January 11th continues
We saw White-breasted Waterhens(left), an Indian Pond Heron(middle), Cattle Egrets, a Purple Heron and a Pheasant-tailed Jacanas(right) around a pond next to Isurumuniya temple.
We also saw many song birds near the pond such as a Purple-rumped Sunbird, Nectarinia zeylonica, building a hanging nest.
After we walked around the pond, we happened to see a crocodile lying next to the pond. Noticing us, the crocodile moved slowly into the water. We also saw a monitar lizard.
According to the sign at the entrance said, Isurumuniya is open from 8 am to 6 pm. We were waiting outside of the entrance at a little later than 6pm to see the rousettus bats flying out. A guard who was standing at the entrance beckoned us in. What the sign doesn't tell you is that "at other times you may be allowed to enter the temple without buying tickets at the discretion of guards." We visited the temple for three consecutive days and on the third day, the entrance officer said "You don't need to buy tickets today as you paid yesterday". That must be Sri Lankan hospitality and we received the privilege thankfully.
In the evening the Little Swifts and an eagle were flying above the temple. After 30 minutes of flight, all the Little Swifts entered through the temple door, back to their roost inside the temple building.
The Leschenault's Rousettes started to fly out at around 6:40 in the evening but upon emerging they turned left sharply and flew through a clump of trees so we couldn't take a good picture of them. The flyout had almost finished by 7 o'clock in the evening. We couldn't find any taxi or tok-tok. So we walked back to the Mahanela Guest House. On the way, we saw some roads that were under construction. Sri Lanka was quickly recovering from their civil war. We bought dinner at a nearby shop, sausage fried rice for two people, Coca-cola and a 1 litter bottle of water which cost 440 rupees.
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