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2011-02-22

South Africa (ZA)   Sri Lanka - Part 2  -  Categories: Sri Lanka  -  @ 05:13:29 pm

Jetwing Hunas Falls to The Reef in Wadduwa, Sri Lanka - December 2010

After a very pleasant 4-days in the cool hills north of Kandy, it was time to head south to the coast and small town of Wadduwa. We would spend the balance of our holiday at this sumptious boutique hotel, The Reef (http://www.reefvilla.com/) which is 40 odd kilometers south of Colombo.

The birding would be less frenetic and restricted to what was seen in the stunning gardens, walks on the beach and the odd stroll outside the hotel along the railway line. No leeches or need to break into a sweat climbing hills, not that these were hardships for me. I didnt expect to add any exciting birds to the Hunas Falls list, so there was no pressure.

I got up early every other morning to explore the gardens whilst my family slept in before enjoying creative breakfasts and either heading to the pool or beach to vegetate for the rest of the day - just what the doctor ordered after a hectic work year. Images by Mike Pope


Blue-tailed Bee-eaters were abundant in and around the hotel

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

The comical Brown-headed Barbet was seen twice in the 7-days

Brown-headed Barbet

Common Tailorbirds were more often heard than seen and then it was only a fleeting glimpse

Common Tailorbird

The gurgling of the Greater Coucal was part of the dawn chorus each morning

Greater Coucal

Masses of House Crows hung around in the palms around the pool and every now and then some sort of ground squabble ensued - here a Jungle Crow flying in to see what the commotion was about

House Crow

After stopping the fight, the Jungle Crow stopped by the pool for a drink - the stress of life in the urban jungle

Jungle Crow

One morning a juvenile Shikra scattered all below as it flew in to check who might have been breakfast

Shikra

Every now and then this resident group of Yellow-billed Babblers would work their way through the gardens, lifting and turning over leaves in search of grubs

Yellow-billed Babbler

Yellow-billed Babbler

A few large Land Monitors were seen casually strolling through the garden

Land Monitor

They, in turn had to watch out for the Brahminy Kites as they passed by overhead

Brahminy Kite

Another butterfly for Amila to identify - this one was stunned (perhaps be a Bee-eater), but eventually recovered to fly off

Butterfly

Exploring the roads and along the railway line outside the hotel, produced a few birds not seen in the garden, including Rose-ringed Parakeets

Rose-ringed Parakeet

White-bellied Drongo's on the overhead lines

White-bellied Drongo

A Great Egret passing by overhead

Great Egret

Black-headed Oriole on a drizzly morning

Black-headed Oriole

and a few White-browed Bulbuls in the palms outside the gate of the Hotel

White-browed Bulbul

White-browed Bulbul

In between swims in the Indian Ocean and long strolls along the beach, we found other birds especially when the fisherman were pulling in their nets. Cattle Egrets were prevalent on the fringes of the coastal shrub

Cattle Egret

However, when nets were pulled in Terns materialised from far out to sea to take advantage of any fish that werent harvested by the fisherman, the most common were Whiskered Terns

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern

Followed by Common Terns

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern

and the odd Little Tern on the fringes of the feeding flock

Little Tern

The impressive White-bellied Sea Eagle was only seen on one occassion

White-bellied Sea Eagle

and here dropping it's food by accident or on purpose

White-bellied Sea Eagle

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