Suriname

Suriname lies on the Guyanese shield, just north of the equator, between the Amazon and the Orinoco rivers and is wedged in between the small countries of Guyana and French Guiana. More than three quarters of the country is occupied by forests, which are still mainly untouched by humans, so the evocative calls of Howlers and Spider Monkeys still reverberate through the jungle.
This small country incorporates a variety of habitats including grassy savannas, freshwater marshes, coastal mangrove swamps, tropical lowland jungle and scrub-covered granite outcrops, resulting in a rich flora and fauna. The birdlist tallies just over 700 species.


Peperpot
Peperpot is an old overgrown coffee- and cacao plantation which has not been used for over decades. It is located at the eastern side of the Suriname river only 6 to 7 km from Paramaribo.
Peperpot is an excellent place to find an array of Flycatchers, several Tanager species and Great Potoo.

Warappa Kreek
This morning we will take a boat to explore the mangrove-lined creeks and mudflats of the Coppename and Saramacca rivers estuary.
Our main goal will be to get to grips with the striking Scarlet Ibis, good numbers of which inhabit this watery world. Our well-appointed boat will take us close to these magical birds, allowing us to study these jewels in detail. Laughing Gulls and Royal Terns will escort us and we should see multitudes of waterbirds, including some different waders like Hudsonian Whimbrel and Willet.

Savannah Zone
The savannah zone holds a variety of habitats. Open white sand plains with scrubs alternate with small forest patches and sometimes with palm trees. At a few spots one can find small creeks surrounded by larger patches of forest.
Be advised to arrive early in the morning (best before dawn) since the period of high bird activity is quite short.

Brownsberg Nature Park
The 6.000-hectare Brownsberg Nature Park is situated in the district of Brokopondo, about 115 km south of Paramaribo, in the vicinity of the large Van Blommestein reservoir.
The whole region is covered in luxuriant rain forest, low and dense in places, and lofty and rather open in others. Well maintained dirt tracks and walking trails offer easy access to the different forest types.

Itinerary

  • Day 1
  • Day 2-4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11-12
  • Day 13-15
  • Day 16-17
  • Day 18
  • Day 19
  • Paramaribo
  • Botopassi
  • Paramaribo
  • Peperpot - Frederiksdorp
  • Frederiksdorp - Bakki
  • Warappa Kreek - Bergendal
  • Savannah Zone around Bergendal
  • Bergendal - Brownsberg N.P.
  • Brownsberg Nature Park
  • Bigi Pan Nature Reserve
  • Palumeu
  • Palumeu - Paramaribo
  • Paramaribo

Several rivers have eroded their twisted course through the area, creating some impressive waterfalls.
Viewpoints offer fabulous opportunities for canopy watching and here we hope to encounter the magnificent, localized and rarely-seen Blue-backed Tanager.
One of the highlights of our visit will be our encounters with the enthralling and often very tame Gray-winged Trumpeters.

Bigi Pan Nature Reserve
Bigi Pan nature reserve is just east of Nieuw Nickerie township and is 135.000 hectares of open water, mudflats and mangrove forest. The water level is influenced by the ocean tides where salt seawater, as well as fresh inland water, alternately streams in and out.
It's a great place for bird watchers with 72 bird species breeding here and dozens of visitors. With some luck, you'll spot the rare Scarlet Ibis.
Herons, Ospreys, Storks, Flamingos and Terns feed themselves with fish, frogs, crustaceans and insects in competition with caymans.

Palumeu
A small plane will take us due south to distant Palumeu Lodge, situated in the far southern reaches of the country near the confluence of the Tapanahony and Palumeu rivers within 100 km of the Brazilian border.
Pristine lowland rainforest crisscrossed by numerous hunting trails and a couple of marvelous granite inselbergs offering fantastic views into nearby canopy are the main attractions for the birder at Palumeu.
Persistent scanning from our viewpoint on the granite kopje of Poti hill may reward us with one of the ornithological prizes of northeastern Amazonia, the incomparable Crimson Fruitcrow. This rarely-encountered jay-sized cotinga can usually be found during the morning hours quietly sitting in the subcanopy of a forest giant.

