Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka

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Still waiting to get lucky and capture image.

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Sri Lanka Spurfowl
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා හබන්-කුකුලා)
Galloperdix bicalcarata

Yet to capture image

 
Sri Lanka Junglefowl-4
Sri Lanka Junglefowl-4

Photographed inside Bundala.

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Sri Lanka Junglefowl-2
Sri Lanka Junglefowl-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Junglefowl-3
Sri Lanka Junglefowl-3

Photographed from inside Dehiwala Zoo birds enclosure.

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Sri Lanka Junglefowl-4
Sri Lanka Junglefowl-4

Photographed inside Bundala.

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Sri Lanka Junglefowl
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා වලි-කුකුලා)
Gallus lafayettii

The national bird of Sri Lanka seen on the outskirts of the Sinharaja rain forest. Although normally they are very shy, in villages around Sinharaja, they have got used to human dwellings and can be seen around houses. The female is brown in colour.
 

The 3rd picture is from inside the birds' enclosure at the Dehiwala zoo. Such a beautiful bird.

 
Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-1
Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-1

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-2
Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-2

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-4
Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-4

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-1
Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon-1

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon / Ceylon Wood Pigeon (ශ්‍රි ලංකා මයිල පරවියා)
Columba torringtoniae

This endemic beauty was photographed in the outskirts of the Sinharaja rain forest. It was in the canopy hidden among the foliage which made it very difficult to take a better picture. Hopefully, I will come across them again so I can do justice to their beauty.

 
 
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Still to capture photo

Still waiting to get lucky and capture image.

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Sri Lanka Green Pigeon / Pompadour Green Pigeon (පොම්පදෝරු බටගොයා)
Treron pompadora

Yet to capture image

Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-1
Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-1

Photographed in Bulathsinhala.

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Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-2
Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-2

Photographed in Bulathsinhala.

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Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-4
Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-1
Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot-1

Photographed in Bulathsinhala.

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Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot / Ceylon Lorikeet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා ගිරාමලිත්තා)
Loriculus beryllinus

I was on the roof of my ancestral house in Bulathsinhala waiting for some bird to show up for more than an hour. Just as I was about to give up, this amazing beauty showed up. I didn't know that she is endemic at the time. What joy when I finally checked what I photographed.

The last picture is from Sinharaja rain forest. Look at the beautiful colours and form. :)

 
Layard's Parakeet-5
Layard's Parakeet-5

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Layard's Parakeet-1
Layard's Parakeet-1

Photographed inside the Dehiwala Zoo birds enclosure.

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Layard's Parakeet-4
Layard's Parakeet-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Layard's Parakeet-5
Layard's Parakeet-5

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Layard's Parakeet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා අලු ගිරවා)
Psittacula calthrapae

I took the 1st photograph inside the Dehiwala Zoo birds enclosure. The other photos on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest where a group of them were feeding on a fruit tree. They gave me a superb display of their colours and abilities.

Endemic to Sri Lanka, just look at the explosion of colours at certain angles.

 
Red-faced Malkoha-2
Red-faced Malkoha-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Red-faced Malkoha-1
Red-faced Malkoha-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Red-faced Malkoha-2
Red-faced Malkoha-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Red-faced Malkoha
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා වතරතු මල්කොහා)
Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus

Seen at the outskirts of the Sinharaja rain forest, this rare and endemic beauty is a price capture. Such a beautiful bird, he was notoriously hard to take a picture as he stayed mostly inside the bush and was jumping around so quickly. Hope I will see him again and will be able to take a better picture in the future.

 
Green-billed Coucal-1
Green-billed Coucal-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Green-billed Coucal-2
Green-billed Coucal-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Green-billed Coucal-4
Green-billed Coucal-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Green-billed Coucal-1
Green-billed Coucal-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Green-billed Coucal
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා බට ඇටි-කුකුලා)
Centropus chlororhynchos

Seen at Sinharaja forest just after a few morning showers. He was catching the first rays of sunlight. Such a majestic bird who is endemic to Sri Lanka.

