Suriname, 12th day, harriers and dolphins


This video about Suriname says about itself:

This is a video collection of 15 garden bird [species] of Paramaribo, Suriname.

These are the birds that you see:
1. Brown-throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax)
2. Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)
3. Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani)
4. Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)
5. Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola)
6. Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis)
7. Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo)
8. Pale-breasted Thrush (Turdus leucomelas)
9. Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)
10. Ruddy Ground Dove male (Columbina talpacoti)
11. Ruddy Ground Dove female
12. Rusty-margined Flycatcher (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
13. Arrowhead Piculet (Picumnus minutissimus)
14. Blood-coloured Woodpecker (Veniliornis sanguineus
15. Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata)
16. Glittering-throated Emerald (Amazilia fimbriata)

14 February. Yesterday, we arrived back from the interior in Leonsberg.

In the morning: tropical mockingbird. Great kiskadee. Yellow oriole. Grey kingbird.

A ruddy ground-dove.

The tide is high; so, not so many waders on the Suriname river mud now.

Tri-coloured heron. Little blue heron.

An osprey flying.

A striated heron on a branch.

A white-lined tanager.

A black-capped mockingthrush couple.

A buff-throated saltator.

A black vulture and orange-winged parrots in the air.

A smooth-billed ani.

A green-rumped parrotlet, sitting on a crane (lifting machine; not a bird).

A violaceous euphonia on a bush.

Tropical kingbird, rusty-margined flycatcher, and grey kingbird on a wire.

We take the ferry to the east bank of the Suriname river, to Commewijne district.

Yellow-billed tern.

On a boat at the east bank sits a great kiskadee.

A bit further, two spotted sandpipers.

Fort Nieuw Amsterdam was built in the days of Dutch colonialism and slavery. On the muzzle of a big gun sits a tropical kingbird.

A house wren on a pole.

A white-headed marsh tyrant.

A ruddy ground-dove.

Male and female variable seedeater.

Cattle egrets.

A solitary sandpiper, wintering here away from the cold in North America.

The fort Nieuw Amsterdam is an open air museum now. Close to the gate is a big tree. A great potoo sleeps there now, and will get active after sunset, when it will catch insects again.

Rufous Potoo (Nyctibius bracteatus) in Ecuador: here.

A dead snake on the ground.

A pale-breasted thrush.

Shiny cowbirds, sitting on the roof of the former prison of the fort.

A moat with a wattled jacana and many cattle egrets on a bank.

A bit further, there is a fine view of the Suriname river estuary.

This is a video about a dolphin in the Suriname river.

Every now and then, a dolphin is visible in the water here, but you have to look fast to spot it.

A juvenile long-winged harrier flies far away over the water, then comes much closer to us.

Leaf-cutting ants in the grass.

We go further to the east.

In a tree, a boat-billed flycatcher. It looks much like a great kiskadee, but has a bigger bill.

We arrive at Marienburg plantation. It has a long history; about which more will be told in the next entry.

Great Potoo in Brazil: here.

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Suriname, 11th day, tapir and tamarins


This video is called Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris).

13 February. After yesterday, today our last day in south-west Suriname.

In the morning, the sound of the little chachalaca.

And the usual morning concert by the red howler monkeys.

Red-and-green and blue-and-yellow macaws.

The ringed kingfisher on its customary tree.

A blue-throated piping guan.

A scaled pigeon. A blue-grey tanager. A bat falcon.

A female red-legged honeycreeper.

A blue-headed parrot.

Painted parakeets.

Orange-winged parrots.

Not far from the airstrip is an aircraft wreck. It is from 1960, shortly after the start of the airfield. The US American crew got wounded, but was rescued. The wreck is still there. Close to it, tapir tracks. Deep and big footprints by the biggest land animal of South America.

Little cuckoo sound.

In the jungle, a group of golden-handed tamarins, in trees not far away. They are the smallest of the eight monkey species of Suriname.

There are holes in the forest ground: made by giant armadillos (the living species, about 90 centimeter in size. Not to be confused with prehistoric glyptodonts, several meter in size).

A blue morpho butterfly.

Back to the buildings.

A red-billed pied tanager.

A bare-necked fruitcrow sitting close to a building.

13:45: two swallow-tailed kites.

Turquoise tanagers in the cecropia close to the building.

