Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest special!
ITORORO Eco-Lodge - The New Serra dos Tucanos!
Monday 21st Nov – Monday 28th Nov 2016
Set amidst the Atlantic rainforest near the Tres Picos State Park, Serra dos Tucanos was almost a birdwatcher’s paradise. The only problem was the nearby road that took away the peace and quiet which birders and wildlife enthusiast so crave! Taking this on board Andy has moved to a wonderful new location and a superb lodge that guarentees not only fabulous birding around the grounds but also tranquility and peace. This superb lodge called Itororo Eco-Lodge provides the perfect combination of easy, relaxed birding with the guarantee of an exceptionally high species list! With streams and a pool, together with large landscaped gardens, with an array of flowering and fruiting trees and plants the grounds alone attract a wealth of bird species. Surrounded by rainforest at an altitude of 1200m and tucked away in its own private valley of 50 acres, the property is located within the 58.790ha Tres Picos State Park. The lodge offers comfortable accommodation together with great birding opportunities and easy access to a whole host of other birding sites within the local area. With Andy's 15 years of experience leading tours in this bird rich part of Brazil you will not be in better hands. Join us at the new Itororo Eco-Lodge and discover Atlantic rainforest Birding at its best.
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We plan on a morning arrival in Rio de Janeiro where we will then transfer 2.5hrs to our wonderful new accommodation. Upon arrival at the lodge we will quickly settle in and spend the remainder of the day birding around the lodges grounds and trails. Species we hope to see include Black Hawk-Eagle, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Scale-throated Hermit, Plovercrest, Violet-capped Woodnymph, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Black-throated trogon, Spot-billed Toucanet, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Pallid Spinetail, White-collared Foliage-gleaner, White-throated Woodcreeper, Scaled Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Bertoni’s Antbird, Ochre-rumped Antbird, Brazilian Antthrush, Blue Manakin, Pin-tailed Manakin, White-rimmed Warbler, Fawn-breasted, Golden-chevroned, Azure shouldered, Ruby-crowned and Brassy-breasted Tanagers, Uniform Finch and Green-winged Saltator.
Day 2 Pico de Caladonia - 22nd Nov
This full day excursion is aimed at seeing the small number of endemics that exist above 1500 metres. Our day begins with a 20 minute drive to get as high as possible towards 2000 metres in altitude. Using 4x4 vehicles will enable to avoid the strenuous walk up and to start our birding at the top and work our way down! By arriving early we stand a good chance of seeing the rare and endemic Grey-winged Cotinga, plus Serra do Mar Tyrannulet, Swallow-tailed Cotinga and Black-and-Gold Cotinga and near the summit we hope to encounter the rare and endemic Itatiaia Thistletail. As we walk slowly down the steep road we will see a change in habitat to small stunted trees surrounded by bamboo and other low vegetation. Along the way we will try for Brazilian Antthrush and Mouse-colored Tapaculo, while further down we hope to see Bay-chested Warbling Finch, Diademed Tanager, Blue-billed Black Tyrant and Rufous-tailed Antbird.
Day 3 Portao Azul - 23rd Nov
After a 30 minute drive we arrive at the beginning of this fantastic trail. We shall leave the minibus to walk a trail for the remainder of the day. What makes this trail so good is the mixture of habitats that this area offers, it is also a stronghold for the endemic Half-collared Sparrow, sometimes difficult to see in other areas this species is abundant here. Other birds that we expect to see during the morning include Dusky-legged Guan, Scale-throated Hermit, Glittering-bellied Emerald, White-throated Hummingbird, Saffron Toucanet, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Grey-bellied Spinetail, Pallid Spinetail, White-collared Foliage Gleaner, Black-billed Scythebill, Giant Antshrike, White-bearded Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Bertonis Antbird, Azure-shouldered Tanager, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Gilt-edged Tanager, Buffy-fronted Seedeater and Uniform Finch.
Day 4 Wetlands and Lowland Forest - 24th Nov
Today we will take a drive of just over an hour to the Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Acu where we will spend a full day exploring the wetland areas together with the lowland forest. Species we expect to see here amongst others include Whistling and Capped Heron, Brazilian Teal, Masked Duck, Grey-headed Kite, Savanna Hawk, Limpkin, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Yellowish Pipit and Chestnut-capped Blackbird. Surrounding the wetland is lowland forest, a habitat very difficult to encounter as much of this habitat has been destroyed in the past, we venture into this forest in the hope of finding species such as Reddish Hermit, White-chinned Sapphire, Rufous-capped Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, White-flanked Antwren, Unicolored Antwren, Brazilian Laniisoma (Shrike-like Cotinga) and Long-billed Wren.