Trip Report

This trip was made in march 2016. The main focus was on Birds (about 185 new species) but i did manage to find about 250 other new species. (Butterfly/Mammals/Reptiles/Plants/Others).
On the first morning in Paramaribo, I had an early start in the garden off my hotel, which was overlooking the Suriname River. It brought me a good introduction in the more common bird-species (Ruddy Ground Dove, Tropical Kingbird, Pale-breasted Thrush, Wing-barred Seedeater, Blue-black Grassquit, Little Blue Heron and Yellow-headed Caracara) More unexpected where the sightings of Spotted Tody Flycatcher, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Scarlet Ibis and Black Skimmer. Around midday I made a visit at the Cultuurtuin, a rather disorderly park near the centrum, but with interesting species: Birds (Variegated Flycatcher, Short-crested Flycatcher, Green-rumped Parrotlet), Reptiles (Black Tegu, Giant Ameiva, Yellow-spotted River Turtle) and Butterfly (Sachem Skipper, Agraulis vanillae, Pyrisitia venusta).
In the afternoon I continued with a visit to Leonsberg, where a boat-trip started in order to look for dolphins. In principle, at the incomming tide, a small group of Guyana Dolphins are looking for fish in the area where the Suriname and Commewijne Rivers merge. And indeed we mannaged to find a small group who came closely to the boat. It was one of the key mammal-species of my wanted-list
Before joining the birding-group I did a 3-day vissit to Botopassie, which is situated in the heart of the jungle along the upper Suriname River. To get there you need a 3 hours bus journey to Atjoni, a riverside quay for taxi boats and fishermen. From here a it takes about 2 to 3 hours, along the Suriname River crossing ‘sulas’ (rapids) and passing traditional villages on the river banks to reach Botopasi. On the way in a had sightings of Yellow-rumped Cacique, Red-rumped Cacique and Ringed Kingfisher. In the evening just before darkening i was supprised by two Blackish Nightjar's.
The main focus the next day was on Butterflies. Top-species where Arawacus aetolus, Heliconius numata, Semomesia croesus and Calospila lucianus. Other interesting species where; Birds (Turquoise Tanager, Grey-breasted Sabrewing); Reptiles (Spectacled Caiman); Dragonfly (Ebegomphus conchinus, Dusky Dancer); Plants (Indian-shot, Crinum erubescens, Petrea volubilis) and an Metallic Pinktoe Tarantula.
Back in Paramaribo, I joined the group and the next morning we had an early start, arriving just before dawn at Peperpot.
Highlights where Ochre-lored Flatbill, Green Ibis, Green-tailed Jacamar, Silvered Antbird, Spotted Puffbird. On the track we encountered an Blind Ground Snake, Common Squirrel Monkey and Linnaeus' Two-toed Sloth and saw some Butterfly (Thoas swallowtail, Haetera piera, Gargina emessa) and
Dragonfly (Claret Pondhawk, Anatya guttata).
In the afternoon, we arrived at Frederiksdorp which is one of the best maintained plantations in Suriname.
All the historic buildings have been restored an it serve's now as guest house. In the garden we saw a roosting Great Potoo and Rufous Crab Hawk, White-chested Emerald and a Blood-colored Woodpecker. An early start the next morning was rewarded with nice vieuws of some Guianan Brown Capuchin monkey's. Furtermore i have got nice pictures of Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Blood-colored Woodpecker and Greater Ani.
This morning we did a Swamp-tour behind the plantation. The scenery was magnificent, with large fields of waterlily's, mud plains and dyke's with threes and dense bushes. Beside picture's of Great Horned Owl, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Black-collared Hawk and Large-billed Tern, we encountered a 3 meter large Chicken Snake.
In the late afternoon, after a 3 hours boat-trip on the Commewijne-river we arrived at Bakki, where the next morning we did a boat-trip on the Warappa Creek. In 2007/2008 the 8.5 km Warappa creek and canal were re-opened. The canal begins as a narrow creek winding its way through green tunnels of overhanging trees and continuously changing vegetation. It widens and expands into a view of unique natural surroundings reaching the ocean, containing a large mud flat with several shorebirs. Species seen where Rufous Crab Hawk, Scarlet Ibis, Willet, Amazonian Inezia and the endemic Arrowhead Piculet.
Bakki is a nice pleace to go, but be aware we encountered a lot of nasty mosquito's

Suriname

This list, give's you a nice idea of the things I h've photographed. So explore the list, to see nice picture's of different familie-goups; there are also detailed list available of the different species.

There are also some pictures available of the When you want to know more about this region, you have to visit my travelpages.

