Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A week in Sri Lanka - part 1

Blimey, where to start? I had the very good fortune to be invited on a short-notice work trip to Sri Lanka, and there followed a week of incredibly full-on wildlife-watching, taking in central wetland areas, rainforest in the south-west, and some fun on the southern coast. I have absurd quantities of photos so this will take several posts... I'll begin with some wetland birds.

Whiskered Tern, common both on the coast and inland. This one's in breeding plumage but many were in winter plumage.

White-breasted Kingfisher. The most common kingfisher, we saw them everywhere, often on overhead wires and roadside posts. Also saw one Common Kingfisher, and one Asian Dwarf Kingfisher, the latter sadly a window collision casualty.

Indian Pond Heron. This streaky, white-winged little heron was very common on all kinds of wetlands, especially paddyfields.

Purple Heron. Only saw a couple of these, and not at close range.

Purple Gallinule aka Purple Swamphen, or as it was introduced to me by our guide, 'Purple Coot'. We can agree at least that it is purple. Only saw this one, on marshland near Dambulla.

Red-wattled Lapwing. Quite common, prone to noisy flypasts. They sound like terns.

Black-headed Ibis. One of the scarcer long-legged wading birds on the paddies and marshes.

Little Egret. Quite numerous, more so than Great White but less so than Cattle.
Indian Cormorants. We saw plenty of these by open freshwater.

Cattle Egret, inspecting the cattle. Very common everywhere. A different subspecies to the ones in Europe, with brighter buff bits.

Not strictly speaking a wetlands bird but we did see all our Peacocks in fields around the marshland.

White-breasted Waterhen. Very Moorhen-like in its mannerisms, and very common. This one was on a roof at one of the hotels.

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