An Owl & More Owls

9 March 2020

On the road again today heading south to our base in Tissamaharama gateway to the likes of Yala and Bundala National Parks.

On the way south we stopped off at a birding eco-lodge where our guide Thilli knew there was a good chance of seeing a Brown Wood Owl, a very striking owl.  After a good deal of bush bashing we did eventually find the roosting owl and a very fine specimen indeed.

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Brown Wood Owl – Olympus OM-D EM1 mkII – Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro – f/4 – 1/200s – iso 3200
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Brown Wood Owl – Olympus OM-D EM1 mkII – Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro – f/4 – 1/50s – iso 1600

We arrived early afternoon in Tissamaharama and after a little rest in the heat of the day we set off on another owling expedition to check out a number of promising local sites, with good results including Brown Fish Owl and Collared Scops Owl.

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Brown Fish Owl – Olympus OM-D EM1 mkII – Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro – f/4 – 1/200s – iso 800
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Brown Fish Owl – Olympus OM-D EM1 mkII – Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro – f/4 – 1/200s – iso 640
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Collared Scops Owl – Olympus OM-D EM1 mkII – Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro – f/4 – 1/40s – iso 3200

and to finish the day off nice views of a Woodpecker, in this case the Lesser Goldenback.

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Lesser Goldenback – Olympus OM-D EM1 mkII – Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro – f/4 – 1/200s – iso 1250
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Lesser Goldenback – Olympus OM-D EM1 mkII – Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 Pro – f/4 – 1/200s – iso 1600

When we got back to the hotel in the evening we heard news that a Sri Lankan tour guide had tested positive for Coronavirus, this being one of just a handful of confirmed tests in the country. Perhaps more worryingly however Thilli told us that the guide in question was the guide to the Italian birding group that we had seen in the Botanical Gardens in Kandy a few days ago. We also found out that the Sri Lankan government were taking this very seriously and had effectively stopped all non Sri Lankans from entering the country – we wondered if this was likely to impact on the rest of our tour.

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