Sunday, December 23, 2012

Giant River Otters - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a Giant River Otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil

Fifteen or twenty minutes after our Jaguar sighting, we came across a group of Giant River Otters at their den. This was the first of two sightings we had of this rare species. Photographs of the second sighting are available here. When we came across them, they had just come out of their den and stepped into the water.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vermilion Flycatcher - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a vermilion Flycatcher taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) - Pantanal, Brazil

We first saw the Vermilion Flycatcher about 40-50 meters away, as a red blur streaking around the shrubs while feeding on insects. It was quite a distance away and we couldn't really see the bird but the colour was unmistakable. I also saw the bird on our last day in the Pantanal when it flew into the garden of our lodge and let me photograph it for a few minutes.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Iguazu Falls - Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

Iguazu Falls - Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

Iguazu Falls, one of the three great waterfalls of the world, was our last stop in Brazil and the first in Argentina. Since most of the waterfall flows over the Argentinian side of the border, you get stunnig view of it from Brazil. The sheer size of the waterfall, the edge is 2.7km long, and the volume of water pouring over it, is mind boggling. Its maximum recorded flow is 12,800 cubic meters per second!

More photographs, including a few panoramas, inside.
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Black Howler Monkeys - Amazon, Brazil

A photograph of a Black Howler Monkey taken in the Brazilian Amazon
Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya) - Amazon, Brazil

The first animals we saw at our lodge on the Rio Negro were two baby Howler Monkeys. Their mothers had been shot for bush meet and the staff at the lodge had brought the babies to the lodge to care for them. They were allowed to roam around all day and were only locked up in a small room for the night.

more photographs of them inside.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teatro Colon - Buenos Aires, Argentina

A photograph of the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Teatro Colon - Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Teatro Colon was on our list of places to visit while in Buenos Aires and getting tickets for a guided tour of the theatre was one of the first things we did. The guide was pretty good until she lost us (I had stopped to take some photographs with a couple of others!). We took the opportunity to spend a bit more time in the main theatre before heading off.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Plaza de Armas - Cusco, Peru

A photograph of a Jesuit Church named Iglesia de la Compania in Cusco, Peru
Iglesia de la Compania - Cusco, Peru

Plaza de Armas is the central square in Cusco, the old Inca capital in Peru. It's a hub of activity throughout the day with both tourists and locals wandering through the plaza or sitting on the benches to relax. The two most prominent buildings around the square are the cathedral, which sits on the northeastern side of the square and the old Jesuit church, named Iglesia de la Compania, on the southwestern side.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Woodpecker - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a little woodpecker taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Little Woodpecker (Veniliornis passerinus) - Pantanal, Brazil

The Little Woodpecker was one of three woodpeckers that I was able to photograph in the Pantanla. I had a couple of good, clear sightings of this species and was able to photograph it at length. It was moving around amongst some small trees and feeding on what looked like some sort of larvae. Fortunately there weren't too many leaves on the branches and I was able to get a few clear shots.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chestnut-Eared Aracari - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a Chestnut-eared Aracari taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Chestnut-Eared Aracari (Pteroglossus castanotis) - Pantanal, Brazil

The Chestnut-eared Aracari was one of the first birds that we came across in the Pantanal. It was feeding on a pawpaw tree in the garden of the lodge where we were staying when we arrived. The bird we saw seemed to be accustomed to having people in the vicinity as it continued to feed despite my presence.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Machu Picchu - Peru

A photograph of Machu Picchu in Peru
Machu Picchu - Peru

Visiting the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu was one of the main motivations behind our recent visit to Peru. We opted to get there via the 4 day Inca trail, which starts close to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and ends in Machu Picchu, as opposed to taking the bus up from Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of the mountain ridge.  We started hiking at around 5.30am on the last day and got to the Sun Gate, in time to watch the first rays of sun lighting up Machu Picchu.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Inca Trail - Cusco, Peru

A photograph of Sayacmarka taken on the 3rd day of the Inca Trail in Peru
Sayacmarka (Day 3) - Inca Trail, Peru

Peru was the first stop on our trip to South America. We had decided not to spend much time in Lima and headed up to the old Inca capital, Cusco, instead. The main attraction in Cusco for us was the Inca trail. We had two days in Cusco to acclimatise to the altitude before starting off on the trek.

