Unplanned trip

Unplanned trip

I was planing to visit Sripada with my co-workers but the weather conditions there and my health situation was not good so I opt-out from the hike and looking for a break free for the weekend. I badly needed to break the streak of stay-at-home on weekends, so I called one of my fellow traveler and check on his schedule. He was planing to visit Kalawewa National Park after a tip he got about a long lost tusker return to the park and he was planing to go there on Sunday as he had some work to do on Saturday. I wanted to have a two day trip as it will increase my chances in capturing a better shot, so I called another fellow photographer and arranged a day trip to Kalawewa on Saturday hoping to return with others. Unfortunately at the last moment I received a call from our contact that tusker has fled away. I was desperate and finally we decided to visit Wilpattu National Park for a day trip, hoping to see some of new leopards heard seen at Borupanwila and Panikkawila.

Broken Tail

Both of us left Colombo and reached Wilpattu Entrance by 5 in the morning and slept till our jeep contact arrive. As soon as park opened, we were on our way toward Willus. Despite the less popularity compared to Yala, it was bit crowded on that day. We were targeting Borupanwila female cub, as it was a less shy leopard. I was yet to spot this cub. Roaming around Borupanwila for about two hours, we were unable to spot the cub or even a footprint of a leopard. So we decided to move toward Kokkare and Kuruttupandi Willus, and came across some fresh pug marks at the place known as “Wali kanda”. We roam around it but were unable to spot the leopard and decided to go and get out breakfast. On the way back toward Kumbukwila, we came across few jeeps. They have watched a leopard for about 15 mins just before we reached there and we also way it moving inside forest patch beyond the Willu. It was moving in to the forest so we had no options but to go and get our breakfast, it was already late for that and I was starving.

Sand Bathing – Malabar pied hornbills

After a quick breakfast we decided to head back to Kokkare to check on the leopard we left behind. And this time we were lucky, just after reaching Kokkare, we spotted the leopard emerging from the forest patch. It was the female leopard known as “Broken Tail”, and it quickly crossed the road giving us a window to capture some good shots of her while crossing the road on Willu and disappeared in to the forest soon. We made several attempts to track her but was unsuccessful. So we thought of mowing toward Panikkawila in search of newly spotted cubs. There was no luck there and while we return we spotted the lost Broken Tail again by the outer road of Kokkare inside the forest patch, it wasn’t good for photography. We stayed with her until she walkway and went to have lunch.

Afternoon at Borupanwila was unsuccessful in the point of leopards, But there were some interesting animal behaviors to capture.

 

We reached entrance sooner than others and knew we have missed something. When the other jeeps return, we heard that Borupanwila cub was spotted around 5.15 PM, about 5 minutes after we left. I guess it was not our day to meet her, but it was not a bad day at all, specially for a quick and unplanned visit.

Dancing – Indian Peafowl

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