Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Wildlife Observed in Sri Lanka

The first disconcerting creature that I saw as I climbed aboard our small boat for a journey through the Mangrove Swamp was a particularly large water monitor slinking around the vegetation at the waters edge! 
The imagination works overtime within the low light levels, and even an innocent log can appear to resemble something of a more sinister nature.

High up in the canopy there were lots of very large fruit bats flying around - pteropus giganteus, commonly known as flying foxes, with a wingspan of 120 cm.
Leaving the Mangroves firmly behind us, we headed off down the river to visit the home of a family sponsored by our travel agent. They demonstrated how they make rope from the coconut fibres, and then showed us the many things that they are able to create from the coconut shells - spoons, dishes, hair slides etc. They kindly offered us a cup of refreshing Ceylon tea together with slices of pineapple and some of their home grown bananas - their sweet little daughter entertained us too. 
On another occasion we had a very early morning jeep ride across Bundala Bird Sanctuary, which rather pleasingly ended with us having breakfast overlooking the sea. Whilst travelling through Bundala we quickly realised that a bird sanctuary is not simply a domain for birds and water-fowl!

Mugger crocodile 
The quality of my bird photos leaves much to be desired, the camera lens is not powerful enough to capture distant birds

 The Lesser Adjutant is a very large bird and listed as an endangered species. He was busy gobbling up the newly hatched young of the Black-winged stilt, who incubate their eggs on the ground. The adults were attacking him as violently as they could, but he took no notice at all of their futile attempts to drive him away. 
Black-headed Ibis
Rose-ringed Parakeet (female) 
Yellow-wattled lapwing,
and this very strange looking bird - Indian Great stone-curlew. Curiously his legs are bent forward whilst resting - I wondered if he had been injured, but apparently this is normal. The beak is covered in soil because it feeds on invertebrates from under the ground.

Black-winged stilt 
Common Myna bird
Purple heron
Little Egret
Grey Heron

Macaque eating prickly pears for breakfast
Now its time for our breakfast overlooking the sea, but with the company of a friendly Star tortoise
 Next time 'mainly mammals' 

29 comments:

  1. I'd be more than happy with the pin sharp quality of these wildlife images, some of which I've never seen before. Looks a fantastic place.

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    1. That is very kind of you to say Bob - it is at times like this that I wish I had purchased a better camera, but I like my small one because it fits snuggly in my pocket

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  2. I think my mind would be working overtime too in that mangrove swamp. A very special experience. Wonderful photos of the wildlife. So many varieties that I’ve never heard of. Lovely to go with you on your travels. Thank you. B x

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    1. Every day we had experiences which were completely new to us.

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  3. So many different birds to see, wonderful. Those crocodiles are scary when you don't notice them in time.

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    1. As long as you are on the jeep they are no problem, but I would not like to come across one whilst walking.

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  4. Great to accompany you on this series about Sri Lanka, a real experience, looking for birds you have to beware of the crocodiles, lol.

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    1. That crocodile was not very big, but there were some very, very large ones with their mouths wide open.

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  5. What a fascinating look at the wildlife of Sri Lanka, Rosemary. You have had a wonderful trip. The creatures are somewhat similar to the wildlife of Queensland I notice - the crocodiles, the fruit bats, and even the water monitor which looks like our lizards. The green parakeet is very pretty too, and the stone-curlew is very similar to our stone-curlews with their large weird eyes. I often hear them calling in the middle of the night. As our countries were once linked by a land bridge, I suppose the similarities are not surprising. But we don't have cute elephants or monkeys!

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    1. I am doing a post about the elephants just now, they are so appealing especially the baby ones. I thought that the stone-curlew was ill or damaged it looked so strange with those very large eyes, and I read that they call in the night.

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  6. Dear Rosemary,
    It must have been thrilling to visit a land with creatures so different from what you are used to seeing. That is the optimum experience.

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    1. Dear Gina - Sri Lanka turned out to be several thrills a day - we were amazed at just what we saw.

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  7. That macaque is giving you such an evil look.

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    1. It was early in the morning - perhaps he is not a morning person.

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  8. I don't mind the birds, monkey or tortoise, but everything else gives me the willies!

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    1. I felt safe as I was in a boat or a jeep.

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    1. Certainly not seen here except I suspect in a zoo

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  10. Dearest Rosemary,
    What a very interesting early morning excursion through the mangrove!
    Love the photos, not all the things that can cause harm.
    What a fate for the newly hatched Black-winged stilts... So sad and the parents fighting ferociously and in vain.
    All that going on while the buffalo relieved itself.
    Looking forward to the mammal post!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - you have sharp eyes. I was really surprised when I noticed that the water buffalo was relieving himself when I put the photo onto the computer. It was upsetting to see how frantic the Black-winged stilts were, and no wonder.

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  11. My what a lovely little one with those big eyes, but I have noticed when seeing all young children with dark skin how beautiful they are, I often turn and look again at these little ones when walking down the street if I should come upon a family.
    The mangoes - oh gosh, hope you didn't get bitten by insects.
    The birds are beautiful and your camera did a good job of taking them..

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    1. How right you are the little children are very attractive and appealing. I did get bitten but bought some of their ayurvedic balm made using their local plants. This was a calming balm and worked perfectly.

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  12. What a wealth of life is in the mangrove forest. Your photos are wonderfully clear and crisp. The little girl with the blue dress is a darling.

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    1. It is a trip that we shall remember always - we saw so much each and every day.

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  13. Hello Rosemary, Seeing the incredible diversity and interest of Sri Lankan wildlife underscores the importance of saving the complex interconnections of nature not only in Sri Lanka, but also in all other environments.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - your comment is so important, this fact came home vividly to us whilst we travelled around. My next post will be about the huge problems in Sri Lanka surrounding the human/elephant conflict.

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  14. Hello, again! Your travel to Sri Lanka looks so thrilling. Unique and beautiful wildlife is fantastic, though some gave me gooseflesh.

    Yoko

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    1. Yes, I know exactly what you mean Yoko - very interesting to see, but best to keep oneself at a safe distance from those that give gooseflesh or goosebumps as we call it.

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