Thursday, 9 June 2011

25 Endemics in 2 Days with Paul Brown

I guided Paul and Ros Brown on a 2-day trip to Sinharaja rain forest.  An entomologist by profession, Paul works at the British Natural History Museum in London. His main focus on the tour was birds, and more specifically, endemic birds, for which Sinharaja is famous for. Ros, on the other hand, was the supportive spouse of the birder, who preferred to read her book, leaving the boys to chase after the endemics. We did extremely well in the latter department, raking in a whopping 25 out of the 33 endemics in record time—of just 2 days! Fresh from leading several birding tours, I was in fine form, and that I think contributed to such high success.


A pair of Sri Lanka Frogmouths Batrachostomus moniliger at a day roost. 
 
My most rewarding find was the Sri Lanka Spurfowl—a male accompanied by two females which walked on a arc that I predicted they would take. Having our binoculars prefocussed on exactly that, it was all too easy to get splendid views of this ultra secretive endemic. All this and more are revealed in a report done by Paul.

Layard's Parakeet Psittacula calthorpe, formerly known as Emerald-collared Parakeet. The species name honours the maiden name of Layard's wife, Barbara Anne Calthrope.

I didn't do much photography as I was too busy finding birds.

Brown-capped Babbler Pellorneum fuscocapillus

Some entomological delights obliged too, and these included the commoner fair.

Common Rose Pachliopta aristolochiae

Glad-eye Bushbrown Nissanga patnia

9 comments:

Stu said...

25 in 2 days, that means you should get the full 33 in 3, no?

Gallicissa said...

Endemic birds are scattered in the lowland wet zone, highland wet zone, and dry zone. Which means factoring ground travel time between sites, you realistically require 5 days.

But if you have a deep pockets, I can hire a helicopter and attempt to do it in 3 days.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Great shots. which lens did you use for the butterflies?

Gallicissa said...

Thanks, Dev. I used my trusty 100-400mm. I have almost forgotten that I have 100mm lens in my kit. Hope you guys will be in good spirits this weekend. A big match for us too. And I am getting nervous.

magerata said...

Hi Gee, you always tickle me when you capture those frog mouths! Looks like you had some good trips. Thanks a lot for sharing!

Gallicissa said...

Thanks a lot, Magerata,
It was nice to have the female in sharp focus.

Beej, The Green Ogre left the best comment about frogmouths, I think:

"The Frogmouths always wear a precious expression—bedraggled and slovenly but infinitely adorable."

Phil said...

25 out of 33 is very impressive given the range of places to visit. Those frogmouths are impressive too - on everyone's wanted list I would guess.

Gallicissa said...

25 endemics in 2 days is a record for me, Phil. Yes, frogmouths are highly sought-after. Paul had seen them in South India too.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Frogmouths-nice name. They have very un-birdy like beaks. Impressive bird indeed!

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