birds

10 animals to see on Holiday in Sri Lanka.

10 Animals To See On Holiday In Sri Lanka at GlenMyu Estate.

10 Animals to see on holiday in Sri Lanka at GlenMyu Estate.

Not the usual elephants, leopards and crocodiles you see on safari. But they are a wonderful sight at Yala, Udawalawe, Minneriya, Wilpattu or one of the other parks. (I haven’t been lucky enough to see a leopard myself.
But the sun must have been shining on lots of our guests at GlenMyu Estate as they show me their great leopard photos!

Some you will definitely see, some you will maybe see and others you will be lucky to see!

Definitely.

Animals that you will definitely see at GlenMyu Estate.

1. Our rescue dogs.

We have several rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate. 

Although we did not plan to have dogs, we appear to have gathered a few. My wife and I blame our first dog, Clove, for our collection. If Clove had not been such a nice, loving character then we may have been more reluctant to take on more rescue dogs.

I have finally put my foot down and we are at our maximum number of pups at GlenMyu Estate

2. Animals you will see on holiday in Sri Lanka - Our rescue chickens.

We have rescue dogs and now we have rescue chickens!

Again, we never planned to have chickens.

This situation changed when one of our acquaintances could not afford to feed his chickens when the financial crisis hot Sri Lanka. The cost of chicken layers feed was either not available or exorbitantly expensive. 

We decided to take them on.

The chickens were being kept in a shed and did not have the freedom to roam and forage.
At GlenMyu Estate we have five acres of land. 
We decided to buy the chickens and create a safe space for them to live. The plan was for the chickens to forage around the estate and we would not have the cost of feed. We were pleased that the chickens settled in well and although they had not been conditioned to forage, those instincts kicked in quite quickly. 

You live and learn and after we lost a few chickens to Mongoose and Eagles, we increased their security. They now have a bespoke house in which to live.  The coop is fenced off with chicken wire which helps fend off predators. We even have a fishing net above the coop to stop the eagles flying in.

One of our staff looks after the chickens when they are out of the coop foraging. It makes the eggs that we get very expensive, but they are delicious. Despite losing a few chickens the numbers have increased as we get new chicks every so often.

Despite the cost we are happy that we have provided these rescue chickens with a good place for them to live.

3. Ducks foraging around the five acre estate.

The ducks have been at GlenMyu Estate for a longer period than the chickens. Ru wanted to get some ducks as her birthday present, so off we went. 

The initial four ducks have multiplied up to around twenty. I was getting worried that they would keep on multiplying and we would have created a problem.

The duckling production has slowed so we appear to have a manageable number at this time. 

I really enjoy watching the ducks forage around the estate and swim in the various ponds and streams around the estate.

4. Maali, our rescue cow.

We have a rescue cow called Maali. She arrived at GlenMyu Estate in December 2022. She is an important part of life at GlenMyu Estate and has settled in well. Maali grazes in the land and provide good nutrition for our garden. She adds to the landscape and her character has developed since she has been at the estate and she provides us with lots of laughs and entertainment.

You can read more about Maali in our articles “We got a cow” and “The cow – a year on”.

Maybe/probably

Animals that you will probably see at GlenMyu Estate.

5. Monkeys - Toque Macaues or Tufted Grey Langurs.

Toque macaques are found only in Sri Lanka

They are regular visitors to the trees at GlenMyu Estate and forage on leaves and any fruits that they can get without being disturbed by our dogs.

You can read more about Toque macaques at NePrimate Conservacy.

Tufted Grey Langurs also visit the trees at the estate quite often, but less than the Macaques. 
They mainly eat the leaves on the trees and sometimes are seen bounding over the floor playing or getting to a new safe spot.  Read more about Tufted Grey Langurs here

6. Flameback Woodpeckers.

The Red-backed flameback, Lesser Sri Lanka flameback, Sri Lanka red-backed woodpecker or Ceylon red-backed woodpecker  are endemic to Sri Lanka.

They live to eat the ripe Jackfruit from our trees.

7. Black Eagles.

We regularly hear the screech of the Black eagle as it circles around the hills near GlenMyu Estate

Sometimes there are two or three in the air circling, searching for food. 

When we hear the screeches we run to protect our ducks and chickens.

Only if you are lucky!

Animals that you will might see, if you are lucky, at GlenMyu Estate.

8. Animals you may see on holiday in Sri Lanka - Porcupines.

We do have porcupines that come to the land and dig up some of our young coconut trees and other roots. You can read more about porcupines in the following Daily News article “Pangolins and Porcupines”.

We have seen they in our vegetable garden occasionally but they scatter away too fast t get a photo.

9. A Giant squirrel.

A don’t have a good photo of a giant squirrel just yet, however you can see what they look like in the following link to Animal Bio.

They normally like to spend their time in more wooded areas and we do not have sufficient tree cover at the moment.  Our neighbours have created a forest and they have plenty of visits from Giant Squirrels.

Our neighbours have difficulty in getting a harvest from the crops that they plant because of the Giant Squirrels, so we are happy that it is only an occasional visitor.

10. Barking Deer.

You will be lucky to spot a Barking Deer or Mouse Deer at GlenMyu Estate.

This picture was taken on  a long lens as it was eating grass at the far end of the estate. As soon as the dogs are aware that the deer is on the land, they bark, and the deer runs off to safety.

And too many more to mention!

Of course, there are may more animals to see on holiday in Sri Lanka.

I could have mentioned the snakes. Occasionally we see a Cobra when it come out to bathe in the sun or forage for food.
However we regularly see the rat snake. (don’t worry, it’s not venomous).

Hopefully we don’t see the Mongoose. They have been successful in having some of our ducks for lunch!

There is a vast array of birds that visit the estate and too many for a list of ten. We regularly have birdwatching sessions with our neighbours and are ticking off the birds that we spot. 

Bats fly around the estate when the sun goes down.

We have lots of insects coming to the estate. The Christmas Fly is a pain when it comes but the frogs, geckos and birds have a feast. 

10 Animals to see on holiday in Sri Lanka at GlenMyu Estate -Summary

  1. Our rescue dogs.
  2. Our rescue chickens.
  3. Ducks foraging around the five acre estate.
  4. Maali, our rescue cow.
  5. Monkeys – Toque Macaues or Tufted Grey Langurs.
  6. Flameback Woodpeckers.
  7. Black Eagles.
  8. Porcupines.
  9. A giant squirrel.
  10. Barking Deer.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and see the animals that visit the land.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

10 animals to see on Holiday in Sri Lanka. Read More »

What do monkeys like to do?

What do monkeys like to do?

What do monkeys like to do? At GlenMyu Estate we have two species of monkeys that regularly visit us. Toque macaques are endemic to the island and can often be seen in our trees eating leaves and fruits when available. Tufted grey langurs also can be seen in the trees and sometimes on the ground when the youngsters play and the adult try to steal our crops.

My morning at GlenMyu Estate is quite varied during the year and a little different compared to London when I was on that hamster wheel. Life has certainly changed moving from a city with a population of ten million plus to a five acre estate with a population of eight people.

My morning view has changed as well. In our London flat we would look over the railway track hosting the Bakerloo line and London Overground. Now we look over the rolling hills that lead towards the South coast of Sri Lanka. The sound of the stream that runs along the boundary of the estate and the morning birdsong is my background music. It’s such a contrast to the city.

What do monkeys like to do when they are at GlenMyu Estate?

Quite often there are some monkeys that like to sit on the elderly Lunumidella Tree that is in front of the house. I regularly take photos and videos of these animals enjoying their time on this precipice. They eat the leaves leaving the tree branches somewhat bare. Picking fleas from their fur is a regular pastime. Shaking the tree branch is also a regular event and I still don’t know the reason for this. When there is a family temporarily inhabiting the tree the kids can race around and make it a place of play. I like it when the monkeys just sit, chill and enjoy the view. This is a reflection of what I believe that this paradise island should be all about.

Sit, relax and enjoy the view. Get closer to nature. Take a deep breath off the fresh air. Forget about all the stresses, troubles and strife and enjoy the world.

What the monkeys did this morning.

This morning I watched a pair of monkeys on tree. The sun was out and they were grooming themselves before they started their day. The younger of the two did shake the tree for a while which brought a smile to my face. They weren’t there for long but the relaxed feeling that they emitted had already been transferred to me. 

Not only monkeys.

As I write, the monkeys have left the tree and they have been replaced by a pair of Bulbuls with their Mohican haircuts. They are not the most attractive birds given their aggressive hairstyle. The background has changed as the mist has come in and the sun is hiding behind the clouds. 

The change from light to dark should depress my mood however I have the photos and videos of the monkeys in the sun to lift my spirits and keep a smile on my face.

Enjoy the wildlife and get closer to nature.

Get closer to nature by spending some time on holiday ay GlenMyu Estate. You can find out more details are our website on the following link.

