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The Sri Lanka Blue-Magpie is probably the country's most spectacular endemic -- big, colorful and relatively easy to see. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
The lovely island of Sri Lanka is off the radar screen for many birders, and that's unfortunate, because it offers a plethora of enticements: dozens of endemics, numerous regional specialties, comfortable (often upscale) lodgings, excellent spicy curries, a fine network of parks which protect a variety of habitats and an interesting local culture. Our two week sojourn around the southern half of the country took us to some great spots -- and brought us face to face with many of the feathered inhabitants of the island. Despite the all-too-frequent rain (darn those unseasonal monsoons), there were many highlights.
A pair of notoriously shy Sri Lanka Spurfowl with a chick scratched along a hillside, periodically serenading us with their loud duets. A trio of Black Bitterns posed in tall grasses alongside a tank full of lily pads. Three Crested Serpent-Eagles shared a thermal with a Black Eagle. A family of Sri Lanka Blue-Magpies dared each other to snatch bits of cheese sandwiches from our picnic shelter. Serendib Scops-Owls peered from leafy roosting spots. Gray-rumped Treeswifts perched like ornaments on a roadside tree, preening vigorously. A pair of Sri Lanka Frogmouths snuggled together on a slender branch. Tricolored Munias bounced around a highland garbage pail. A Kashmir Flycatcher made repeated sorties over a compost heap. A Layard's Parakeet landed atop a palm spike -- moments after Udi told us they seldom seem to perch in view.
Two White-rumped Shamas hunted and sang along a path in a city park. Red-faced Malkohas rustled through treetops while armies of Orange-billed Babblers bounded along tree branches. Ashy-headed Laughing-Thrushes investigated low bushes while Sri Lanka Drongos flashed through the forest above them. Orange Minivets flickered like bits of sunlight, Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrikes made sorties from vertical vines and Sri Lanka Scimitar-Babblers poked along mossy branches looking for goodies. In the background, the repeated tones of at least one of the country's barbets were a constant. A Jungle Cat strolled into the dusk alongside the jeep track we were traveling on. And not one, not two, but THREE Jaguars sprawled on rocks or walls or crotches in trees at Yala NP, attracting admiring throngs of tour vehicles.
Thanks to all of you for helping to make this trip such fun to lead -- despite the sometimes soggy weather. I hope to see you all again, someday, somewhere! -- Megan
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
LESSER WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna javanica)
Yeah, you've seen a million of them in zoos and gardens. But a male Indian Peafowl in full, booty-shaking display is still mighty impressive. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus)
GARGANEY (Anas querquedula)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
SRI LANKA SPURFOWL (Galloperdix bicalcarata) [E]
SRI LANKA JUNGLEFOWL (Gallus lafayetii) [E]
INDIAN PEAFOWL (Pavo cristatus)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
ASIAN OPENBILL (Anastomus oscitans)
We got good views of the strange beak of the Asian Openbill on several occasions; this one's in Bundala NP. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus)
LESSER ADJUTANT (Leptoptilos javanicus)
PAINTED STORK (Mycteria leucocephala)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
INDIAN CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
LITTLE CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax niger)
ORIENTAL DARTER (Anhinga melanogaster)
SPOT-BILLED PELICAN (Pelecanus philippensis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
YELLOW BITTERN (Ixobrychus sinensis)
BLACK BITTERN (Ixobrychus flavicollis)
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta)
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia)
Brahminy Kites were a regular sight throughout the tour, including a pair hunting over the grounds of our airport hotel. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
CATTLE EGRET (ASIAN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus)
INDIAN POND-HERON (Ardeola grayii)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (EURASIAN) (Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax) [N]
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
BLACK-HEADED IBIS (Threskiornis melanocephalus)
EURASIAN SPOONBILL (Platalea leucorodia)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus)
ORIENTAL HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis ptilorhynchus)
CRESTED SERPENT-EAGLE (CRESTED) (Spilornis cheela spilogaster)
CRESTED HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus cirrhatus ceylanensis)
Crested Hawk-Eagle was probably the most common raptor of the tour, seen brilliantly on most days. This youngster was sitting on a roadside snag in Bundala NP. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
MOUNTAIN HAWK-EAGLE (Nisaetus nipalensis)
BLACK EAGLE (Ictinaetus malayensis)
BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus)
PALLID HARRIER (Circus macrourus)
CRESTED GOSHAWK (Accipiter trivirgatus layardi)
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius)
BESRA (Accipiter virgatus)
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus)
WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucogaster) [N]
GRAY-HEADED FISH-EAGLE (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus)
COMMON BUZZARD (HIMALAYAN) (Buteo buteo burmanicus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
SLATY-LEGGED CRAKE (Rallina eurizonoides)
According to the old saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". In Sri Lanka, that means taking a spot of tea mid-morning, as we did en route to Nuwara Eliya. L-R: Tom, Karen, Megan, Dave, Rick H., Rick W., and Udi. Photo by our (unnamed) waiter.
