Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Khao Yai Nat’l Park–November 2012

We took Air Asia to Bangkok 12 November together with Lioe and Jacky. Uthai, our guide, met at the airport and off to Khao Yai we went.

We stayed 5 days in a 3 bedroom chalet inside the park which was quite clean and comfortable.

We managed to see the Silver Pheasant and the Siamese Fireback among the 84 species spotted, a very satisfying and enjoyable trip.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sri Lanka 18-25 October 2012

When Tiger Airways started their flight to Colombo it was good reason to revisit Sri Lanka again.  Our flight on Tiger Airways arrived at 11pm on Thursday and there to meet us was Upali our guide from Starron Bird and Wildlife Tours.   There were 7 in our group, and we were glad to get into a 15-seater bus that gave us a lot of space, in view that 4 of us had cameras and tripods.   This time we went from Colombo following the west coast to Chilaw where we stayed the first night.   Our first bird in the morning were the crows calling in the morning but as we walked to the beach we could hear the woodpecker calling.   Next stop was another beach famous for whale and dolphin watching but it was not the season yet although at Dolphin Beach one group came back with sightings of Bottlenose not far from shore.  Our next stop at Kalpitiya produced an Indian Pitta and the highlight of the 8 day trip was the jeep safari to Wilpattu National Park where we sighted a leopard just metres from our jeep.   We also visited the ancient city of Anuradhapura where the Sri Lanka first kingdom began and where one of Buddha’s collar-bone is  kept in one of the stupas.  At the tanks on the way to the ancient city we were lucky to see lots of waders including the Common Coot.  Our last stop was Habarana where were stayed at TOC  The Other Corner where we had happy memories of our two previous visits.   The tank here was surprisingly dry so we did not see as many water birds as we expected.   However within the gardens of TOC and along the bund we had good views of many species like the Prinias, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Brown-capped Babbler and the Shikra.  There was also at least 4 Indian Pittas calling which were too shy to show.  All too soon our trip was coming to an end and on the last day it was a long drive after lunch to Katunayaka for dinner at the Tamarind Tree before  checking-in for the late night flight home.