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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Sri Lanka 23rd Dec-7th Jan 2001,
Dirk Van Den Eynde
Luc Van Gompel
Abeydeera (A. Baurs & Co. Ltd.)
For additional information, please contact:
David Van den Schoor
Vonckstraat 23 A
2270 Herenthout (Belgium)
Tel. + Fax : ++ 32 -14- 51. 13. 95
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
This report covers a 14-day trip to Sri Lanka taken by Chris Steeman, Dirk Van Den Eynde, Karl Goyvaerts, Luc Van Gompel, Guy Bellens and David Van den Schoor. Our main aim was to see as many as possible Sri Lanka endemics. Amazingly, it is now possible to see all the "specialities" in 8-9 days by visiting only two areas (Sinharaja and Nuwara Eliya), however some species are easier to find at other places. I recommend 14 days if you wish to include wader and water bird sites. Birding in Sri Lanka is enhanced by the outstanding beauty of many of the birds, the unique richness and variety of landscape, and the pleasant tropical climate. I'm not going to write a true "trip report", as good descriptions have been made in several reports (see references).
Note that although distances are very small the roads are slow to drive. If you are limited in time, the best way to see the birds is to hire a vehicle and driver. By far the best company to get there is A. Baurs & Co. (Travel) Ltd. (see useful addresses). The Baurs driver will be a birder / driver who knows all the sites and important endemic stake-outs, our guide was Abeydeera, who was good. Baurs will pick you up from the airport and take you on your birding tour without having to waste time filling paper work / deposit or anything (all this was done at the end of the trip). Note that all guides have tapes of the endemics and they are absolutely essential, without these some species will not be seen. Baurs charge a price of 700 US $ per person for a 14 day bird tour itinerary. This price includes:
- Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle with an English speaking bird watching driver guide;
- Accommodation of Half Board basis for the entire programme;
- All entrance fees, tipping, portenage and Jeep hire where applicable.
Payment could be made either by credit card, cash or travellers cheques and they accept Visa or American Express Credit Cards, note credit card payments are subject to a 4 % bank charge.
FLIGHT AND VISA
We flew from Schiphol to Colombo with Martinair for 34,600.- BEF (ca 540£ ) return, taxes and train ticket included. The flights were punctual and trouble free. When leaving Sri Lanka, you are required to pay a departure tax of 500 Rupees.
Be sure to reconfirm your flight at least 72 hours before departure. A permit valid for a less than 31 day stay, is issued free on arrival at the airport, otherwise you do need a visa from the embassy!
The Sri Lanka unit of currency is officially called Rupees.
During our visit, the exchange rate was: 1 US$ = 81,49 Rupees: Sri Lanka Airport.
We took our money in cash. Traveller cheques were widely accepted as well. In most of the hotels you can pay by credit card.
CET + 5 hours
HEALTH AND SAFETY
General standards of hygiene are fairly reasonable, although it is advisable to be cautious. Be sure to get enough malaria tablets for your trip, and do take them! Leeches can be a real nuisance (eg. At Sinharaja, Kitulgala), insect repellent might come in handy at most locations!
Sri Lanka has a typically tropical climate; it is hot and humid year-round. The country is divided into three distinct zones: namely the low-country Dry zone, the low-country Wet zone and the central hill zone. The dry zone is the largest of the three, with a prolonged dry and hot period and only one monsoon (October-January). The wet zone with two monsoons is in the south-west quarter of the island (May-September). The hill zone rises to over 450 m (8000 ft) and has a cool climate. So, we visited the country in the dry season, but even then we had almost daily rain for a few hours (Central Hill zone), the rest of the day was warm and sunny. Only at Horton Plains NP temperatures go down till 5°C at night!
ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD
Hotels were arranged by Baurs & Co (Travel) Ltd. and were in general very clean and good. Where necessary there was air-conditioning (south-east area) and hot showers (Nuwara area) in the rooms. In most towns, you will find a variety of restaurants, supermarkets and food-stalls. The food is generally good and inexpensive.
A. Baurs & Co. (Travel) Ltd.
Bird-watching, Adventure and Wildlife Tour Service
5, Upper Chatham Street, Colombo 1, Sri Lanka.
Tel: ++ 94-1-448087/448822/320551 to 6.
Fax: ++ 94-1-448493
W.P.B. Abeydeera (guide A. Baurs & Co. Ltd.)
376/22 Pudu Uyana
Kiriwattuduwa, Sri Lanka.
By train from Berchem Belgium (13:10) to Schiphol
Flight Schiphol (22:00) - Colombo with Martinair (4 hours delay!)
