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WEATHER: a lovely bright start, cloudy later and then rain early evening. Temp 14 -24C

There was no early morning walk today everyone opted to stay in bed for the extra hour or so. We took breakfast and was on our way to the rain forest by 8:30am.

Our first stop was just outside of Nuwara Eliya at a Hindu Temple we also took the opportunity to look for the last for a Whistling Thrush, which did not appear. Many Macaques were draped over and around the temple and we saw Palm Squirrels but very few birds.

Surrey Farm is well known place to look for the Brown Wood Owl and it is possible to get a sighting of the Orange-headed Thrush. We found the owl but not the thrush! The car park area was alive with birds we saw many Oriental White-eyes, Loten’s Sunbird, Western Hill Myna, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Dull-blue Flycatcher and several common species.

Loten's Sunbird - taken by Tony Moore

We made a lunch stop before moving further into the forested mountains, one short stop produced a few birds at the roadside. We found Imperial Green Pigeon and Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Yellow-fronted Leafbird, we heard a Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike and we saw Crimson-fronted Barbet.

the Wood Owl was very difficult to photograph but Tony managed this.

It was 4:30pm by the time we reached our hotel, so after checking in we spent an hour on the ‘new’ terrace scanning the valley. We had superb panoramic view of the rain forest and the fields down in the valley.

A Golden-fronted Leafbird - flight shot or is the bird using a trampoline By Tony Moore

Sri Lanka's smallest bird - the Pale-billed Flowerpecker taken by Tony Moore.

Dozens of Little Swifts were visiting their nest at the hotel and we watched many birds in the surrounding fruiting trees. The Brown-headed Barbet showed well, as did Sri Lanka Green Pigeon. We noticed many Indian Pond herons flying off to roost with Cattle Egrets and we saw several Little Cormorants flying down the valley. A pair of Crested Serpent Eagles flew into a large tree to roost.

a flock of Indian Pond Herons on their way to roost

Tomorrow we are spending the day in the Rain Forest and hoping to see many new species for our trip list.