Thursday, 30 March 2017

Sri Lanka 19.2.2017 Part One


Today was another enjoyable day which was largely spent inside Udawalawa National Park on safari. I took a large amount of photos so I've had to split the post into two. One of the trip highlights were a pair of Rain Quail that I managed to pick up out in an open area of grassland. These are rare winter visitors to Sri Lanka and they both gave decent views with a little patience. Birding from a safari jeep had its good and bad points. One of the positives was that wildlife had become habituated to the numerous vehicles which gave some great photography opportunities. One of the negatives was that you didn't have complete freedom to stop where you wanted and spend time on particular species of interest. I'll post another blog post of the passerines and mammals encountered on the same day shortly.

Grey Heron, local birds were noticeably paler than our own.

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Woolly-necked Stork

Black-headed Ibis
Adult Crested Hawk-Eagle with prey.

Adult Crested Hawk-Eagle

Juvenile Crested Hawk-Eagle
Grey-headed Fish Eagle
White-bellied Sea Eagle

White-bellied Sea Eagle nest number one. 

White-bellied Sea Eagle nest number two.
Female Rain Quail

Male Rain Quail

Male Rain Quail

Male Indian Peacock

Red-wattled Lapwing

Pacific Golden Plover

Wood Sandpiper

Indian Stone Curlew

Indian Stone Curlew

Indian Stone Curlew

Adult Yellow-wattled Lapwing

Juvenile Yellow-wattled Lapwing

Juvenile Yellow-wattled Lapwing

Marsh Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper

Marsh Sandpiper with Indian Pond Heron.
Whiskered Terns

Whiskered Tern
Brown Fish Owl


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Sri Lanka 18.2.2017

We left the Sinharaja area in the morning and moved onto Embilipitya where we stayed in the rather plush Centuria Hotel, just for the one night unfortunately. The hotel was situated right on the shore of Chandrika Lake which held hundreds of Whiskered Terns along with impressive numbers of Indian and Little Cormorants feeding. In the evening we visited an area of open shrubland immediately outside of Udawalawe National Park. I saw my first ever Indian Elephant just inside the park boundary, plenty more would come the following day. This proved to be an interesting area as it was one of the first lowland dry zones sites we visited. Our only new endemic of the day was Sri Lanka Woodshrike, one of the few endemics restricted to this zone as most of the others are found at higher elevations in rainforest habitats. We stayed late for some nightjar action and very shortly after sunset we encountered Indian and Jerdon's Nightjar in quick succession.

Pale-billed Flowerepecker

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Yellow Bittern

Whiskered Tern

Purple Heron

Intermediate Egret

Intermediate Egret

Green Bee-eater

Sri Lanka Woodshrike

Sri Lanka Woodshrike

Yellow-wattled Lapwing

Yellow-eyed Babbler
Paddyfield Pipit

Paddyfield Pipit

Paddyfield Pipit

Crested Serpent-Eagle

White-bellied Sea Eagle

White-bellied Sea Eagle
Indian Scops Owl