Marsh scenery near Hattagalle (Hatagala). Marécage près de Hattagalle.
The marshes near Hattagalle (Hatagala), in the neighbourhood of Hambangtotte (Hambantota), are often as attractive to the naturalist as to the sportsman.
The stagnant water is particularly covered with a kind of Sagittaria together with Nelumbium and the little islets of the curious Pistia Texensis, which are drifting to an fro according to the direction of the breeze. Herons, of the purest white, are standing in the water, the pretty water pheasants rest on the large leaves of the Nelumbium; the splendid purple Porphyrio poliocephalus Lath. erects its red-marked head from beneath the wet grass, and at times the Marabu appears with his long bill, pensively surveying the surrounding scene. Scores of the timid flamingoes and huge clouds of ducks are seen rising over the extensive plain and flying towards some solitary tank.
Source: Sketches of the inhabitants, animal life and vegetation in the lowlands and high mountains of Ceylon. As well as of the submarine scenery near the coast taken from a diving bell by the Baron Eugène de Ransonnet. Printed for the author by Gerold & sold by Robert Hardwicke, London 1867.