BIRDWATCHING IN OVERBRIDGE AND THE SAVANNAS

 

OVERBRIDGE

Overbridge is a resort on the bank of the Suriname River. A substantive part of the original vegetation is left untouched, which gives us the opportunity to birdwatch near the lodges. On a sand field near the restaurant one often can see a Collared Plover. The forest on both sides of the road to Overbridge is a swamp forest. In the early morning, one can hear the calls of over-flying Green Ibises. In a small artificial lake nearby, one finds Least Grebes. An open swamp with dead trees offers opportunities to spot Black-necked Araçaris, Long-tailed tyrants, Green-tailed Jacamars and Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers. Overbridge is well situated for visiting the nearby savannas by Powakka and Phedra.
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POWAKKA SAVANNA

Powakka is a nearby Amerindian village. The Amerindians have planted pineapples in such a way that the plantation seems part of the natural habitat. When the pineapples flower, Ruby-topaz hummingbirds and Green-tailed Goldenthroats are humming around. This is one of the best places to spot the rare Pale-bellied Mourner and the race albimarginatus of Swainssons Flycatcher. The former has become clever and does not react on playback anymore. However with al lot of patience I usually find it. The latter has not been seen for a long time. Bronzy Jacamar, Plain-crested and Rufous-crowned Elaenias are common here and the very rare Lesser Elaenia has been spotted. Amethyst Woodstar has been encountered several times. Black Manakin is very common near the cemetery of Powakka.
 

PHEDRA SAVANNA FOREST

The type of savanna forest near Phedra is called ‘dwarf forest on white sand’. Three species of birds which are thought to be rare are actually common in this type of habitat: Bronzy Jacamar, Black Manakin and Saffron-crested Tyrant-Manakin. Spotted Puffbird has been found here and Northern Slaty Antshrike is common.
 

ZANDERIJ SAVANNAS

Near Zanderij and the international airport we find all different savanna habitats in a relatively small area. In the night and early morning we can see or hear Common Potoo’s, White-tailed Nightjars and Lesser Night-hawks. Here is the only place in Suriname where we can find the Eastern Meadow Lark. Crested Bobwhites are common, but difficult to see. Giant Snipe has been spotted. Black-faced Tanagers are common. Large flocks of Red-shouldered Macaws may fly over in the morning. Grassland Sparrows may be seen sitting on the fence of the airport. The nest of the Black Manakin on the photo, made here by Foek Chin Joe, is the second nest ever found of this species. The song of the Red-legged Tinamou is almost constantly heard during the morning hours. In 2007 Suriname became the last country in South America to be reached by the Burrowing Owl. Now, at least two couples are breeding near the end of the airstrip.
 

BERLIJN

Berlijn was the first slave-plantation, which has been given to the slaves after the emancipation of the slaves. The small village and the surrounding area are now the communal property of the descendants of the slaves. It is situated on a black-water creek. A bridge over this creek leads to a small old grave yard. From the bridge we can see a colony of Yellow-rumped and Red-rumped Caciques, together with one couple of Piratic Flycatchers and the parasitizing Giant Cowbirds. The grave yard offers a good look into the canopy. In a dead tree a couple of Paradise Jacamars is breeding. Until now we have never missed them. Often we see Black Nunbirds, Purple-throated Fruitcrows and Green-backed Trogons. Sometimes a canopy mixed species flock wiil pass. Usually we see here many interesting birds in one or two hours. After a two minute walk we will find a small and beautiful savanna. The rare Lesser Elaenia has been spotted here and in June and July we can hear the White Bellbird.
[photos ©] Pale-bellied Mourner by Candi McManiman, Female Black Manakin taken by Foek Chin Joe, and Green-tailed Jacamar by Nobuhisa Takano,

Over bridge, Suriname

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