During the years I have spotted over more than 300 bird species in Kabalebo. As most of them were spotted near the lodge I am always excited when I have to go on a birding trip. This means that it is possible to see something far more interesting and also to update my bird list.
It was a successful birding day with a surprising unforgettable ending.
Thursday: February 19, 2015
We always get a headstart in comparison with non birders but in the end they always passes us by. No worries, because with a birding trip it is never about reaching a certain destiny. It is all about what you see during your journey. My companions for this day were Laura, Stefan, Hilde Engels and Jacqueline van Rooij. Four very enthusiastic nature lovers. Even they couldn't wait what the journey shall bring for us.
Most of the birds we spotted that day were either tiny and high up in a tree or were soaring above us. But no worries, as we were all armed with binoculars it was a piece of cake to identify the flying objects.
Sometimes luck was by our side and were the birds posing in front of the camera. One of them was the Amazon Kingfisher. Usually they tease us by not giving us the chance to use our camera. But in this case it made an exception for us.
Along the way we also spotted our residents:
We also spotted this lovely couple Orange-winged Amazons right in front of their nest.
One of our boatsman spotted this Sunbittern, after he heard it calling. It is blending so well with its surroundings, don't you agree?
As always we also spot other animals, besides birds, during the trips. After hearing noises and seeing movements in the dense bushes, we spotted them: Golden-handed Tamarins. They are the smallest monkeys seen here in Kabalebo. Very agile and often difficult to capture with your camera, but I had a little bit of luck.
The bird of the day: Ornate Hawk Eagle.
As seen in the pictures, I first spotted a 'headless' bird. It was cleaning its feathers too so we had to wait a while before its head 'popped out'. It was a juvenile by the way, meaning it was born in Kabalebo. I have to pay close attention to this bird for the next months. Who knows what we can learn and discover about this young predator.
The Squirrel Cuckoos were constantly present during the day. Most of the time they were hiding between the branches or were flying away. This one stayed long enough for the photo shoot.
The Chestnut-bellied Seed Finch was also seen near the Kabalebo river. The male has a wonderful tune to listen at. A seedeater which is very much adored by Surinamese men. Every sunday at the Independence Square in Paramaribo, there is a singing competition amongst the caged birds. A sport where lots of (caged) birds and money is involved. That is why this seedeater is listed as threatened and vulnerable in Suriname. This is surely one lucky guy.
During the day we constantly spotted this day moth: Green-banded Urania (Urania leilus). This one landed right in front of my feet, so I couldn't resist the temptation: photo shoot!!
Sometimes you also need to watch your back from time to time. This Lowland tapir was crossing over the Kabalebo river right behind our boat.
I was finally able to capture this butterfly known as the Olive wing (Nessaea obrinus) with its wings open. Usually they are seen with their wings closed. While it was basking in the afternoon sun I took this wonderful shot. What a beauty.
Just before our birding day ended we were spoiled with this surprise: a Jaguar. He was spotted close to the pier, he was probably quenching his thirst after a long warm day. Luckily it was at the other side of the Kabalebo river. I was surely stunned to see this magnificent creature with my very own eyes. I didn't expect to see it at all let alone so close. He wasn't really impressed by our presence as I was able to shoot countless of memorable pictures. After a couple of minutes, which felt like an eternity, he went back into the jungle. My companions were also in shock to see the King of the Jungle so close and so fast. At first they were all focused on a Woodpecker sound, so it took some seconds for them to spot him. He made such a great impression on all of us. A birding trip none of us will ever forget.
Other birds we also spotted but couldn't capture with the camera were:
Birds we heard that day, but couldn't see:
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