Birding in Suriname - by Otte Ottema
BIRD WATCHING IN THE RALEIGHFALLS NATURE RESERVE
The former nature reserve Raleighfalls, now part of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, has long been famous for its rich bird life. Situated on the Coppename River and including the Voltzberg, an Inselberg, it contains a large variety of habitats, hence its rich birdlife. From the main base on Foengoe Island, we can start boat trips over the river. We might see the Green Ibis, the Darter, Kingfishers, Capped and Cocoi heron and Ladder-tailed Nightjar. On the airstrip we will look for Common Piping Guan, toucans, macaws and parrots. In the forest we will look for Capuchinbirds.
The trail to the Voltzberg is one of the best places to spot the very difficult Boat-billed Tody-tyrant and the Collared Gnatwren. Many Antbirds can be seen here, including the Band-tailed Antshrike, the Ferruginous-backed and White-plumed Antbirds, during our 3 to 5 hour hike to the research station.
The lek of the Cock-of-the-Rock is one hour by foot from the research station. On the way we have a good chance to find the Cinereous Mourner. This lek is the largest known lek of this species; between 50 and 60 males are active. From behind the rope we will be able to see about 20 males during the breeding season from December until April. The center males defend their courtship spot the whole year round.
While watching the sunrise from the Voltzberg we will hear Forest Falcons and Tinamous. It is almost certain that the Cliff Flycatcher will come near us while we wait for Chapman’s, White-collared and White-chinned Swifts on the top of the mountain.
The rocky outcrops near the mountain are good for early morning birdwatching. We may spot Blackish Nightjars, canopy flocks of tanagers and honey-creepers, toucans, parrots and macaws.
A complete species list for the reserve can be found at :
[photos] Crimson Topaz and White-headed Piping-Guan by Foek Chin Joe, and Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock and Cliff Flycatcher by Candi McManiman.
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