 
Serendib Scops Owl-1
Serendib Scops Owl-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Serendib Scops Owl-2
Serendib Scops Owl-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Serendib Scops Owl-8
Serendib Scops Owl-8

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Serendib Scops Owl-1
Serendib Scops Owl-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Serendib Scops Owl
(පන්ඩුවන් කන්බස්සා)
Otus thilohoffmanni

The last new endemic species to be added to the list of endemic birds of Sri Lanka, this majestic owl is photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest. After a hectic climb, Thilak (my guide when I go to Sinharaja) was able to spot this one inside a thick bush of bamboo. Unfortunately, taking a good image of the whole bird was impossible as it was inside the thick bush. What a beauty and what personality.

 
Chestnut-backed Owlet-1
Chestnut-backed Owlet-1

In the perpetual gloom inside Sinharaja, your always been watched.

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Chestnut-backed Owlet-2
Chestnut-backed Owlet-2

In the perpetual gloom inside Sinharaja, your always been watched.

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Chestnut-backed Owlet-1
Chestnut-backed Owlet-1

In the perpetual gloom inside Sinharaja, your always been watched.

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Chestnut-backed Owlet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා පිට තම්බල උපබස්සා)
Glaucidium castanotum

This rare and endemic owlet is one of my price photographs. Captured at low light deep inside the Sinharaja rain forest, he was very difficult to spot. My bird tracker, ‘Thilake’ used its recorded call to get the owlet to give away its position as he responded when the call was made. How I wished I had taken my tripod to take a long exposure shot which would have had better clarity. What a beauty of a bird.

 
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-7
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-7

Photographed in the Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-1
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-1

Captured on a dusky evening in Ella.

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Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-6
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-6

Photographed in the Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-7
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill-7

Photographed in the Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා අලු කෑදැත්තා)
Ocyceros gingalensis

One of the most disappointing moments along this odyssey to take bird pictures is when I was unable to take a better picture of this beauty in Ella. (1st and 2nd pictures) He was right outside my bedroom window but by the time I got around with the camera, all I was able to capture were these low light-high ISO images. It was a male.

3rd and 4th pictures are of a female eating fruits at the Sinharaja rain forest. This time I managed to get better quality pictures but she was a bit hidden among the tree foliage.

 
Sri Lanka Small Barbet -1
Sri Lanka Small Barbet -1

Photographed in the outskirts of Bhodinagala Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Small Barbet -2
Sri Lanka Small Barbet -2

Photographed in the outskirts of Bhodinagala Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Small Barbet -3
Sri Lanka Small Barbet -3

Photographed in the outskirts of Bhodinagala Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Small Barbet -1
Sri Lanka Small Barbet -1

Photographed in the outskirts of Bhodinagala Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Small Barbet / Ceylon Small Barbet
(රත්-මූනත් කොට්ටෝරුවා)
Xantholaema rubricapillus

When I was initially taking the photographs, I didn’t realise that it’s a Sri Lanka Small Barbet as I thought it is a Yellow-fronted Barbet. I was positively surprised when I found out later on. Captured in the outskirts of ‘Bodinagala’ forest reserve.

 
Yellow-fronted Barbet-4
Yellow-fronted Barbet-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Yellow Fronted Barbet-1
Yellow Fronted Barbet-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Yellow-fronted Barbet-6
Yellow-fronted Barbet-6

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Yellow-fronted Barbet-4
Yellow-fronted Barbet-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Yellow-fronted Barbet
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා රන්මූනත් කොට්ටෝරුවා)
Psilopogon flavifrons

Seen at the outskirts of Sinharaja forest, in images 1 and 2, this endemic beauty was looking for food by digging tree barks at the joints. As he was photographed from a distance, I was unable to get a perfect photo. Thus hoped I will run into them again as they are such beautiful bird species.