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Birdwatching in Sri Lanka

Birds at GlenMyu Estate, Sri Lanka

Birds we have seen at GlenMyu Estate

At GlenMyu Estate we have seen lots of different types of birds since we have been living on this beautiful 5 acres in the Sri Lanka Hill Country.

My photographs are not that great and my SLR was inoperable some years ago so I have taken these pictures with my mobile phone or pocket Nikon camera.

I’m sure that you could do so much better than I have.

When I was younger I wasn’t as interested in birds however I was living in London and there was little to see.

Since moving to this beautiful Paradise Island my interest has changed so  much. It’s hard not to admire these beautiful creatures when they are singing early in the morning and swooping their way across the landscape.

Here are some of the birds that I have managed to capture, mainly from my pocket Nikon Camera.

Some of the birds have spectacular colours which are impossible to miss when enjoying the day at GlenMyu Estate.

Many of the bird are just too fast for me to catch or see. I have bought a set of binoculars so that I get to see some more of the species that visit the estate. I would recommend that you bring some binoculars with you when you stay at GlenMyu Estate Hotel so you don’t miss out.

There are lots of endemic birds that visit GlenMyu Estate. Once of our neighbours has seen almost half of the endemic species in Sri Lanka in the area. She has been birdwatching since she was a little girl and is full of knowledge and can even identify some from their birdsong.

Our own birds at GlenMyu Estate

We also have ducks and chickens at GlenMyu Estate.

They roam around the land and forage and are a delight to watch. I consider them my kind of meditation as I watch them wander and get on with their daily business.

Ever so often we have new life at GlenMyu Estate as the ducks and the chickens get broody from time to time and sit on their eggs. If you are lucky enough to be staying at GlenMyu Estate when they hatch you will be amazed on how quickly they adapt to life. We have seen duckings eating insects as soon as the hatch from the egg and also have seen some swimming on day one!

Nature is amazing and it is a great privilege living with nature.

Birds at GlenMyu Estate, Sri Lanka Read More »

Birdwatching in Sri Lanka

Birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka

Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka

If you are interested in a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka?

The Island is a great place to spend some time to discover the birds that visit here.

Birdwatching in Sri Lanka is something that you can do in all parts of the Island however there are spots where you will see a wide variety of species. 

The Island of Sri Lanka is truly a birdwatching paradise. 

You don’t have to be a ‘twitcher’ or ‘birder’ to enjoy and learn about the residents and migrants to the Island.  

Our interest in birdwatching at GlenMyu Estate has increased as it is hard to ignore the wonderful creatures that enjoy the 5 acre estate.

Where is Sri Lanka on the map?

The Pearl of the Indian Ocean is tropical island in the situated 10 degrees north of the equator.

On the Map it looks like a teardrop falling from the southern coast of India.

The Island boasts diverse and favourable climatic conditions for a wide range of birdlife.

It also has a range of natural habitats including forests, scrublands, grasslands, wetlands, and agricultural lands. 

Being surrounded by the Indian Ocean and close to the tip of India it plays host to various migrant birds at different times of the year.

Sri Lanka at 65,610 km 2 (similar in size to the Republic of Ireland) is quite small but has a great range of birds for your to see.

What Birds visit the Island?

It is home to 439 species of birds:

236 are breeding residents

203 migrants and the rest vagrants.

There are 34 endemic species of birds in Sri Lanka.

There are also somewhere near to 200 seasonal migratory birds both terrestrial and aquatic.

They travel to get away from the Northern winter from as far as Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe.

They arrive around August -September and leave around April-May. 

What are the Endemic birds in Sri Lanka?

Ceylon Jungle Fowl – (Gallus lafayetii)

Ceylon Wood Pigeon – (Columba torringtoniae)

Ceylon Green Pigeon – (Treron pompadora)

Ceylon Spurfowl – (Galloperdix bicalcarata)

Layard’s Parakeet – (Psittacufa calthropae)

Ceylon Hanging Parrot – (Loriculus beryllinus)

Red-Faced Malkoha – (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus)

Green-Billed Coucal – (Centropus chlororhynchos)

Serendib Scops-Owl – (Otus hoffmanni)

Chestnut-Backed Owlet – (Glaucidium Castanonotum)

Ceylon Grey Hornbill – (Ocyceros gingalensis)

Yellow-Fronted Barbet – (Megalaima flavifrons)

Ceylon Small Barbet – (Megalaima rubricapillus)

Crimson-Backed – (Chrysocolaptes stricklandi)

Ceylon Swallow – (Hirundo hyperythra)

Ceylon Wood-Shrike – (Tephrodornis affinis)

