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A Report from

Sri Lanka, 8th - 22nd December 2003,

Wendy Newnham


Eric Barnes
Wendy Newnham -
Jan Wilczur 


Sri Lanka is a pleasant and friendly country to travel in, a little like India but without the huge population, the beggars, the cows and the hassle. The scenery is interesting and the various parks and reserves are managed efficiently. Sri Lanka is mainly a Buddhist country and this means that the wildlife is plentiful and the countryside in general is well cared for.

The aim of the trip was to see all of the current 23 endemic species (per Harrison) plus the 8 or 9 other endemic race species that will probably be split in the future. We had also heard of the new Serendib Scops Owl that Deepal Warakagoda (Sri Lanka's top ornithologist) has recently discovered and we endeavoured to organise tapes of its call in the hope of also seeing this new & exciting species.  In the event, between us we did see all 23 endemics (per Harrison) & all of the 'future splits'. We did not see the owl although we taped it in and heard it call. (I would recommend you employ either Deepal or Lester if you want to make sure you see this bird). Our total number of species seen on the trip was 214, which was excellent considering that we did not choose to visit several wet areas where we would have seen more waders, water birds and terns etc. Instead we explored the Bibile area in an attempt to find sites for Painted Francolin and Rain Quail.


We took a flight from Heathrow via Dubai with Emirates and this cost £565 return. There was a 3 hour stopover in Dubai on the journey out and only a 20 minute frantic change of plane on the return journey. The flights were not full and we were all able to spread out on several seats and sleep. The food and service was very good and contrary to expectation, they did serve alcohol. We thoroughly recommend Emirates.

Transport and the Tour Organisation

We hired a modern Toyota van and a driver/guide through the Swiss firm called Baurs & Co (I'm told they donate their profits to the Red Cross). We were picked up at the airport on arrival and ferried all around the country & delivered back at the end of the 2 weeks. We had personally organised the route but only loosely and in fact we pretty much stuck to it with only minor adjustments here and there. Our driver/guide was an elderly chap named 'Abey' who spoke reasonable English, drove well and safely and knew all the sites. He was a competent birder, familiar with all the bird calls but slightly limited by his ancient battered binoculars. He was pleasant, easy to get along with and organised all the logistics very efficiently. We were also lucky enough to meet another of the Baur's guides en route - a man named Lester Perara who very kindly gave us the benefit of his excellent knowledge and also his quality sound equipment (Abey's equipment was inadequate in some situations). Lester taped in the Sri Lankan Frogmouth and the Serendib Scops Owl at Kitulgala and also the SL Whistling Thrush at Horton Plains.

The roads in Sri Lanka are not particularly good, which means that travelling time between sites takes longer than expected. Nevertheless the distances are not vast and we reached most areas within a couple of hours. The roads are not particularly dangerous and the driving is not as frenetic as in other Asian countries, however the signposting is almost non-existent so we were glad to have Abey's expert navigational skills.

A Baur & Co
5 Upper Chatham St
PO Box 11
Columbo 1
Web Site: www.


We did not book an all-inclusive package from Baurs as we preferred flexibility. They quoted us US$1200 each for an all-inclusive package (excluding the airfare & tips), but in the event it only cost us a total of just under £1000 each & this included everything - our air ticket (£565), the Baurs charge for the van & driver (US$12 a day) & the mileage (45c per mile - we travelled approximately 900 miles) & our daily costs for accommodation, food, tips, entrance fees and hire of jeeps where necessary. At the end of the 2 weeks we paid Baurs partly in SL rupees, American dollars, traveller's cheques and a credit card - they were very relaxed about the payment and did not overcharge on the rates of exchange. We paid for hotels in either rupees or US dollars and in the larger towns with a credit card. The only problem we had, was running out of rupees at the weekend, however in the event Abey funded us out of his own money and we paid him back once we had been to the bank.


Day 1 Columbo - Kitulgala

After stepping off the plane at the Columbo airport, we were met by Abey (& Perry our contact at Baurs) & set off via the bank to Kitulgala, a journey of about 3 hours. The 3 of us slept in the back of the van as it swayed and swerved and bumped its way along the rather poor Sri Lankan roads. We finally arrived and checked into Sisira's Hotel (Police Station Rd, Oruthota, Kitulgala. Tel:036 2287793 - through the village 2kms further on from the Kitulgala Guesthouse - turn right down a side road) for a 2 night stay. This is a newly opened small hotel, situated on the banks of the river with only 2 huts, both with en suite facilities. Abey suggested this place because the secondary forest adjacent to it held several endemics & this certainly paid off. We paid US$65 (plus tax & service charge) for the triple room per night (cold water, overhead fan and mosquito nets provided) and this included breakfast and dinner. It was somewhat overpriced for what it was, but the food was very good and the Green-billed Coucal roosts here (our only sighting) plus several other endemics can be found literally on the doorstep. After settling in and lunching we spent the afternoon birding in the Kelani forest across the river reached via a footbridge. We returned to the same area again after dinner and spent several hours attempting to tape in the Serendib Scops Owl with Abey's sub-standard sound equipment - to no avail. However we had already seen 5 endemics and were very satisfied with the first day.