Lots more photographs inside.
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Roseate Spoonbill - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of the Roseate Spoonbill taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) - Pantanal, Brazil

The Roseate Spoonbill was one of the most striking birds that we saw during our brief visit to the Pantanal. We came cross it on the first day when we were driving down the Trans-Pantaneria towards our lodge. There were about 10 of them feeding in a small waterhole close to the road. A few of the birds flew away when the car approached but fortunately the others continued to feed while I photographed them.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Hyacinth Macaw - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a Hyacinth Macaw taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) - Pantanal, Brazil

The Pantanal's iconic bird, the hyacinth macaw, is unmistakable. Measuring in at around 100cm from head to tail, it is the largest parrot in the world. Along with the jaguar and giant otter, the hyacinth macaw was on my list of animals that I wanted to photograph during our trip to the Pantanal. Fortunately, I was able to see these birds on a few of occasions and was also able to photograph them from close proximity.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Giant River Otter - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a giant river otter taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) - Pantanal, Brazil

Seeing a group of Giant River Otter was one of the highlights of the trip into the Pantanal. We had 2 sightings of different groups. The first sighting was at a den about a kilometer downstream from where we saw the jaguar. We also came across a group hunting in a waterhole by the side of the Trans-Pantenaria. The photographs on this post were from the second sighting.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Jaguar - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a Jaguar stalking Capybara taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Jaguar (Panthera Onca) - Pantanal, Brazil

Firstly, apologies for neglecting the blog for over a month, I've been in South America for 4 weeks on holiday and just returned. I've got 180 GB worth of photographs to process so hopefully I will be able to post more regularly.

One of the highlights of the trip was a 30 minute sighting of a Jaguar stalking Capybara on a river bank in the Pantanal. We were lucky to have seen it as we only had a single day on the river and the weather was not good.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Eastern Beaches - Sydney, Australia

A photograph of sunrise at Bondi in Sydney, Australia
Sunrise at Bondi - Sydney, Australia

I got a new 5D earlier in the week and took it out for the first time this morning. I headed off to Bondi, in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, hoping to photograph a decent sunrise and some surfers. Unfortunately the swell wasn't that great and there weren't too many surfers out. Since I was already in Bondi, I decided to walk around towards Bronte and see if there was anything else to photograph.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Cherries and Kirsch

A photograph of a Cherry and Kirsch cake
Cherries and Kirsch


I haven't uploaded any posts on off camera flash since the end of my project 52 last year so decided to do one over the weekend. The subject was a Cherry and Kirsch cake that my wife had baked. I didn't have too much time to shoot it so Opted to use one strobe to light it.

Lighting diagram/setup shot after the jump.
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spotted Deer - Sri Lanka

A Photograph of a Spotted Deer taken in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
Spotted Deer (Axis axis) - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

The Spotted Deer found in Sri Lanka is said to be a sub-species(ceylonensis) of the Deer found throughout South Asia (this is disputed as the Axis axis is said to be monotypic). They are a prey species for Leopards, Sloth Bear and Jackal.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lime Swallowtail - Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka


The Lime Swallowtail photographed at Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka
Lime Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus) - Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka

I came across this Lime Swallowtail when we stopped off for lunch at Buduruwagala, close to the famous rock carvings, in North-Central Sri Lanka. The butterfly was flying around the shrubs along the waterline when I photographed it. Fortunately I was able to get relatively close to the butterfly to take these shots.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Black Bulbul - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka


A photograph of a Black Bulbul taken in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka
Black Bulbul ( Hypsipetes leucocephalus ) - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

