Anyway back to the wildlife, I am going to concentrate on what was to be found in the Hotel grounds in part 4, so parts 2 and 3 are all about trips out.
We started day 3 with a trip to an Elephant transition camp, where a small group of young orphaned Elephants are kept prior to being released back into the wild, so no actual touching was allowed, although we were allowed to feed them. As this was done by the means of a funnel and hosepipe only the Warden actually had any contact with the Elephant.
Surprisingly although we were on the edge of a Reserve there was very little bird life about, just a butterfly and a Lizard
After the Elephant Transition Camp we had the delight of catching a train! This was real throwback to ages gone by, the station had a 1920s charm with absoluley no automation (apart from a telegraph!):
Yellow-billed babbler, Red-vented Bulbul, Grey-breasted Prinia, Common Iora, Oriental Magpie-robin, Purple-rumped Sunbird and Barn Swallows.
The Elephants delivered again much to Tinas delight, brilliant!
The birding was again great, new species here were the Ceylon Jungle Fowl, this was pretty elusive, sticking to the bushes and scrub, just a few brief views in the open:
|For the record as it popped out and ran off into the gloom!|
You may have spotted in one of the above Elephant photo's a Cattle Egret in breeding plumage:
The best addition though here was the Lesser Adjutant, again the photos aren't great but it was nearly dark!
From earlier in the drive:
|Gray Langur Monkey|
Now we get cultural, so not many wildlife opportunities. Todays programme included a Gem Workshop, this was very interesting and lightened the wallet, a wholesale vegetable and fruit market, interesting but chaotic!
A Spice Garden, this was brilliant, the chap who gave us the tour was so knowledgeable and interesting I think we could have listened all day. There were a few birds around but difficult to spot as we were amongst trees most of the time, we did see the Purple-rumped Sunbird again, a Great Tit and a White Wagtail.
Then onto a Wood Carving Workshop and finally the Dambulla Cave Temple, lots of Swallows and Swifts about, I only managed to positively identify Barn Swallows and Alpine Swift though, the only other bird of note was a Brown-headed Barbet, they have the most amazing Kookaburra style call.
End of day 6 and end of part 2