Sri Lanka is renown for its giant leopards and this immense individual is a prime example of the island’s top predator.
We were circling Kotabandi Wewa, alerted by alarm calls of deer and time was ticking when we came upon this female casually strolling across the road. Not the least perturbed by our jeep, she leisurely made her way across the sand without breaking stride and vanished into the forest – a magical moment.
One of the four bee-eater species recorded in Sri Lanka, the blue-tailed bee-eater can be distinguished from the little green bee-eater by its brown throat and namesake blue tail. This guy was perched just next to our jeep and posing for the camera.
The Alexandrine parakeet is the largest species of parrot found in the island. It is easily identified by its heavy beak and prominent red shoulder patch. This individual was sunning itself after a relatively chilly night.
Cruising the backroads of Yala National Park, we came across this young female lying on a sun-warmed rock by the side of the road. She was completely at ease and provided us with a wonderful, truly private encounter with an apex predator.
We had an up-close and personal encounter with Nandimithra, one of Yala’s iconic tuskers, down the Heenwewa road in a perfect evening. The tusker appears to have just finished off a good mud bath, hence the red coloration.
The brahminy starling, or brahminy mynah, is a migrant species that can be seen in the scrubs of Yala during the northern hemispheric winter. This male and female pair was sighted just outside Jetwing Safari Camp, during our morning bird walk.
Caption – After disappearing from public eye for a few months following a severe facial wound, Harak Hora (cattle killer), one of the biggest male leopards at the park, returned to sit defiantly on the road at Heenwewa.
The pied kingfisher is one of the seven kingfisher species recorded in Sri Lanka, easily distinguishable by its black and white plumage. This pair was sighted on the banks of one of the saline lagoons at Bundala National Park.
The largest mongoose species in Sri Lanka, the stripe-necked mongoose is also called the king mongoose. We came across this magnificent specimen at Weheragala, eagerly digging for crabs in the fresh mud.