This trip is made possible by

Bergendal is a luxury Eco & Cultural River Resort, where the lodges are dotted in a large natural surrounding. The grounds of the resort are holding a nice collection of Birds (Channel-billed Toucan, Black-necked Aracari, Black-spotted Barbet, Green-backed Trogon, Barred Antshrike and Blue Ground Dove ), Mammals (Orange-rumped Agouti, Proboscis Bat), Dragonfly (Golden Amberwing, Fine-banded Amberwing, Black Dasher and Acanthagrion ascendens) and Reptiles (Spectacled Caiman, Brown Sipo, Rhinella granulosa, Mourning Gecko)
The visit to the Savannah Zone was an nice experience, course the type of vegetation is completely different to the other locations on this trip. Therefore other birds (Burrowing Owl, Pearl Kite, Spangled Cotinga, Red-shouldered Macaw, Brown-throated Parakeet, Red-breasted Blackbird and Rufous-crowned Elaenia) and Plants (Chamaecrista ramosa, Amasonia campestris, Cleistes rosea and Tibouchina aspera).
The next day around midday we arrived at the Mazaroni top of Brownsberg Natural Park where the sleeping/eating accommodations are situated. The restaurant owner told us a nice story: a couple of years ago he found a young injured Grey-winged Trumpeter where he took care for. After it was recovered, the bird was left free, but stayed in the surroundings of the buildings where he found the remnant of the served meals. After a couple of months however the bird disappeared. About six months later a small group Trumpeter's visited the site again, and the owner ecognized one of them, becourse it was still a bit limping. Nowedays several goups of Trumpeter's are comming here to find some food. And indeed, a group of 8 birds arrived, feeding on the leftovers of our lunch.
In the afternoon we made a walk along some tracks around the buildings where I made nice pictures off Birds (Racket-tailed Coquette, Green Aracari, White-chinned Sapphire, Fulvous-crested Tanager and Purple Honeycreeper) Butterfly (Archaeoprepona demophon, Heraclides thoas, Morpho achilles, Striped Blue-Skipper) and Reptiles (Giant Ameiva, Rainbow Whiptail and Black-Spotted Skink)
In the late evening the rain started and it continued the next day, so it was a bad day for photographing. In the evening some great vieuws of amphibians (Rhinella margaritifera, Rhinella granulosa, Three-striped Poison Frog) and curious insects (Geoplanidae spec., Fulgora laternaria) compensated it a little.
Fortunately the last morning we had reasonable weather, so i got nice pictures of Golden-winged Parakeet, Guianan Toucanet, Tropical Parula, Double-toothed Kite and King Vulture). Brownsberg is one off the best places finding mammals, but due to the rain i have missed them all
The Bigi Pan Eco Resort is located in the western edge of a great lake; to reach it we had a 1 1/2 hours boat-trip out of Nickery. During this trip i managed to get pictures of Cocoi Heron, Great Horned Owl, Great Black Hawk. The lake itself is hosting a large group (about 3.000) American Flamingo's and in the evening large groups off Snowy Egret's, Tricolored Heron's, Scarlet Ibis's and Snail Kite's are comming in to roost in the trees. The next day we did a couple of trips in the surrounding mangrove-swamp. Here we got sightings of Roseate Spoonbill, White Woodpecker, Black-crested Antshrik, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, and a Magnificent Frigatebird. The last morning we made up our way to the ocean. This was a good place for waders (Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Western Sandpiper, Hudsonian Whimbrel) Wood Stork and White-cheeked Pintail.
It'is a 1 hour flight from Paramaribo out to Palumeu. The flight gives a good impression of the unspoiled jungle of the Sipaliwini-district of Suriname, but the panorama was fiercely interrupted by sightings of the Rosebel Gold Mine concession, which has ruined about 5.712 hectares of rain forest now.
In the afternoon we did our first walk through the jungle. It's not an easy job to get pictures in this dark/humit environment, but I succeeded in getting some pictures of Screaming Piha, Golden-headed Manakin and a Black-eared Fairy.
The next morning we took the canoe to navigate the Tapanahony River on the way to Poti hill. On the river we had some great vieuws off Capped Heron, White-banded Swallow, Ringed Kingfisher, Red-fan Parrot, Southern Mealy Amazon and Scarlet Macaw. Poti hill is a steep grannit hill about 40 meters high and gives nice vieuws of the surrounding canopy. Unfortunately it started to rain when we where on the top, so there was not much activity to see. It's a 2 hours walk through dense jungle to get back to the river; where i got pictures off Plain Xenops, Dusky Antbird; a rare frog-species (Rhinella lescurei) and a nice lizzard (Smooth Tegu). In the late afternoon we did a nice walk around the village with good vieuws off Bat Falcon, Paradise Jacamar and Golden-spangled Piculet.
The next day the rain was getting worser, so I stayed around the lodge, walking around with an umbrella. Weird enough this gave me great pictures of Butterfly (Teleus Longtail, Helicopis cupido, Riodina lysippus) and more expected Dragonfly (Rainforest Bluewing, Orthemis schmidti and Band-winged Dragonlet). In the afternoon (when the rains where stopped) another visit to an open space in the jungle brought Black-headed Parrot, Painted Parakeet, Pink-throated Becard, Purple-throated Fruitcrow.
The last morning we went bach to the jungle with again nice parrots, Black-tailed Tityra, Opal-rumped Tanager and a close encounter with a Tayra; an omnivorous animal from the weasel family. When visiting Suriname, i truly recomand a visit to the inland
Back in Paramaribo; in the afternoon a did a second visit to Peperpot, whith other Birds (Laughing Falcon, White-flanked Antwren, Cinnamon Attila and a Ruby-topaz Hummingbird.
The last day we brought another visit to the Cultuurtuin whith sigths of Violaceous Euphonia, Crimson-hooded Manakin, Black-throated Mango and Yellow-bellied Elaenia.