Day 5 Three-toed Jacamar and Open Country - 25th Nov
Many birders who visit south-east Brazil go in search of the endemic Three-toed Jacamar. On this full day excursion we visit several sites where this bird is regularly found. Along the way we pass through a variety of habitats and cover a fair distance (140 km) stopping regularly en-route to look for other species. Our target bird is the Three-toed Jacamar (!), however... other birds we could encounter include Whistling and Capped Heron, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Savanna Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Laughing Falcon, Aplomado Falcon, Red-legged Seriema, Blue-winged Macaw, White-eyed Parakeet, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Striped Cuckoo, Planalto Hermit, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Amethyst Woodstar, White-eared Puffbird, Crescent-chested Puffbird, Black-necked Aracari, White Woodpecker, Band-tailed Hornero, Orange-eyed Thornbird, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Gray and White-rumped Monjita, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Yellow-browed Tyrant, Long-tailed Tyrant, White-rumped and Tawny-headed Swallow, Black-capped Donacobius, Curl-crested Jay, Magpie, Hooded, Hepatic, Brazilian and Gilt-edged Tanagers and Hooded Siskin.
Day 6 Theodoro Trail and Lodge Grounds - 26th Nov
After a 20 minute drive from the lodge we arrive at the beginning of the Theodoro Trail. Commencing at 1100m asl, this path offers superb birding. The entire length of this gradually descending trail used to be part of the old Cachoeiras - Nova Friburgo railway line and in places still remains surfaced with asphalt. Birds that can be seen include Brown Tinamou, Mantled Hawk, Maroon-bellied Parakeet, Plain Parakeet, Scale-throated Hermit, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Black-throated and Surucua Trogon, Spot-billed Toucanet, White-barred Piculet, Yellow-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Spinetail, Streaked Xenops, White-browed Foliage Gleaner, Buff-fronted Foliage Gleaner, Black-capped Foliage Gleaner, White-eyed Foliage Gleaner, Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, White-throated Woodcreeper, Lesser Woodcreeper, Scaled Woodcreeper, Variable Antshrike, Star-throated Antwren, White-shouldered Fire-eye, Slaty Bristlefront, Brazilian Antthrush, Variegated Antpitta, Bare-throated Bellbird, Sharpbill, Blue and Pin-tailed Manakin, Gray-hooded Atilla, Greenish Schiffornis and Brassy-breasted Tanager.We return to the lodge in time for lunch. The afternoon will be spent birding the lodge grounds.
Day 7 Serra dos Orgaos national Park - 27th Nov
The drive to this National Park in Teresopolis takes approximately 1.5 hours. The National Park is split into two sections, the lower and upper. We begin at the lower park where we will spend a couple of hours where we hope to see White-necked Hawk, Violet-capped Woodnymph, Rufous-capped Motmot, Spot-billed Toucanet, Yellow-fronted, Yellow-eared and Yellow-throated Woodpeckers, Pale-browed Treehunter, Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner, White-eyed Foliage-Gleaner, White-throated Woodcreeper, Plain and Spot-breasted Antvireo, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Blue Manakin, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Gray-hooded Atilla, Rufous-headed, Yellow-backed, Olive-green, Flame-crested and Golden-chevroned Tanagers and Red-rumped Cacique. We then return back to the vehicle and drive for a further 20 minutes to the upper section of the park. We will spend the rest of the day birding along a fantastic boardwalk. The boardwalk is a solid fixed structure (in other words it doesn't sway from side to side!), some parts of it are at canopy level and other parts run through some great patches of bamboo. Some of the birds we aim to see include Brown Tinamou, Mantled Hawk, Dusky-legged Guan, Spot-winged Wood-Quail, Plumbeous Pigeon, White-throated Hummingbird, Brazilian Ruby, Surucua and Black-throated Trogon, Saffron Toucanet, Yellow-eared and Yellow-browed Woodpecker, Pallid Spinetail, Sharp-billed Treehunter, Lesser and Scaled Woodcreeper, Black-billed Scythebill, Giant and Tufted Antshrike, Rufous-backed Antvireo, Bertonis and Ochre-rumped Antbird, Rufous-tailed Antthrush, Rufous Gnateater, Mouse-colored Tapaculo, Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Black and Gold Cotinga, Hooded Berryeater, Bare-throated Bellbird, Blue and Pin-tailed Manakin, Rufous-crowned Greenlet, White-rimmed Warbler, Azure-shouldered, Fawn-breasted and Brassy-breasted Tanagers and Green-winged Saltator.
Day 8 Lodge and Departure - 28th Nov
This morning depending on flight times we may have time to bird the lodges grounds and trails in search of any new species before departure back to Rio de Janeiro and end of our tour.
Leaders: Andy Foster
Airfare: £650.00 - £750.00(Approx) - UK / UK Zoothera tour prices explained
Double en-suite room used as a single en-suite - £270.00
Group size: Maximum 10.
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite, transfer to/from Rio airport, ground transport throughout, all entrance fees to national parks and nature reserves, all meals from dinner on 21st to breakfast on 28th and services of leaders.
Not included: International airfare, insurance, drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature.
Accommodation: All lodges are of a good standard and offer en-suite rooms.
Tour Code: This tour is a standard birding tours with regular birding walks along roads and well marked trails. Most days see us depart after breafsat and return just before dinner, taking picnic lunch during the day. The weather is unpredictable and you need to allow for all weathers. It can rain as we are in a rain forest habitat. Be prepared for all eventualities.
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