ALAGOAS (Murici), (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (28th-31st October, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This is one of the few remaining forests in the region containing some very rare and localized endemics. Many people stay at a place called Posada Quilombo in Uniao do Palmares and hire a vehicle there to take them to the forest. This costs almost $300 for the day but there is a much cheaper way to visit the reserve. I stayed in the town of Murici. There is a hotel called Sao Luis which is R12 for a single room. Murici is a fairly small town and is reached in about an hour by several buses leaving daily (including 10am and 3pm) from the terminal in Maceio (6R). In Murici I searched for a motorbike taxi driver who knew where Fazenda Bananeira was. Apparently some drivers know and others don't. My driver was reliable and knew the place well. His name is Lyon and cell phone 88395228. Alternatively, moto-taxi drivers hang around the entrance to the town. Ask them if they know Fazenda Bananeira and 'reserva forestal'. 

By motorbike it takes about 45 minutes to the forest. My driver charged me R40 round trip on the first occasion and R50 the second. The directions, just in case: Turn left onto the main road leaving Murici (away from Maceio). After less than a km, turn right onto a dirt road where there is an electric sub-station. Follow this road along for several kms (ignoring side roads) to a place called Fazenda Amora. This is the first group of buildings you get to. A short distance after the buildings, there is a fork in the road. Go left. Follow this straight on, ignoring where another road cuts accross. The road gets narrower and narrower until cars (you need to take a different route) cannot pass. You will pass another Fazenda called Estreito. Keep going straight until you get to Bananeira where there is a big lake on the left. From here, keep going straight. The road splits into 3, take the middle one. Get dropped at the top where there is a gate, and on the other side a sign with the writing rubbed off. Turn left up the hill with forest on your left. You enter the forest proper after 10-15 minutes walking. 

The forest remnant on the left, from lower down to where you enter the forest is good for Seven-coloured Tanager and Black-necked Aracari. Less than 50m from the sign is a big tree with a couple of smaller dead trees on the left. Here I saw a group of Jandaya Parakeets in the morning. 1-200m before entering the forest, at a right turn before a steep climb is an entrance to a trail. Follow this trail right down to the bottom, then turn right and follow it along the slope. The second half of this trail is excellent and has more birds than most of the other areas. Here I saw White-flanked Antwren, Seven-colored & Opal-rumped Tanagers, Black-necked Aracari, Planalto Hermit, White-throated Spadebill and Slender-footed Tyrannulet. The trail pops out onto the main trail through the forest if you had gone straight. 

The main trail is OK but can be a bit quiet. There are many side trails, some worth exploring. At the first main fork in the trail, the right has a tree fall straight away. This junction is good for Yellow-green Grosbeak and nearby for all 3 manakin species, Long-billed Gnatwren, Scalloped Antbird, White-backed Fire-eye and Rufous-winged Antwren. Eventually you will come to a second fork. Take the right and go past a couple of tree falls and arrive at the site of an old house by a creek. This clearing is the only place I saw Orange-bellied Antwren which was responsive to playback from up in the tree tops. Also here I heard Black-headed Berryeater. In the forest on the other side of the creek I saw Black-cheeked Gnateater and Willis's Antbird. 

In general I found birding at the reserve very slow and I went long periods of time seeing no birds. Camping maybe an option down one of the many side trails. I met several people along the main trail. Mostly farm workers but also 1 hunter. 

I saw 85 species including 13 lifers 

Species seen 

  • Small-billed Tinamou Crypturellus parvirostris Heard only
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Seen between Murici & Bananeira
  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris Photographed
  • White-tailed Hawk Buteo albicaudatus Photographed
  • Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
  • Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima
  • American Kestrel Falco sparverius Possibly seen
  • Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana
  • Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis Heard only
  • Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis
  • Gray-fronted Dove Leptotila rufaxilla
  • Jandaya Parakeet Aratinga jandaya Endemic Photographed Recorded
  • Parakeet sp Heard
  • Blue-winged Parrotlet Forpus xanthopterygius Seen in Murici
  • Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus Possibly heard Recorded
  • Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Guira Cuckoo Guira guira
  • Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia Heard only
  • Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis Heard Recorded
  • Planalto Hermit Phaethornis pretrei Recorded
  • Reddish Hermit Phaethornis ruber Photographed Recorded
  • Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota
  • Black-necked Aracari Pteroglossus aracari Recorded
  • Channel-billed Toucan Ramphastos vitellinus Possibly heard
  • Golden-spangled Piculet Picumnus exilis
  • Red-stained Woodpecker Veniliornis affinis Photographed Recorded
  • Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus Recorded
  • Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus Possibly seen between Murici & Bananeira
  • Common Thornbird Phacellodomus rufifrons
  • Plain Xenops Xenops minutus
  • Lesser Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus fuscus
  • Buff-throated Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus guttatus Possibly seen Recorded
  • Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis Recorded
  • White-flanked Antwren Myrmotherula axillaris Recorded
  • Rufous-winged Antwren Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus
  • Orange-bellied Antwren Terenura sicki Endemic Endangered Recorded
  • Willis's Antbird Cercomacra laeta Endemic Recorded
  • White-backed Fire-eye Pyriglena leuconota Recorded
  • Scalloped Antbird Myrmeciza ruficauda Endemic Endangered Photographed Recorded
  • Black-cheeked Gnateater Conopophaga melanops Endemic Recorded
  • Black-headed Berryeater Carpornis melanocephalus Endemic Vulnerable Heard only Recorded
  • White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus Recorded
  • Blue-backed Manakin Chiroxiphia pareola Photographed Recorded
  • Red-headed Manakin Pipra rubrocapilla Photographed Recorded
  • Thrush-like Schiffornis Schiffornis turdinus Recorded
  • Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster
  • Slender-footed Tyrannulet Zimmerius gracilipes Possibly seen
  • Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Photographed Recorded
  • Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens Recorded
  • Gray-crowned Flycatcher Tolmomyias poliocephalus Possibly seen
  • White-throated Spadebill Platyrinchus mystaceus Photographed Recorded
  • Cliff Flycatcher Hirundinea ferruginea Recorded
  • Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus Possibly seen
  • White-headed Marsh-Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala Seen between Murici & Bananeira
  • Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus Recorded
  • Grayish Mourner Rhytipterna simplex Possibly seen Photographed
  • Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
  • Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
  • White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus
  • Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis
  • Moustached Wren Thryothorus genibarbis Heard only Recorded
  • Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus Seen between Murici & Bananeira
  • Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas Heard only Recorded
  • Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus Recorded
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis Recorded
  • Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus
  • Bananaquit Coereba flaveola
  • Yellow-backed Tanager Hemithraupis flavicollis
  • Flame-crested Tanager Tachyphonus cristatus
  • Brazilian Tanager Ramphocelus bresilius Endemic Seen between Murici & Bananeira
  • Sayaca Tanager Thraupis sayaca Seen in Murici
  • Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
  • Violaceous Euphonia Euphonia violacea Recorded
  • Seven-colored Tanager Tangara fastuosa Endemic Vulnerable Photographed Recorded
  • Burnished-buff Tanager Tangara cayana Seen between Murici & Bananeira
  • Opal-rumped Tanager Tangara velia
  • Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana
  • Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina Seen between Murici & Bananeira
  • Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus
  • Yellow-green Grosbeak Caryothraustes canadensis Recorded
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Introduced species

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse