Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 23, 2021

August September Tourist

Filed under: General — steve_happ @ 1:57 pm

Arugam Bay Tourist photos

Well here are some photos out of my phone. I just tried to look at what date each photo was taken but they only have the date of when they were uploaded from my phone. Yesterday, doh!

Whiskey Point
Whiskey Point

Whiskey Point is about 15 kilometers from Arugam Bay by road, a lot less if you come along the beach around the back.

Main Point
Main Point

The main surfing break at Arugam Bay. Not very big this day.

Ghost
Ghost

A scary guy with blonde hair. Just my nickname for him.

Anton with his board
Anton with his board

This Ukranian guy made a surfboard. Not bad considering he has never done it before.

Pussies on the Bike
Pussies on the Bike

We have about six cats around the place.

Sending the stingrays to market
Sending the stingrays to market

A lot of stingrays are caught around here. They get chucked in the truck and sent off to market in Kandy or Colombo.

Arugam Bay Full Moon Poya
Arugam Bay Full Moon Poya

Full moon at Baby Point.

Oriental Garden Lizard
Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor)

There are a few of these lizards in the back yard.

Fish and Ice transport
Fish and Ice transport

The bullock cart is the best transport off and onto the beach. Everything else gets bogged, even the tractors.

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September 22, 2021

I had covid

Filed under: Birds — steve_happ @ 4:13 pm

My Coronavirus Story

This is going to be hard to write. I was not sure if I was going to tell everyone that I got covid, but I should let everyone know what happened and that I am ok now. It started off on September 3rd, when I got sick with the symptoms – high temperature, headache, and nausea. I was sure that I had it. It was like a really bad case of hangover. After about 2 or 3 days of that, I started to feel a bit better. I was isolating myself in my guesthouse. I am the only one there and I just stayed away from people.

Me with the oxygen
Me with the oxygen

But after about a week, I started to feel like it was getting difficult to breathe. I had a dizzy spell that morning, so I decided I should go to the hospital in case my lungs got into trouble. So, off to Pottuvil hospital I went. They gave me a rapid antigen test, and it came back positive. They said they would admit me because I was over 65 years of age. I thought, thats good, I will feel safer in hospital if my breathing gets bad.

Hospital orderly with some sick girls
Hospital orderly with some sick girls

So, they chucked me in the covid ward, which is sealed off with glass and plastic. There were four other people already in there. They put me on oxygen and tested my oxygen levels and blood pressure. My oxygen levels were ok. I think I was just freaking out about my lungs going kaput but they were fine. I had an xray and the doc said my lungs were good. Whew, that was a relief.

My bed for ten days
My bed

I spent ten days in the hospital. I got treated very well. They fed me really good healthy food. It would have been a great relaxing holiday if not for the boredom. I got discharged and went back to my guesthouse. I feel good, but get tired easily. So I am just going to rest heaps, have lots of healthy food and get stronger.

Nurses station behind the plastic wall
Nurses station behind the plastic wall

Thank you to all the nurses, orderlies and doctors who did a great job of looking after me.

Medical staff
Medical staff

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August 28, 2021

East Province Surfing 210828

Filed under: Surfing — steve_happ @ 9:47 am

Arugam Bay Surfing 28th August

No surfing this morning. I have a hole in my leg that I want to heal up before I go back in the water. Everyone is getting tropical ulcers from reef cuts. Nothing to say really, the photos can speak for themselves.

Cutback
Cutback

Jay in the barrel
Jay in the barrel

Jay with a backhand cutback
Jay with a backhand cutback

The Ghost Who Surfs
The Ghost Who Surfs

Pete flying off the top
Pete flying off the top

High speed drop
High speed drop

Ethan in the barrel
Ethan in the barrel

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August 27, 2021

Pottuvil Birding 210827

Filed under: Birds — steve_happ @ 9:48 am

Panama Road Lagoons

This morning I went and looked at the surf at sunrise, but decided to give it a miss and go birding along the Panama Road between the two lagoons south of Arugam Bay town. I was hoping for a few waders but ended up with a couple of ticks from bush birds.

Sri Lanka Woodshrike
Sri Lanka Woodshrike (Tephrodornis affinis)

“Small gray songbird with heavy bill, dark mask, and white eyebrow. Underparts pale whitish; in flight note white rump. Inhabits wooded areas and scrub in lowland and lower hills, mostly in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka; avoids dense, wet forests. Arboreal species usually encountered in pairs or small groups. Pale eyebrow and plain underparts aid identification from similarly heavy-billed (but larger) Large Woodshrike. ” (ebird)

Black Eagle
Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis)

Record shot.

