Field Trip to Palabaddala with FOGSL

Deciding at the last minute joined the FOGSL field trip to Palabaddala, a village that situated on the trekking track to Adam's peak bordering to the "Sri Pada" wildlife sanctuary in Ratnapura district. Situated within close proximity to the World Heritage site Sinharaja Rain Forest, the area has identified as rich in birdlife.

After enjoying a simple lunch but rich in nutrition value prepared with locally found greens, herbs etc. started proceeding to "MapalanaElla" a picturesque waterfall while observing birds on the way. With few yards of walking observed, a Hill Swallow landed on an electricity wire and that was a very good opportunity to learn how to differentiate a Hill Swallow from the Red Rumped Swallow because of the explanation given by our professional birder Amila Salgado as usual. Sri Lanka Myna, Sri Lanka Yellow fronted barbet, Red Rumped swallow, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Sri Lanka Layard's parakeet, Sri Lanka Orange billed babblers, Hill Myna are some of the highlights of the first day birding.

Second day started with a big challenge to climb up to the Adam's peak but instructions were given to turn back at 2 pm irrespective of the place where you climbed up to ensure the safe return before the dawn. The group was scattered I was with Amila. We were the first to decide to return immediate after the breakfast because of the gloomy conditions and correctly identified as not a good day for birding by my colleague. On our return, we stepped to a village house due to the rain, with their hospitality they offered us two chairs nicely arranged facing the river allowing us to observe birds until rain is over. We spotted a Shikra, a pair of Sri Lanka Grey Horn bills, A number of Sri Lankan Myna's, a number of Crimson fronted barbets while we were enjoying a cup of tea offered by them. We stepped down to the base around 12.30 in the noon and finished our lunch with a plan of going for birding to the nearest 50-acre forest patch. The whole plan for the evening washed off by the torrential rain started around 2 pm continued up to 6 pm in the evening leaving us the only option to have a nap and relax a bit. Greater Flameback , Sri Lanka Yellow fronted barbet, Black capped bulbul, Yellow browed bulbul, Hill swallow, Red rumped swallow , Shikra, Sri Lanka grey Horn bill, Scarlet minivet, Black bulbul are some of the highlights for the second day birding.

In the morning of the final day, we were lucky to spot a pair of Sri Lanka White faced starling on a fruit tree while we were waiting for the breakfast. After the break fast we proceeded to the 50 Acre forest patch for birding where we managed to observe Sri Lanka Orange billed babblers, Sri Lanka White faced starlings, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Sri Lanka Myna, Sri Lanka Yellow Fronted Barbet, Common Iora, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Sri Lanka Layard's Parakeet and some other few bird species.