Day 2 - Kitulgala

The next morning we birded around the hotel and then after breakfast drove down into the village & parked at the Kitulgala Guesthouse where we hired a small dugout canoe to ferry us across the river (about Rs 300+). The Kelani forest is interspersed with village houses and some cultivation but the birds were plentiful. We returned to the hotel for lunch and a rest before setting off again in the late afternoon again by canoe. This is where we met Lester who allowed us to join him and his group. He managed to tape out the frogmouth, bringing it in right over out heads, however although the Serendib Scops Owl came in to the tape, we did not see it.

Day 3 - Kitulgala - Sinharaja

We birded around the hotel finally seeing the Green-billed Coucal. We then packed and set off for Sinharaja which took us about 4 hours via Ratnapura where we bought water & beer. As we neared Sinharaja we could see that a lot of the original forest had been cut down, nevertheless it looked promising.

We checked into the Blue Magpie Hotel near the entrance to the reserve for a 3 nights stay. This new 'hotel' was situated down a track to the right just after the bridge and outside the park itself & was recommended by Abey as an alternative to Martins (we'd heard some negative reports about Martins & also Abey's site for the spurfowl was near this hotel). The hotel was pretty basic with 10 twin-bedded rooms with en suite facilities (cold water only, no fans, no air-conditioning and no mosquito nets) and an open restaurant area overlooking a large area of paddy fields. They charged us Rs 2500 per room per night (++ = plus tax & service charge) & about Rs 300++ each for meals. The food was well cooked and plentiful.

After settling in we set off walking to an area of forest above the ranger station, the site for spurfowl. Unfortunately it started to rain and then pour so we struggled back to the hotel getting absolutely soaking wet in the process. Our rooms were also awash with water because the roof leaked, however Jan and Eric moved rooms and mine only needed the beds moving a foot or so. We spent the rest of the afternoon drying off.

Day 4 - Sinharaja

The generator woke us at 5am the next morning, we breakfasted and then set off in the dark to the spurfowl stakeout spot. Although we stood quietly in the dark for over an hour and heard the birds, we did not even catch a glimpse of them even though they came really close just after dawn when taped in. We then climbed into our hired jeep (Rs 2000 per day) and drove up the rough road into the reserve taking an obligatory guide with us. However Sene was excellent & very sharp even though he had no binoculars (Rs 2050 entrance fee for 4 of us per day, plus Rs 500 for the video camera). Once at the gate up in the forest we left the jeep and driver and set off along the track on foot. The birding was OK but the forest itself was a little disappointing, I had expected a hugely tall primary forest with many paths but this was not the case. However once we reached the research station about 2kms further on we were able to walk right into the forest amongst the hanging vines and creepers & this was more productive. We returned to the jeep in the late afternoon & drove down to Martins for a coke. Actually Martins is a rather pleasant little guesthouse with a charming veranda overlooking the forested valley, however several of the rooms are next to the kitchens and probably noisy so I guess we made the right choice.

Day 5 - Sinharaja

Predawn saw us again walking up to the spurfowl site in the dark and this time I saw a male crossing the path, but the men dipped. In frustration we tried another site further up the road into the reserve but again only heard them. The rest of the day we spent in the reserve walking along the circular track near the research station and wandering around in the forest. The men were able to get very good footage of several species with their cameras.

Day 6 - Sinharaja - Uda Walawe

Early morning saw us again at the spurfowl site in another failed attempt. Then we gave up, packed up and set off for Uda Walawe, a 3 hour drive south.

We checked into the Walawe Park View Hotel for a one night stay. This was situated on the main road about 2kms from the park entrance. The double rooms with en suite (cold water only) were Rs 1200++ per room (with overhead fans, air-conditioning & mosquito nets). The air-conditioning was bliss - we were out of the hills now and the temperature was in the mid 30's & we were feeling the heat. Unfortunately we were not supplied with blankets so in the event we used only the fan overnight.

In the late afternoon sun we drove towards the park and along the reservoir wall and parked the van next to a wet field. Here we had our first views of wild elephants in a field alive with wildlife and birds. It certainly looked promising & we all looked forward to the jeep ride the next morning through the park itself.

