Thursday, 20 March 2014

7-8 March – Tissamaharama to Nuwara Eliya

We were up early again this morning to check out local wetlands. As the sun rose we started off watching shapes slowly turn into birds. It was a magical experience at this time of day, we eventually identified Indian Stone Curlew, Watercock, Painted Snipe and Black Bittern before the sun had a chance to warm up.
Plain Prinia
After breakfast we headed off into the hills to Nuwara Eliya which would be our base for a further two nights. On route we stopped off at the Surrey Estate where we saw Brown Wood Owl and a Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, this was only a short stop to break up the journey.

We eventually arrived at Nuware Eliya in time for lunch and at 6,000ft it had a strangely Alpine feel to it. It was also a little cooler, a welcome development. After lunch we visited a site about two miles away where we saw Kashmir Flycatcher and one of the few endemics we hadn’t yet seen – Yellow-eared Bulbul. We also heard Dusky Blue Flycatcher but it evaded us. Next we visited a heavily wooded gorge that was a site for Sri Lanka Blue Whistling-thrush.

There was a steep path down a slope with a fast flowing stream at the bottom. We scanned the stream waiting for the Whistling-thrushy to happen by. However, it soon became apparent that wasn’t going to happen as there were several British birders standing downstream, it was obvious that the birds were not going to show, 1. they were in the way and 2. they were remarkably noisy. We eventually saw the birds fly past going to roost.

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