Clive Saunders – volunteer bird guide

Azure Gallinule Porphyro flavirostris, REGUA wetland, 22 September 2015 (© Clive Saunders)

After seven weeks I still am amazed by the beauty of REGUA. My time here as a volunteer bird guide has been fabulous and is providing the perfect career break, after 20 years of teaching, that I was definitely needing.

REGUA is the perfect base for exploring and there have been plenty of opportunities to visit the higher elevations of the Red Trail and excursions out to other sites in the Serra do Mar mountain range.

It has been a steep learning curve to try to get to grips with the bird calls and songs and it does take time. However, I appreciate the opportunity to spend time on the trails and local guides Adilei and Igor have been fantastic teachers!

The REGUA wetland continues to develop as a habitat and still continues to attract new birds. Azure Gallinule Porphyrio flavirostris, first seen in October 2014 by Richard Thaxton, was a new bird for Rio de Janeiro state as well as REGUA, and in September White-winged Swallow Tachycineta albiventer was added to the REGUA list.

Nicolas and Raquel make all visitors feel very welcome and Cleia has done a fantastic job of feeding and looking after us! Four weeks of my visit to go and not ready to go home just yet!

If you are interested in volunteering as a bird guide at REGUA then please complete our application form and email it to our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Rachel Walls, at