Saturday, 8 February 2020

Return to Sri Lanka

I was on board the overnight Heathrow to Colombo direct flight on the 27th Jan, returning 7th February. My aim was to see how a Learning Centre I am involved in is coming along, now based in a superb building in Pitiwella between Galle and Hikkadua. 
I was really pleased to see so much progress and in meetings with Anoma, who oversees the day to day running of the centre, we planned for the next 2 years along with annual budgets, resources and what we need to do to improve the centre further.
I also got to meet students that offer lessons at the centre through a company called Travelteer. Great to chat with them and watch them in action with the youngsters. We also had a trip to a rainforest where they helped put up frog tree boxes to encourage tree frogs to breed in the pools of water that collect in these. I also Skyped an assembly from this forest to a school in Bishop's Stortford.
On my final day, Anoma and I visited Kanneliya Rainforest, some 2 hours drive from Galle. A new place for me.
I managed to get out for a spot of local birdwatching and also, on the Tuesday, went on a scooter inland where I found some good bird habitats for photography.

Photos from Kottawa Rainforest with Travelteer students








Birds from around the MindGarden Learning Centre

White bellied drongo

Indian pond heron

Little egret

White bellied sea eagle

Another drongo

Spotted dove

Drongo portrait
Birds from the superb grounds of Jetwing Kurulubedda


Bathing Red vented bulbul

Red vented bulbul

Common mynah

Oriental white eye

Oriental white eye

Female Jerdon's leadfbird

Oriental white eye

White browed bulbul

Male purple rumped sunbird

nest of Purple rumped sunbird

Yet another Oriental white eye

Jerdon's leafbird, male

Spotted dove
White rumped munia

Pale-billed flowerpecker

Birds from an inland scooter ride around Baddegama
Yellow billed babbler
Yellow billed babbler
Cattle egret
Cattle egret
Indian pond heron
Red wattled lapwing
Crested serpent eagle
Gull billed tern
Pied kingfisher
Crested serpent eagle

Birds of Kanneliya Rainforest.

Others were seen but not photographed

Little swift, used to be called white rumped swift

Oriental magpie robin

Sri Lankan grey hornbill

Crested serpent eagle

Crested serpent eagle
Red vented bulbul nest building

Black headed bulbul


Butterflies
Common Palmfly
Common grass yellow
Blue species, possibly Small cupid or Lime Blue
Same as above
Common sailor
As above, Common sailor
Grey Pansy
Tiny species, suspect Small cupid
Rustic

Dragonflies

Identifying these is recent for me, so suspected species here, awaiting confirmation from Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne


Variegated Flutterer

Pied Parasol

Blue Percher ?

Crimson dropwing ?

Same as above

 Reptiles
Water Monitor, about 8 foot long
Water monitor swimming upstream
Some species of tree snake
same snake
Land monitor
Horned lizard


Bird List (for a none birding Visit!!)
Place seen will, in many cases, be the first sighting)


  1.  Sri Lankan Spurfowl (Heard Kanneliya)
  2. Indian peacock (Galle)
  3. Black headed ibis (Southern Expressway)
  4. Indian pond heron (Pitiwella)
  5. Cattle egret (Pitiwella)
  6. Great egret (Southern Expressway)
  7. Little egret (Southern expressway)
  8. Little cormorant (Negombo)
  9. Indian cormorant (Negombo)
  10. Brahminy kite (Pitiwella)
  11. White bellied sea eagle (Pitiwella)
  12.  Shikra (Pitiwella)
  13. Crested serpent eagle (Baddegama)
  14. White breasted waterhen (Negombo)
  15. Red wattled lapwing (Galle)
  16.  Gull billed tern (Pitiwella)
  17. Great crested tern (Pitiwella)
  18. Little tern (Pitiwella)
  19.  Spotted dove (Pitiwella)
  20.  Sri Lankan green pigeon (Pitiwella)
  21. Rose ringed parakeet (Galle)
  22. Layard's parakeet (Kottowa, heard)
  23. Asian koel (Pitiwella)
  24. Greater coucal (Galle)
  25.  Little swift (Kanneliya)
  26.  Indian swiftlet (Galle)
  27.  Blue tailed bee-eater (Galle)
  28. Chestnut headed bee-eater (Kottawa en route)
  29. White throated kingfisher (Pitiwella)
  30. Pied kingfisher (Baddegama)
  31.  Brown headed barbet (Galle)
  32. Sri Lankan hornbill (Kottawa)
  33. Lesser Goldenback (Galle)
  34. Jerdon's Leafbird (Galle)
  35. Black hooded oriole (Galle)
  36. House crow (Pitiwella)
  37.  Large billed crow (Kottawa en route)
  38. Barn swallow (Pitiwella)
  39.  White bellied drongo (Galle)
  40. Sri Lankan drongo (Kanneliya)
  41.  Forest wagtail (Kanneliya)
  42. Black capped bulbul (Kanneliya)
  43. Red vented bulbul (Pitiwella)
  44. White browed bulbul (Galle)
  45. Common tailorbird (Pitiwella)
  46. Asian paradise flycatcher (Galle)
  47. Yellow billed babbler (Pitiwella)
  48. Common mynah (Pitiwella)
  49. Spot winged thrush (Kanneliya)
  50. Oriental Magpie robin (Kanneliya)
  51.  Brown breasted flycatcher (aKanneliya)
  52.  Pale billed flowerpecker (Galle)
  53. Loten's sunbird (Pitiwella)
  54. Purple rumped sunbird (Pitiwella)
  55.  Oriental white-eye (Galle)
  56.  White rumped munia ( Galle)
  57.  Scaly breasted munia (Galle)

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. In 2016 I spent time at Portland Bird Obs and two trips to Aviero, Portugal. 2017 found me back in Sri Lanka in Feb/March, then July and back for New Year's Eve celebrations in December. Also returned to The Camargue in May for a 4 day trip. Few plans for 2018, but nothing yet booked apart from a trip to the IOW.

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