A banner.full


WEATHER: Cloudy all day with some sunshine and light rain later. Temp 20C

Guess what? We made another attempt to see the Chestnut-backed Owlet firtst thing this morning and lo and behold! We never saw a sausage. What a little bugger this owlet is turning out to be, never mind, you might say! We did see a host of other species, none of which were new for the list but good sightings nevertheless. I think the Indian Pitta was about the best, seen briefly by a few of the group.

its not a rooster!!   Sri Lanka Junglefowl - taken by Tony Moore

Denis (the menace) Cooper went home today!! He had a bad case of shingles which he brought with him, but it developed into a really bad rash all around his eye and into his scalp. Poor chap, I wish him a speedy recovery.

Most of our morning was spent travelling further north into the highlands at Nuwara Eliya. We only stopped twice and both times proved useful and productive. A roadside stop was made to look at some Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters which were very nice.

a White-faced Starling

Whilst we were out of the bus Dammi, our guide, pointed out a White-faced Starling at the top of a tree that was towering over us. What a great find, whilst looking at the starling we also saw a Jerdon's Leafbird and a White-bellied Sea-eagle flew over the top of us.

Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters

Our scheduled stop was at a tea plantation, we sampled the tea and cakes and also found a Loten's Sunbird and two Black Eagles! Wow! How good was that. A few Toque Macaques were loafing around the driveway sporting very unique hair-styles.

Its not a selfie - its a Toque Macaque pictured and groomed by Tony Moore

After dropping our luggage at our very up-market hotel near the lake at Nuwara Eliya we drove into town for lunch, followed by a visit to the famous Victoria Park in the centre of town. We logged two birds at the hotel, our first Tailorbird and our second Loten's Sunbird.

One of the first birds we found in Victoria Park - the Indian Blue Robin taken by Tony Moore

I love birding in Victoria Park, it is always full of birds despite the hundreds of people roaming all over the place. Some very special migrant species can be found there and we set out to find tthem.

Birds came thick and fast: Indian Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Oriental Magpie-Robin, Blythe's Reed Warbler and the Indian Blue Robin was a real crowd pleaser. We walked along the riverside and spent a lot of our time looking for flycatchers. The Brown-breasted Flycatcher was easy but the Kashmir took a lot of work just to get a glimpse.

Other species turned up: Yellow-eared Bulbul, Scimitar Babbler (endemic), Brown Shrike, White-breasted Waterhen and we staked an area where inaccessible scrub held two Pied Thrushes and two Indian Blackbirds. After a long wait we got some views of the most prized Pied Thrush.

This the best that Tony could do, I am amazed that he got this picture of the Pied Thrush

Yellow-eared Bulbul - Tony Moore

Brown-breasted Flycatcher -  by Tony Moore

Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler - Tony Moore

We then hit more familar ground with the sighting of: Great Tit, House Sparrow, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper!!

Kashmir Flycatcher - beautifully taken by Tony Moore in poor light and at a distance!!

Finally we got great views of the Kashmir Flycatcher, a male, what a stunner and a brilliant bird to finish off the day with. Rain started to fall so we made our exit and headed back to the warm and luxurious hotel.