My wish came true on a subsequent trip where I managed to take some beautiful captures on a rainy morning.

 
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Still waiting to get lucky and capture image.

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Crimson-backed Woodpecker
Chrysocolaptes stricklandi

Yet to capture image

 
Sri Lanka Swallow-1
Sri Lanka Swallow-1

Photographed on the banks of Mahaweli river in the outskirts of Kandy.

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Sri Lanka Swallow-2
Sri Lanka Swallow-2

Photographed on the banks of Mahaweli river in the outskirts of Kandy.

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Sri Lanka Swallow-7
Sri Lanka Swallow-7

Photographed on the banks of Mahaweli river in the outskirts of Kandy.

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Sri Lanka Swallow-1
Sri Lanka Swallow-1

Photographed on the banks of Mahaweli river in the outskirts of Kandy.

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Sri Lanka Swallow / Ceylon Swallow
Cecropis hyperythra

I came across a flock of them near the Mahaweli river in the outskirts of Kandy. Initially very shy, after a while, they were ok with me approaching closer. There were around 10 birds in this one small flock moving from one small tree to another mostly focusing on the morning grooming.

 
Sri Lanka Woodshrike-1
Sri Lanka Woodshrike-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Kuchchaweli area.

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Sri Lanka Woodshrike-2
Sri Lanka Woodshrike-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Kuchchaweli area.

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Sri Lanka Woodshrike-5
Sri Lanka Woodshrike-5

Photographed in the outskirts of Kuchchaweli area.

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Sri Lanka Woodshrike-1
Sri Lanka Woodshrike-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Kuchchaweli area.

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Sri Lanka Woodshrike / Ceylon Wood Shrike
(වන-කෞල් ඇස්පටියා)
Tephrodornis affinis

Photographed in Kalkudah area, it was inside the shade of a tree which meant I had to take the photos in low light without even knowing what species I was photographing. I had to get creative to improve the light with editing to see the beauty of the bird. 

This beauty was checking out all the commotion going on due to termite alates (මෙරු) taking flight. There were many other species of birds in a frenzy of activity but this one didn't join in.

 
Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-4
Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-1
Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Rathnapura.

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Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-6
Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-6

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-4
Black-headed Yellow Bulbul-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Black-headed Yellow Bulbul / Black-capped Bulbul (හිස කලු කොන්ඩයා)
Pycnonotus atriceps

1st seen at Rathnapura, there were a couple of them flying around in a bush. I wish I had more time to spend in their presence but I was pressed for time as I was with family.

The other images are from Sinharaja rain forest where this beautiful bird put on a good display for me.

 
Yellow-eared Bulbul-1
Yellow-eared Bulbul-1

What a beauty captured at the entrance to Horton Planes.

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Yellow-eared Bulbul-2
Yellow-eared Bulbul-2

What a beauty captured at the entrance to Horton Planes.

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Yellow-eared Bulbul-1
Yellow-eared Bulbul-1

What a beauty captured at the entrance to Horton Planes.

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Yellow-eared Bulbul
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා කහ-කැන් කොන්ඩයා)
Kelaartia penicillata

Endemic to Sri Lanka and only found in the highlands, this magnificent beauty was seen at Horton Planes.

 
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Still to capture photo

Still waiting to get lucky and capture image.

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Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush / Ceylon Whistling Thrush (ශ්‍රි ලංකා උරුවන්-තිරසිකයා) Myophonus blighi

Yet to capture image

 
Spot-winged Thrush-1
Spot-winged Thrush-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Spot-winged Thrush-2
Spot-winged Thrush-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Spot-winged Thrush-5
Spot-winged Thrush-5

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Spot-winged Thrush-1
Spot-winged Thrush-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Spot-winged Thrush / Spotted-winged Thrush (තිත්-පියා තිරසිකයා)
Geokichla spiloptera

Seen at Sinharaja rain forest, this endemic thrush put on a very good display for me. There were couple of them flying around and fighting in the tea bushes on the outskirts of the forest.