Arrival in Colombo at 13:00 (Ca. 11 hrs)
Journey towards Ingiraya Forest Reserve (Ca 2,5 hrs), birding in late afternoon (16:30 till 19:30).
Night in Citizens Rest - Ingiraya.
Up at 5:00. Birding till 10:00 at Ingiraya Forest Reserve.
From 11:00 till 17:00 drive towards Sinharaja Forest, with several roadside birding stop. Evening birding around Martin's Bungalows.
Overnight in Martin's Bungalow (3 double rooms) for the next 3 days.
Up at 5:00. Whole day (till 17:30) birding at Sinharaja Man & Biosphere Reserve, mainly birded on the old logging road between Martin's place and the research station (light rain in the late afternoon).
Up at 5:00. Birding whole day (till 16:00), same area as yesterday + short track between Martin's place and HQ (=Kudawa). A lot of rain today, heavy showers!
Up at 04:30. Early morning birding around HQ-Kuwada village; drive to Embilipitya. Afternoon drive with 4-WD in Uda Walawe National Park (14:30 till 17:30), again some heavy showers.
Night in Centuria Hotel-Embilipitiya.
Up at 5:00. Proceed to Hanbantota, en route visit Kalametiya Sanctuary. Afternoon visit at Bundala National Park (14:00 till 18:00).
Night in Priyankara Hotel - Tissamaharama.
Up at 5:00. Morning in Yala NP with 4-WD till noon. Afternoon birding around Tissa Tanks and early evening back to Yala for Nightjars.
Night in Priyankara Hotel - Tissamaharama.
Up at 5:20. Leave early for Nuwara Eliya, en route visit Surrey Estate. Late afternoon stop at the temple outside Hakgala for Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush. Night in Rock Hotel-Nuwara Eliya.
Up at 4:00. For a quick start to Horton Plains N.P. Back to Hotel at 12:40 with a stop at Pattipola. Left again at 15:00 for a visit to Victoria Park.
Night in Rock Hotel-Nuwara Eliya.
Again up at 4:00 and back towards Horton Plains N.P. and Pattipola later on (till 12:20). Afternoon visit at Hakgala Botanical Gardens (13:00 till 17:00) and Victoria Park (17:20 til 18:40). Night in Rock Hotel-Nuwara Eliya.
Up at 5:15. Morning birding in the Hakgala Botanical Gardens (6:00 till 9:00). After breakfast visit again Pattipola (10:30 till 12:20). Then drive towards Kandy (Ca. 4 hrs), shopping for the rest of the day.
Night in Queens Hotel - Kandy.
Up at 5:30. Visit the Udawattakele Sanctuary from 6:00 till 9:00. After breakfast and some shopping in Kandy proceed to Kitulgala. Afternoon birding at Ingoya Estate (15:30 till 19:00).
Nigth in the Plantation Hotel - Kitulgala.
Up at 5:30. Left early for Kitulgala Forest Reserve behind the hotel. (6:00 till 10:00) and visit again Ingaya Estate from 13:30 till 14:30 (again heavy rain!). Left at 15:30 for drive to Colomba (ca. 3 hrs).
Night in Trans Asia Hotel - Colombo.
Up at 9:00! Spent the whole day in Colombo, mainly shopping, etc.
Night in Hotel Sirimedura near the airport.
Flight Colombo (10:10) - Schiphol (18:20) and back to Berchem by train! Arrival home 22:20.
- Inskipp, T., Lindsey, N., Duckworth, W. (1996): An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region - An Oriental Bird Club Publication.
- Gehon de Silva Wijeyeratre, Lester Perera, Jeevan William, Deepal Warakadoga, Nirma de Silva Wijeyeratre (1997): A Birdwatchers Guide to Sri Lanka - An Oriental Bird Club Publication.
- John Harrison, Tim Worfolk (1999): A Fuild Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka.
- Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp (1998): Birds of the Indian Subcontinent.
- Steve Web (2000): Sri Lanka Dec. 1999-Jan. 2000 (unpublished trip report).
- Mike Bowman (1997): Sri Lanka Okt. 20-Nov. 4, 1997 (unpublished trip report).
- Eddy Myers (1992): Sri Lanka 4th-26th Nov. 1992) (unpublished trip report).
- J. Hornbuckle (1990): Sri Lanka December 1990 (unpublished trip report).
- Krys Kazmierczak (1990): Birding in Sri Lanka 25 November - 20 December 1990.
Many thanks to Stein De Win for useful and up to date information. I am also grateful to Norbert Willaert for assisting me with editing this report. Thanks are also due all the other participants for their excellent company during this trip!
