Driving down the further end of the park on a slightly overcast afternoon, we came across this small pied woodpecker – an uncommon sight at the park – industriously at work.
The sunken trees of Darshana Wewa are home to many species of aquatic birds, including these whistling ducks basking in the morning sunlight.
We came across this nest just by the side of the Yala main road. Fantails are famously tolerant of human presence and will not hesitate to build nests in the busiest of areas.
Once thought to be a subspecies of the common wood-shrike spread across Asia, this bird is now believed to be endemic to the island.
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.