After stopping for snacks and tea we arrived in time to watch the baby orphaned elephants feeding time. Shortly after, the 4 of us boarded a safari jeep and were off for a three hour drive around the magnificent reserve. The main target were the elephants that inhabit this large area whilst I was, not surprisingly, keen to observe and photograph some of the bird species present. I was not disappointed, seeing 2 new species for me in Sri Lanka and managing to get some pleasing shots into the bargain. However, the highlight was surely Charlene's excitement at seeing wild elephants close up as they wandered in front of the jeep or just stood by the side of the track. Excellent trip and well worth the 6 hours in the car. If I was to do this trip again, may book into one of the local hotels and stay the night, but is is feasible to visit in one day from Galle.
These photos are in no order, just ones that seem to have come out quite pleasingly. These first 4 are of the orphaned elephants being given milk and then feeding.
En route to the Reserve the jeep drives over a dam that has created a man made lake around which were several bird species including cattle and little egrets and red wattled lapwings, all common species for Sri Lanka.
|Rising water levels submerging trees.|
|Green bee eater: such photogenic birds. More later|
|Common kingfisher: female|
|A lucky capture!|
|Crested hawk eagle|
Back to some bird species.
|Another superb green bee eater|
|Great white egret being watched by a water buffalo|
|Blue tailed bee eater|
|Yet another green bee eater|
|Red wattled lapwing|
|Spot billed pelican floats past a water buffalo|
|Wooly necked stork, a new bird for me|
|Black shouldered kite, the 2nd new Sri Lankan bird for me|
|White throated kingfisher|
|Another black shouldered kite|
|Laid back frog species|
|Water buffalo. Larger the horns, the older they are|
|Distant water buffalo|
|Grumpy macaque momkey|
|swarms of butterflies feeding on minerals from the sand|
|More water buffalo|
To finish, my 2 favourite shots from this superb trip.
|The Painted stork gives a great perspective to the whole landscape.|
|Just got lucky with this pose.|