Suriname, vultures and snake


This video from Florida in the USA is called Black Vultures working on a dead cat.

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 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.