Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sri Lanka - Part 3

So on to day 7 and a bit of a treat, an Elephant backed Safari (well walk..)

So it was up before breakfast to go off to meet or Elephant, if my memory serves me, her name was Rani.
Just starting out

Invited to drive! Now wheres the brake!

We haven't crashed yet.
And say Hi to our new friends Wendy & Tim
It was a most enjoyable experience, by the way Rani seems to run on Bananas! She got through at least 20 that we fed her whilst on board.

From Elephant back, we saw Open Bill, Gray Heron, Black-headed Ibis, our first Purple Heron of the trip, Bee-eaters, Pipits, Cattle Egret,  Land Monitor, Torque Macaque, numerous Lizards and Red Wattled Lapwing
This should be a lake, not a puddle!

Land Monitor

Cattle Egret

Purple Heron
The rest of day 7 was at Leisure, by the pool...
Except for an organised Bird Watching walk around the grounds in the late afternoon, I will cover that in part 4.

Day 8, on the road again to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, this is it and we climbed to the top!

Mot much time for Birding on this trip and no wildlife photos, We did see the Little Cormorant, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Red Vented Bulbul and 2 new species for the holiday, a Black Crested Bulbul and a Shaheen Falcon. The Shaheen (Pergrinus Peregrinator ) is actually a peregrine sub-species so doesn't count as a new bird. I didn't get a photo, as it flew past whilst we were negotiating some very narrow steep
steps up the side of the rock. On the way back down we saw the 3rd and final species of Monkey that lives on the Island, the Purple Faced Leaf Monkey, so that was the hat-trick!

Day 9, off we go again this time to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.

Lots of ruins and temples to see on this trip but, also produced a couple of new birds, the Indian Pond Heron and the Common Tailorbird, sadly no photo of the Tailorbird as it was flitting in a hedge, wouldn't come out, and never stayed still long enough to focus through the branches. I did get a couple of the Pond Heron though:

So part 3 was quite short, part 4 is what was around the hotel

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