In an act that seems to defy logic, the lapwing lays its eggs on the open ground. However, the speckled brown eggs camouflage against the ground and are extremely difficult to spot. The watchful parents are always nearby, of course.
This young male “Lucas” was comfortably asleep on a large tree at Suduwelimulla in a bid to escape the afternoon heat. After providing us with fantastic photo opportunities, he clambered off the tree and disappeared in search of a drink of water.
April and May are the months where the sweet yellow fruit of the palu tree bloom in their thousands, and sloth bears travel from all over the park to feast on this seasonal bounty, affording the best chance at spotting this elusive mammal.
We encountered this Golden Jackal just outside the park as we were heading back after an evening game drive. He was nonchalant of the jeeps, calmly trotting past us before turning into over the dried lake bed and disappearing into the bush.
We watched this beautiful hornbill perched over his nesting hole in an old palu tree. Hornbills are known for their odd nesting habits, where the female seals herself and her eggs into her nest with mud, breaking out when the chicks are hatched.
With watering holes dwindling rapidly in the heat, the trapped fish make for easy pickings for the hunting water birds such as this large pelican at Diganwala.
Superbly camouflaged amongst the foliage, the green vine snake a harmless colubrid snake that is widely distributed across the island. This juvenile was sheltering from the harsh midday sun, waiting for the cool evening to hunt.
The icing on the cake this evening was meeting the king himself – Harak Hora – as he lay on the Jamburagala road with his casual disregard for the jeeps. True to his warrior nature, he appeared to be nursing fresh wounds on his back legs – possibly the results of a territory battle with another large male, or a scrap with an angry boar.
As dawn was quite chilly, we left the big palu and neem trees behind and searched among the rock outcrops. Sure enough, as the morning sun began to warm the rocks, this female appeared on Modaragala, walking along its length before settling in to bask in the sun’s warmth.
With an overcast sky and a late night drizzle having left puddles all over the road, we knew our best chances of spotting a leopard was in the trees. Sure enough, we managed to catch a glimpse of this cat, comfortably asleep on a Neem tree, just past Ehalagas Wala.