ANNOTATED LIST OF THE BIRDS RECORDED
Abbreviations:BUN Bundala National Park
HAK Hakgala Botanical Gardens
HAM Hambantota Maha Lewaya
HOR Horton Plains National Park (incl. Pattipola)
IE Ingoya Estate (rubber plantation)
ING Ingiriya Forest Reserve (Bodhinagala)
KAL Kalametiya Sanctuary
KIT Kitulgala (Kelani Valley Forest Reserve)
SIN Sinharaja Man & Biosphere Reserve
SUE Surrey Estate (tea plantation)
TIS Tissamaharama (incl. Tissa tanks)
UDA Udawattakele Sanctuary
UWA Uda Walawe National Park
VIC Victoria Park
YAL Yala West (Ruhuru National Park)
Nomenclature and systematic largely follow Inskipp, Lindsey and Duckworth: An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region, 1996.
Some frequently used alternative names are also mentioned.
Species put between brackets were only heard
For some species no details are given about their abundance, this automatically indicates that the species was seen regularly, it does however not necessarily mean that it is common. *denotes a species endemic to Sri Lanka.
*Sri Lanka Spurfowl Galloperdix bicalcarata
ING-HOR-KIT: a few heard at each site.
SIN: a male and two females seen very well on 28/12 behind Kudawa village near the HQ, more birds were only heard near the research centre.
*Sri Lanka Junglefowl Gallus lafayetii
SIN-BUN-YAL-SUE-HOR-HAK-KIT: seven males and four females were counted in total, several more were only heard.
Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus
UWA-BUN-YAL: common in the dry zone, ca 220 birds were seen.
Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica
UWA-KAL-TIS-BUN-YAL: regularly seen, at least 300 birds were counted.
Cotton Pygmy-Goose Nettapus coromardelianus
YAL: one pair seen.
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
BUN: a group of ca. 100 birds.
Garganey Anas querquedula
KAL-TIS-BUN-YAL: common, 600+ birds were seen.
Barred Buttonquail Turnix suscitator
UWA: three observations.
Note: T.s. leggei is an endemic subspecies.
Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker Dendrocopos
BUN: one pair seen.
Note: D.n. gymnophthalmus is an endemic subspecies.
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Dendrocopos mahrattensis
UWA-YAL: respectively a male and a female seen.
Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus
UDA: one pair seen.
Note: P.c. wellsi is an endemic subspecies.
Black-rumped Flameback (Lesser Flameback) Dinopium
ING-BUN-TIS-YAL-KIT: small numbers at each site, all of the Red-backed form.
Note: Two endemic races; D.d.psarodes (Red-backed Woodpecker) and D.b.jaffnense (Golden-backed Woodpecker) the latter one replaces Red-backed in coastal areas of north.
Greater Flameback Dinopium lucidus
HAK: two males and a female.
Note: D.l. stricklandi is an endemic subspecies.
White-naped Woodpecker Dinopium festivus
TIS: one female seen very well.
Note: D.f.tantus is an endemic subspecies.
Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica
ING-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS-SE-HOR-HAK-IE: fairly common.
Yellow-fronted Barbet Megalaima flavifrons
ING-SIN-IE-KIT: daily seen in small numbers, several more heard.
Crimson-fronted Barbet (Ceylon Small Barbet)
ING: two seen, one heard.
YAL: two seen just outside Yala NP along the road B53.
Note: the endemic race rubricapilla may well warrant full specific status.
Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima heamacephala
UWA-TIS-YAL: several heard, only two seen north of Yala enroute B53.
* Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill Ocyceros gingalensis
ING-SIN-YAL-KIT: respectively six, six, one and two birds were counted.
Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus
UWA: twe pairs observed.
YAL: one pair seen north of Yala enroute B53.
Common Hoopoe Upupa epops
YAL: a single observation.
Malabar Trogon Harpactes fasciatus
ING: a female seen.
SIN: a male and a female behind the research centre.
Note: H.f. fasciatus is an endemic subspecies.
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
UWA-HAM-BUM-YAL-TIS: daily small numbers in the dry zone.
Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis
SIN: a single observation near the research centre.
Note: endangered species in Sri Lanka!
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
ING-SIN-KAL-YAL-TIS-UDA: small numbers.
Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis
KAL-YAL-UDA: one, three and two birds respectively.
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Almost daily seen, except in the Nuwara Eliya area.
Sri Lanka Frogmouth Batrachostomus monileger
ING: briefly seen, at least three more heard.
SIN: good views of a female, a few more heard.
KIT: heard twice.
Jerdon's Nightjar Caprimulgus atripennis
ING: two heard.
YAL: one and two birds were seen, more were only heard.
Note: C. a. acquabilis is an endemic subspecies.
Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus
YAL: one and twe birds seen, outside the park.
Note: C.a.eidos is an endemic subspecies.
Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Common in towns and villages.
Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon Columba torringtoni
SIN: a superb observation along the old logging track.
SUE: only heard.
HOR: seen twice, more birds heard.
HAK: two observations.
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
Common throughout the country.
Note: S.c. ceylonensis is an endemic subspecies.
Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
ING-SIN-SUE-UDA-KIT: regularly singles, max. day count was five at UDA.
Note: C.i. robinsoni is an endemic subspecies.
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon Treron bicincta
UWA-BUN-YAL: a total of 70+ birds were seen.
Note: T.b. leggei is an endemic subspecies.
Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora
ING-SIN-YAL-IE: small numbrs, max. day count circa 20 at Yala.
Note: T.p.pompadora is an endemic subspecies.
Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea
Almost daily seen in good numbers, less common around Nuwara Eliya.
Slaty-legged Crake Rallina eurizonoides
VIC: one bird climbing on a branch at 1/1 was unfortunately seen only by our guide Abey. The bird was already present since begin November.
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
ING-UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS-VIC-HAK: frequently seen, common in the dry zone.
Watercock Gallicrex cinerea
A single observation in some wetlands just south of Embilipitiya.
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
KAL-TIS: fairly common, circa 100 birds in total.
Note: the race poliocephalus (called "Grey-headed Swamphen") is sometimes considered as a separate species.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
KAL-TIS: seen twice at both locations.
Common Coot Fulica atra
Two birds seen south of Embilipitiya.
Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura
Two birds in the wetland south of Embilipitiya.
YAL: single bird.
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
BUN: a single observation.
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
BUN: circa 750 birds in total flew over for overnight.
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
BUV: two birds were seen.
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
KAL-BUN-YAL: a total of circa 30 birds.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS: circa 70 birds were seen.
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS: fairly common, 300+ birds were seen.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
KAL-YAL: circa 17 and five respectively.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
UWA-KAL: a single and five birds were observed.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
KAL-BUN-YAL: a total of circa 30 birds.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
SUN-UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS-VIC-HAK: small numbers.
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
KAL: three birds were seen.
Little Stint Calidris minuta
KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS: circa 100 birds were counted.
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
KAL-BUN-YAL: circa 400 birds in total.
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
YAL: an ad. bird on the reservoirs outside the park.
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
ING-KAL-TIS-YAL: fairly common to very common south of Embilipitiya, with a group of circa 300 birds!
Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus
KAL-YAL: respectively circa 10 and 4 birds were counted.
Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris
KAL-BUN-YAL: circa 90 birds in total with a group of 56 ex. on the reservoirs near the entrance of Yola N.P.!
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
KAL-HAM-BUN-YAL-TIS: very common, 1000+ birds on 29/12.
Note: H.h.ceylonensis is endemic; some authorities consider this subspecies to be a separate species.
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
KAL-HAM-BUN-YAL: fairly common circa 150 birds were seen.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
KAL: a single observation.
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
BUN: a single bird.
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
KAL-BUN-YAL: circa 15 birds were seen.
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus
KAL-BUN-YAL: circa 200 birds in total.
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii
KAL-BUN-YAL: less common than previous species, circa 130 birds were seen.
Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus
KAL-BUN-YAL: circa 15, five and circa 10 birds respectively.
Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
ING-UWA-KAL-HAM-BUN-YAL-TIS-HOR: small numbers.
Note: V.i.lankae is an endemic subspecies.
Small Pratincole Glareola lactea
YAL: a total of 13 birds on the reservoirs outside the park.
Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus
HAM: two birds.
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
HAM-YAL: circa 10 and circa 20 birds respectively.
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
HAM-YAL: circa 25 birds in total.
Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis
YAL: circa 30 birds on the reservoirs outside the park.
Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii
HAM-YAL: circa 120 birds in total were seen.
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
HAM: a group of circa 100 birds.
Little Tern Sterna albifrons
HAM-YAL: circa 200 birds were counted.
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
ING-UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS: common, max. day count 100+ on 30/12.
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
UWA-KAL-BUN-TIS: fairy common, circa 170 birds in total.
Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus
A single enroute YAL: Nuwara Eliya.
HOR: a single observation.
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
Two singles, one enroute YAL-Nuwara Eliya and one near HAK.
Black Kite Milvus migrans
17 single observations in Colombo.
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Circa 15 birds around Colombo.
UWA-BUN-YAL-ie: three, circa 20, circa 10 and a single bird respectively.
White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
UWA-KAL-HAM-BUN: two, two, one and four birds respectively.