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
WATERCOCK (Gallicrex cinerea)
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (GRAY-HEADED) (Porphyrio porphyrio poliocephalus)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus)
INDIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus indicus)
GREAT THICK-KNEE (Esacus recurvirostris)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
A spangled female Asian Koel spent long minutes hanging around a muddy puddle in Yala NP. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva)
YELLOW-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus malabaricus)
RED-WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus indicus)
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus)
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii)
KENTISH PLOVER (INDIAN) (Charadrius alexandrinus seebohmi)
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius)
PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
We lucked into a confiding Green-billed Coucal, rooting around in a side yard near Sinharaja. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus)
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis)
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus)
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER (Calidris falcinellus)
The scenic, wide-open grasslands of Horton Plains were a revelation -- very different from the tropical forests where we spent much of our time. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)
TEMMINCK'S STINT (Calidris temminckii)
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta)
BARRED BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix suscitator leggei)
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
SMALL PRATINCOLE (Glareola lactea)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons)
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)
A Jerdon's Bushlark cools off with a dustbath on a hot afternoon. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii)
LESSER CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bengalensis)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
SRI LANKA WOOD-PIGEON (Columba torringtoniae) [E]
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis)
EMERALD DOVE (COMMON) (Chalcophaps indica robinsoni)
ORANGE-BREASTED PIGEON (Treron bicinctus leggei)
SRI LANKA GREEN-PIGEON (Treron pompadora) [E]
GREEN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula aenea)
PIED CUCKOO (Clamator jacobinus)
INDIAN CUCKOO (Cuculus micropterus) [*]
LESSER CUCKOO (Cuculus poliocephalus)
BANDED BAY CUCKOO (Cacomantis sonneratii waiti) [*]
PLAINTIVE CUCKOO (Cacomantis merulinus)
This Red-faced Malkoha bounded through the treetop like a colorful squirrel. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
FORK-TAILED DRONGO-CUCKOO (Surniculus dicruroides)
ASIAN KOEL (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
SIRKEER MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii)
RED-FACED MALKOHA (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus) [E]
GREATER COUCAL (Centropus sinensis)
GREEN-BILLED COUCAL (Centropus chlororhynchus) [E]
SERENDIB SCOPS-OWL (Otus thilohoffmanni) [E]
The Serendib Scops-Owl is Sri Lanka's newest endemic, described to science only a decade ago. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
INDIAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus bakkamoena)
ORIENTAL SCOPS-OWL (Otus sunia leggei)
SPOT-BELLIED EAGLE-OWL (Bubo nipalensis blighi) [*]
JUNGLE OWLET (Glaucidium radiatum)
CHESTNUT-BACKED OWLET (Glaucidium castanonotum) [E]
BROWN WOOD-OWL (Strix leptogrammica ochrogenys)
SRI LANKA FROGMOUTH (Batrachostomus moniliger)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
JERDON'S NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus atripennis aequabilis)
A pair of Sri Lanka Frogmouths snuggle in a leafy thicket -- expertly sniffed out by our Sinharaja guide. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
INDIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus asiaticus eidos)
BROWN-BACKED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus giganteus)
INDIAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus unicolor)
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba)
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis)
ASIAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus balasiensis)
GRAY-RUMPED TREESWIFT (Hemiprocne longipennis)
MALABAR TROGON (Harpactes fasciatus fasciatus)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis)