Three king vultures.

Then, something even bigger than a king vulture in the air: the plane to take us back. It lands. The amphibian research people get out. A woman of the “frog” group asks me what I think has been the highlight during my stay in the Kaysergebergte. I reply: “the capped heron on the river bank, with the osprey with a fish in its claws flying overhead”.

Surinamese frogs in Rotterdam zoo: here.

At 15:30, our aircraft takes off.

At 15:55 we pass the Tafelberg mountain.

At 16:35, we are over the savanna belt between the rainforests of the interior and the coastal lowlands.

16:50: we land in Paramaribo. A great kiskadee.

In the evening, a barn owl sound.

Brazil: Researchers have dubbed the monkey Mura’s saddleback tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis mura) named after the Mura Indians, the ethnic group of Amerindians of the Purus and Madeira river basins where the monkey occurs: here.

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 94 – The Golden Lion Tamarin: here.

UN attacks Britain on torture


This video says about itself:

Craig Murray, ex-British ambassador to Uzbekistan talks about Uzbekistan and British governments complicity in torture. Discusses torture of Hizb ut-Tahrir members and other independent Muslims. The interview was conducted during the 2005 UK general election campaign when Murray stood against ex-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

From British weekly The Observer:

UN attacks Britain over torture claims

Investigator raises ‘very clear allegations’ that MI5 broke international law

* Mark Townsend

* Sunday 1 March 2009

Britain may have broken international law on torture, ministers have been warned by the United Nations. Professor Manfred Nowak, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, has alerted ministers to a range of concerns, including claims that MI5 officers were complicit in the maltreatment of suspects.

The Austrian law professor warned that Britain has breached the UN convention on torture, and he revealed that he was organising a fact-finding mission to Pakistan, whose security services allegedly tortured terror suspects before the captives were questioned by British intelligence.

See also here.

National Archives reveal extent of MI5 spying: here.

British civil liberties threatened: here.

Suriname 10th day, herons and osprey


Again, in south-west Suriname, on 12 February; like yesterday. During the night, a common potoo had been heard.

This video from Suriname is about a blue-and-yellow macaw and a capuchin monkey playing with each other.

In the morning, a barn swallow.

A ringed kingfisher, in the same tree as yesterday.

Two red-and-green macaws.

A scaled pigeon. A lineated woodpecker. A palm swift.

A plain-breasted ground dove.

A blue-throated piping guan in a treetop.

A black-necked aracari.

A green aracari in a tree.

Two swallow-winged puffbirds on leafless branches.

A blue-grey tanager.

A bare-necked fruit crow.

On the airstrip, capybara droppings and footprints.

A piratic flycatcher. It is named from stealing nesting material from other birds’ nests.

A flame-crested tanager.

A red-throated caracara.

The sound of a russet crowned-crake.

Then, brown-throated parakeets.

A swallow-tailed kite.

This video says about itself:

Note: This video has some loud wind noise.
One of a pair of swallow-tailed kites circling above our “post office pond.”

A great black hawk, A black caracara.

A fork-tailed woodnymph hummingbird.

A morpho butterfly flying over a tributary of the Zuidrivier.

A pompadour cotinga.

At 16:00, again by boat on the Zuidrivier. Today, upstream.

A white-necked heron.

In the trees, a mixed group of squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin monkeys.

White-banded swallows over the water.

A paradise jacamar in a tree with hummingbirds.

A plumbeous kite.

Then, a brown jacamar in a tree, also sharing it with hummingbirds: white-necked jacobins.

A white hawk.

The boat turns back.

This video is called Capped Heron, Garza Crestada (Pilherodius pileatus).

On the right bank, a capped heron standing on a tree which has fallen into the river. Suddenly, a big bird flies about two meters above the heron. It is an osprey with a fish in its claws.

An Amazon kingfisher. A white-throated piping guan.

In the evening, a tarantula in the toilet. More about those spiders: here. A bat in a dormitory. A cane toad close to the building. Everywhere, the sound of many frogs. After our team, a team of amphibian specialists will stay here. There is much for them to discover here.

Scientists comparing the fetal development of the eye of the owl monkey with that of the capuchin monkey have observed that only a minor difference in the timing of cell proliferation can explain the multiple anatomical differences in the two kinds of eyes: here.

Jacamars in Ecuador: here.