February 8, 2015, Boa Nova, Brazil — My alarm went off at the tender hour of 2:05 a.m. this morning, in time to grab a taxi for my 4 a.m. flight out of Belem. Alex and Nargila said a sleepy goodbye before going back to bed, and I slept through four short flights (with brief stops in Fortaleza, Recife, and Salvador) before landing in Ilheus, on the central coast of Brazil, in early afternoon. A local birder named Leonardo Patrial picked me up in Ilheus and we headed toward a place called Boa Nova, famous for having the greatest concentration of endemic birds in all of Brazil, where we will spend the next two nights.
We arrived at Boa Nova, a very small town in the hills, with about two hours of daylight this afternoon. That gave us enough time to walk to a magical spot where hummingbirds buzzed around flowering cactuses and a Pygmy Nightjar tried to blend into the rocks. As dusk fell, nocturnal birds began calling: Common Pauraques, a Common Potoo, and a Mottled Owl. Then Leo called in an endemic Tawny-browed Owl, and we had killer looks at it perched just above our heads. We checked in to a nice pousada (small hotel) in town, looking forward to a full day tomorrow.
Here, in the state of Bahia, the eastern edge of the wet Atlantic Forest meets the interior Caatinga (dry forest), so this region is particularly diverse. If the birding stays as good as it was this evening, my last three days in Brazil are going to be very productive!
New birds today: 15
Year list: 926