Green Bee-eaters hawked over open fields in many places on the tour. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
BLACK-BACKED DWARF-KINGFISHER (Ceyx erithaca)
STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER (Pelargopsis capensis)
WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER (Halcyon smyrnensis)
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis)
GREEN BEE-EATER (Merops orientalis)
BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops philippinus)
CHESTNUT-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops leschenaulti)
INDIAN ROLLER (Coracias benghalensis)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops)
Pretty much everywhere you go in Sri Lanka, you're serenaded by a barbet or three. And every so often they even deign to show themselves, as this endemic Yellow-fronted Barbet did when it popped into a palm tree right outside our hotel's dining room to munch on its ripe red fruits. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
SRI LANKA GRAY HORNBILL (Ocyceros gingalensis) [E]
MALABAR PIED-HORNBILL (Anthracoceros coronatus)
Megalaimidae (Asian Barbets)
BROWN-HEADED BARBET (Megalaima zeylanica)
YELLOW-FRONTED BARBET (Megalaima flavifrons) [E]
CRIMSON-FRONTED BARBET (Megalaima rubricapillus)
COPPERSMITH BARBET (Megalaima haemacephala)
YELLOW-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos mahrattensis)
This one definitely made us work for it -- we heard FAR more Crimson-backed Flamebacks than we saw! Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
LESSER YELLOWNAPE (Picus chlorolophus wellsi)
BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK (Dinopium benghalense psarodes)
CRIMSON-BACKED FLAMEBACK (Chrysocolaptes stricklandi)
WHITE-NAPED WOODPECKER (Chrysocolaptes festivus)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
ALEXANDRINE PARAKEET (Psittacula eupatria)
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri)
PLUM-HEADED PARAKEET (Psittacula cyanocephala)
LAYARD'S PARAKEET (Psittacula calthropae) [E]
SRI LANKA HANGING-PARROT (Loriculus beryllinus) [E]
INDIAN PITTA (Pitta brachyura)
Indian Pittas were gratifyingly common throughout the tour, with many seen well. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
SRI LANKA WOODSHRIKE (Tephrodornis affinis) [E]
BAR-WINGED FLYCATCHER-SHRIKE (Hemipus picatus leggei)
ASHY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus fuscus)
COMMON IORA (Aegithina tiphia)
WHITE-TAILED IORA (Aegithina nigrolutea)
SMALL MINIVET (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus)
ORANGE MINIVET (Pericrocotus flammeus)
LARGE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina macei layardi)
Orange Minivets glowed like bits of sunlight caught in the trees. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
BLACK-HEADED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Lalage melanoptera sykesi)
BROWN SHRIKE (Lanius cristatus)
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE (Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis)
ASHY DRONGO (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
WHITE-BELLIED DRONGO (WHITE-VENTED) (Dicrurus caerulescens insularis)
WHITE-BELLIED DRONGO (WHITE-VENTED) (Dicrurus caerulescens leucopygialis)
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus paradiseus ceylonicus)
A pair of White-bellied Drongos serenaded us the first afternoon. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
SRI LANKA DRONGO (Dicrurus lophorinus) [E]
WHITE-BROWED FANTAIL (Rhipidura aureola)
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Hypothymis azurea ceylonensis)
ASIAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone paradisi)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
SRI LANKA BLUE-MAGPIE (Urocissa ornata) [E]
HOUSE CROW (Corvus splendens)
Rose-ringed Parakeets were widespread; these females were investigating coconut palms near our airport hotel. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
LARGE-BILLED CROW (Corvus macrorhynchos)
JERDON'S BUSHLARK (Mirafra affinis)
ASHY-CROWNED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix griseus)
ORIENTAL SKYLARK (Alauda gulgula)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
HILL SWALLOW (Hirundo domicola)
SRI LANKA SWALLOW (Cecropis hyperythra) [E]
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
GRAY-HEADED CANARY-FLYCATCHER (Culicicapa ceylonensis)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
CINEREOUS TIT (Parus cinereus mahrattarum)
VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH (Sitta frontalis)
There can't be too many parks you take a canoe ferry to reach! Photo by participant Tom Cadle.
