While I was returning home after the trip below, I had a message in my phone from a Sri Lankan lady wanting to book a trip to Sinharaja for two persons. Her name was Enoka. And joining her was her school time friend Sandali. They booked a tour to Sinharaja with me in the following weekend.
Enoka, a banker, was to soon go oversees for training for few years, and this trip was hurriedly arranged before that. Fresh from Sinharaja experiences, I was only happy to return there yet again, and it turned out to be an absolutely amazing a nature tour with lots of goodies.
Leaving early from Colombo, we stopped at Morapitiya to take advantage of the early morning activity. Rather than visiting the forest interior by means of a 4-wd., jeep, I just took them around the village area by foot targeting birds that stay long enough for scoping.
We did well, and our scoped birds included Yellow-fronted Barbet, Sri Lanka Small Barbet, Square-tailed Black Bulbul, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Black-capped Bulbul, and a Blyth’s Reed Warbler, would you believe! (Nothing is impossible!).
We also managed to see several dragonflies in a roadside puddle. These included the Asian Pintail and the Red (aka Spine-tufted) Skimmer Our top non birding highlight, was a pair of courting Sri Lanka Birdwing butterflies. Lovely.
As Martin’s was fully booked for this weekend, we stayed overnight at Green Shadow Lodge—very close to the day roost of the ultra secretive Sri Lanka Bay Owl patch. Sandali and Enoka became my first lucky clients to see the ultra elusive Sri Lanka Bay Owl.
We had several great bird flocks during the two days we explored the forest. Taking advantage of my scope, Sandali also tried her hand at digi-scoping. She took home pictures she was proud of, and these included a rainbow of Three-spot Grass Yellow butterflies at a puddle.
Coming back to birding, we got scope views of Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Legge’s Flowerpecker, Sri Lanka Crested Drongo, Orange-billed Babbler, Red-faced Malkoha, White-faced Starling, Sri Lanka Myna, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (in a nest), Black-capped Bulbul, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Orange Minivet, Malabar Trogon, Besra, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Lesser Yellownape, Green Imperial Pigeon and Black-naped Monarch (in a nest).
Their other non-birding highlights in Sinharaja were the endemic Hump-nosed Lizard, Giant Squirrel, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, False Lantern-fly and the paper like butterfly, Sri Lanka Tree Nymph.