With only enough time for a short break from work (9 days to be exact), we decided to skip the Fourth of July festivities back home and head to Minas Gerais for a quick, but action packed week of chasing down some of Brazil's rarest birds. One bird in particular may have brought us here, but … Continue reading A Sunrise to Remember – Back to Brazil
It’s always funny when you picture in your head how a place is going to be and then you show up and it’s vastly different. Honestly I had no expectations and didn’t know what to expect but Ross had pictured in his mind walking wide, flat trails similar to the ones we ventured down in … Continue reading Ranomafana – Madagascar – The Last Hurrah
At this point we were nearing the end of our trip to Madagascar. We had just finished up a few nearby birding locations and were systematically working our way through the interior southwest of the country before finishing up back in Tana. At this point in the trip we really only had three more stops to make. Next up, Zombitse-Vohibasia … Continue reading Zombitse – Madagascar – Did Anyone Say Zombies? No, Zombitse! And Yay for Gamebirds!
The spiny forest that makes up a lot of the southwestern zone is quite possibly one of Madagascar’s most visually distinct habitats. The large (and small) bottle-shaped baobabs, spiny octopus trees, and other species found in Madagascar’s arid, scrubby habitat that make up the “spiny forest” are especially apparent around Ifaty (number 11 on the … Continue reading Ifaty – Madagascar – Finally, The Spiny Forest!
The following morning we headed to Berenty, a private wildlife reserve in southern Madagascar where we had reservations waiting for us in what is a very touristy destination, or well, at least as “touristy” as Madagascar can get. Lemurs are notoriously easy, along with a few birds, so we opted to spend one night to enjoy … Continue reading Madagascar – Berenty – Pied Crow vs Chameleon Showdown (One of the coolest things we’ve ever seen)
If you need to get around in a foreign country using a driver, there are two ways to go about it. You can plan ahead of time and book a driver, usually someone who has driven birders before with a phone number that ends up in subsequent trip reports. Or you can just show up at the airport and wing it. Prior … Continue reading Madagascar – Andohahela – Covered in Leeches and Eating Lychees
Birding in Madagascar is equal parts walking around neat forests and equal parts sitting in a car driving through all of the deforestation to get to those neat forests. When we finished up in Bemanevika, we headed further south to check off a few other well-known Madagascar birding sites. Next on the agenda? Ankarafantsika National … Continue reading Madagascar – Ankarafantsika, Kinkony, & Ampitsopitsoka – Good Birds and Bad Drivers
If you were to stop and think about locations in the world where it is possible to see two different species of birds with a COMBINED population of less than 100 individuals, you probably wouldn't be able to think of many. I know this because we sat down and tried to come up with another … Continue reading Madagascar – Bemanevika – The Best Day of Birding of Our Lives (SERIOUSLY.)
When visiting Madagascar, it is almost essential to hire a driver and vehicle to get around the island. Although you technically could visit everywhere via public transportation, the scarcity of rides in remote areas would involve long waits and very uncomfortable rides (remember Tsingy?) While hiring a private car can often be very expensive, when you … Continue reading Madagascar – Amber Mountain – And Chameleons and Geckos Galore!
Madagascar: A place where you walk finely stamped trails and are shown birds at staked out locations. There is so little forest remaining that the animals are confined to such small areas that birding the country has a zoo-like quality. The birds (and animals) are so used to the presence of humans that they often … Continue reading Madagascar – Andasibe – The Real Life Zoo