BLACK-CAPPED BULBUL (Pycnonotus melanicterus) [E]
RED-VENTED BULBUL (Pycnonotus cafer cafer)
YELLOW-EARED BULBUL (Pycnonotus penicillatus) [E]
WHITE-BROWED BULBUL (Pycnonotus luteolus insulae)
YELLOW-BROWED BULBUL (Iole indica)
SQUARE-TAILED BULBUL (SRI LANKA) (Hypsipetes ganeesa humii)
GREEN WARBLER (Phylloscopus nitidus)
LARGE-BILLED LEAF-WARBLER (Phylloscopus magnirostris)
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
BLYTH'S REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus dumetorum)
CLAMOROUS REED-WARBLER (BROWN) (Acrocephalus stentoreus meridionalis)
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
SRI LANKA BUSH-WARBLER (Elaphrornis palliseri) [E]
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis)
This incredibly cooperative Plain Prinia (posing beside Debarawewa tank) was one of many we saw during the tour. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
COMMON TAILORBIRD (Orthotomus sutorius)
GRAY-BREASTED PRINIA (Prinia hodgsonii pectoralis)
JUNGLE PRINIA (Prinia sylvatica valida)
ASHY PRINIA (Prinia socialis brevicauda)
PLAIN PRINIA (Prinia inornata insularis)
Paradoxornithidae (Parrotbills, Wrentit, and Allies)
YELLOW-EYED BABBLER (Chrysomma sinense nasale)
Zosteropidae (Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies)
SRI LANKA WHITE-EYE (Zosterops ceylonensis) [E]
ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE (Zosterops palpebrosus)
Timaliidae (Tree-Babblers, Scimitar-Babblers, and Allies)
TAWNY-BELLIED BABBLER (Dumetia hyperythra phillipsi) [N]
DARK-FRONTED BABBLER (Rhopocichla atriceps)
SRI LANKA SCIMITAR-BABBLER (Pomatorhinus melanurus) [E]
A White-rumped Munia nibbles grass seeds along the roadside. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
BROWN-CAPPED BABBLER (Pellorneum fuscocapillus) [E]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
ORANGE-BILLED BABBLER (Turdoides rufescens) [E]
YELLOW-BILLED BABBLER (Turdoides affinis taprobana)
ASHY-HEADED LAUGHINGTHRUSH (Garrulax cinereifrons) [E]
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa latirostris)
BROWN-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa muttui)
INDIAN ROBIN (Copsychus fulicatus leucopterus)
ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN (Copsychus saularis)
WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA (WHITE-RUMPED) (Copsychus malabaricus leggei)
TICKELL'S BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Cyornis tickelliae jerdoni)
The Crested Serpent-Eagle is particularly attractive in flight. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
DULL-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Eumyias sordidus) [E]
INDIAN BLUE ROBIN (Larvivora brunnea)
SRI LANKA WHISTLING-THRUSH (Myophonus blighi) [E]
KASHMIR FLYCATCHER (Ficedula subrubra)
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata atratus)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
SPOT-WINGED THRUSH (Geokichla spiloptera) [E]
ORANGE-HEADED THRUSH (Geokichla citrina)
SCALY THRUSH (SRI LANKA) (Zoothera dauma imbricata) [E*]
INDIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus simillimus kinnisii)
SOUTHERN HILL MYNA (Gracula indica)
The aptly-named Spot-winged Thrush is one of Sri Lanka's endemics. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
SRI LANKA MYNA (Gracula ptilogenys) [E]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis)
WHITE-FACED STARLING (Sturnia albofrontata) [E]
BRAHMINY STARLING (Temenuchus pagodarum)
ROSY STARLING (Pastor roseus)
JERDON'S LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis jerdoni)
GOLDEN-FRONTED LEAFBIRD (Chloropsis aurifrons)
THICK-BILLED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum agile zeylonicum)
A male White-throated Flowerpecker, one of Sri Lanka's endemics, put on a great show at Sinharaja. Video by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
WHITE-THROATED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum vincens) [E]
PALE-BILLED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos ceylonense)
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRD (Leptocoma zeylonica zeylonica)
PURPLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris asiaticus)
LONG-BILLED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris lotenius lotenius)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea)
RICHARD'S PIPIT (Anthus richardi)
ORIENTAL PIPIT (Anthus rufulus)
BLYTH'S PIPIT (Anthus godlewskii)
FOREST WAGTAIL (Dendronanthus indicus)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)
