Day 10: Wednesday 13 September - Nuwara Eliya - Wirawila Bird Sanctuary via Ella

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September 13th 2017
Published: September 19th 2017
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Day 10: Wednesday 13 September - Nuwara Eliya - Wirawila Bird Sanctuary via Ella

This morning we travelled from Nuwara Eliya down the mountain and stopped at the town of Ella which is a town full of backpackers. We had a look around and then headed out to the Nine Arches train bridge which was built by the British in 1929. The bridge is made of rock and concrete but no steel.

We then dropped further into the alley and found a lunch stop. After lunch we were met by a safari 4X4 with an open back on the ute suitable for spotting animals. We were of to drive through the Wirawila Bird Sanctuary which is a reserve located in Southern, Sri Lanka. The estimate terrain elevation above sea level is 27 metres. Variant forms of spelling for Wirawila Bird Sanctuary or in other languages: Wirawila Tissa, Wirawila Sanctuary, Wirawila Bird Sanctuary.

We were going to the Yala National Park but it had closed as too many of the animals were pregnant!!!!!! I think drought was part of the problem also.

The animals and birds were saw were very good considering the heavens opened up as we were heading towards the gate of the Reserve. Our drive put the sides down as we were getting very wet. Fortunately, the rain eventually stopped and we had excellent viewing of spotted deer, elephants, peacocks, antlered deer, spotted dove, Little egret, hawk eagle, Bee eater, grey heron, buffalo, crocodile, little cormorant, Indian darter, red wattled lapwing and Asian open-billed stork (not sure if all the names are correct).

The park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon.

Water is abundant after the northeast monsoon, but during the dry season surface water becomes an important factor. The bodies of surface water appear in the forms of streams, tanks, waterholes, rock pools, and lagoons. Waterholes occur in low lying places while rock pools of varying size can contain water year-round, and are hence an important source of water for elephants. For many water birds and water buffaloes’ natural waterholes are ideal habitats.

For the last 2 years there has been a drought and all the lakes and waterholes were either dry or water levels were critical. We even drove through an area which usually had 2-3 metres of water. This is where we saw a lot of bird life.

Sue, Dave, Tom and I were all a little wet and cold so we were very pleased when we eventually arrived at our Yala Adventure Eco accommodation, even though it was in the dark. It was about 20 minutes out of town and only had 7 hotel rooms. As soon as we were checked in and changed, we went back to the restaurant for a dinner they had cooked. We also enjoyed a beer as well after chatting about a really full, and successful day, despite the rain.

Additional photos below
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