Among all the birds we saw at Sinharaja the Black Bulbul was probably the most raucous. The noise it creates makes locating and identifying the bird quite easy.  Most of the photographs on this post were taken on the drive up to the main entrance of the park. I found the birds feeding on fruit with a number of Minivets, Barbets and other species of Bulbul.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bits and Pieces - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a White Bellied Sea Eagle
White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) - Yala, Sri Lanka

During my trip to Yala, I photographed a number of species that I either saw only once or managed to shoot only a handful of photographs of. In this post, I've uploaded four photographs of four different species taken during the trip. The first is of a White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) who was perched on a tree overhanging the road. Fortunately I had a clear shot of the raptor from a bit of a distance away and didn't have to shoot from directly below the bird.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another set of skylines - Sydney, Australia

A photograph of the Sydney skyline taken after sunset
The Skyline - Sydney, Australia

I took the camera for another outing this evening and photographed the Sydney skyline from a different perspective. I've been looking for a location from which to shoot the skyline, without buildings obstructing the view, and hadn't had much luck until today. I found this place in the morning and went back there just after sunset to shoot these photographs.

More shots inside.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sydney Skyline - Australia

A photograph of the Harbour Bridge over Kirribilli in Sydney, australia
The Bridge over Kirribilli - Sydney, Australia

I took the camera and went for a walk around the new neighbourhood on Sunday evening to familiarise myself with the area. I timed it to end up by the water near Cremore Point around Sunset and was quite happy to find a few clouds in the sky.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gladeye Bushbrown - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a glad eye bushbrown taken in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka
Gladeye Bushbrown (Mycalesis patnia) - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

The Gladeye Bushbrown was one of the smaller butterflies that I photographed during the two days I spent in Sinharaja last July. As with most species of butterfly in Sinharaja, they were not hard to find. A number of them were flying around the path which leeds from the office to the main gate and seemed to be accustomed to the presence of people.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pied Kingfisher - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

A Pied Kingfisher photographed in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

I hadn't photographed a Pied Kingfisher until my last trip to Arugam Bay in July. I came across a pair of them hunting along a small waterway on the side of the road. They were making short flights out over the water and hovering for a while and returning to their perch on a telephone wire. Fortunately for me, they hovered for long enough for me to take a few photographs.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Paddyfield Pippit - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Paddyfield Pippit taken in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Paddyfield Pippit (Anthus rufulus) - Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

The Paddyfield Pippit, a small passerine, is a common bird found in scrub, grassland and cultivated areas through Asia. I photographed these birds while driving to the Kudumbigala Monastery in July. It's a relatively plain looking bird with a streaked grey and brown body. However, measuring in at around the 15cm mark, it is large for a Pippit.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Black-winged Stilts - Yala, Sri Lanka

A Black-winged Stilt photographed in Yala, Sri Lanka
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) - Yala, Sri Lanka

Black-winged stilts are common waders found in most Sri Lankan tanks. Their distinct red legs and black wings make identification straightforward. I hadn't actually photographed this species before our last trip to Yala and was quite keen to get a few shots of them in flight.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Scarlet Basker - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a scarlet Basker taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Scarlet Basker (Urothemis signata signata) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The Scarlet Basker is one of the easiest Dragonflies to identify in Sri Lanka. The male, pictured above, is a bright red colour which borders on being gaudy. They can be seen around most tanks (a tank is a man made lake).  I have photographed them on a number of occasions in the past. This post contains photographs I shot on our last trip to Sri Lanka.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Superb Fairy-Wren - Sandy Hollow, Australia

A photograph of a male Superb Fairy-Wren taken in Sandy Hollow, Australia
Superb Fairy-Wren (Malurus cyaneus) - Sandy Hollow, Australia

I have uploaded a couple of photographs of the Superb Fairy-Wren previously but thought I'd share a few more recent shots of the male of this species on this post. Again, the photographs were taken over a weekend spent on a friends farm in Sandy Hollow in the northern reaches of the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Pied Parasol - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A photograph of the Pied Parasol taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Pied Parasol (Neurothemis tullia tullia) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

