Birds (Migrants)

Nearly 450 species of birds have been recorded in Sri Lanka including migrants. Endemics and resident avian species can be observed throughout the year. No less than 33 species of birds are endemic, found nowhere else in the world.

March – April The south-west zone where the bio-diversity rich rainforests are relatively free from rain. A window of opportunity for extended rainforest safaris before the start of the south-west monsoon. The mixed species feeding flocks of birds in Sinharaja are special. One of the longest running field studies of mixed species flocks have shown them to be the largest in the world. It is not unusual to encounter flocks with over twenty species of birds. On many occasions over half a dozen endemic birds can be seen in a flock. Small mammals such as the Dusky Squirrel, Layard’s Squirrel and Giant Squirrel also join these feeding flocks.

November – February: The winter migrants have arrived in force. Every bush in Yala seems to have a Brown Shrike perched atop it. Every shaded copse seems to have an Indian Pitta screeching from it at six o’ clock. Migrant waders are stopping over in the freshly ploughed paddy fields of Talangama en route down south to the rich wader habitats of reserves such as Kalametiya, Bundala and Palatupana. The coastal flats teem with tens of thousands of Curlew Sandpipers, Lesser Sand Plovers, Little Stints, Black-winged Stilts, Common and Wood Sandpipers, etc