Day 7 - Uda Walawe - Hambantota - Deberawewa Tank - Tissa

The jeep picked us up at 6am and we drove to the ranger station and paid the fees (Rs 1800). An official park guide accompanied us & this was fortunate because we encountered a rogue elephant about a mile into the reserve. It charged the jeep twice and only the timely shouting by this guard/mahoot turned the elephant in its tracks & it eventually wandered off, growls emanating from its stomach region. The park itself was wonderful, wildlife everywhere and a prolific selection of bird species. We were not allowed out of the jeep except for 2 areas where we set up our scopes and identified pelicans, waterbirds, gulls & terns on the lake in the distance. The second stop was at a lovely knoll of land where a small building sat shaded by several old trees & surrounded by a vast area of grassy swamp. Abey told us that Deepal sometimes brought birders here to stay overnight - the Spot-bellied Eagle Owl & Jungle Owlet can be seen here (bookings have to be made in Columbo in advance). A tyre blow-out on the return journey delayed us for a few minutes but it was a splendid morning nevertheless.

After checking out of the hotel at about 2pm we set off for the south coast (via the bank at Embilipitiya), arriving a couple of hours later. We birded alongside the road at various wetland stretches near Hambantota, stopped at the house belonging to some local people to see if the Indian Scops Owls were in residence (they weren't) and then as evening set in we spent the last hour at the Deberawewa Tank (reservoir) where we watched gallinules, jacanas and tree ducks feeding amongst the water lilies. Overhead, literally hundreds of thousands of huge fruit bats darkened the sky above us, heading north across the lake - heaven knows where they all sleep. They apparently feed on jackfruit & durian in the forests but it was difficult to believe that there was enough fruit to feed all those mouths.

After dusk we drove to the Vikum Lodge at Tissa & checked in for I night only. This was a charming privately owned guesthouse with 10 rooms grouped around a central courtyard where there was an open-sided restaurant surrounded by tropical plants. The twin-bedded rooms, en suite (cold water only) with fan and mosquito nets were Rs 1000++. The meals were good and around Rs 300++ per serve. The buffalo curd was especially delicious.

Day 8 - Tissa - Bundalla - Yala - Bibile 

We dragged ourselves out of bed at 3.45am and set off for the entrance road to Bundalla Park on the south coast about an hour's drive away. This is the site for Indian & Jerdon's Nightjars. Almost immediately we had Indian on the road and calling, however although Abey assured us that what he considered to be the longer tailed nightjars were Jerdon's we were not convinced. We drove further on and as dawn broke Abey identified the call of a Jerdon's coming from the bushes but we did not see it. Next, we drove to a saltpan area close by and spent an hour or so scoping waders and terns etc, then made our way back to Vikum Lodge, had an hours nap (we were all exhausted), packed up and set off north on a road that ran alongside the Yala National Park. Apart from one elephant and a mongoose we did not see much - mainly because we mostly slept  - the early starts and late evenings were catching up with us.

We arrived at Bibile at about 4.30pm & checked into the Kinkini Hotel for a 1 night stay. The hotel was owned by Abey's relative who lived in the huge house at the front of the plot of land, however down the drive he had built a two storey block of about 6 twin-bedded rooms (with fan but no mosquito nets, Rs 1200++ per room). Meals were served in the ground floor living area of the big house & were about Rs 300++ per serve. It was a little like being guests of the family, the TV sat in one corner surrounded by crimson velvet and teak sofas, in the other was a water feature surrounded by bamboo and in the centre a half a dozen tables set with napkins and tablecloths sat on marble flooring. The TV (BBC World News channel) showed Saddam Hussein looking somewhat dishevelled and vaguely staring at the camera - this was the first television and news we had seen in Sri Lanka. The locals had kept us up with the important news - the cricket scores - especially when Sri Lanka were winning.

We birded in the garden and Jan and Eric were lucky enough to get excellent footage of a resident Indian Pitta. We also set free a Shikra that had been trapped in a room downstairs, an interesting bird to have in the hand (luckily it was stunned so it did not scratch me).

Day 9 - Bibile - Nuwara Eliya

We arose at 5.15am & set off along the Bibile-Nilgala road stopping at about Km17.5 - Abey's site for Painted Francolin and Rain quail. He played the tape and a francolin returned the call from the right-hand side of the road. Unfortunately the grass was really tall and the habitat was impossible & although we charged through the tall grass in a line and had a fleeting view of a game bird we were unable to identify it or even find it again. Elephant dung deterred us from walking any further so we finally gave up the search realising that it was useless.

