Leaving on a Short research trip

by Richard Raby on March 5, 2009

It’s high summer and the weather is hot here in Southeastern Brazil, we have had a few weeks of this sunny and dry weather now and the forecast is for it to continue. Today I shoot-off on a long weekend research trip to the Rio Doce State Park in Eastern Minas Gerais. This park is renown for housing a number of very rare lowland jungle species and also as one of the very few localities where Forbes Blackbird, a rare and highly localised endemic, can be seen. The reserve is rather distant from other birding stops in Minas Gerais but I understand that basic accommodation and a restaurant have been recently inaugurated in the Park, I’m off to find out just how comfortable and “birdie” it really is? The Rio Doce Park would be most conveniently visited and make a good stop-off when travelling between Serra do Cipo or Caraca and Espirito Santo states.

I am going to suffer a little with the hot weather and I normally visit only mountainous localities at this time of year, but March is a month of change here, the maximum summer temperatures should now have peaked, and from now until April the days and nights will become quite a bit cooler.

My main targets for the trip are many, but apart from the Blackbird I am hoping to localize Plumbeous Antvireo and possibly other forest interior species from the sub 200meters zone? I am aware that Blue necked Parrot (P. cruentata) is another possibility and I am now familiar with this species vocalizations from previous encounters in the CVRD reserve Linhares, in Espirito Santo.

After a very busy season that started in October I have just taken a two months break from guiding. I start again with my next group in mid March and this research trip will be good to get me back in the rhythm of daily birding again.

I expect to travel approximately 1000 kms on this trip and stop off at one or two other localities en-route, I’ll be away for 5-6 days.

My next blog will be in respect of the results of this trip.

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