 
Still to capture photo
Still to capture photo

Still waiting to get lucky and capture image.

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Still to capture photo
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Still waiting to get lucky and capture image.

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Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush / Ceylon Scaly Thrush
(කයුරු තිරසිකයා)
Zoothera imbricata

Yet to capture image

 
Brown-capped Babbler-1
Brown-capped Babbler-1

Photographed at Kandalama.

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Brown-capped Babbler-2
Brown-capped Babbler-2

Photographed at Kandalama.

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Brown-capped Babbler-1
Brown-capped Babbler-1

Photographed at Kandalama.

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Brown-capped Babbler
(බොරගා-දෙමලිච්චා)
Pellorneum fuscocapillus

Captured in low light inside the bush in Kandalama, I didn't realize at the time its an endemic species.

 

What a beautiful babbler. Hopefully, I will come across them again for better quality pictures as these ones were taken with high ISO due to low light.

 
Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-1
Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-2
Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-4
Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-1
Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Scimita-babbler / Ceylon Scimitar Babbler (දැ-දෙමලිච්චා)
Pomatorhinus melanurus

Rare and endemic, this beautiful babbler was seen at Sinharaja rain forest. I wish I was better at focusing the camera quickly as when I got my act together, he flew off. Such an odd looking but beautiful bird.

 
Orange-billed Babbler-3
Orange-billed Babbler-3

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Orange-billed Babbler-1
Orange-billed Babbler-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Orange-billed Babbler-4
Orange-billed Babbler-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Orange-billed Babbler-3
Orange-billed Babbler-3

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Orange-billed Babbler / Rufous Babbler
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා රතු දෙමලිච්චා)
Turdoides rufescens

The undisputed endemic chatter, these guys travel as small flocks and make lots of noise. Although they were all around me in the bushes when I saw them at Sinharaja rain forest, they were such busy bodies jumping from one bush to another, it was very difficult for me to focus on any of them. Hopefully I will come across them again for a better photo soon.

 
Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-5
Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-5

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-4
Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-4

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-6
Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-6

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-5
Ashy-headed Laughingthrush-5

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Ashy-headed Laughingthrush
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා අලු-දෙමලිච්චා)
Garrulax cinereifrons

Seen at Sinharaja rain forest, when I first came across this rare and endemic bird, it flew immediately after I managed to take only a couple of shots. As he was inside the bush, the low light caused the photograph to be lower quality.

Came across a bunch of them again on a subsequent trip but as they spend most of their time in the undergrowth and because they jump around all the time, they are notoriously difficult to capture in a good photograph.

Click to visit Wikipedia reference.
 
Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-1
Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-1

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-2
Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-2

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-5
Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-5

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-1
Sri Lanka Bush Warbler-1

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Sri Lanka Bush Warbler / Ceylon Warbler
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා වනරවියා)
Elaphrornis palliseri

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park, this endemic and endangered beauty is very difficult to photograph as they spend most of their time inside the bush hopping from one branch to another. I had to spend a lot of time just waiting for one to stay a few seconds in one place so I can take a photograph.

Images 1 and 2 are of a male who has a red colour eye. Images 3 to 5 are of a female who has a pale buff eye.

 
Dull-blue Flycatcher-1
Dull-blue Flycatcher-1

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Dull-blue Flycatcher-2
Dull-blue Flycatcher-2

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Dull-blue Flycatcher-6
Dull-blue Flycatcher-6

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Dull-blue Flycatcher-1
Dull-blue Flycatcher-1

Photographed in Horton Plains National Park.

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Dull-blue Flycatcher / Dusky-blue Flycatcher
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා නීලන්-මැසිමාරා)
Eumyias sordidus

Photographed at Horton Plains National Park. I managed to take pictures of 2 different birds on the same day. What a unique beauty that lives exclusively above mid-hills of Sri Lanka.