Grey-headed Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
YAL: one adult bird seen.
Note: I.i. plumbeceps is an endemic subspecies.
Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela
ING-SIN-UWA-BUN-SUE-VIC-HOR-HAK: regularly singles seen, 10 birds in total.
Note: S.c.spilogaster is an endemic subspecies.
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
UWA-YAL: two birds at each site, all adult females.
Shikra Accipiter badius
BUN-YAL-IE: one, two and one bird were seen.
Besra Accipiter virgatus
SIN-HOR: two and one observation.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
HOR: three and one bird were seen.
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis
ING: seen twice.
IE: one single and three birds seen.
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
YAL: a light morph outside the park.
A dark morph was seen enroute KIT-Colombo.
Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii
ING: an adult bird was seen.
Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus
UWA: surprisingly common, 11 birds were counted.
SUE-KIT: two singles.
Two more enroute YAL-Nuwara Eliya.
Note: S.c.ceylanensis is an endemic subspecies.
Mountain Hawk Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis
HOR: one adult at Paipola.
Note: S.n. keclarti is an endemic subspecies.
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
UWA: two single observations.
Oriental Hobby Falco severus
SIN: a single observation at Martin's place of this rare winter visitor.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Circa 50 in the wetlands south of Embilipitiya.
UWA-BUN-YAL: a few.
Darter Anhinga melanogaster
ING-UWA-BUN-TIS: circa 15 birds in total.
Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger
Almost daily seen, except Nuwara Eliya area. A common species.
Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Circa 15 south of Embilipitiya.
YAL-KIT-Colombo: Circa 100, five and circa 50 respectively.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Almost daily seen. A common species.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Only in the dry zone seen, where fairly common, up to 30 birds a day.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Circa 15 in the wetlands south of Embilipitiya.
TIS: seven birds seen.
Great Egret Casmerodius albus
ING-UWA-KAL-BUN-TIS-YAL: regularly seen, circa 60 birds in total.
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia
ING-UWA-BUN-TIS: less common than previous species, circa 25 birds where counted.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Almost daily seen, common to very common in the dry zone.
Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
A common species throughout the country.
Little Heron (Striated Heron) Butorides
BUN: a single observation.
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
UWA-BUN: eight and four birds respectively.
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis
UWA-BUN-TIS-YAL: a few at each site.
Circa 15 birds in the wetlands south of Embilipitiya.
Black Bittern Dupetor flavicollis
Circa 10 birds in the wetlands south of Embilipitiya.
TIS: three birds seen.
Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
BUN-YAL-TIS: a total of circa 140 birds.
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
BUN-YAL: circa 130 and circa 20 birds were seen.
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis
UWA-KAL-BUN-HAM-YAL-Kandy-Colombo: 13, 12, circa 20, 2, 2 and circa 100 birds resp. were counted.
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL: circa 30, circa 50, circa 600 and circa 50 birds resp. were counted.
Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
Circa 10 birds in the wetlands south of Embilipitiya.
BUN-TIS-YAL: circa 160 birds in total.
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
UWA-YAL: a single and two birds were seen.
Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
BUN: a single bird.
Note: endangered species, on the verge of extinct in Sri Lanka.
Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura
UWA-BUN-YAL-SUE-VIC-HAK-UDA-KIT: at least 12 seen, circa 25 more heard, extremely easy to see!
Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis
YAL: a male was seen.
Golden-fronted leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
ING-KIT: four and one bird were seen.
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
ING-SIN-UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS-HOR-VIC-HAK-IE: frequently leen, up to 10 birds a day; incl. circa 30 birds of the race lucionensis (Philippine Shrike), especially around YAL-BUN-HOR.
*Sri Lanka Blue Magpie Urocissa ornata
SIN: five seen and two heard along the old logging road on 26/12; three in the same area and three more seen along the short track to the HQ on 27/12. Only heard near the HQ on 26/12.
House Crow Corvus splendens
Colombo-ING-KAL-HAM-BUN-YAL-TIS: a common species near the coast.
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos
Except SIN, daily seen in large numbers.
In Kandy near the Queens Hotel was a roosting tree of several 1000ths birds.
Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus
ING-UWA-TIS-YAL: respectively two, five, five and four birds were counted.
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
ING-SIN-BUN-TIS-SUE-VIC-IE-KIT: small numbers at each site.
Note: O.x. ceylonensis is an endemic subspecies.
Large Cuckooshrike Coracina macei
SIN-IE: a female and a male were respectively seen.
Note: C.m. layardi is an endemic subspecies.
Black-headed Cuckooshrike Coracina melanoptera
A female enroute Colombo-ING.
A male enroute KIT-Colombo.
Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
YAL: six and circa 20 birds were counted.
HOR: a single male at Patipola.
Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus
ING-SIN-HAM IE KIT: small numbers.
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus
SUE-VIC-HAK: respectively 2, 1 and 1 seen.
Note: H.p.leggei is an endemic subspecies.
White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola
ING-SIN-UWA-YAL: three singles and three birds observed.
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus
SIN: a few seen.
Note: D.m. minor is an endemic subspecies.
White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens
ING-UWA-YAL-TIS-Kandy-IE-KIT: small numbers of both races encountered.
Note: Two endemic races occur; insularis (White-bellied: dry lowlands and hills) and leucopygialis (White-vented: wet lowlands and hills avoiding forests).
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus
SIN: daily small numbers of the lophorhinus race.
Note: Two endemic races occur; ceylonicus (Racket-tailed Drongo: forests of dry zone and easten hills) and lophorhinus (Crested Drongo: wet zone forests and hills to 1700 m).
Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea
ING-SIN-SUE: respectively one, four and one observation.
Note: H.a. ceylonensis is an endemic subspecies.
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
BUN-YAL: six and two birds seen.
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
UWA-KAL-HAM-BUN-YAL-TIS: common in the dry zone.
Note: M.O.ceylonicus is an endemic subspecies.
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
ING-SIN-UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS-HOR-HAK: small numbers throughout.
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
HAK: a single with three Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters on 3/1 was unexpected!
Note: rare winter visitor in the dry zone, probably the first record for the Nuwara Eliya area.
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti
ING-SIN-UWA-KAL-KIT: small numbers.
HAK: three birds together with previous species was also unusually in this area!
Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus
UWA-BUN-YAL-TIS: fairly common, circa 24 birds were seen.
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus
YAL: a single bird superb seen, north of Yala enroute B53.
Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micropterus
YAL: a single observation.
Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus
KAL: four birds seen.
HOR: one bird heard at Patipola.
Note: the race passerinus (Grey-bellied Cuckoo) is sometimes given specific status.
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea
ING-KAL-TIS-YAL: four seen in total, a few more heard.
Blue-faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus viridirostris
KAL-YAL: respectively seven and one observation.
Sirkeer Malkoha Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii
UWA: a single bird.
*Red-faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus pyrrhopcephalus
SIN: circa 8 birds in a flock along the old logging track behind the research center.
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Almost daily seen in all visited areas.
*Green-billed Coucal Centropus chlororhynchus
SIN: one heard near the HQ and one seen very well + one more heard along the old logging track.
KIT: two birds heard.
*Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot Loriculus vernalis
ING-SIN-SUE-IE-KIT: fairly common, circa 70 birds were seen.
Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria
ING: a single bird, one more heard.
UWA: circa five birds seen.
KIT: seen twice.
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
ING-UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS: a common species.
Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala
YAL: seven birds in total enroute B53 north of Yala N.P.
*Layard's Parakeet Psittacula calthropae
ING-SIN-IE: circa 40 birds in total were seen, most common at SIN.
Indian Swiftlet Collocalia unicolor
Common throughout the country.
Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus
SIN: five and eight birds seen.
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
Daily small numbers, except Nuwara Eliya area.
House Swift (Little Swift) Apus affinis
IE: two and three birds seen, two more seen enroute Yala-Nuwara Eliya.
Grey-rumped Treeswift Hemiprocne longipennis
ING-UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL: small numbers.
Collared Scops Owl Otus bakkamoena
ING: a pair at a well known day time roast near Citizens Rest.
(Spot-bellied Eagle Owl Bubo nipalensis)
HOR: calling behind the 'SL Whistling Thrush pool' just before dawn.
Note: B.n.blighi is an endemic subspecies.
Brown Fish Owl Ketupa zeylonensis
UDA: one flew over the pool, a second bird flushed in the forest.
Note: K.z. zeylonensis is an endemic subspecies.
Brown Wood Owl Strix leptogrammica
SIN: briefly seen at Martin's place, heard twice along the old logging track.
SUE: a pair seen very well at a day-time roost.
Note: S.l. ochrogenys is an endemic subspecies.
*Chestnut-backed Owlet Glaucidium castanonotum
ING: a single observation, one more heard.
SIN: heard twice.
IE: two seen very well at day time.
KIT: heard twice.
Asian Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
Daily seen at all visited locations of Colombo, both races regularly encountered.
Note: two races occur; T.p.ceylonensis is endemic and T.p.paradisi (male white morph) is winter visitor from India.
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
ING-BUN-YAL: a few at each site, circa 20 birds in total.
Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus
SUE-HAK-IE: three singles.