We then drove on to John Hornbuckle's site for francolin and quail at Km22, and turned into a road on the right. Unfortunately, a half a mile in, the track became impassable so we parked our van and walked along it for about an hour in the searing heat of late morning before finally giving up. In retrospect we realised that we should have organised a stay overnight in one of the local huts at the end of this track so we could be in the area for dawn. For future reference it would also be wise to make sure the grass had been recently burnt off so as to afford better views. Abey, who originates from this area of Sri Lanka said that he could organise this, as well as organising his friend to provide basic overnight accommodation for anyone interested in the future.

We climbed back into the car & drove back to Bibile where we dined in the big house again, then packed up and set off for Nuwara Eliya at about 1.15pm. The journey was long and tiring, the road gradually wound higher and higher up the mountain until after about 4 gruelling hours we reached the town of Nuwara Eliya (pronounced Nura Elleya). This area is at an altitude of about 6200 feet & the cooler air was welcomed by us all.

We checked in to the Yenisey Hotel for a 3 night stay. This hotel was a rather ornate building - painted bright blue and designed in a mixture of Edwardian and Victorian architecture with a touch of colonial licence. Once inside however, the rooms were dingy and damp, but at least the bathrooms had hot water. We were charged US$46++ for the 2 rooms per night and this price included breakfast and dinner. Mosquito nets, fans and air-conditioning were not necessary, instead we requested extra blankets as the air and the hotel was chilly.

Jan & Eric immediately set off for Victoria Park, (while I rested my aching head) and returned with exciting tales of thrushes and flycatchers. Dinner and early to bed for once.

Day 10 - Victoria Park  - Surrey Tea Plantation - Galway Forest

We rose at 5.15am, hurriedly consumed rather tasty cheese & tomato omelettes and set off for Victoria Park where we quickly ticked off Indian Robin and Pied Thrush. The Kashmir Flycatcher was a little more difficult but just as we were leaving, Eric spotted a cracking male right by the gate. Next stop was the Surrey Tea Plantation where, after a bit of running about in the forest we finally had crippling views of a pair of Brown Wood Owls.

We were all exhausted so we decided that we would take a few hours off from our bird quest and have lunch at the famous Hill Club, a fascinating bastion of old colonialism. We donned our best outfits (ties and jackets were not required for lunch), drove through the gates and up the driveway & paid the temporary membership of Rs 60 each. We walked through the club and into the huge dining room where we ordered gin & tonics (they only serve doubles). The 3 course meal was excellent & we were served by a white-clad waiter, the only people lunching that day so the service was excellent. The ambience was amazing, we were surrounded by mounted deer-heads, ancient floral sofas & a huge full size Christmas tree decorated with traditional tinsel and baubles. Absolutely splendid.

After lunch while Jan took photos at Victoria Park, Eric, Abey and I drove to a secondary forest near the Galway Hotel where we managed to tape out the secretive Sri Lanka Bush Warbler as well as getting even better views of another Kashmir Flycatcher and several Yellow-eared Bulbuls.

Day 11 Horton Plains

We rose again at 4am and headed off to Horton Plains (an 1½ hour drive further up the mountain road) to try for the SL Whistling Thrush just before dawn, by the famous sign: 'Have you seen the leopard yet?'  We arrived when it was still dark but as dawn began to break we heard the tell tale high-pitched whistle of the bird on the other side of the road from what Abey referred to as the 'Ben King' pond. We crept out in the dark & Abey played the tape. Almost immediately a dark shape shot across the road - and that was all we saw of it (try again tomorrow). The sun rose higher lighting up the trees along the side of the road and we enjoyed a pleasant hour watching a mixed flock of birds feeding in the early morning light. Then we drove up to the actual park entrance and sat out in the open on benches and scoffed roti and deep-fried lentil cakes whilst sipping hot tea in the sunshine while Hill Swallows floated about above us. Horton Plains is a large area of upland grassland that was once used by the colonials to hunt elephant and deer - they had cleared the forest for that purpose. The area was lovely, it gave me a feeling of space & peace. Lunch finished we set off along the track towards World's End (a sheer drop with a view) - which in fact we never reached. The path led across the grassland and into a forest & although we had good views of SL Grey Hornbill and a few other species, the forest was basically very quiet. We spent an hour or so climbing along a river to try for SL Whistling Thrush - to no avail - then made our way back for another cup of tea and a bun at the café by the entrance.

On the return journey we stopped at a small village with a railway station - Pattipula - where we wandered across paddy fields and cultivation to try for the (probable) endemic Black-throated Munia without success. Luckily Abey heard the call of a Dull Blue Flycatcher by the railway line and we watched it for some time - while half the village watched us! An old steam train passed through the station as we continued to peer down into the bushes.

