Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Guiding Kate and John Holland

20 February to 5 March, 2012, saw me guiding a 15-day wildlife tour with John and Kate Holland, from England. Both were keen birders, and this was their first visit to Sri Lanka. Kate sported the latest Swarovski SLC 42 HD binoculars, which were superb in clarity. A birthday gift from John, it was on its first overseas trip.

Our final trip list of birds stood at 236 species and that included all 33 endemic birds and 10 out of the 15 resident night birds. Our top wildlife highlights included a couple of Leopards at Yala and several Blue Whales off Mirissa. The photos below show these highlights and more.

Lesser Adjutant

We saw this lone Lesser Adjutant at the Yala National Park, and it proved to be the only sighting of this rare resident bird for the whole trip. 

Asian Paradise Flycatcher

We had this species at several locations, and this individual obliged outside the Udawalawe National Park. The white coloured males of this species comes all the way from Northern India during the migratory season. I usually get one of these turning up in my home garden, but in the last season I had none.

Asian Brown Flycatcher

Another regular migrant, Asian Brown Flycatcher usually likes tops of trees with ample lighting. When we found this individual, we were on a second floor of a building, and from our position it presented us with nice eye-level views. 

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

Some of the Sri Lanka Blue Magpies at Sinharaja are quite confiding. This one came to land on my scope, when we were having a break near the research station.

Here's a close up of his head. 

Sri Lanka Frogmouth

This juvenile Sri Lanka Frogmouth was huddled together with its farther at Sinharaja rain forest. It was too close for my lens.

The Blue Whale

We had aout fifteen sightings of Blue Whales, consisting of about eight individuals. This was one of them with a limora fish haning on its tail. The whale watches approaching from behind, scared it off.

The clay girl

At Tissa, this girl is the youngest member of a family that engage in pottery. Her play area borders the Tissa wewa, where we go birding. She used to have a pair of Indian Scops Owls in her garden. But as of recently the owls have vacated the roost.


This female cub gave us prolonged views at Yala. For a good length of the time, we had it all for ourselves, which was nice. I hate the big crowds and traffic jams at Yala.

Asian Groundling

We saw a good array of dragonflies and this Asian Groundling gave an easy photo opportunity. 


Dee said...

ohh lovely. love the frogmouth and the whale pics...

Amila Salgado said...

Thanks, Dee!
Good to hear from you.

rajivwelikala said...

Superb trip report !!

Sri Lanka offers so much in such a small space.

Truly is the ultimate island safari.

Looking forward to more adventures.

You can follow my adventures on

Cheers !

Related Posts with Thumbnails