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Post Info TOPIC: Sri Lanka - Jan 2018


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RE: Sri Lanka - Jan 2018


Thank you for a lovely trip report John



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Ian Chisnall


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Great report John and stunning photographs! We are looking for somewhere to go later this year and I had narrowed it down to either Sri Lanka or Thailand. You may well have just made my mind up!

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Thanks Ian

The trip went very well - once I eventually got there. Read all about it in the full trip report on the main Manchester Birding Website.

Cheers John

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Its nice to hear the trip went well John
Did the pelagic trip go well. What birds did you see on the pelagic?

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Ian Chisnall


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Just back from an 11 night tour of Sri Lanka. This is a brief overview, I hope to write a full trip report in due course.

I organised the ground arrangements through the well recommended "Walk with Jith" and found them to be faultless and willing to 'go the extra mile'. For example arranging, free of charge, a private chauffeur for the 3 hour drive to my first hotel. This was necessary because my Emirates Airlines flight from Manchester to Dubai took off nearly 9 hours late and effectively cost me the first day's birding. I thus caught up with my 2 companions, who had travelled from Newcastle, the next day.

Our guide was Thilina Lakmal and he was exceptional, with boundless enthusiasm and the eyes and ears of a hawk. His knowledge of 'secret' sites and all the bird calls proved invaluable.

In terms of numbers we saw 216 species, which is good for a short tour. Depending on which taxonomy you follow Sri Lanka has 32 or 34 endemic birds. We saw all 34 well, although Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush gave us the run around. (Thilina has been guiding for 7 years and has connected with all 34 on every tour he has led!!).

The accommodation provided ranged from good to 5*. Only on the very last night did our hotel fall below this level (I didn't like the Dilena Beach Resort in Unawatuna).

In addition to the birds we saw Leopard, had a very close encounter with a bull Asian Elephant (6 inches!) and finished with a pelagic out of Mirissa where we saw Blue Whale, Spinner Dolphins and Green Turtles. We saw a total of 18 mammal species, 7 reptiles and countless butterflies.

We travelled as a party of 3 and the breakdown of costs were:

Basic tour (including guide, vehicle, accommodation, entrance fees, 4 jeep safaris, local tips, breakfasts and dinners. Lunches not included but very cheap). 1050.
Flights Manchester-Dubai-Colombo (Emirates). 499.
Whale watch trip with Mirissa Water Sports. $50
Lunches and beers. 100

All in all a really enjoyable holiday basking in temperatures in the mid 20s - low 30s.

I thouroughly recommend Walk with Jith as ground agents and I doubt there is a better guide than Thilina (Tilly) in all Sri Lanka.

Cheers John





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