Day 12 - Horton Plains - Victoria Park - Kandy.

Eric and Jan decided not to try for the SL Whistling Thrush again & stayed behind to photograph Pied Thrush etc at Victoria Park so Abey and I set off at 4.15am for Horton Plains. Luckily - for me anyway - Lester Perara also set off and arrived at 'the leopard' sign just after us, carrying his huge tape recorder. Needless to say as soon as he played the tape the bird flew across the road - but it was too early in the morning and we only got poor views. However Lester then suggested we walk to another pond about 500 metres back along the road we had driven up on. As soon as we got there the tape brought the bird out in the open & after a few minutes of frantic calling it actually took off and flew straight towards me, passing just over my head & giving crippling views. Absolutely brilliant.

After the excitement, Abey and I thanked Lester, said our goodbyes and set off down the road to Pattipula village where we consumed a roti breakfast together with rather unusual 'noodle rolls' washed down with excellent tea. A short walk down the road (on Lester's advice) finally gave us brief views of the Black-throated Munia the last (probable) endemic of the trip for me. 

Back at Victoria Park, Jan and Eric had indeed had crippling photographable views of the Pied Thrush, the Indian Pitta and the Indian Blue Robin so they weren't too bothered they had missed the thrush. After half an hour in the local bank we left Nuwara Eliya and set off for Kandy via a quick stop at the tea factory to purchase a few presents. Again the road was winding and uncomfortable but none of us noticed it as we slept, exhausted in the back of the van.

We arrived at Kandy, checked into the hotel and drove straight to the jewellers that Abey had recommended. The late afternoon & evening was spent selecting rings and earrings for absent relatives. We then returned to the Devon Hotel (air-conditioned rooms with en suite (hot water) - Rs 2229++ per room). We showered, went out for a Chinese meal & then collapsed into our comfortable beds in air-conditioned comfort, oblivious to the music emanating from a party upstairs.

Day 13 - Kandy - Sigiriya - Columbo

We got up at 6am and drove to the nearby Uda Wattakele Sanctuary for a 2 hour stay. None of us were very switched on and anyway we had all the endemics under our belts. We tried unsuccessfully for Brown Fish Owl & heard the tiny Crimson-fronted Barbet but only glimpsed it high up in the trees. Then after checking out of the hotel and picking up the jewellery we set off north towards Sigiriya. We drove via Lake Kandalama where we spent a half an hour scoping various water birds whilst local men wrapped in sarongs soaped themselves down & rinsed off in the water. Across the lake we could see the well-recommended Kandalama Hotel but unfortunately we had to be back in Columbo that evening to catch our flight the next morning so were not able to stay. We drove on finally reaching the huge monolithic rock at Sigiriya in the early afternoon. The area surrounding the rock was interesting, with quite a selection of secondary scrub and some forest. The entire area was also criss-crossed by ancient walls now in ruins but laid out in channels and tracks. We sat in the shade and spent some time gazing at the rock hoping to see the Shaheen Falcon, the endemic race of Peregrine - to no avail. One of the last birds of the trip was a glimpse of a Brown fish Owl which vanished into the swamp never to be seen again.

After a delicious meal at a local resort hotel we set off on the long and arduous journey back to Columbo. Poor Abey who by now was looking quite exhausted, drove while the 3 of us slumbered in the back of the van. The journey took only about 3½ hours (a record apparently). We checked into the rather seedy Sirimedura Hotel near the airport for an overnight stay at about 11pm and fell asleep immediately. (Rs 2000++ per room, air-conditioning and en suite with hot water, breakfast Rs 175++).

Day 14

After waking up & re-packing our bags for the flight, we sorted out the amount owed Baurs with the help of Perry who had greeted us in the foyer with the calculator. We paid the bill in a combination of US$ dollars and credit card, had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, drove to the airport, gave Abey a well-deserved tip, said our farewells and checked in 3 hours before the flight.

All in all a very successful trip.  Baur's were excellent, Abey knew all the sites and between us we saw all the endemics and the probable future endemics. Sri Lanka is a pleasant and safe country, the people charming & we can all thoroughly recommend it as a top birding destination.     

Bird Species for the Trip

Species marked with E are endemic. Species marked with ER are an endemic race likely to become a future endemic.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Single birds on 2 reservoirs near Tissa & 20+ birds on the Kandalama Reservoir near Sigiriya.

Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis
Up to 40 on the Uda Walawe tank, 10 the next day & 6 on a lake near Tissa.

Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Small numbers near water, in paddy fields and cultivated fields from the van, also a large number (500+) on roost at a lake near Tissa.

