Kite on two occasions and were totally spoiled by the views we had of the unique Great Xenops and of the wonderful Pink-legged Graveteiro. Other quality birds included White-browed Guan, Rufous Crab Hawk, Little Wood-Rail, Pygmy Nightjar, Ruby Topaz, Racket-tailed Coquette, Spotted, Tawny and Ochraceous Piculets, Jandaya and Golden-capped Parakeets, Pectoral and Orange-bellied Antwrens, Fringe-backed Fire-eye, Slender Antbird, Collared Crescentchest, Red-shouldered Spinetail, Alagoas Tyrannulet, Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant, White-winged Cotinga, Eastern Striped Manakin, Scarlet-throated and Seven-coloured Tanagers, Forbes’s Blackbird and Yellow-faced Siskin. We recorded 417 species, which included a splendid selection of rarely observed endemics, superb specialities, barely-known birds and a good handful of recently described species! Of the Endemic Bird Areas, defined by BirdLife International, we visited no fewer than five: the Northeast Brazilian caatinga (EBA 070), the Atlantic slope of Alagoas and Pernambuco (EBA 071), the deciduous forests of Bahia (EBA 072), the Central Brazilian Hills and Tablelands (EBA 073) and the extreme north of the Atlantic Forest Lowlands (EBA 075).