The sun was not up as we headed into the Reserve but we could make out shapes in the early morning mist. A malabar hornbill passed us as we noted good numbers of waders around a waterhole populated by sunken water buffalo. Not many chances to take photos, but we would return this way on our way out.
Basically, the bird life was incredible. Everything I had expected to see was ticked along with all the resident mammals and reptiles apart from the elusive leopard.
Really, all I can do is show the photos and list the stuff as it would be endless recording each sighting. However, a few highlights: the beeaters were spectacular, the elephants with babies were memorable and just the density of birds amazing.
|lesser whistling duck, spoonbill, common tern (I think) black winged stilt and marsh sandpiper.|
|black headed ibis|
|blue tailed beeater|
|another brown shrike|
|black winged stilt|
|changeable hawk eagle|
|chestnut headed beeater|
|even larger croc|
|elephant rock, Yala National Reserve|
|black tailed godwit, spoonbill, black headed ibis|
|another splendid green beeeater|
Views of Elephant Rock were had as another highlight occured, 5 indian hoopoes, followed about a minute later by our only view of an indian roller. Excellent stuff.
|indian pond heron|
|lesser whistling duck|
|1st bird in pre dawn mist. Unmistakable malabar hornbill|
|sri lankan green pigeon|
|pacific golden plover|
|another painted stork|
|red wattled lapwing|
|scaley breasted munia|
|solitary bull elephant|
|great thick knee at sunset|
|another bull elephant and spotted deer|
|spot billed pelican|
|spot the elephant|
|sri lankan green pigeon|
In all, Yala is one of the most fantastic wildlife places I have ever visited and certainly worth the long drive to get there.
|Sri Lankan junglefowl (The national bird)|
|Wader competition: name these waders.|
|yellow billed babbler|
|yellow wattled lapwing.|
barred buttonquail, sri lankan junglefowl, peacock, lesser whistling duck, painted stork, asian openbill, black necked stork, black headed ibis, lesser adjutant, eurasian spoonbill, (10 sp) indian pond heron, grey heron, purple heron, cattle egret, great egret, intermediate egret, little egret, spot billed pelican, little cormorant, indian cormorant, (20 sp)brahminy kite, black eagle, changeable hawk eagle, white breasted waterhen, pheasant tailed jacana, great thick knee, yellow wattled lapwing, red wattled lapwing, pacific golden plover, kentish plover, (30 sp) lesser sandplover, black tailed godwit, common redshank, common greenshank, marsh sandpiper, common sandpiper, curlew sandpiper, gull billed tern, whiskered tern, little tern,(40 sp) common tern, spotted dove, orange breasted green pigeon, sri lankan green pigeon, green imperial pigeon, rose ringed parakeet, chestnut winged cuckoo, asian palm swift, crested treeswift, house swift, (50 sp) indian roller,blue tailed bee eater, green bee eater, chestnut headed bee eater, white throated kingfisher, indian hoopoe, crimson fronted barbet, sri lankan grey hornbill, malabar hornbill, brown shrike, (60 sp) black headed oriole,house crow, large billed crow, barn swallow, white bellied drongo, richards pipit, paddyfield pipit, Blyth's pipit, red vented bulbul, white browed bulbul ,(70 sp) common tailorbird, white browed fantail, yellow billed babbler, common myna, brahminy starling, oriental magpie robin, indian robin, brown breasted flycatcher, purple rumped sunbird, lotens sunbird,(80 sp) house sparrow, scaley breasted munia, Jerdon's bushlark, little stint