Little Cormorant Phalacorax niger
Small numbers in paddy fields and cultivated areas from the van.

Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
3 on the lake at Uda Walawe

Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus
A single bird in the early morning on the track behind the ranger station at Sinharaja was the only sighting

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Single birds from the van on 2 days with up to 10 at Uda Walawe

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
A single bird from the van, 4 at Deberawewa tank and a lone bird en route to Bibile

Great White Egret Ardea alba
Seen in small numbers mostly near the south coast

Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
Seen in singles from the van

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Seen in singles from the van

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Common & widespread throughout Sri Lanka

Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii
Common & widespread in ponds, paddy fields & tanks throughout

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
2 birds at Deberawewa tank and up to 10 birds at a roost on a lake near Tissa.

Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis
A single bird on the river at Kitulgala was the only sighting for the trip

Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
A single bird in a wet area at Uda Walawe was the only bird of the trip

Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
5 birds at the Uda Walawe reservoir, another 10 the next day in the reserve itself, & up to 5 in ponds near Tissa

Asian Openbill Anastomas oscitans
A single bird en route to Kitulgala, 2 in a paddy field at Uda Walawe and 1 at Deberawewa tank

Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
A single bird at Uda Walawe

Black-necked Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
7 birds at Uda Walawe plus up to 20 birds on a roost at a lake near Tissa.

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
2 birds in a wet field at Uda Walawe & a single bird at Tissa

Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica
Up to 30 birds at Uda Walawe, 5 at Deberawewa tank and 20+ at Lake Kandalama near Sigiriya

Cotton Pygmy Goose Nettapus coromandelianus
2 birds at Uda Walawe & up to 20 at Lake Kandalama

Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Up to 20 birds at Uda Walawe

Garganey Anas querquedula
4 birds at a wetland near Tissa & 3 at Lake Kandalama

Oriental Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
A single bird at Kitulgala was the only bird for the trip

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
Up to 10 birds in the Uda Walawe reserve

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
A single bird at Horton Plains was the only sighting for the trip

Brahminy Kite Haliaster Indus
Fairly common in small numbers in the south & at Sigiriya

White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Several birds at Uda Walawe & 2 around the lake at Kandy

Grey-headed Fish Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
2 birds in the Uda Walawe reserve were the only birds of the trip

Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela spilogaster
Fairly common, seen in 1's or 2's in most areas

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
2 birds in the Uda Walawe reserve

Montague's Harrier Circus pygarsus
A single bird at Uda Walawe was the only sighting

Shikra Accipiter badius
Single birds on 3 occasions & one bird found trapped in a room at the Hotel Kinkini in Bibile. We let it free but it stunned itself on a glass window and we had it 'in the hand' until it recovered & flew away.

Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis
One bird overhead at Kitulgala & an amazingly close bird seen over the paddies from our hotel restaurant at Sinharaja.

Rufous-bellied Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii
A bird overhead at Sinharaja was the only sighting for the trip

Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatua celanensis
1 bird at Kitulgala, 3 in the Uda Walawe reserve & a single at the Surrey Tea Plantation near Nuwara Eliya

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
3 birds at Uda Walawe & a single at Sigiriya.

Painted Francolin Francolinus pictus watsoni
The whirr of wings & a glimpse of a brown-coloured game bird in the grass of the Bibile/Nilgala road was probably this species

Sri Lanka Spurfowl Galloperdix bicalcarata E
A lone male was our reward for 3 arduous days of searching for this species at Sinharaja. We also heard it in the forest half way up the road to the top entrance gate to Sinharaja forest & also 1 from the Bibile/Nilgala road

SL Junglefowl Gallus lafayetii E
4 males & 1 female at Sinharaja, a male at Bibile & a pair on the road en route to Horton Plains

Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus
Very common at Uda Walawe

Barred Button Quail Turnix suscitator leggei
A male bird on the road in the Uda Walawe reserve was the only sighting

White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Small numbers on most days on the edges of wet fields & paddies

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
20+ at Deberawewa tank

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
At least 10 birds at Deberawewa tank & over 20 at Lake Kandalama

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus ceylonsis
Around 30 birds on 2 days in ponds near Tissa

Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus
2 birds at the Bundalla park in the early morning.