I have photographed the Pied Parasol on a number of my early morning trips to Thalangama. They are fairly common in the area and can often be found perched close to the water. Although the male and female are completely different in terms of appearance, this species is unmistakable.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cabbage White - Sandy Hollow, Australia

A photograph of a Cabbage White butterfly taken in Sandy Hollow, Australia
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) - Sandy Hollow, Australia

Sandy Hollow was full of Cabbage Whites when we visited over he Easter long weekend. Although I didn't do too much photography while we were there, I did take a few photographs of this species. Since butterflies are a bit sluggish in the morning, photographing them was a bit easier.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

White-browed Fantail - Yala Sri Lanka

A photograph of a White-browed Fantail taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
White-browed Fantail (Rhipidura aureola) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The White-browed Fantail, also called the White-browed Fantail Flycatcher, is a common fantail found in the lowlands and the mid-hills of Sri Lanka. I saw this species in Yala, Anuradhapura, Kandy and Arugam Bay in July. However, I only photographed it in Yala.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Common Indian Tree Frog - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Common Indian Tree Frog taken in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Common Indian Tree Frog (Polypedates maculatus) - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Tree Frogs are quite common in Anuradhapura and have an annoying tendency to crawl into houses and take shelter in bathrooms. I've come across a number of them on several trips to the area but hadn't photographed them until our last trip in July.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wild Flowers - Sandy Hollow, Australia

A photograph of back lit wild flowers taken in Sandy Hollow, Australia
Wild Flowers - Sandy Hollow, Australia

We were up at a friends farm in the upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales over the Easter weekend. On one of our walks I noticed that the wild flowers on the side of the road were back lit by the setting sun. It's not the sort of shot I take often but I thought I'd fire off a few frames and see how they turn out.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mugger Crocodile - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Mugger Crocodile taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) - Yala, Sri Lanka

Mugger Crocodiles, or Marsh Crocodiles are fairly common in Sri Lankan national parks. They can often be seen on the banks of most water holes or submerged in them. I saw and photographed a number of them on drives through Yala and Wilpattu.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Grey Pansy - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites) photographed at Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The Grey Pansies were out in large numbers in Thalangama through July and I was able to photograph them on every trip I made to the wetlands. Since most of my trips were early morning visits, I got there before they were too active and was able to get quite close to photograph them.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Fungus-eating Ladybird - Sydney, Australia

Fungus-eating Ladybird -  Sydney, Australia

Over the weekend I found a tiny ladybird on one of the plants on our balcony. Since I hadn't photographed the species before I grabbed the macro lens, extension tubes and a flash and started shooting. I came up with a number of decent images.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Iconic Sydney - Australia

A photograph of the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia
Harbour Bridge - Sydney, Australia

I hadn't taken any photographs for sometime so decided to get out with the camera over the weekend. I drove down to Milson's Point to photograph the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. My shot list for the night included a panoramic photograph of both icons. I also tried a new 2:1 ratio on the photograph above and thought it came out pretty well.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Macro Daisy

A macro photograph of a small Daisy
Daisy

I hadn't used the macro lens for a while so decided to pull it out earlier this afternoon. As usual, I didn't have any particular subject in mind and decided to photograph whatever I found. These small Daisies seem to be all over the place at the moment so I photographed a few of them.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thermal Pools - Rotorua, New Zealand

A photograph of the Thermal Pools in Rotorua, New Zealand
Thermal Pools - Rotorua, New Zealand

A few months ago we were in New Zealand for a short holiday. We spent most of our time in Auckland but did drive up to Rotorua to see the thermal pools, the main tourist attraction of the area. It was a 3 hour drive from Auckland and gave us an opportunity to see some of the stunning countryside which NewZealand is famous for.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hindagala Temple - Kandy, Sri Lanka

A photograph of the Hindagala temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka
The Hindagala Temple - Kandy, Sri Lanka

The Hindagala temple is an ancient cave temple famous for the art which adorns its ceilings and walls. Most of the paintings date back to the 18th century but there are a few poorly preserved paintings which are said to be from the 5th century. The temple itself was a hermitage used by meditating Buddhist monks for centuries.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Indian Peafowl - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Peacock taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Indian Peacock (Pavo cristatus) - Yala, Sri Lanka

