Birding Tours Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known for what is believed to be the largest mixed-species feeding flocks, which are found in the lowland rainforests of Sri Lanka. Its potential for watching seabirds is less well known. The South and South-west coasts of the island offers good opportunities to observe seabirds. There are seabird movements around April and May at the onset of the South-west Monsoon and again in August and September. Although thousands of seabirds are seen at this time, the seas are not at their best. During January to April, although the diversity of species may be less, the calmer seas makes it easier to go in search of seabirds with the bonus of seeing Blue Whales and Sperm Whales.

Our team has probably been on more sea birding trips than any other team in the island. Our naturalists have had good views of species that include Flesh-footed and Sooty Shear waters, Pomarine Skuas, Arctic Skuas, Bridled Terns, Black Noddies, Red-billed and White-tailed Tropic birds during their seabird watching sessions.

Seabird which are easy to see inlcude Caspian, Large-crested, Lesser-crested, Common, Little and Gull-billed Terns. Brown-headed Gulls are scarce in the south. Heuglin’s and Pallas’s Gulls usualy require visits to the Northern half of the sialnd.

Outlined below is an itinerary, mainly focusing on seabird watching. The other highlights whilst in the sea would be good views of Blue whales, Sperm Whales and Dolphins.

 

Day
1

Arrival in Sri Lanka and transfer to Villa Talangama, Colombo for one night.

Day
2

Morning, walk with your naturalist along the Talangama wetlands for the common water birds that include black and yellow bitterns. Talangama is also the best place to see the critically endangered western race of the purple-faced leaf monkey. After lunch leave for Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle for four nights.

Day
3

Day 3 to 5
Mornings take the boat from the Mirissa Fishery’s Harbor and go sea birdwatching. The Pomarine Skuas are relatively easy to identify when in breeding plumage with “spoons”. The Shearwaters are seen presumably during their annual migration across the Indian Ocean. Bridled Terns may be seen in large numbers, sometimes in flocks of up to 400 individuals. We more usually see small flocks of 5-10. Late April is a good month to look for Flesh-footed and Sooty Shearwater, Black Noddies, Tropic birds, etc.

Evenings, take a birding visit to nearby forest reserves or pamper your senses with signature treatments at the hotel spa.

Day
6

After breakfast leave for Jetwing Beach, Negombo.

Day
7

Transfer to International Airport.

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