Window on the Knuckles
Lenny and I were up in the Kandy/Knuckles area briefly in April. We were the guests of Irene and Richard Emory at the serene Bowlana Bungalow. The cottage is a former tea manager’s bungalow that overlooks the Mahaweli Ganga basin and Knuckles range from the northern rim of the Central Highlands. Irene and Richard have renovated and now manage it as a heritage bungalow. My interest is in their desire to restore original vegetation on slopes that were once tea gardens (they’re now choked with various non-native grasses and weeds). Later, we us visited the Jetwings Hunasfalls Hotel located on the western slopes of the Knuckles. Our task at this marvelous luxury hotel was to look at its ‘analog forestry projects’ and scope out a possible fieldtrip site for next year. Bird-wise I saw a number of raptors including black eagles (Ictinaetus malayensis), Brahimny kites (Haliastur indus) and a pair of White Bellied Sea eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) above Bowlana. On a short visit to the small, but rich, Simpson’s forest near Hunasfalls I spotted a rare Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx erithacus).