Blue Eared kingfisher in Wasgamuwa National Park

Now its enough being silent for several months. Time to start a new post with new heading. But the problem is the time. Until I find enough time to write a good article on Wasgamuwa National park here something interesting to look.

Blue eared kingfisher is rare bird in Sri lankan forests. Actually at the first glance i thought it as a Common kingfisher. (but it is not) . I felt theirs something strange on the common kingfisher’s colors. in that moment a real common kingfisher came to the same branch. but it flew to another branch before i shoot the photograph. anyway heres the both photographs. ( but photographs are slightly blurred. because it is not easy thing to photograph such active bird with normal camera). click on the thumb nail for enlarged view. anyway compare the two pictures and make a decision by yourself . May be janitheco was very lucky to spot a rare kingfisher or he was fooled.

 

A Sloth Bear Story…

I heard many make up stories and real stories about Sloth Bears. But they are all from the story books and from other people. After spending night at Thalgasmankada Camp site in Yala National Park on 1st of October 2011, I have a story of my own to tell.

We set off for the morning Safari at about 5.30 a.m. So as a habit i wake up at about 4.30. But I had a bad night with some stupid dreams and I woke about 4.00 a.m. I was alone in my tent and I heard a noise outside form the staff tent nearby. I thought it must be one of our crew member. (most probably our cook going to make tea). But I felt something strange in the noise too. So i unzip about an inch of the tent entrance, and peered out with flash light on my hand. I saw shadow figure of someone who cannot identified properly. So i turned on my flash light.

At that instant I was heading face to face with a giant Sloth Bear! I was stunned on the spot. Next thing i saw is it is coming slowly towards me and i was scared to death!

The next thing i know is that i was sitting breathlessly in the very middle of the tent. I managed to turn off the flash light but forgot to close the tent entrance. I heard the Big one sniffing the tent. I tried my best not to make any sound. The nails of an Adult Sloth bear is strong enough to break Termite mounds even in dry season which are almost strong as Concrete. So tearing my poor tent is nothing other than a piece of cake for him.

Then it began slowly going around the tent sniffing and exploring. I can hear the breathing of the beast.  There was a lantern kept next to the tent about five feet away from one side of the tent. The Sloth bear went through the lantern and tent wall making a huge magnified shadow of it self on the tent cloth making me more fear. After inspecting my tent i heard it going to the jungle again. Then i remember i have to breath in order to live.

Image

Finally an image of the location few minutes later after the Sloth Bear encounter. You can see the lantern in the right side still glowing. It will help to get and idea about how close i was being to the Sloth Bear.

The end. !

Suspected Murderer…

The last leopard attack on pilgrim of the annual Pada Yatra has almost forgotten on our minds. Click here and here if you need to refresh yourself on that incident. I was able to capture a glimpse of the suspected Murder about two and half kilometers away from the away from the place. Usually leopards avoid human beings. but this one not even changed his way by inch even we was watching it pass. Watch the video and experience it yourself.

Yala Leopard through Bino…

I already explained about the use of an Binocular in front of normal camera for wild life photography. Here are my best examples. We found this mother leopard on 24th of September on our way back to camp site at Thalgasmankada. Believe or not all these were taken from 10.1 Mp Cybershot camera with only 4x magnification with the help of Nikon 320X binoculars. Click on thumbnails for enlarged view. Some of the images are blurred and went out of position due to the trembling of my excited hand. But still i am happy on each of this. 🙂

Wildlife @ Yala

Yala is one of the most popular national parks in Sri Lanka. The ecosystems in here are moist monsoon forest to dry monsoon forests, Grassland forests, Fresh water, Marine wetlands, and Sandy beaches.

Historically and archeologically important places such as Kataragama, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Maha Vihara also located at this area.

The Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), colloquially known as Kotiya is the main attraction in Yala. I tried my best for a closeup. My camara only good for 8X magnification (including digital zoom) is not sufficent for wild life photography. Here is the result with my poor camera.

I used extra 320X power through binoculars. The result is not bad. but the photograph is somewhat blurred. But at least this thing looks like a leopard. 😀

This one is going back home with freshly hunted monkey (Gray langur) in its mouth.

on my way home

Two leopards on a rock making an arch.

 

Mummy and me

This python (Python molurus) we found lying on the floor. probably after a good meal, because we found him even on next morning on the same place.

Python molurus

Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus) sighting in Yala national park is a rare case. Check this video. ew

Sloth bear

Snaps in Uda Walawe

Uda Walawe National Park largely comprises the lower and the immediate catchments of Uda Walawa Reservoir and some parts of Mau Ara basin on the east.  The area to the west bank of Walawe Ganga is within Rathnapura District and that on the east bank of within the district of Moneragala.

My journey to Uda Walawe starts on the 2nd of September. Large number of Painted storks (Mycteria leucocephala) can be seen gathering near waters during the day time.

Uda Walawe is famous for its large number of elephants (Elephas maximus maximus). Note the third notation represent the sub species which can be found in the Sri Lanka. This is the first elephant i met. I heard different stories about the passing away about this poor thing, such as kidney disease, deadly wound etc. But still none of these hypothesizes are proved.

I was fortunate to capture this Bull elephant (tusker) to my 4x camera on my way to our camp site.

Here is  a crocodile (Crocodylus palustris). one of the biggest i photographed in Uda Walawe.

and here is a star tortoise ( Geochelone elegans). It was a large adult too. Again this was the biggest one i observed in the park. 😀

Finally its me and our tracker from dept. of Wild life, Mr. Ruwan Liyanaracchi in our camp site at “Alimankada” which means “elephant pass”. The word means the exact. Elephants came for water in Walawe river through the boundary of the camp site.

 

 

 

Elephants in Udawalawe National park

Common Name: Sri Lankan elephant
Scientific Name: Elephas maximus maximus
Habitat: Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

This is my first video upload on elephants on Udawalawe National park.
Elephants can also be observed in other national parks  such as Yala, Wasgamuva,  Minneriya and Kaudulla.

However, the subspecies continues to be threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. conservation status according to IUCN is Endangered. The Sri Lankan species is the largest of the Asian elephant genus, and has patches with no skin color on its ears, face, trunk and belly. This is the darkest of all Asian elephants.