Thursday, 20 March 2014

Having a Whale of a Time

After a visit to a temple in Kandy we had a full days travelling down to Mirissa, we saw a few birds on the way but I wasn’t feeling great.

We eventually arrived at the hotel and our room overlooked the Indian Ocean with a vast expanse of Sand and blue sea. Joy and I went for a walk along the beach – having a paddle on the way. We did see Lesser Crested Tern, but in all honesty I was glad for a break!

The next morning we were up early again to board the boat for our mornings Whale watching. As we made our way along the quay most of the double decker boats were full! I was thinking I don’t fancy this – full boat – rough sea. But we went to the end where the most impressive of the boats stood completely empty! It turned out that the company we used have a share in the boat and it was for our use only. Stunning!!!

As we made our way out the waves breaking over the pointy end were gettting us soaked as the sea was rather rough! A cry went up and we all headed for the front with the crew there to make sure we didn’t go overboard we had great views of Spinner Dolphins as they rode the wake of the boat. Not long after we had our first Blue Whale followed by at least another seven including a female and calf!

The next day it was more of the same although it was rougher and we got wetter, but we still got great views of the Blue Whale and Spinner Dolphin plus a Olive-Ridley Sea-turtle. It was our last day so we walked along the beach again and had a swim and made out we were normal tourists! The next day we were up early and Chami drove us to Columbo airport to catch our flight.

All in all it was a great holiday I saw 233 species plus a couple heard plus a couple of species the others saw that I didn’t. I managed all the endemics plus a lot of mammals. It was a wonderful country with wonderful people. The guide “Chami” was excellent, knowledgeable and friendly, he was proud of his country and its wildlife and clearly enjoyed sharing it with us.

Joy and I had a great time, I thought it would be hard to top Panama, but this was equal to it. I would heartily recommend it to anyone interested in birding. It is easy to organised and as a party of four we saved £1,3000 each on the price that some of the birding company charge. If you want any information on who to use just get in touch and I will happily forward you the species list and the details of Sri Lanka Birding Adventures!
Blue Whale – Ron Thomas

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