The small blue Kingfisher (Alcedo attis taprobana)is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka and southern India. Its upperparts are bright blue, not green-blue; it is the same size like the Indian species, but more brighter than the European.It breeds by slow-flowing rivers, in mangrove creeks and in swamps, feeding on small fish
See the Brief-Gardens tip on my Bentota "Things to do"-page !
In the wonderful tropical park you may find some Chameleons, if you know where to search. Just ask the park-guide, he will show them to you !
Between Beruwela and Bentota a sweet-water river hosts many species of lizards and even crocodiles.
Although there are not much of them to find, local fishermen know very well where in the mangrove-jungles they live and breed.There is a heavy fine on killing crocodiles, so they usually are kept as "pets", at least as long as they are still small.
The Water monitor, Varanus salvator is a large species of monitor lizard capable of growing up to 3 meters (9.8 ft) in length and are close in size to the Komodo Dragon. Maximum weight of Varanus salvator can be over 75 kg, but most are half that size. Their body is muscular with a long powerful tail. Water monitors are perhaps the most common monitor lizards in Asia, and range from Sri Lanka, India, Indochina, the Malay Peninsula and various islands of Indonesia, living in tropical forested areas.They are very opportunistic in their feeding, eating small mammals (like rats and monkeys), birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and carrion.
Although Water Monitor Lizards are very common in Sri Lanka and can be easily spotted at garbage heaps close to the water (I spotted at least 3 animals 2-3 meters in length) they are not hunted and killed.
The Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds.
As a rather common and widespread bird species, it breeds in tropical Asia from Oman, Yemen, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka into Southeast Asia. All are fish-eaters, dining on small eels, fish, and even water snakes. They dive from the surface and go ashore after fishing where they are frequently seen holding their wings out in the sun to raise their body-temperature.
In Sri Lanka cormorants are not used as "fishing assistants" like in Japan.
The Indian Palm Squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) also known as Three-Striped Palm Squirrel, is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is found naturally in India and Sri Lanka.
Squirrels are considered sacred in India, due to an old Hindu-legend, that the squirrel helped Lord Rama to build a bridge;Lord Rama was pleased by the creature's dedication and, in stroking the squirrel's back, the mark of Rama's fingers was left on the squirrels back ever since.
Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) is about 20cm in length, with a long tail. It has brown or black upperparts, with a white rump. The breast is brown or black, and the rest of the underparts are white apart from the red around the vent. The head and small crest are black.
The bird is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Burma and southwestern China, and has also been introduced to Fiji,Hawaii and the United Arab Emirates.
Red-vented Bulbuls feed on fruit, nectar and insects but have become a danger to fruit- and orchid-plantations, especially in Hawaii but to my knowledge not in Sri Lanka.
We love Brief Garden, and had to return here, Built in 1930,s it still retains its charm. We brought our friend simon to Sri lanka and he found brief wonderful. The gardens are still fantasic with some wonderful flowers growing, Brief is open 10am-5pm, costs 350 rupee, locals too, Just sitting here reminds us of England, but with such wonderful smells and sounds, and sights were glad its not..This is a quite place to relax, drink tea, and admire the view from the house, which is still open for tours around.
The small, 4th monk from the back in the photo, seems to be quite a hard nut. All the others either ignored us, or smiled at us, but he just kept scowling. Which made me determined to make him smile.
I kept Smiling at him, when ever he looked & scowled over.
One time I winked at him & he caved in, It was so sweet he could not stop grinning after that.
Our Tuk Tuk driver took us to his temple one evening.
It was a magical experience, just as dusk was falling, the smell of Incense, prayer candles burning, & then to top it off all the young & apprentice monks came out to do their round of prayers stopping at each of the shrines
Around a shrine within the temple grounds were these Prayer flags drapped all the way round.