Oct 22/23rd Oct 2013
Srilal Miththapala accompanied by Dimitri Miththapala
The super A 12 Road to Anuradhapura
The Park Entrance
The The Wilpattu National Park is located 30km west of Anuradhapura and spans three districts, Mannar, Anuradhapura and Putlam. The park is the largest and oldest national park in the country covering 131, 693 hectares. It is said that in 543 BC King Vijaya landed at Kudrimalai and that he married Kuweni. According to some ancient ruins identified, it is said that Kuweni lived in the place now identified as the Kali Villu . Both Kudrimalai and Kali Villu are found in the park.
The distances to the various locations are large ( > 40 km), which on dusty and bumpy tracks can take over 1- 1/2 hours to negotiate.
There are forested areas in most parts of the park, interspaced with the ‘villus’ or natural lakes with white sandy soil in the immediate surrounds
Our first sighting. …A young deer, just beginning to sprout his antlers.
A super specimen of an adult serpent eagle
Deer on the plains of the villu
An Oriental Darter
A typical Villu
Black Tailed Godwit
Sunset on the plains of the Villu
Tree Frogs Eggs …when the eggs hatch the hatchlings fall into the water below
A Malabar-pied Horn Bill
A rare sight of a serpent eagle on the ground…having a drink of water at a small water hole
A good mature male elephant eating away the water plants in the Villu with a painted stork in the foreground
The white sandy patches where animal tracks are easily seen. Fresh bear tracks. In fact on a return journey we found fresh leopard pug marks over our jeep tracks, indicating that it had passed by just a few minutes before we arrived there.
A rare visitor…a chestnut headed bee-eater
The water loving Kumbuk trees at Kumbuk Vila
A big Mugger crocodile
The Panikavillu Lodge or bungalow… a basic roof above your head, bathroom with water, an excellent cook (You have to take all the provisions) and fantastic views and ambiance.
Great views from the Bungalow
A pair of woolly –necked storks
An unexpected visitor…a dish sized tarantula…possibly the new species said to be re-discovered recently http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/9974215/Tarantula-the-size-of-a-dinner-plate-discovered-in-Sri-Lanka.html
Unfortunately no good leopard sightings except for one…where a medium sized animal suddenly bounded across the road, right in front of the jeep taking all of us with surprise. But we did see numerous pug marks all over, one with a cub as well