Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Sri Lankan Visit

Set off for Sri Lanka on the overnight flight on Boxing Day, spending 2 days in Negombo followed by a week in Galle before returning to Negombo for 2 nights as it is easy for transfer to the airport. Not a birding trip, but I managed to get out on a few occasions, most memorably to a new area of Kottawa Rain Forest where I scored with the elusive and secretive white tailed shama. Other new birds for my SL list were crimson fronted barbet at Hiyare Forest and a distant osprey from the beach at Negombo.
I visited Kottawa with Anoma, naturalist in residence at the superb Jetwing Lighthouse hotel in Galle. I have spent plenty of time out and about with Anoma over the years and Wendy and I enjoyed his and his wife, Anusha's company on the Saturday night for a buffet at the hotel. We were also invited around to their house for a meal where son, Kevin, was the star of the show.
Anoma leading the way

Listening for the call of the white rumped shama

dense forest

This path only lasts about 50 metres

success: white rumped shama, a very difficult bird to find, never mind photograph

showing well, the male with the longer tail

shorter tail indicates a female
The beach at Negombo was great for a spot of sea watching, with indian cormorants, white bellied sea eagles, occasional brahminy kite and numerous terns. The latter were almost all gull billed and whiskered, as shown here.
gull billed tern

whiskered tern

whiskered tern

another whiskered tern

katamaran out fishing

Little egret, Negombo beach

white bellied sea eagle off the sea

distant white bellied sea eagle
Other birds noted around Negombo were common sandpiper on the beach whilst in the Jetwing vegetable garden, a family of tailorbirds, asian koel, shrika and plenty of rose ringed parakeets.
juvenile black hooded oriole

common sandpiper

juvenile tailorbird

adult tailorbird

Negombo beach

blue tailed bee eater hunting dragonflies on Negombo beach

Whilst in Galle, Anoma and I walked the local lanes and visited Kurulubedda chalets, set in their own forest and paddy area adjacent to Mahamodara River. Here, black monkey as well as a selection of everyday birds, always good to see. I returned to this lane on another occasion to get a few more photos, such as these;
black hooded oriole, adult

Black monkeys

common mynah

the lane leading from Jetwing Lighthouse

purple rumped sunbird

red vented bulbul

common kingfisher

Buddhist stipa along the lane with accompanying cattle egret

white bellied drongo
Another visit with Anoma was to the reservoir at Hiyare Forest. Here, brahminy kite, little cormorant and my first crimson fronted barbet, that refused to pose for the camera!
crimson fronted barbet

same skulking bird

Hiyare reservoir and forest

juvenile Brahminy kite

same bird

little cormorant

white  throated kingfisher
All in all, a superb time with birds everywhere. Restrictions on time meant no big trip out this time but still plenty noted and many pleasing species recorded.
cattle egret

Indian pond heron

Oriental honey buzzard outside Lighthouse hotel

red wattled lapwing

No comments:

This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird

Caley Wood view

Caley Wood view
sunshine through the canopy 29.05.08

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007
Best birds on this walk: black and middle spotted woodpecker and short toed treecreeper

About Me

My photo
A primary school teacher for 30 years, I retired from teaching in July 2009 to set up my own science enhancement and communication company. The Primary Works offers science clubs, workshops and staged science shows nationwide. I have always been interested in bird watching since my early years. Apparently my first tick was after inquiring about a chaffinch and then receiving the Observer book of birds. By the age of 9 I had moved on to Tory Peterson's collins guide and was now involved on YOC birding holidays to Northumbria, Essex coast, Slimbridge and Yorkshire. My twitching rule is that I will willingly travel 1km for each gram the bird weighs. However, I have had many rarities just by being in the right place. I have travelled widely throughout Europe and also visited Australia and Sri Lanka. Further European destinations are planned and a bigger trip to The Crimea was planned for 2014 but now not possible. so 2014: Sri Lanka in January, Poland in April, Madeira in June and The Camargue in July. So far 2015 has been Sri Lanka in Jan, Poland in Feb, Sri Lanka in April and The Camargue coming up in 1st week of September.

Grey heron

Grey heron
Over the allotment 28.09.08

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Ridge footpath 27.08.08

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)
Note the stripes, denoting a bird fledged this year.

common blue

common blue
Ash Valley G.C. 15.08.08

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)
River Ash

azure damselfly

azure damselfly
River Ash 28.07.08

marbled white

marbled white
Discovered at Westland Green 22.07.08

ruddy darter

ruddy darter
Bush Wood 21.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08
growing in hedgerow in Chapel Lane

cinnabar moth caterpillar

cinnabar moth caterpillar
Photographed on ragwort 19.07.08

Bittersweet

Bittersweet
Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer
08.06.08

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly
06.06.08

River Ash

River Ash
looking south from the bridge at Hadham Ford

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
in rape field 29.05.08

Caley Wood sunshine

Caley Wood sunshine
29.05.08

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox
24.05.08

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)
06.05.08 banks of the River Ash

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)
flowers, leaves and fruit edible . Good in salad and pesto

April showers

April showers
Double rainbow 30.04.08

Caley Wood bluebells

Caley Wood bluebells
22.04.08

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel
Chapel Lane (20.04.08)

sunlight 16.04.08

sunlight 16.04.08
looking south west from Bush Wood

snowy buds

snowy buds
06.04.08 in Bush Wood

Looking north west

Looking north west
05.04.08 evening shower approaching

Back Garden

Back Garden
Easter Sunday (23.03.08)

Brick Kiln Hill

Brick Kiln Hill
Looking east (23.03.08)

No play today

No play today
The 2nd hole at Ash Valley golf course

Teasel head

Teasel head
Bush Wood (21.03.08)

Reflections

Reflections
daffodils at Bush Wood pond (21.03.08)

Swollen River Ash

Swollen River Ash
The river at the bottom of Winding Hill 16.03.08

Daybreak over the chapel

Daybreak over the chapel
Thursday 13th March

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)
growing in Bush Wood

January snowdrops

January snowdrops
Banks of River Ash, north of Much Hadham

Good Moon

Good Moon
From garden 24.01.08

Village Green

Village Green
Looking east towards Acremore Street

Looking south before Hadham Ford

Looking south before Hadham Ford
rare January blue sky

Useful sites

The following are some useful websites that may interest readers of this blog.
Firstly, Bishop's Stortford Natural History Society http://bsnhs.webplus.net/

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. http://hairybirders.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.hertsbirdclub.org.uk/ The official herts bird club website. Frequently updated, listing bird sightings around the county. Offers links to many other websites. Both of these sites also offer links to yahoo discussion groups.
http://www.birdforum.net/ An international site. You can enter as a guest but become a member( free) to post comments, bird sightings and just about anything to do with wild birds. Good news updates, classified section for binoculars, cameras etc.
http://www.guidedbirdwatching.com/ A new site set up where you can contact people worldwide who will help you find good birds in their country. UK section being set up presently.
http://www.britainsbirder.co.uk/
Fellow birders blog. Strtford resident, Graeme Smith regulary birds the area south of Stortford as well as around Spellbrook and the River Stort from Spellbrook to Twyford Locks. Some superb bird photography: Graeme uses a digital camera attached to his powerful telescope to get detailled images of the birds he sees. Well worth a browse.
Two local sites that may be of interest can be found at
http://www.thehadhams.com/ www.thepelhams.net/content/section/12/139/

South Easterly walk

South Easterly walk
black, normal, red extended walk

South Westerly route.

South Westerly route.
Black usual, red extended

North Easterly walk

North Easterly walk
black short, walk. Red, extended

North West Patch

North West Patch
black route regular. Red route the extended wander