Monday, 27 January 2014

Any suggestions welcome

One of the nice surprises from our recent trip to Sri Lanka was the opportunity to see loads of wildlife other than birds. Being in the heart of the rainforest at Sinharaja we were perfectly placed to get up early and see what was about.

The dining area was covered to keep the elements off but the sides were open allowing moths to be attracted to the lights. On our first night, a bat spent most of its time flying round in circles hoovering up many moths. Those that made it onto the walls had to run the gauntlet of a dawn raid by the blue magpies!!

There were a few left for me to photograph although identifying them is proving a little trickier.

Hawkmoth spp

Can't decide if the last two are the different species or just individual variation...

Such cool camouflage

This beauty had a wingspan of over 6 inches!!

Black arches...?

Public enemy #1

You had to be up early to see what moths had been attracted to the lights overnight. If you left it until after dawn, upto 6 Sri Lanka blue magpies would be feasting on the nights catch!!!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

It wasn't just birds

I am sure that we could have done some of our recent Sri Lanka trip without the use of a guide but we would have missed out on so much. Not only was our guide excellent at finding and identifying the birds, he was also very experienced in the moths, butterflies, plants and other non-avian groups.

I managed to get quite a few photos and here are a few of them. Moths will follow once I have attempted to ID them!

Green garden lizard. This fella was the largest specimen we saw. Most were pretty small but this was about 2' long. I was quite surprised by the lack of snakes although we did walk with 'heavy feet' when off the trails. Single rat and water snakes, brahimny blind snake and a stunning green pit viper were the only ones we saw.
Large millipede sp

Large land snail

Bush spider on web over a path in the rainforest in Sinharaja. The large one in the female with the tiny male taking a risk getting that close!!

Despite visiting a fair few areas of wetland, we didn't see a massive number of dragonflies. We did record Asian skimmer, black tipped flashwing (very similar to banded demoiselle) and several darter spp. This pied parasol was fairly common and very smart too.

The wet edges to the tracks in Yala NP were excellent areas for butterflies. Yellow, white, black and combinations of all of them were seen on the different species. It was pretty hard to photograph them here but I did manage a few.

There were some great names too; common Mormon, common rose, great eggfly, white orangetip, grass yellow, birds wing and tree pansy to name a few.

Common crow


Chocolate soldier

Blue tiger

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A litttle taster

With over 1000 images to go though from our Sri Lanka trip over Christmas, it is going to take a while to go through them all and delete and edit. Here is a very small sample to give you a flavour.

Great looking birds!!

One of the hotels we stayed at. Our room was in the middle overlooking the pool, which was very refreshing in the heat

Painted stork at Yala National Park. Lots seen on the wetlands in the south

One of hundreds of blue tailed bee-eaters seen at Yala National Park. Just as many little bee-eaters giving fantastic views.