A Baya Weaver pauses after tucking a long strand of grass into his nest. Photo by guide Megan Edwards Crewe.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
BAYA WEAVER (Ploceus philippinus) [N]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura striata) [N]
BLACK-THROATED MUNIA (Lonchura kelaarti kelaarti)
NUTMEG MANNIKIN (Lonchura punctulata) [N]
TRICOLORED MUNIA (Lonchura malacca) [N]
INDIAN FLYING-FOX (Pteropus giganteus)
A pensive Toque Macaque. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
INDIAN PIPISTRELLE (Pipistrellus coromandra)
LEAST PIPISTRELLE (Pipistrellus tenuis)
TOQUE MACAQUE (Macaca sinica) [E]
TUFTED GRAY LANGUR (Semnopithecus priam)
PURPLE-FACED LEAF MONKEY (Trachypithecus vetulus) [E]
INDIAN HARE (Lepus nigricollis)
INDIAN PALM SQUIRREL (Funambulus palmarum)
LAYARD'S PALM SQUIRREL (Funambulus layardi) [E]
DUSKY PALM SQUIRREL (Funambulus sublineatus)
SRI LANKAN (=GRIZZLED) GIANT SQUIRREL (Ratufa macroura) [E]
INDIAN GIANT FLYING SQUIRREL (Petaurista philippensis)
BLACK RAT (Rattus rattus)
COMMON JACKAL (Canis aureus)
INDIAN GRAY MONGOOSE (Herpestes edwardsi)
COMMON MONGOOSE (Herpestes smithi)
JUNGLE CAT (Felis chaus)
LEOPARD (Panthera pardus)
INDIAN ELEPHANT (Elephas maximus)
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa)
MOUSE DEER SP. (Tragulus meminna)
MUNTJAC (BARKING DEER) (Muntiacus muntjak)
SPOTTED DEER (Axis axis)
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor)
ASIAN WATER BUFFALO (Bubalus bubalis)
A Green Forest Lizard dazzled on a fence post near the canoe ferry dock. Photo by participant Rick Woodruff.
Day Gecko (Cnemaspis sp.) - A tiny one hung on a trunk in Sinharaja. There are 21 known Cnemaspis species, and I'm not sure which one we saw.
Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) - Common on the walls of our hotels throughout the tour.
Green Forest Lizard (Calotes calotes) - Another regular species, with particularly nice looks at a red-headed male near the canoe ferry dock.
Painted-lip Lizard (Calotes ceylonensis) - One near Sigiriya showed the wide white stripe along its mouth that gives it its common name.
Common Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor) - These were the pale brown lizards we saw on many days of the tour.
Brown-patched Kangaroo Lizard [Sri Lankan Kangaroo Lizard] (Otocryptis wiegmanni) - Especially nice looks at a few on our first soggy walk into Makandawa Forest Park; fairly small and (appropriately) quite long-legged.
Rhinocerous Lizard [aka Rhino-horn Lizard] (Ceratophora stoddartii) - We found one, showing its distinctively pointy nose, on a tree trunk near the landfill in Nuwara Eliya.
Water Monitor (Varanus salvator salvator) - One near the pond on the grounds of our airport hotel.
Land Monitor [aka Bengal monitor] (Varanus bengalensis) - Most common in the dry areas, including several on the tracks in Udawalawe.
Black Turtle [aka Hardshelled Terrapin] (Melanochelys trijuga) - One in a puddle at Udawalawe NP, with others in the moat at Sigiriya.
Mugger Crocodile [aka Marsh Crocodile] (Crocodylus palustris) - We spotted a sizable one floating in Debarawewa tank.
Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)
Sri Lankan Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa maximus) - A huge one along the fence line at Lunugamwehera NP; eventually, it crossed the road -- with a little prodding from Udi!
Spectacled Cobra [aka Indian Cobra] (Naja naja) - One slithered past our vehicle in Udawalawe NP, giving us a great look at the distinctive spectacles on its flared hood.
Checkered Keelback [aka Asiatic Water Snake] (Xenochrophis piscator) - We saw two, including one that caught a fish -- and spent long minutes beside the pond trying to swallow it.
Sri Lankan Green Pit Viper (Trimeresurus trigonocephalus) - One coiled in a tree near the entrance kiosk at Sinharaja Forest Preserve was fascinating and a bit creepy at one and the same time.
Streaked Kukri Snake [aka Russell's Kukri Snake] (Oligodon taeniolatus)
Common House Toad (Dittaphrynus melanosticitus) - One on the grounds of our airport hotel.
Kelaart's Toad [Kelaart's Dwarf Toad] (Adenomus kelaartii)
Sri Lankan Paddy Field Frog ((Fejervarya greenii)
Sri Lanka Wart Frog [aka Corrugated Water Frog] (Lankanectes corrugatus) - This was the frog we found near the entrance to the Sinharaja Forest Preserve.
Acavus superbus - This was the huge land snail with the brown body.
Acavus phoenix - And this was the equally large land snail with the black body.
Totals for the tour: 244 bird taxa and 25 mammal taxa