Note: T.p.offines is an endemic subspecies.
*Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush Myophonus blighi
HOR: a male seen briefly at the pool on 1/1 by only one member, the rest heard it. The same bird was seen on 2/1, 20 min. after dawn and again at 10:10 a few hundred meters further on, superb observation!
HAK: only heard here at 13:30.
Pied Thrush Zoothera wardii
SUE: three males seen.
VIC: four males and two females on 1/1 and at least six males and four females in a roosting tree on 2/1.
HAK: a single male.
*Spot-winged Thrush Zoothera spiloptera
ING: a single seen, three more heard.
SIN: respectively three, two and one bird seen.
Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
HAK: two, six and circa 10 birds were counted.
HOR-VIC: one and two birds seen.
Note: T.m.hinnisii is an endemic subspecies.
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
SIN: a single observation.
Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui
ING-SIN-IE: two, five and three birds respectively.
Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra
HOR: two single males at Patipola.
VIC: a male and two females seen.
*Dull-blue Flycatcher Eumyias sordida
HOR-HAK-VIC: circa 10 birds in total were counted.
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae
UDA: three males observed.
KIT-IE: five birds seen, a few more heard.
Note: C.t.jerdoni is an endemic subspecies.
Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicicapa
SUE-HOR-VIC-HAK: 20+ birds were counted.
Indian Blue Robin Luscinia brunnea
VIC-HAK-UDA: resp. three males, two females and two females were seen.
Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
Almost daily small numbers, except SIN. Max. day count 15 birds.
Indian Robin (Black-backed Robin) Saxicoloides
UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS: common in the dry zone, up to 40 birds a day.
Note: S.f.leucoptera is an endemic subspecies.
Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata
HOR-VIC-HAK: circa 25 birds in total in the Nuwara Eliya area.
Note: S.c.atrata is an endemic subspecies.
*White-faced Starling Aplonis senex
SIN: three birds near the research centre took some finding! Two more were only heard.
Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum
YAL-TIS: two and three birds seen.
Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus
UWA-KAL-BUN: resp. circa 300, circa 50 and circa 100 birds were seen.
YAL: verly common with +1000 birds here on 30/12, also regularly recorded enroute in the dry zone.
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Daily seen, common throughout the country.
Note: A.t.melanasturnus is an endemic subspecies.
*Sri Lanka Myna (Cylon Hill Myna) Gracula
SIN: a total of circa 10 birds were observed.
Hill Myna Gracula religiosa
ING-UDA: respectively two and seven birds seen.
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
SIN-HOR-HAK: two, two and six birds were counted.
Great Tit Parus major
SUE-HOR-VIC-HAK: small numbers.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Almost daily seen, very common in the dry zone, including two birds of the rare winter visitor race tytleri (Tytler's Swallow) at BUN on 29/12.
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
HOR: circa 5 and 10 birds were counted around Patipola.
Note: the race domicola occur in SW peninsular India and Sri Lanka (Hill Swallow) is given sometimes specific status.
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
ING-IE-KIT: 20+ Sri Lanka Swallows were seen in total.
YAL: two birds of one of the migrant forms nipolensis/erythropygia.
Note: the resident race hyperythra (Sri Lanka Swallow) is endemic, two more races occur in winter.
Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus
SIN-KIT: only circa six and two birds were seen.
Note: the endemic race melanicterus (Black-eaded Yellow Bulbul) may well warrant full specific status.
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer
A common species, daily seen in good numbers.
Note: P.C.cafer is an endemic subspecies.
*Yellow-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus penicillatus
HOR-VIC-HAK: circa 20 birds a day.
White-browed Bulbul Pycnonotus luteolus
BUN-YAL: respectively circa 15 and circa 10 birds observed.
Note: P.l.insulae is an endemic subspecies.
Yellow-browed Bulbul Iole indica
ING-SIN-IE-KIT: small numbers, max. day count circa 10 birds.
Note: two races occur; I.i.guglielmi is endemic and is resident in forests of wet zone lowlands.
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus
SIN-HOR-HAK-VIC-UDA: regularly seen.
Note: H.l.humii is an endemic subspecies.
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
UWA-KAL-HAM-BUN-YAL-TIS: circa 10 birds daily.
Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii
UWA: a single observation.
Note: P.s.leggei is an endemic subspecies.
Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica
SIN: only heard along the old logging road.
Note: P.s.valida is an endemic subspecies.
Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis
UWA-KAL-HAM-BUN-YAL-TIS-VIC-HOR: fairly common, especially in the dry zone.
Note: P;s.brevicanda is an endemic subspecies.
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
Good numbers seen at the same places as previous species.
