Sunday, 29 July 2012

River life- Surinam style

Wednesday I did a small boat transfer onto the support vessel 'Maria G' for a 24 hour steam to Paramaribo, Surinam. A chance to catch some well needed sleep and do a bit of leisurely sea watching!

This is one of the few remaining great shearwaters in the area- I suppose this individual is waiting for  it's new feathers before playing catch-up with the rest of them off Greenland. I really like the effect of moulting in these birds with every feather so clearly defined......

moulting great shearwater

A few hours into the transit we were lucky to have a visit from 4 spinner dolphins that took some delight in bow riding for 20 minutes or so.....

The following morning we entered the river system for the final 2 hour journey up to Paramaribo. A chance to see trees at last! I is quite strange how much I miss the colour green after 5 weeks at sea. Plenty of birds about too, with raptors, terns, frigate birds and a variety of herons all showing nicely over the river. We also saw the Tucuxi river dolphins again although they were rather distant. Although not exactly attractive the birds the frigates were certainly magnificent!

magnificent frigate birds

Quite a bit of fishing activity too- both of the inshore subsistence type and larger vessels working offshore and commercial traffic utilising the high tide to get in and out of Paramaribo.

offshore fishing vessel

rich pickings for the terns and local fishermen

river barge
boats at the fish wharf, near Paramaribo
After over a month at sea the air and vegetation seemed full of birds- mostly distant but still a delight to see...just wish I could name them all!

later after a hotel rest stop, I headed for the airport for the 10 hour flight to Amsterdam, then on to Aberdeen before finally arriving home in Ullapool after travelling for three and a half days. Beer and local patch time time!

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