Welcome to Birdquest
Saturday 9th February - Thursday 28th February 2013
MARK VAN BEIRS
On our second tour to Suriname we amassed a great list of Guianan specialities, next to a splendid selection of more widespread, but rarely seen species. Our intrepid group recorded 392 species of birds, 15 mammals and some lovely ‘herps’ in this little country with its surface of about eight times Wales and its population of just over half a million people. We visited five different areas comprising three distinct ecosystems. It started with the bird-rich forests of Palumeu in the extreme south where a superb Harpy Eagle, a magnificent male Crimson Fruitcrow, snazzy Capuchinbirds, a rare Red-billed Woodcreeper, Black-throated and Band-tailed Antshrikes, gaudy Ferruginous-backed and charming White-plumed Antbirds and an out of this world Spotted Antpitta were the highlights. It continued with a short visit to the white sand grasslands and scrub of central Suriname where Bronzy Jacamar, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Smoky-fronted Tody-Flycatcher, Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin and Glossy-backed Becard grabbed our attention. The misty forests of the Brownsberg were lighted up by incredibly tame Gray-winged Trumpeters, Black Curassow, Collared Puffbird and delicate White-fronted Manakins. Memorable encounters with exquisite Guianan Cocks of the Rock, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black-faced Hawk and lots of gaudy macaws ensured that our visit to Raleigh Falls and the Voltzberg was memorable. The coastal area held goodies like Scarlet Ibis, Rufous Crab-Hawk, Arrowhead Piculet, Blood-coloured Woodpecker, delicate Crimson-hooded Manakins and Finsch’s Euphonia, while mammal fanciers had a great time with splendid sightings of Southern Tamandua, Pale-throated Three-toed Sloth, Neotropical Otter, lovely Red-handed Tamarins, Guianan and Brown Bearded Sakis and agile Black Spider Monkeys. The unusual amounts of rain for this season – it should have been dry! - sabotaged our birding quite a bit, but we all went home with memories of a country still covered in vast expanses of bird-filled rainforest.