This is a male Golden-spangled Piculet (Picumnus exilis). A very small short tailed woodpecker. Often seen near the lodge of Kabalebo. Not a shy bird but rather energetic. I have seen them alone going from branch to branch 'hammering' very light on small branches. Even though it is not a shy bird you have got to have the patience to follow him as he likes to move very fast and suddenly. But as you can see, it was well worth it.
This is a Drymarchon corais corais, also known as the Yellow-tailed Cribo and locally known as a Konkonisneki. A non venomous snake of at least 160 cm long. The Yellow-tailed Cribo is a common snake in Kabalebo and most recently spotted several times near the lodge. It is also one of my favorite snakes. Two toned colored; part brown yellow and black. It is also one of the most difficult snake to photograph in the wild as it is always on the move. Most of the time I managed to take parts of its body, like for instance only his head (picture above).
One time I spotted another Yellow-tailed Cribo near the lodge. It was either trying to find a hiding spot or it caught something to eat. Either way it made this snake make its scale 'expand'. Exposing some skin underneath the scales and make it appear to have a white stripe patron.
I saw this Common Squirrel Monkey out in the open, compared to his companions who were more inside the dense vegetation of the Kabalebo forest. As usual they are always looking for something to eat along the way. By the look on this monkey's face, he wasn't quite happy with my presence .......
..... at first. But in the end he was also a bit curious. How the tables have turned.
For a couple of weeks now there are two young Great Green Iguana's (Iguana Iguana) living in this bush. Too small and to weak to be out in the open so they take their refuge in this bush full of young fresh leaves. Every day I see them basking in the sun and eating parts of the leaves. Waiting patiently until they are ready to face the big world.
When trying to capture something, you always have to keep your eyes open and your camera ready. Some of my subjects don't like to make any noise or even move. This is a perfect example. Between this dense bush you barely can see a visible Rufescent-Tiger Heron. When I noticed him, he still pretended to be part of the bush but at the same time kept looking at me.
Around 2012 I first encountered this antbird in Kabalebo. I was with a small group of birders and Otte Ottema checking the area of the Misty Mountain. I first heard this bird calling but couldn't see it and when Otte told me to stay still and look in front of me, I was at the same time surprised and mesmerized. On the ground I saw this small brown bird with the remarkable blue around its eyes and he was walking as if I was not even there. Since it was my first time meeting this antbird I completely forgot to take out my camera but it was also that I was afraid to make any sudden moves and chase it away.
Fast forward nowadays. The Ferruginous-backed Antbird (Myrmeciza ferruginea) is a common antbird in Kabalebo. Most of the time heard instead of seen. You really got to have a lot of patience to meet this bird. It took me at least 1 hour to take several pictures of this bird. Most of the time he was walking right behind leaves, branches or sticks that were standing in the way. Second, this bird doesn't know any hiking trail in the forest so I had to manage my way through a lot of obstacles before being successful.
Here you see a Common Lance Head (Bothrops atrox) resting on top of a log on one of the hiking trails in Kabalebo. This snake is locally known as Labaria or Owrukuku and is quite venomous. Not a snake that I would like to see very often during a walk in the jungle, but since the Fer-de-Lance is a common snake in the jungle of Suriname, I can't avoid meeting them. Luckily this snake was not on my path but side ways so after I took several pictures I could continue my journey.
I spotted this male Cinereous Becard (Pachyramphus rufus) in the morning. First I heard him calling together with his partner. Sometimes it takes a while before you can spot either of them. I was lucky to have seen the male but unfortunately his lady didn't want any exposure.
The Reddish Hermit is one of the smallest hummingbird I've met so far in Kabalebo. Silently he 'ambushes' a Fajalobi bush, enjoying the sweet nectar this flower produce. It can take a while before he decides to be at the right spot, 'cause if you decide to move around chances are he will fly away. But patience is always rewarded.
I saw this Long-tailed Tyrant (Colonia colonus) sitting on top of a death tree near the airstrip edge. Most of the time I see these large flycatchers inside the rainforest during a hike. And most of the time seen perched at a far distance so only your binocular is needed. So I was so glad to have seen this bird so close. He was also sallying a bit before landing on the same spot. What makes this bird stand out are those long narrow central tail feathers.
I met this Red-brocket Deer at the beach of the River Cabin. She was grazing. She wasn't really alarmed by my presence but was surely cautious. I decided to take a close up shot of this marvelous animal and you can surely see more. Like for instance the ticks seen at the edge of her ears and the little bumblebee just passing by. And don't forget about the pretty eyes.
Sometimes wildlife is just sitting in plain sight looking at you.
This Three toed sloth was spotted near the airstrip in one of the visible trees. He was resting at first and after waking up started to move slowly away.
But it took a while before I spotted this sloth as he was just hiding in plain sight. Just like this.
The Green Anaconda doesn't need any introduction. Just one look at this fellow and you know that you need to keep your distance and respect its privacy. Well known for being one of the largest and heaviest snake in the world (maximum length 9 meter and at least 200 kg heavy).
But every big and large animal once started small in their life.
Here is a baby Green Anaconda. Fits right in one hand. I spotted this young anaconda hiding between the grass near the lodge. Well, I was first looking at some Golden-eyed Tree frogs when I almost stepped on this young fellow.
So you had better watch your (every) step.
My first birding trip was on March 18, 2013 with 2 Dutch ladies. I was a bit nervous because it was my first whole day trip too. Macaws, parrots, swallows, hummingbirds, kingfishers, herons, tanagers, woodpeckers ..... you name it, they were present on that day.
I did not take notes of what we saw exactly, some things you learn during the process. But all I can remember is that our morning started very well.
The Harpy Eagle was seen preening early in the morning. I remember that it stayed for quite a while on that same spot. I was very excited to see this large predator on my first birding trip as it is still the number one bird that people want to see.
I have seen the Chestnut Woodpecker a lot inside the rainforest of Kabalebo (Suriname). Not a noisy one compared with the Lineated or the Crimson-crested Woodpecker. Most of the time they are seen clinging onto a tree and work their way up.
Like I said 'most of the time' I have seen the Chestnut Woodpeckers on trees. But when I took this picture I was kind of surprised to see this Chestnut Woodpecker on the ground between all the ripe maripa's.
I didn't know at first what it was that was hopping between these maripa's. It was clear after I zoomed in with my camera. First time too that I have seen a woodpecker on the ground.
They keep surprising me.
The Red-brocket Deer is quite a champion when it comes to freeze-at-the-spot.
Red Howler Monkeys are also known as social animals. I have always seen them either resting, eating or traveling as a group.
Here you see one of the members of such a group. It is a mother with her infant. Still a young lad as it was seen clinging onto its mother. The group was resting and the mother decided to find a quiet spot to be alone with her baby. Sometimes I see the mothers play with their baby. The only time she lets go of her little one is when she has to eat. The baby is hanging, most of the time, up side down nearby until she is done eating.
Even in the jungle mothers know how to take care of the little ones.
The Crested Owl is still seen in the rainforest of Kabalebo. But like any other resident it also likes to move around the area. So from time to time, the Crested Owl is seen perched between all the dry leaves during the day and on another occasion it is not home at all.
So yes, this was the only picture of the Crested Owl I took when I was on the hiking trail. It was seen in plain sight but at a spot and level that asked for some moving around until you can spot it. I actually wanted its entire body photographed but the surrounding had other ideas. This is all I could get.
My first sighting of the Crested Owl:
Working together for a family; Guianan-Streaked Antwrens.