Note: P.i.insularis is an endemic subspecies.
*Sri Lanka White-eye Zosterops ceylonensis
HOR-VIC-HAK: good numbers, up to circa 30 a day.
Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
SIN-YAL-IE-KIT: small numbers.
*Sri Lanka Bush Warbler Bradypterus palliseri
HOR: seen twice and one more heard on 1/1, three seen and two more heard at 2/1.
Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
YAL-SUE-HOR-VIC-HAK-IE-KIT: small numbers, more heard than seen, max. eight seen on 2/1.
Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus
KAL: a single bird seen, heard twice.
TIS: three seen, a few more heard.
Note: A.s.meridionalis is an endemic subspecies.
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
Almost daily a few seen or heard at most visited places, probably both races recorded.
Note: both races O.s.sutorius (lowlands and hills to 1500m) and O.s.fernandonis (higher hills) are endemic subspecies.
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
SIN-SU-HOR-VIC-HAK-UDA-KIT: regularly seen, many heard. All birds were from the race nitidus, called Bright-green Warbler.
Note: the race nitidus may wall warrant full specific status.
Large-billed Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris
ING-HAK: a few birds seen.
*Ashy-headed Laughingthrush Garrulax cinereifrons
SIN: circa 5 birds in a flock along the old logging track behind the research centre.
*Brown-capped Babbler Pellorneum fuscocapillum
ING-SIN-SUE-UDA: only a few seen, more heard.
Note: three endemic races occur: babaulti (dry zone), fuscocapillum (hills) and scortillum (wet zone).
Indian Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii
SIN-HOR-HAK: 10+ seen, a few more heard.
Note: P.h.melanurus is an endemic subspecies.
Tawny-bellied Babbler Dumetia hyperythra
KAL: seen twice.
Note: D.h.phillipsi is an endemic subspecies.
Dark-fronted Babbler Rhopocichla atriceps
ING-SIN-HOR-HAK: small numbers, circa 15 birds in total.
Note: two endemic races occur: siccata (dry lowlands and hills) and nigrifrans (wet lowlands and nearby hills).
Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense
HAM-TIS: a single and two birds respectively.
Note: C.s.nasale is an endemic subspecies.
*Orange-billed Babbler Turdoides rufescens
SIN-KIT: circa 15 and circa 5 birds were counted.
Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis
Except the Nuwara Eliya area, daily seen up to 50+ birds.
Note: T.a.taprobanus is an endemic subspecies.
Rufous-winged Bushlark Mirafra assamica
UWA-YAL: respectively circa 20 and five birds seen.
Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark Eremopterix grisea
UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL: circa 65 birds in total.
Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
BUN-YAL-TIS: small numbers, up to 10 birds a day.
Thick-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum agile
ING: a few seen.
Note: D.a.seylonicum is an endemic subspecies.
*Legge's Flowerpecker Dicaeum vincens
SIN: a total of circa 20 birds were noted.
Pale-billed Flowerpecker Dicaeum erythrorynchos
Almost daily seen in small numbers throughout the country.
Note: D.e.ceylonense is an endemic subspecies.
Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica
ING-SIN-BUN-YAL-TIS-UDA-IE-KIT: small numbers to very common at Yala N.P.
Note: N;z.zeylonica is an endemic subspecies.
Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica
BUN_YAL-TIS: small numbers.
Loten's Sunbird (Long-billed Sunbird) Nectarinia
ING-BUN-YAL-VIC-HAK: small numbers, 13 birds in total.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Except SIN, daily seen in good numbers.
Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
BUN-SU-HAK-VIC: all singles seen.
UDA: seen twice.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
KAL-YAL: circa five birds at both places, all of the race thunbergi.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
SIN-SUE-HOR-VIC-HAK-UDA-IE-KIT: regularly seen.
Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi.
HOR: circa 10 birds in total, incl. a few at Patipola.
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
UWA-KAL-BUN-YAL-TIS: good numbers in the dry zone.
Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar
YAL: nine birds were seen building nests along the road B53, just outside the Yala Forest.
Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
YAL: a total of circa 200 birds (many small flocks) were seen enroute B53 north of Yala N.P.
Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica
UWA-YAL-KIT: circa 10, five and five birds respectively.
White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
UWA-KIT: circa 20 and seven birds were noted.
Black-throated Munia Lonchura kelaarti
KIT: briefly views of a flock of six birds.
Note: the endemic race helaarti (Ceylon Hill Munia) may well warrant full specific status.
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
Seen at all visited places, max. day count circa 50 birds.
Black-headed Munia Lonchura malacca
Very common to fairly common in the dry zone, 500+ birds at UWA.