I picked up Steve and Mary Pence from their Guest house in Negombo in the west coast, north of the airport and drove to Kithulgala for day’s birding. They are based in India and had come here on a short holiday. We had plenty of rain while on the road, but were extremely lucky that it stayed dry when we were out birding.
Our first tick in Kithulgala came in the form of the endemic Chestnut-backed Owlet, just 5 minutes after arriving and it afforded great scope views, below eye-level. The view we had of it was front-on with its ‘chestnut back’ not being visible and soon after both had seen it in the scope, we lost it. Steve has the habit of looking for the field diagnostics to get convinced of the identity of the birds he sees. Soon, I was able to whistle it back to clear view to see its diagnostic chestnut back in the scope during which time I also got a quick digi-scoping photo shown above.
Birding in the Kithulgala Forest Reserve we had great views of a female Crimson-backed Flameback, which I quickly scoped for great views. Our other highlights included Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Layard’s Parakeet, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Black-capped Bulbul & Legge’s Flowerpecker. We sadly dipped out on the Green-billed Coucal.