Thursday, 2 May 2013

A week in Sri Lanka - part 6

This really is the last bit now. Just as well as I have some local stuff to blog about too and I'm weeks behind with photo-filing... anyway, I'll begin with reptiles, then do the mammals.

This Indian Cobra wasn't actually wild, though we did see a wild one at the same place (Kanneliya). We were shown assorted captive snakes by the guide after our walk. The guide was handling small venonous snakes with total unconcern, but it was a little unsettling when he dumped this (really quite large) cobra on the floor of the little open hut we were in to give us a good look. I was too close and it was too shaded to get a good shot, but I loved the marking on the hood.

This is a Water Monitor, in the grounds of Vil Uyana hotel. It was really close to the boardwalk and I couldn't find an angle for a good shot.

A lizard in need of an ID, photographed in Negombe.

We saw many of these Kangaroo Lizards in the Kanneliya rainforest.

Also in the rainforest, a pencil-slim and very pretty Common Bronze-backed Tree Snake.

Another Kangaroo Lizard, ickle baby one this time, showing off its ridiculous tail.

Still in the rainforest, this was introduced to us as a Hump-nosed Lizard. It was very placid, allowing the guide to gently reposition it on its perch for the photographers.

And now the mammals. Of the three monkey species in Sri Lanka this one seemed the most common - we saw some at most places. It's the endemic Toque Macaque.

A whale-watching trip on day 6 brought one Blue Whale, which (despite being the biggest creature ever to have lived) evaded my lens, and two Orcas, which didn't :)

Spinner Dolphins, part of a pod of about 500, which swam by our boat for a while.

 Monkey no. 2 is another endemic and a rarity also. It's Purple-faced Langur, aka Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, seen in Kanneliya.

I met this evil-looking mongoose on my way back to the hotel after a solo early marshland walk. I think it's a Ruddy Mongoose.

Some not-wild animals now. This baby Asian Elephant is one of more than 100 resident at the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala. Part of the daily routine at the orphanage is a visit to the river, which is obviously much enjoyed by all the elephants.

Random dogs are very much part of the scene in Sri Lanka. Most are medium-sized, sandy-coloured and good-natured, and most do have homes, they're just allowed to roam free.

 Far fewer cats than dogs at large. The handful we saw all seemed to have homes as well.
And back to the wild. The third monkey species is Grey Langur, a lovely-looking animal. We saw a few near the marshland area.

This little critter is very common, in town and country alike. It's Indian Palm Squirrel.

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