Day 12 (21st March)

Today we drove to Kandy. It was a day mainly devoted to culture and sightseeing but a bit of birding too. First stop was the Blue Field tea factory. A short tour of the factory and an explanation of the tea picking process concluded with a cup of freshly brewed tea. There were great views of a good bird here too – a Hill Swallow feeding young at a nest in the apex of the roof of the entrance porch.

We were in Kandy for lunch in a hotel right by the lake and looking across to the Temple of the Tooth.
We headed off to the botanical gardens in the late afternoon. Amongst the many specimen trees we found a fruiting tree which typically attracted a good number of species including Ceylon Small Barbets, the one endemic species which had thus far eluded some of the group. At last we all got satisfactory views.
We finished the day at the Temple of the Tooth, arriving at dusk in time for one of the thrice daily ceremonies. Hundreds of worshipers, a cacophonous chorus of drums and trumpets added to the occasion.