Black-Capped Bulbul – (Pycnonotus melanicterus)

Yellow-Eared Bulbul – (Pycnonotus penicillatus)

Ceylon Whistling-Thrush – (Myophonus blighi)

Spot-Winged Thrush – (Zoothera spiloptera)

Ceylon Scaly Thrush  – (Zoothera imbricata)

Sri Lanka Bush Warbler  – (Elaphrornis paljiseri)

Dusky Blue Flycatcher – (Eumyias sordidus)

Brown-Capped Babbler – (Pellorneum fuscocapilius)

Ceylon Scimitar Babbler- (Pomatorhinus melanurus)

Ceylon Rufous Babbler – (Turdoides rufescens)

Ceylon White-Eye -(Zosterops ceylonensis)

Ashy-Headed Laughing Thrush – (Argya cinereifrons)

Legge’s Flowerpecker – (Dicaeurn vincens)

Ceylon Crested Drongo – (Dicrurus lophorhinus)

Ceylon Blue Magpie – (Uroc’ssa ornata)

White-Faced Starling -(Sturnornis albofrontatus)

Ceylon Hill-Myna – (Gracula ptilogenys)

Birdwatching on holiday at GlenMyu Estate, Beragala, Sri Lanka

We do not offer birdwatching tours however it is hard not to get enthralled with the different types of birds that visit the 5 acre estate during the year.

Our interest in birdwatching has been elevated since we have been living in the Hill Country.

We have also found our guests to be fascinated by the birds that they discover whilst staying here.

Here are some photos and videos of what we have seen at the Glenmyu Estate to whet your appetite. No doubt you have a better camera than we do and therefore should get better pictures and videos than we do!

For more videos of the birds that visit GlenMyu Estate please click on our YouTube Link.

If you want to find out more about GlenMyu Estate please visit our website.

Where can I go on a Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka?

Kumana National Park

The main bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka is the Kumana National Park which has 18,149 hectares and is located in the South East part of Sri Lanka in the Easter sector of Yala National Park..

It has a 200 hectare natural swamp lake, called the Kumbukkan Oya.

This is a Mangrove swamp where many water birds nest in May and June.

You can regularly see Pelicans, Painted Storks, Spoonbills, White Ibis, Herons, Egrets and Little Cormorants.

Sinharaja Rain Forest 

This forest is located in the South West of Sri Lanka and it houses a tropical rain forest.

It covers 8,864 hectares and is at an altitude of between 300 – 1,170 metres.

60%of the trees in the forest are endemic to Sri Lanka and many of those would be considered rare.

The forest attracts a lot of endemic wildlife – especially birds.

It is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies.

There are also many types of insects, reptiles and amphibians.

Some of the birds found in the forest are as follows:

Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon (Columba Torringtoni)

Green-billed Coucal (Centropus Chlororrhynchus)

Sri Lanka White-headed Starling (Sturnus senex)

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Cissa ornate)

The Ashy-headed Babbler (Garrulax Cinereifrons)

Sri Lanka Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus orientalis irisi).

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Kalametiya is a coastal wetland area that has an especially rich bio-diversity and is great for a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka.

Is located on the South Eastern coast of Sri Lanka, in tHambantota district.

The sanctuary has a mix of marine and birdlife due to the coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps, scrub jungles and open grassy areas.

Large lakes in the dry zone mostly attract a large number of ducks .

The wetlands such as Weerawila, Kalamatiya and Bundala national park are where larger aquatic birds such as Storks, Herons, Egrets, Spoonbills, Pelican, and ibis can be seen. 

Migrant birds arrive during mid-August nd settle along the lagoons and salterns of the coast areas.

The types of birds that can be seen include Sandpipers, Stints, Plovers, Terns and Harriers.

Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park lies on the Southern Coastof Sri Lanka and stretches across nearly 20 kilometres along a coastal strip between Kirinda and Hambantota.

September to March are the best months to visit the Park

There are around 200 species to be found at the park.

You are likely to see the following birds whilst own a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka.

Greater Flamingo

Common Redshank, 

Petite Blue Tailed Bee-eaters

Indian Peafowl 

Bodinagala Forest Reserve

Peak Wilderness Sanctuary

Kitulgala Forest Reserve

Yala National Park

Wilpattu

Udawalawe

Wagamuwa

Wasgamuwa

So, if you are considering a Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka, we hope that this post has been helpful to you.

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It’s good for the soul

It's good for the soul.

I was walking up the stairs to my balcony this morning and as I looked out at the view and the thought that came into my mind was “this is good for the soul”.

