Where the wild things are: Wilpattu

Monday, 18 April 2016
Wilpattu National Park is one of 16 national parks in Sri Lanka. We went on three game drives while there. The park is very large, with a lot of green space even in the dry season. Above is a Crested Serpent Eagle that wasn't shy at all. It was perched near the road as we were driving by in a safari jeep and were able to spend quite some time with it. I love birds of prey. They are majestic and have sharp eyes. We also saw a juvenile, a bit lighter in color and it was showing its head feathers. 
Land Monitors lizards are also common around Sri Lanka. They can grow to be six feet long here. Our guide told us that some poachers will eat them but that is not as common anymore. It is also believed that if you witness a Land Monitor crossing the road in front of your vehicle (from the right side of the road to the left) that you will soon see a leopard. We DID have one of these cool lizards cross out path, going in the right direction, but we did not see leopards. The park is large, with dense forested areas, and less roads going through the property so it is difficult to see the big cats.  
The Spotted Deer (Chital) are pretty and there are many of these in Sri Lanka and India. They reproduce during the entire year and never lose their spots. Male deer are larger than female and they have a dark stripe on their back. 
Look at these tiny frogs! There are little creatures in the park as well. We didn't see elephant, but in the distance we did see buffalo. 
There is water throughout - even in the dry season - so the birding is nice. I was excited to capture shots of Whistling Ducks. They are so pretty.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

Such amazing captures...especially the Land Monitor Lizard :)

Denae said...

Thank you so much! They are amazing creatures and we loved to watch them move.