Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 31, 2017

Bundala Jeep Safari 1

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:02 pm

Bundala National Park part 1.

This morning I got up at 6am for my jeep safari to Bundala National Park. I had a driver but I sat in the back on these airline-type seats. The whole safari cost me 7000 rupees which is about sixty dollars.

Pied Cuckoo
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)

At the ranger station we picked up a guide and set off down the road into the park. There were plenty of birds and sometimes I did not know where to point my camera.

Green Bee-eater
Green Bee-eater

Both the driver and the guide knew heaps more than me about the local birds and they were continually spotting new birds for me to photograph.

Kentish Plover
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)

At one stage we drove all the way to the ocean. It was a magnificent rugged coastline with waves crashing along the cape and a turtle playing in the water. Just a few lobster fishermen about and that was it.

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail(motacilla flava)

After about 4 hours we headed back to the park entrance and logged out so that they knew we had not been eaten by a crocodile. As a cautionary tale. We saw a crocodile right next to where I was walking last night. I think it was probably a silly thing to do. doh!

Indian Thick-knee
Indian Thick-knee (Burhinus indicus)

The Indian Thick-knee (Burhinus indicus) was formerly a subspecies of the Eurasian Thick-knee (Burhinus oedicnemus indicus).

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

Barred Buttonquail
Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator)

There were two male Barred Buttonquail on the road ahead of us, completely oblivious to us. They were more interested in fighting.

Grey-headed Fish-eagle
Grey-headed Fish-eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus)

New bird were: Spot-billed Pelican, Red-necked Phalarope, Pintail Snape, Painted Snipe, Indian Thick-knee, Kentish Plover, Barred Buttonquail, Pied Cuckoo, Ashy Prinia.

The only problem with so many birds is taking too many photos! I took more than 600 photos and it is taking me hours to sort, delete, then process the photos. And I used up two cards – a 16gb and an 8gb.

Ashy Prinia
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)

This Eurasian Spoonbill is fully in breeding plumage with an orange neck band, yellow and red patches under the throat, and a head plumage. This little water-hole was full of Painted Storks and Eurasian Spoonbills.

Eurasian Spoonbill and Painted Stork
Eurasian Spoonbill and Painted Stork

Part 2 coming up in the next post. There were just too many photos.

Bundala National Park bird list

Lesser Whistling-Duck
Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)
White-breasted Waterhen
Purple Swamphen
Black-winged Stilt
Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)
Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
Black-tailed Godwit
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Wood Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper
Little Stint
Ruddy Turnstone
Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura)
Greater Painted-Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)
Red-wattled Lapwing
Yellow-wattled Lapwing
Great Thick-knee (Esacus recurvirostris)
Indian Thick-knee (Burhinus indicus)
Pacific Golden Plover
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Purple Heron
Grey Heron
Indian Pond Heron
Yellow Bittern
Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
Lesser Adjutant
Black-headed Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Asian Openbill
White-throated Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator)
Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii)
Indian Peafowl
Green Bee-eater
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Barn Swallow
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
Spotted Dove
Brahminy Kite
Grey-headed Fish-eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus)
Brown Shrike (lanius cristatus)
Large-billed Crow
House Crow
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Indian Robin
Oriental Magpie-robin
Common Myna
Red-vented Bulbul
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)
Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)
Common Iora
Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Yellow Wagtail
Yellow-billed Babbler
Watercock (gallicrex cinerea)

Black-faced Langur
Water Buffalo
Land Monitor


  1. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the great bird pics, really enjoying them.

    Comment by Russ Cant — April 1, 2017 @ 10:10 pm

  2. thanks russ,

    Bundala NP is awesome. so many birds.. i could not post as many photos as i would have liked.
    But i hope these highlights satisfy. Bundala NP and Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary were the best places by far so far in Sri Lanka.


    Comment by admin — April 4, 2017 @ 10:32 am

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