Eurasian Spoonbill
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

“Distinctive, large white wading bird with a spatula for a bill. Adult has short crest, yellowish breast patch. First year has paler bill, with fine black wingtips visible in flight… Found in wetlands with shallow water (including tidal flats), where feeds by sweeping its bill side-to-side for crustaceans and small fish. ” (ebird)

Great Thick-knee
Great Thick-knee (Esacus recurvirostris)

Plain Prinia
Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

Common Redshank
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Painted Stork
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

Arugam Bay bird list

Sri Lanka Woodshrike (Tephrodornis affinis)
Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis)
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Grey-headed Swamphen
Indian Cormorant
Red-wattled Lapwing
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
Indian Pond-heron
Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
Black-winged Stilt
House Crow
Indian Robin
Great Thick-knee (Esacus recurvirostris)
Scaly-breasted Munia
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) – juvenile
Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)
Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Marsh Sandpiper
Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis)

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August 19, 2021

Attacked by Elephant

Filed under: Birds — steve_happ @ 10:59 am

Panama Road – Arugam Bay 19th September 2021

This morning the surf was totally flat, so I went up the Panama Road a bit and found a side road into the bush. I found an elephant in a field, then took some photos of him and walked along the side of the fields looking for birds. Then, when I started back, he started coming out of the field towards me and charged towards me, coming a few meters away from me and trumpeting loudly and aggressively. I thought I was a goner and gonna get trampled. He stormed off into the bushes, luckily. I got out of there as fast as I could. Oh man I was so scared, I had to change my pants!

Sri Lankan Elephant
Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus)

The Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) is a sub-species of the Asian Elephant.

So I high-tailed it out of there and found some bush near a waterhole. There were a few birds around so I had time to get distracted and calm down a bit.

White-browed Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)
I thought this White-browed Bulbul might be a new one, but I have seen them before in Hampi, India, and Goa.

Alexandrine Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria )
This one is a tick, I had seen one previously in a cage in Himachal Pradesh, India.

Rose-ringed Parakeet  - male
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) – male

Asian Green Bee-eater
Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)

There is quite a bit of difference in these Asian Green Bee-eaters. I think this one is a juvenile. He has a lot of green in him.

Asian Green Bee-eater
Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)

Whereas this one has lots of blue under the chin and a bit of rufous on top of the head.

Baya Weaver  - male
Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) – male

Common Iora
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)

White-rumped Munia
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)

Pottuvil Bird List

White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)
Indian Robin (Copsychus fulicatus)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria )
Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Grey-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)
Jerdon’s Bushlark (Mirafra affinis)
Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica )
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus)
Oriental Magpie-robin
Red-vented Bulbul
Sri Lanka Jungle-fowl
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)

Ampara mammals

Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus)
Long-tailed Macaque
Purple-faced Langur (Semnopithecus vetulus)

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July 22, 2021

Arugam Bay Surfing 210722

Filed under: Surfing — steve_happ @ 3:10 pm

Main Point, Arugam Bay – 22nd July 2021

The surf was pretty flat today. I had a day off because I was exhausted. The girls were all out surfing, all dressed up in funny gear because of Bianca’s birthday. They looked like they were having fun.

Marty After a surf
Marty After a surf

Lani carving it up
Lani carving it up

Yippee
Yippee!

Milly
Milly

Vijay
Vijay

Hanging Five
Hanging Five

Happy Birthday Bianca
Happy Birthday Bianca

Smile
smile

Pappadam in the tube
Pappadam in the tube

Surf Photographer
Surf Photographer

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July 20, 2021

Arugam Bay Birding 210720

Filed under: Birds — steve_happ @ 2:17 pm

Backyard Birding at Arugam Bay

Just some photos from my front yard of my guest house in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka. There is a fruiting tree in the front yard and it attracts the birds as well as the monkeys and a few squirrels.

Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Pale-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos ceylonense)

“The Pale-billed Flowerpecker or Tickell’s flowerpecker (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos) is a tiny bird that feeds on nectar and berries, found in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and western Myanmar. The bird is common especially in urban gardens with berry bearing trees. They have a rapid chipping call and the pinkish curved beak separates it from other species in the region …. The Sri Lankan race ceylonense (Babault, 1920) – is greyer and smaller than the nominate race of peninsular India.” (wiki)

Purple-faced Langur
Purple-faced Langur (Semnopithecus vetulus)

“The Purple-faced Langur (Semnopithecus vetulus), also known as the purple-faced leaf monkey, is a species of Old World monkey that is endemic to Sri Lanka. The animal is a long-tailed arboreal species, identified by a mostly brown appearance, dark face (with paler lower face) and a very shy nature.” (wiki)

Purple-faced Langur
Purple-faced Langur (Semnopithecus vetulus)

This mob were across the road, eating the fruit of this palm tree.

Purple-faced Langur
Purple-faced Langur (Semnopithecus vetulus)

Asian Koel  - female
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) – female

The Asian Koels are there every day, screaming their heads off and eating the fruit.

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July 13, 2021

Pottuvil Birding 210713

Filed under: Birds — steve_happ @ 10:03 am

Road to Panama 2

This morning I got up early, had my coffee and headed up the road towards Panama, in Eastern Sri Lanka. I got a lot of very nice photos and I think I got a tick, the Sri Lanka Swallow.

Sri Lanka Swallow
Sri Lanka Swallow (Cecropis hyperythra)

Not to be confused with the Red-rumped Swallow which has a whitish breast. And yes it is a tick. They are getting very scarce nowadays.

Little Ringed Plover  - breeding adult
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) – breeding adult

“Delicately built small plover with bright yellow eyerings. Note dull pinkish legs and large white forehead patch (in adults). Plumage much like bulkier Ringed Plover, but white eyebrow continues unbroken across forehead. In flight shows narrow, indistinct whitish wing stripe. Breeds on stony substrates around lakes, gravel pits, and along rivers; migrants occur in wide variety of fresh and brackish wetland habitats, but rarely out on open tidal areas. Clipped “peu” call quite distinct from call of similar Common Ringed Plover.” (ebird).

Plain Prinia
Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)

Proudly showing me his breakfast.

Purple Sunbird  - eclipse male
Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) – eclipse male

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark
Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus)

“The ashy-crowned sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus) is a small sparrow-sized member of the lark family. It is found in the plains in open land with bare ground, grass and scrub across South Asia. The males are well marked with a contrasting black-and-white face pattern, while females are sandy brown, looking similar to a female sparrow. Males are easily detected during the breeding season by the long descending whistle that accompanies their undulating and dive-bombing flight displays.” (wiki)

Grey-headed Swamphen
Grey-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)

You really can see the grey head on this Porphyrio.

Lesser Whistling-duck
Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)

Black-headed Ibis
Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus)

Painted Stork
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

Ampara birds list

Sri Lanka Swallow (Cecropis hyperythra)
Brown-headed Barbet (Psilopogon zeylanicus)
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)
Grey-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus)
Jerdon’s Bushlark (Mirafra affinis)
Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus)
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis)
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger)
Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans)
Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)
Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Sri Lanka Green-Pigeon (Treron pompadora)
Oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster)
Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus)
Indian Robin (Copsychus fulicatus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) – breeding adult
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)

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July 5, 2021

Main Point 210705

Filed under: Surfing — steve_happ @ 2:24 pm

Arugam Bay July 5

After my birding session along the Panama Road, I came back to Main Point to take some surfing photos. Conditions were not very good, with the sun doing a lot of backlighting and the angles were not good. But I persisted for a while until I got well and truly fed up with the lighting..

Yellow Board 1
Yellow Board 1

Yellow Board 2
Yellow Board 2

Yellow Board 3
Yellow Board 3

layback
Layback

Inside Section
Inside Section

cde_3414
Crouching

cde_3411
Dog on Surfboard

Every man and his dog was out there today!

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Road to Panama

Filed under: Birds — steve_happ @ 10:26 am

Panama Road, Arugam Bay, 5th July

This morning I went out along the road to take some photos of the birds on the wires. I was mainly after the Indian Roller that I had been seeing but I got a tick with a Jerdon’s Bushlark. Check out the back spike in the foot, it’s massive.

Jerdon's Bush Lark
Jerdon’s Bush Lark (Mirafra affinis)

Indian Roller
Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)

Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)

Painted Stork
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

Red-rumped Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)

Arugam Bay Bird List

Jerdon’s Bush Lark (Mirafra affinis)
Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger)
Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
Streaked Weaver or Baya ???

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