NUWARA ELIYA AND ELLA, A GLIMPSE OF ENDEMIC BIRDS.SRI LANKA


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From Kandy, i took the train through the beautiful route to Ella.The views are superb and a must for those travelling there.After 3 hours i stopped in Nuwara Elliya.Nuwara Elliya is the highest town in Sri Lanka, at 1889 m.It’s popular known as ” Little England”  due to the weather and some of its colonial style houses.

I wasn’t impressed by this town.It’s fully crowded of tourists and the town doesn’t have the old flavour and charm of Kandy or Ella.However my porpouse of visit was Victoria’s Park,one of the best places in Sri Lanka to get a glimpse of some of the most beautiful endemic birds there.

Accommodation is a bit overpriced,but there are some affordable guesthouses.I paid 2500 rupees for a decent guesthouse beside the lake.I spent the afternoon relaxing on a restaurant while watching a Brahminy Kite soaring the clear skies above the crystal waters of the lake.

Next day,i woke up at 6 o clock, being eager to find new species of birds at Victoria’s park.The park is quite beautiful indeed and very well mantained.I roamed around the paths for a while when one of the endemics popped up and showed its stunning greenish-yellow and white pattern.It was an Sri Lanka White-eye.It appeared to be a bit common here.Another nice bird to see was the great Tit,that catched my sight many times along the park.

After one hour, another endemic, a Dull blue Flycatcher,appeared on a tree on the main path through the park.

Opposite the gate,there is a board with pictures of the endemic specialities of the place.There it starts a small path through the forest,where i spent most of the time.Just behind the board,on the thick shadow i could spot the magnificent Sri Lanka Bush Warbler,skulking on the ground.Forest wagtail was a common sight along this small path.At the end of the path,there is a small house, where behind it i could catch a glimpse of one of the most beautiful bulbuls i have ever seen, a Yellow-eared Bulbul.Unfortunately my camera battery was charging at that time.

After spending 5 hours in the park, i felt pretty satisfied.I saw 4 endemics easily in a short period of time !!

I packed my things and did my next stop in my trip: Ella.The route from Nuwara Eliya to Ella by train offered me the best views of the tea plantations.

Ella is a beautiful town with stunning views of the countryside.Although it s a tourist town and new hotels are being built in hurry,the town still preserves its hill-country village appearance.Accomodation is plentiful and offers great quality for the price.I choose a guesthouse beside Eeshani Guest Inn,that lays beside a small forest, and has superb rooms at a great price ( 2000 rupees ).

I was surprised that the forest that it’s beside the guesthouse it’s an excellent place for bird watching.Just walking around,I got an excellent view of the Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler,just one meter in front of me !!

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Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill was another good bird to see in that forest.Loten’s Sunbird is a superb bird that i spotted easily while walking there.Scarlet Minivet,a female of Sri Lanka Junglefowl and Lesser Goldenback were nice birds seen in that area as well.

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Another good spot for birdwatching was Eeshani’s garden. Loten’s Sunbird and Purple-rumped Sunbird were found feeding  on nectar on its colourful flowers.Black-hooded Oriole was singing from a banana tree,next to the garden.

Early in the morning i went to explore Little Adam’s Peak road.After the junction,just 100 m further,there is a big fig tree on the left side of the road,that was an excellent site to spot some incredible birds.Crimson-fronted Barbet is a great endemic bird that i spotted in this tree.Even more, there were plenty of Lesser Hill Myna here.

Just a few meters after,there is a water source on the left side.Here I could see White-bellied drongos perched on leafless trees and a White-Rumped Munia flying on a small bush.

On the right side of the road,there is a short trail that goes through a tree plantantion.Here I got a incredible view of the Yellow-fronted barbet,an endemic barbet,nesting on a hole of a tree ( see picture at the top of the post and below ).

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Continuing walking along the road,on the right side,a group of Layard’s parakeet came to feed on a tall tree.This is an excellent endemic Sri Lanka bird to see on the wild.

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A small Sri Lanka Vernal Hanging Parrot flew nervously across the road.Great Tits were a nice addition found as well around this area and a Loten’s Sunbird appearance made a great day for bird watching !!

My next stop was Tissamaharama, the  ideal base town to explore Yala and Bundala National Parks !! See you soon my friends !! 😉

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