It's Good for the Soul when you wake up to a view like this.

Sweeping over the specular scenery that the valleys and hills below us invigorate my senses and enters deeply into my body.

I stand, inhale deeply taking in the freshest of air that has been warmed by the morning sun and I feel a sense of calm within.

Sometimes I stand there feeling like I am the luckiest man alive to be able to experience this every day.

A new landscape every day it just warms your heart.

I remember staying with a friend of our in the heart of London with spectacular views of the banking and insurance district of the capital. 

 The Gherkin, Tower-42, The Walkie Talkie 20 Fenchurch Street, the once futuristic Lloyds of London and the Cheese Grater The Leadenhall Building reflect the tradition and innovation keeping the financial district at the top of the pile.

Another view takes in St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, The London Eye and the meandering River Thames.

The morning light washes the hills below - it's good for the soul
The morning light washes the hills below - it's good for the soul

We were lucky enough to spend a New Years Eve at the apartment and watched the fireworks dancing across the night sky as we welcomed in the start of the new calendar.

I remember a remark about perhaps you could get bored with the view after a while.

However, the London landscape is constantly evolving with cranes littering the vista building new towers changing the view. The light and weather also changes through the year providing a variety of sights to enjoy.

I think that it easy to get complacent leading to your senses dampening and not being alert to what is in front of you.

Same old, same old?

The landscape that we look out to every morning as we are awoken by the morning light gives us a jolt every so often to electrify our eyes and emotions.  

It really is good for the soul.

A flash of pink in the morning sky, a sweep of yellow reflecting on the hills below and flashes of swallows littering the scene provides variety.

A stunning red sky view from the House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
A stunning red sky view from the House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka. An inspirational landscape

A clear view of Udawale Tank looking like it is floating in the sky or a thick mist wrapping itself around us is natures way of keeping us alert.

The view of Udawalawe Tank - the colours are good for the Soul.
Udawalawe Tank (reservoir) appears to be floating in the air. On clear days it is a spectacular sight from the lounges at GlenMyu Estate. It's good for the soul.

A change in weather bringing clouds that paint pictures for us to interpret and flashes of rain providing different shades for the greenery that surrounds us.

Catching the sun setting and delivering a kaleidoscope of colours warms the heart at the end of a wonderful day.

I admit I do have to kick myself every so often so that I appreciate what nature has given to us but, I am thankful when it does.

Experience the variety for yourself and revive your soul.

No visit to GlenMyu Estate is the same as the flora, fauna and vista are ever changing.

We have three king size on suite double bedrooms that look out onto this extraordinary view.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

It’s good for the soul Read More »

A Small Minivet

Birds of Sri Lanka – what you might see at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

What kind of birds live in Sri Lanka?

What birds will I see when I stay at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka?

We are lucky at GlenMyu Estate to have an environment that is attractive to birds and we have a variety that we regularly see here foraging, nesting and swooping around the land.

Here are some pictures and videos of birds that I have seen visiting the Estate.

Unfortunately my camera and video are great for capturing the birds and if you visit the estate with better equipment you will no doubt get much better pictures than I have!

Here are some videos that I have taken of some birds that visited the estate.

We are also very lucky to have a neighbour who has a lifelong interest in birds and bird watches daily. She has identified a large number of the 34 endemic species of birds that visit this part of Sri Lanka.

How do I find out more about Birds of Sri Lanka?

If you want to know more about the endemic birds of Sri Lanka, the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka has a complete list pf birds and additional interesting information in the following link https://fogsl.cmb.ac.lk/list-of-birds-of-sri-lanka/

Another website where a community identifies birds is https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/birds-of-sri-lanka

Avibase – The World Bird Database gives details of the birds and also some examples of bird song https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/avibase.jsp?lang=EN

The Ceylon Bird Club is another good resource http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/endemic_birds.php

Books?

I use “A Photographic Guide to theBirds of Sri Lanka” by Gehan De Silva Wijeyaratne which I find has some good pictures to help identify the birds.

Find out more about GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and B & B, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

There are three king size on suite bedrooms for guests which all have superb views of the hills below. 

A natural spring fed swimming pool is available for the use for guests and is a great place to have a refreshing swim or just hang out listening to the nature that passes by.

The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
Light falling on the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The Luxurious Mango bedroom at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka. Wonderful for Valentine's Day in Sri Lanka

Where is GlenMyu Estate?

You can find out where we are on the map below.

Birds of Sri Lanka – what you might see at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka. Read More »

GlenMyu Estate
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