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Grey-headed swamphen (Purple Swamphen)

Porphyrio poliocephalus

Description:

Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala harbors 197 species of birds, the highlight being the greater flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and redesignated to a national park on 4 January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka.

Habitat:

coastal wetland. The area mainly underlain with hornblende-biotite gneiss of the eastern Vijayan series. The low country dry zone climate prevails in the area. The area has an average relative humidity of 80%. The national park contains five shallow, brackish lagoons with salt pans in three. They are Bundala lagoon of 520 hectares (2.0 sq mi), Embilikala Lagoon of 430 hectares (1.7 sq mi), Malala Lagoon of 650 hectares (2.5 sq mi), Koholankala lagoon of 390 hectares (1.5 sq mi), and Mahalewaya of 260 hectares (1.0 sq mi). The Koholankala and Mahalewaya are almost totally developed for salt production. The climatic conditions are tropical monsoonal, with a mean annual temperature of 27 °C (81 °F). Annual rainfall ranges from 900–1,300 millimetres (35–51 in), with dry period persists from May to September. The elevation of the park ranges from sea level to 10 metres (33 ft).The park was affected by 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Due to protection from sand dunes the park received very little damage.

Notes:

I think I saw more wildlife in this park versus the far more popular Yala and Udawalawe National Parks where tourists and locals flock to see the leopards (if they are lucky) and elephants. So not only did I see more species, we had the park to ourselves in peace and quiet without a lot of other noisy safari jeeps to disturb the peace.

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jazz.mann
Spotted by
jazz.mann

Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Spotted on Jul 15, 2018
Submitted on May 29, 2021

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