Suriname, vultures and snake


This is a video of crucifix sea catfish in an aquarium during the night.

Suriname, 21 February.

After going aboard in Albina, sailing for hours, and seeing a yellow-headed caracara, our ship arrives at Baboensanti.

There are unexpectedly few seashells on the beach.

There are many dead catfish: crucifix sea catfish. Apparently, this estuarine species is often thrown overboard by fishing ships. If a big catfish, nearly a meter in size, beaches, it attracts five or more black vultures to eat it. Smaller catfish attract only about two vultures. If one knows the video, showing that they are basically beautiful fish, then this is a somewhat sad end for them, here as rotting cadavers on the beach. Good then to have the vultures.

One other dead fish species on the beach (not as often as the catfish): puffer fish.

Also dead on the beach: a Leach’s petrel.

A snake on the beach. Not a dead snake, and not a sea snake: Hydrops triangularis, the water coral snake.

Talking about reptiles: we are here mainly for the marine turtles. Four species nest here: leatherback turtle; green turtle; olive ridley; and hawksbill turtle.

It is still early in the egg laying season. Now, mainly green turtles are to be expected. Occasionally, a leatherback turtle coming earlier than most of this species. The turtles lay the eggs at night. So, we will have to wait until 1:00 to see them.

Suriname, 19th day, to Albina


This is a video about Suriname.

After yesterday, on 21 February: from Leonsberg to the east.

To the green turtle nests of eastern Suriname.

This is a video of a green turtle swimming.

The weather is sunny now, contrary to the rain every now and then yesterday.

On the poles near the bridge across the Commewijne river, grey-breasted martins and white-winged swallows resting from their flying across the water.

On a shop window, a sticker in Sranan Tongo language: Kibri den sekoe; protect the manatee.

A cattle egret near cows in a meadow.

Every now and then, holes in the road surface.

We arrive in Albina, the easternmost town of Suriname. About 5,000 people. On the other side of the Marowijne river is French Guyana. “The only South American country which still is not independent”, an Albina small shopkeeper says disgustedly. He is not very kind about French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Yellow-billed tern over the river.

A piaka (wooden Native American ocean going ship) will brings us along the wide estuary of the Marowijne river to the Atlantic Ocean beach of Baboensanti.

Literally translated from Sranan Tongo, this means “baboon sand”. Baboen is the name for the red howler monkey, because of parallels which people saw with African baboons. Red howler monkey’s hair is, indeed, reddish. So is the sand of Baboensanti beach.

Hence the name. Not because red howler monkeys live there; they don’t. Baboensanti owes it fame and protected status to the four marine turtle species laying eggs there. About that, in a later blog entry.

December 2009 riots in Albina: here.

Suriname, osprey and whimbrel


This is a whimbrel video.

Suriname, 20 February.

Today, we arrived in Paramaribo from the upper Suriname river.

Cattle egrets along the road to Leonsberg.

In Leonsberg, a wall with ruddy ground-doves and blue-black grassquits on it.

A pied water-tyrant near a ditch.

A pale-breasted thrush.

On the same tree as days ago, a rufous crab-hawk.

Black vultures.

An osprey with a fish in its claws flies across the ferry landing.

Semipalmated plovers on the mudflats.

A whimbrel, also on the mud flats.

Semipalmated sandpipers. Little blue heron.

On a wire, a tropical mockingbird, a grey kingbird and a great kiskadee.

On a pole and flying across the Suriname river: blue-winged swallow.

Suriname, 18th day, back to Paramaribo


This is a video of Kizzy Getrouw, singing the national anthem of Suriname.

After yesterday, today is 20 February: from Isadou to Paramaribo. First by boat.

Before we leave, a look at the ladder-tailed nightjar, which had been missing from its usual sleeping branch yesterday afternoon. This morning, it is sleeping there again.

Red-rumped cacique.

A spotted sandpiper on rocks in the river. The pied lapwings on the other bank.

A lineated woodpecker.

A ruddy ground-dove.

A female silver-beaked tanager sits down on water melon leftovers.

A squirrel cuckoo.

A swallow-tailed kite.

A mouse-coloured tyrannulet.

The boat goes to Ladoani. Then, the plane leaves from Ladoani airstrip for Zorg en Hoop airport in Paramaribo.

Suriname, 16th day, to Isadou island


This video says about itself:

While drawing in the Amazon in northern Peru, I’m joined by a helpful Gray-winged Trumpeter. This bird is tame but not captive, lives in the forest and comes and goes as it pleases. It seemed to like art, at least it liked pencils…we nicknamed it, “Birdito”.

Suriname, 18 February.

After yesterday, we will go to the south from Brownsberg today.

In the Brownsberg morning, a red howler monkey chorus. And the sounds of various frog species.

A red-necked woodpecker on a tree (see also video here).

A late bat flying between the rainforest trees, as there is still fog stopping much sunlight.

White-tailed trogon sound.

A giant millipede (see also here).

A blue-headed parrot.

A painted parakeet.

A squirrel cuckoo.

Just after the pickup truck starts its downhill journey on the awful dirt road, grey-winged trumpeter birds.

Screaming piha sounds.

After we arrive in Brownsweg at the foot of the mountain, the road to Atjonie proves to be not really better.

The bus has to stop. Chinese lorries manage to make the road more level by driving across the high spots. We can continue.

13:35 we arrive in Atjoni port on the upper Suriname river.

This is a video about korjaal (Surinamese river boat) traffic on the Suriname river.

From a korjaal, an osprey. A swallow-winged kite. Barn and white-winged swallows.

Spotted sandpipers on rocks in the river.

A swallow-winged puffbird on a tree.

Ringed kingfisher.

We arrive on Isadou island.

Silver beaked tanager. Palm tanager.

On a big rock on the other bank, two pied lapwings.

Giant cowbird.

Green garden lizards.

House wren. Grey kingbird.

On the other bank, a juvenile rufescent tiger-heron. It is drying its wings, so the beautiful water drop like-spots on its wings show. Only many minutes later, it folds it wings, then it flies away.

A bit further, a ladder-tailed nightjar is sleeping on a branch just above the river. An Amazon kingfisher sits on a branch above it.

An hour later, the nightjar is still asleep on the same branch; from where it will fly away after dusk, to catch insects. The pied lapwings are also still there.

A green kingfisher.

Endemic Neotropical Shorebirds: here.

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 77 – The Northern Brown Howler Monkey: here.

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