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2011-02-23

South Africa (ZA)   Sri Lanka - Part 3  -  Categories: Sri Lanka  -  @ 07:52:06 am

Day trip to Galle, Sri Lanka - December 2010

During our stay at Reef Villa, I had arranged two day trips with Amila Salgado, our guide from Hunas Falls. On the way to Galle, we had a few stops at the Mask Factory, the Moonstone mine and jewellery manufacture, a lunch stop, the historic fort and cricket ground in Galle and finally the famous Stilt Fisherman south of Galle. It was a great cultural day out with the family. Images by Mike Pope


Birding was not the prime objective of today's excursion, but at a comfort stop we picked up White-breasted Waterhen in one of the hotel gardens

White-breasted Waterhen

In the tree's outside the Mask Factory, in the middle of a busy town, we picked up the endemic Purple-faced Leaf Monkey - a primate with pizazze

Purple-faced Leaf Monkey

Purple-faced Leaf Monkey

At the Moonstone Mine, a little off the main roads we found the common White-throated Kingfisher

White-throated Kingfisher

Amila pointed out a few Dragonflies, this a female Pied Parasol

Pied Parasol

Whilst enjoying and learning about the stilt fisherman south of Galle, a passing Swift Tern that I caught preening in flight, provided a brief distraction. Searching the net, I found out more about these fascinating Stilt Fisherman. Stilt fishing is a tradition that only about 500 fishing families in the southwestern-most Sri Lankan district of Galle practice, especially around the towns of Kathaluwa and Ahangama. Though no one knows exactly how and when the tradition started, some of the older fishermen recall that stilt fishing was started after the Second World War by some inventive fishermen. Fishing at the time was done from rocks protruding above the ocean surface. As not enough of these rocks were available for all fishermen, some used iron poles left over from the war and planted them into the reef. But even these iron poles were scarce, so the fishermen soon discovered that even wooden poles were strong enough to be planted into the reef and thus, stilt fishing in today’s form was born.

Swift Tern

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