By way of a postscript a few days after we left Sri Lanka and transited with Emirates through Dubai, Dubai Airport was closed to transit passengers and whilst we probably could still have got home on a direct flight we think in retrospect we did the right thing.
14 March 2020
A twist in the tail today which unfortunately meant a premature end to our Sri Lankan trip.
13 March 2020
This morning we returned to our preferred Yala Block 5. It was a little quieter today perhaps due to the extreme heat which really does make a large part of the day fairly sterile when it comes to birding and no doubt the Leopards were also avoiding the heat and thus also us unfortunately.
12 March 2020
We were a little uncertain whether to bother with Yala Block 1 but given that we had plenty of time we thought we would, so at dawn we joined the long queue of jeeps waiting to enter the park, not a promising sign from our perspective but time would tell.
11 March 2020
Bundala National Park today. Bundala is an internationally important wetland area, it was the first RAMSAR designated site in Sri Lanka.
As usual we were at the gate before dawn.
10 March 2020
A day in Yala. Yala National Park is the second largest but far away most visited national park in Sri Lanka. The park is split into a number of blocks some of which can be visted and some which cannot. The vast majority of visitors to the park take a safari in Block 1, the coastal part of the park, the reason being that you supposedly stand the best chance of seeing Leopard which, for most people, appears to be all that they are interested in. The result of this is that Block 1 is frankly over-run with jeeps which does tend to somewhat spoil the experience.
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.
8 March 2020
An early start this morning so as to be at the entrance to the park not long after dawn and to catch sight of the endemic Sri Lanka Woodpigeon at its well kown roosting site, before they flew for the day, this being the only real chance to see this species on the trip.
7 March 2020
Next on the itinerary was the highland town of Nuwara Eliya and from there a trip to the Horton Plains National Park.
7 March 2020
This morning, before dawn, we headed off into the hills to the north of Kitulgala.
6 March 2020
The birding on day 2 of our Kitulgala stay was pretty slow but it was more than made up for in a photographic sense by the fantastic lizards that we came across and they really do make the most fantastic photographic subjects, not least because unlike the birds they don’t keep flying away ! Continue reading “Kitulgala – Day 2 (Reptiles)”
6 March 2020
Our first full day at Kitulgala and up at the crack of dawn for some endemic owl hunting.
5 March 2020
A long, hot and winding drive south today in preparation for a few days at one of Sri Lanka’s birding hotspots the wet zone forest at Kitulgala.
4 March 2020
Birding around Kandy means the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Udawatta Kelle Sanctuary – we visited the gardens in the morning and the sanctuary in the afternoon.
3 March 2020
En-route to the central highlands of Sri Lanka we had a quick stop-over in the former capital Kandy.
2 March 2020
After a hectic couple of weeks we decided to have a fairly lazy day with just some early morning and late afternoon birding around Habarana.
1 March 2020
A break from the wildlife today as we decided to visit the archaeological relic city of Polonnaruwa.
Polonnaruwa was the 2nd ancient kingdom of Sri Lanka, it was established in the 10th Century when the Chola Dynasty (Tamils) from southern India invaded Anuradhapura the then capital.
29 February 2020
The target species this afternoon and surely the easiest of all the Sri Lankan Elephant, the native sub-species of the Asian Elephant.
Elephants are now found only in the dry lowland areas of Sri Lanka and inevitably this does lead to conflict with the human population not least because it has been estimated that about 65% of their range is outside protected areas.
29 February 2020
A morning visit to Sigiriya, probably the most visted site in Sri Lanka.
28th February 2020
Following our 2 days in Wilpattu we had a transfer day over to our home for the next few days near Habarana. Habarana is the gateway town for the Minneriya National Park one of the best spots to see Asian Elephant on the island but more of that tomorrow.