Monday, May 24, 2021

Udawalawe National Park - Sri Lanka

We visited Udawalawe National Park in central-southern Sri Lanka in March 2019. It was established in 1972 and covers 119 square miles. Part of the park includes the Elephant Transit Home, established in 1995, to care for orphaned or abandoned baby elephants. We stopped at the Transit Home first, and watched keepers feeding the young elephants with gigantic bottles of milk, and did have a small owl pointed out to us by our guide, Sanjay, in a tree on the grounds. 
Oriental scops owl
Then as we left the Transit Home to the park entrance for our safari, we saw a Bengal monitor cross the road and stopped to look at a rat snake that had been run-over in the road. 

Following are photos of animals we saw in Udawalawe NP:
We saw a number of mugger crocodiles, mostly at long distances, on the other side of a small lake. 

Common green forest lizard. 

It was there we saw our largest herd of Sri Lankan axis deer. 

We saw some wild water buffalo, but my understanding is that the ones we saw there were not as wild or genetically pure as others we saw, such as in Yala NP. 

We had one of our most fun elephant sightings there in a small pool. One elephant was jointed by two others that eventually left together. 

The Sri Lankan ruddy mongoose.

Tufted gray langur. 

We got our best look of the Sri Lankan (golden) jackal. 

Blue-tailed bee-eater

Green bee-eater


One of the most exotic birds we saw was the Indian paradise flycatcher, which has both white and orange males with the long tails. These were really exciting to see and watch. We have nothing like this in the U.S. that I am aware of. 

Crested hawk eagle. 

Crested serpent eagle

Indian pond heron

Malabar pied hornbill


Spot-billed pelican

Sri Lankan red-wattled lapwing

We got our best views of painted storks in Udawalawe.

Eurasian spoonbill

1 comment:

  1. The variety of bizarre-looking animals on this earth is mind-boggling. Udawale has its fair share of them, for sure.