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Monday, 14 December 2015

Sri Lanka - Day 7 - 8/12/15

Yala National Park
A jeep safari in the national park today was very good. Whilst queuing a Jerdon's Nightjar was flying around the vehicle, then once in although the birds were a feature, the main attraction were the Leopards. A call came through around mid morning so we rushed round there and luckily glimpsed an individual crossing the road. A great sight but we wanted more so we waited in the heat for an hour keeping ourselves occupied (I was desperate for a wee and resorted to an empty one litre water bottle and filling it to the rim. A very close call!!). Just as we called it a day and started driving off the car in front spotted a Leopard that climbed a tree right in front of us and posed beautifully until we left. No doubt this will prove to be the highlight of the whole trip......such an adrenaline rush even though it wasn't even a year tick. The rest of the day was spent driving around dipping two Sloth Bears and seeing a few more new birds including the stunning Small Pratincoles that have been on my wish list for years. A superb day. 

Highlighted birds = lifers

Jerdon's Nightjar - 1
Grey-headed Fish Eagle - 2
Spot-billed Pelican - 20
Wooly-necked Stork - 2
Lesser Adjutant - 6
Paddyfield Pipit - 30
Tawny-bellied Babbler - 1
Lesser Sand Plover - 50
Black-headed Ibis - 50
Little Stint - 50
Small Pratincole - 34 
Sri Lanka Junglefowl - 15
Barred Buttonquail - 8
Grey Plover - 1
Pacific Golden Plover - 6
Curlew Sandpiper - 10
Turnstone - 3
Brahimy Starling - 4
Hoopoe - 1
Sri Lanka Woodshrike - 10
Pintail Snipe - 4
Great Thick Knee - 2
Little Tern - 20
Jacobin Cuckoo - 2
Pheasant-tailed Jacana - 25
Crested Treeswift - 20
Striated Heron - 1
Yellow-fronted Woodpecker - 2
Indian Pitta - 2
White-browed Bulbul - 1
Indian Silverbill - 2
Baya Weaver - 2

Leopard - 2
Asian Elephant - 10
Grey Langur 
Black-naped Hare



a pregnant Leopard in Yala NP - probably the best site in the world to see this stunning animal, though very few get to see them as well as this. 
 Painted Stork
 Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
 Pacific Golden Plover
 Pintail Snipe - nice and easy to identify at this range
 Lesser Sand Plover
 Blue-tailed Bee-Eater
 Mudder Crocodile and Purple Heron
 Golden Jackall



Yala NP - at times it felt like I was back in the Savannah lands of Africa


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