Tiny grains of sand whirl up. The wind on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is very decent again. There is sand and salt in the air. The combination of wind, sand drifts and blazing sun does not allow many visitors to enjoy the beautiful beach just 100 meters from the hotel in the dunes. First, we walk past a few smooth rocks to the south, between limestone boulders, half standing in the sea. Some limicoles can be seen. A narrow, gray bird crouched next to a rock in the sand catches the eye. With its pale, sandy gray overall appearance and it black rump, the bird can hardly be distinguished from its background of stones, rocks and sand. Only the black beak with a hint of red at the base and the white eye ring are noticeable from a closer distance.
It is a single Little Pratincole or Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea). The Pratincole is really beautiful to see and can also be photographed at eye level. I crouch in the sand to photograph the bird at the same level. The Small Pratincole has chosen a place on dry land but not far from the wet beach. What the bird does in the hot wasteland is not clear. There is also a Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos). Some Greater Sand-Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii) can be seen on a dune as well. At first I had seen at least 5 Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) on one of the rocks, which are occasionally wetted by breakwaters. For such a barren coastal landscape, there is a surprising number of birds. In the end, the Little Pratincole flies up, but only to sit down again after a few meters. This time it is standing on a rounded rock. I continue to walk north. Only a Greater Sand-Plover can be seen here.
Breeding is reported from India and Sri Lanka. But the bird is locally migratory, depending on water levels of rivers, but present in many Continue reading Small Pratincole at Yala NP beach/ Sri Lankas