Indian Peafowl are a common sight in the dry zone jungles of Sri Lanka and are probably one of the most easily recognisable birds in the area. The male has an unmistakable train of elongated blue and green upper tail covert feathers and a metallic blue crown and neck. The female doesn't have the train of feathers or the same bright plumage.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Little Green Bee-eater - Sri Lanka

A Green Bee Eater (Merops orientalis) photographed in Yala, Sri Lanka
Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The Little Green Bee-eater is a common sight throughout Sri Lanka's dry zone and can often be heard twittering in open grasslands. Its Blue/Green chin makes it easy to differentiate this species from other Bee-eaters found in Sri Lanka (Blue-tailed Bee-Eater, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater and the European Bee-eater).

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Three-spot Grass Yellow - Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Three-Spot Grass Yellow taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Three-spot Grass Yellow (Eurema blanda) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The Three-spot Grass Yellow is a common butterfly belonging to the Pieridae family. It's range covers both the wet and dry zones of Sri Lanka. I've photographed this species in Thalangama, Yala and Anuradhapura on a number of occasions.

More photographs after the jump.
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

More Leopards - Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Leopard taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Leopard - Yala, Sri Lanka

I've still got a number of photographs of Leopard taken in Sri Lanka which I have not had a chance to share until now. The photograph above was our ninth and last sighting of a Leopard in Yala. We saw it on the further side of an open plain near the entrance to the park. We watched it for about ten or fifteen minutes while it walked over, crossed the road and disappeared into the undergrowth.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Green Skimmer - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Green Skimmer taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Green Skimmer (Ortherum sabina sabina) - Yala, Sri Lanka

Between the morning and afternoon drives through the Yala national park I spent some time experimenting with my macro lens. I'm still getting the hang of using it but it was very early days in Yala. Fortunately the harsh midday light ruled out the need for a flash and simplified things for me.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Magul Maha Viharaya - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of the Moonstone at Magul Maha Viharaya in Lahugala, Sri Lanka
The Moonstone at Magul Maha Viharaya - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

While driving back form Arugam Bay, on the east coast of Sri Lanka, we took a detour to visit Magul Maha Viharaya, off Lahugala. This temple complex dates back to the 14th century when it was known as Ruhunu Maha Viharaya. It is said to have been built to commemorate the wedding of King Kavantissa and Vihara Maha Devi.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bhaja Caves - Pune, India

A photograph of Bhaja Caves in Pune, India
Bhaja Caves - Pune, India

I was in Pune on work last week and managed to free up sometime (by starting pretty early in the morning!) to see a few of the local sights. Bhaja caves was one of two old Buddhist cave temples I visited during the week. The cave temples are said to belong to the Theravada stream of Buddhism and date back to the 2nd century BC.

More images, including a panorama of the complex, inside.
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ashy Prinia - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of an Ashy Prinia taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis brevicauda) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The Ashy Prinia, also known as the Ashy Wren-Warbler, is found throughout Sri Lanka but it is commoner in the dry zone. I had photographed this species previously, on a trip to Anuradhapura a few years ago and got another opportunity to photograph it in Yala last year.

More photographs after the jump.
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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Oriental White-eye - Sri Lanka

A photograph of a White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosa) taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosa) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The Oriental White-eye is a common bird found in the lowlands in both the dry and wet zones of Sri Lanka. It can be found in the mid hills as well but is rarely seen at higher elevations. On my last trip to Sri Lanka I was able to photograph these birds in Thalangama, Yala and Kandy.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black-fronted Babbler - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Black-fronted Babbler taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Black-fronted Barbet (Rhopocichla atriceps siccata) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

I photographed a flock of Black-fronted Babblers in Thalangama while they foraged through the undergrowth. I hadn't photographed them prior to this and was quite happy that I was able to move quite close to them and fire off a number of frames.

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