Great Thick-knee Burhinus recurvirostris
3 birds near ponds at Tissa

Yellow-wattled Lapwing Vanellus malabaricus
4 birds in a wet meadow at Uda Walawe

Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
Small numbers in wet fields on 6 days with up to 10 at Uda Walawe

Grey Plover Pluvialua squatarola
2 single birds at Uda Walawe were the only birds of the trip

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus seebohmi
Up to 20 in a pond near Tissa

Mongolian Plover Charadrius mongolus
Up to 20 birds in a pond near Tissa

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
A flock of at least 50 birds in a pond near Tissa

Common Redshank Tringa tetanus
Up to 6 birds in a brackish pond near Hambantota & in a pond near Tissa

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Small numbers in a pond near Hambantota & also near Tissa

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Up to 10 in a brackish pond near Hambantota & 20+ near Tissa

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Small numbers in brackish water near Hambantota

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Small numbers in a brackish pond near Hambantota

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleuca
Single birds at various sites with up to 4 birds at Uda Walawe

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
2 birds at Hambantota & another 2 in a pond near Tissa

Snipe sp. Gallinago gallinago/ sterna
An obscured view of a single bird near Tissa was either a Common or a Pintail snipe

Little Stint Calidris minuta
Up to 20 in a pond near Tissa

Red Knot Calidris canutus
6 in a pond near Tissa

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
3 in a wet area near Hambantota & up to 20 in a pond near Tissa

Whiskered Tern Chlidonius hybridus
Large flocks seen on 2 days at Uda Walawe

White-winged Tern Chlidonius leucopterus
Small flocks over ponds near Tissa

Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
Small numbers over ponds at Tissa and Hambantota

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
1 over ponds near Tissa was the only sighting

Little Tern Sterna albifrons
A small flock sitting on mud near Tissa 

Feral Pigeon Columbo livia domesticus
Small flocks in many towns en route

Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon Columba torringtoni E
Heard at the Surrey Tea Plantation & 1 seen at Horton Plains

Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis ceylonensis
Fairly common & widespread, small numbers on most days

Emerald Dove Chalcaphaps indica robinsoni
2 birds at Kitulgala, 1 at Sinharaja & 2 at Bibile

Orange-breasted Pigeon Treron bicincta leggei
3 birds at Uda Walawe was the only sighting

Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron p. pompadora
1 bird at Kitulgala, 4 at Sinharaja & a flock of 12 at Sigiriya

Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea
Small numbers at Kitulgala, Sinharaja & Bibile

Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot Loriculus beryllinus E
Small flocks at Kitulgala, Sinharaja & single birds at Bibile & Sigiriya

Alexandrine Parrakeet Psittacula eupatria
9 birds at Kitulgala, 2 at Uda Walawe & a single at Sigiriya

Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
Up to 100 at Uda Walawe, with small flocks at Bibile, Nuwara Eliya & Sigiriya

Layards Parakeet Psittacula calthropae E
Up to 6 birds at Kitulgala with single birds at Sinharaja & Uda Wattakele

Indian Cuckoo Cuculus micrpterus
A single bird at Bibile was the only sighting

Plaintive Cuckoo Cacomantis merulinus passerinus
2 birds at Uda Walawe was the only sighting

Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris
A single bird at a track off the Bibile/Nilgala road

Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea
A pair in the garden of the Walawe Park View Hotel, but heard on several other occasions

Blue-faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus viridirostris
3 birds in the Uda Walawe reserve were the only birds of the trip

Red-faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus E
4 birds at Sinharaja 

Green-billed Coucal Centropus chlororhynchus E
1 bird only in the garden of Sisira's Hotel at Kitulgala was the only sighting

Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Heard or seen on most days

Indian Scops Owl Otus bakkamoena
Heard & glimpsed at the Walawe Park View Hotel & a pair seen in the gardens in a known site - a private residence near Tissa

Serendib Scops Owl Otus ? E
A single bird heard on 2 nights in the Kelani forest at Kitulgala was identified as this species but although it came in to the tape we did not manage to see it

Brown Fish Owl Ketupa z. zeylonensis
Although Abey had several sites for this species, we only caught a glimpse of 1 bird in the swamp at Sigiriya on the last day.

Brown Wood Owl Strix leptogrammica ochrogenys
A pair seen near the bakery at the Surrey Tea Plantation. Also heard at Horton Plains

Chestnut-backed Owlet Glaucidium castanonotum E
A single bird seen in the Kelani forest, a pair calling at Sisera's & also heard twice at Sinharaja

Sri Lanka Frogmouth Batrachostomus monileger
A female bird taped out in the Kelani forest at Kitulgala, also seen once & heard several times at Sinharaja

Jerdons Nightjar Caprimulgus atripennis
This bird was heard at Bundalla (the bird seen on the road that Abey identified as this species was probably an Indian)

Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus eidos
At least 5 birds seen on the road at Bundalla in the early morning

Grey Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus
A single bird seen on the Bibile/Nilgala road was the only sighting

Indian Swiftlet Collocalia inicolor
Fairly common & widespread in the higher altitudes

Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus
Up to 40 over the river at Kitulgala, also a single bird & a small flock at Sinharaja

Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis
Small numbers at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Bibile & Nuwara Eliya

Little Swift Apus affinis
Up to 25 on 2 days at Uda Walawe, also large numbers above the Sigiriya rock monolith

Grey-rumped Treeswift Hemiprocne longipennis
1's & 2's at Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Bibile & Sigiriya

Malabar Trogon Harpactes f. fasciatus
A single at Sinharaja was the only sighting of this species

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
A single sighting of 1 at Sinharaja

Common Kingfisher Alced atthis
2 birds at Uda Walawe, I bird at Victoria Park & 2 at Sigiriya

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx arithicus
Several glimpses of a single bird near the research station at Sinharaja

Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Several sightings of a single bird at the Blue Magpie Hotel at Sinharaja, also 2 birds at Kandy - 1 by the lake & 1 in the Uda Wattakele park

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Fairly common throughout with up to 10 at Uda Walawe

Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis ceylonicus
Small numbers at Uda Walawe, Bibile & Sigiriya

Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
The most common bee-eater, seen on wires en route in all areas with up to 20 in one day

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops alaccania
A single bird from the van near Nuwara Eliya

Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
Up to 10 at Uda Walawe

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
A pair in the Uda Walawe reserve

Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill Ocyceros gingalensis E
Several birds at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Bibile & in the forest at Horton Plains

Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthrococeros coronatus
A single bird in the Uda Walawe reserve was the only sighting

Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica
Small numbers at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe & Bibile

Yellow-fronted Barbet Magalaima flavifrons E
Up to 4 at Sinharaja & Uda Wattakele, singles at Kitulgala & Uda Walawe

Crimson-fronted Barbet Megalaima rubricapilla malabarica ER
This bird was seen by Eric at Kitulgala, heard on several occasions at Horton Plains, glimpsed at Uda Wattekele & heard at Sigiriya

Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemocephala
Up to 3 birds on 2 days at Uda Walawe & a single at Bibile

Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus wellsi
1 or 2 birds at Kitulgala on 3 days

Streaked-throated Woodpecker Picus xanthopygaeus
1 bird only seen in the forest adjacent to the Bibile/Nilgala road

Black-rumped Woodpecker Dinopium benghalense psarodes ER
Up to 4 seen at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, 3 at Uda Walawe, 1 at Bibile & 2 at Uda Wattakele

Greater (red-backed) Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus stricklandi ER
1 seen at Sinharaja, 1 heard at Horton Plains & 1 seen at Uda Wattakele

White-naped Woodpecker Chrysocolaptes festivus tantus
1 heard at Kitulgala & 1 seen adjacent to Deberawewa tank

Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura
1 at Sisera's at Kitulgala, 1 at Sinharaja, 1 at Bibile on 2 days & at least 2 in Victoria Park

Rufous-winged Lark Mirafra assamica
At least 20 at Uda Walawe

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark Eremopterix grisea
A flock of up to 50 at Uda Walawe on 2 days & 1 bird near wet ponds at Tissa

Pale Martin Riparia diluta
1 bird on a wire at Tissa saltpans was the only sighting

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica tytleri & gutteralis
Small numbers at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe & Kandy

Hill Swallow Hirundo tahitica domicola
Up to 5 on 2 days at Horton Plains

Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica hyperythra
Small flocks at Kitulgala, Sinharaja & Uda Walawe

Forest Wagtail Dendronanthus indicus
1 at Uda Walawe & 2 in Victoria Park

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Singles & pairs on 7 days in varied habitats

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
A huge flock of up to 500 birds at the Uda Walawe reservoir

Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
5 at Uda Walawe reservoir

Blyths Pipit Anthus godlewskii
Up to 10 at Uda Walawe

Black-headed Cuckoo Shrike Coracina melanoptera
A pair on a track off to the right from the Bibile/Nilgala road (near the 22Km marker)

Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
Up to 2 birds at Bibile, Uda Walawe, Victoria Park & Sigiriya & 6 at Horton Plains

Flame Minivet (Scarlet) Pericrocotus flammeus
Up to 4 birds each day at Kitulgala & Sinharaja & at least 1 at Uda Wattakele

Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus affinis
Up to 3 birds at Deberawewa tank & Bibile & 1 at Sigiriya

Black-headed Yellow Bulbul (Black-crested) Pycnonotus m. melanicterus ER
Up to 8 at Kitulgala, 1's & 2's at Sinharaja & a pair at Bibile

Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer cafer
The commonest bulbul, seen every day in relatively small numbers

Yellow-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus penicillatus E
6 in Victoria Park, several at the Surrey Tea Plantation & also at Horton Plains

White-browed Bulbul Pycnonotus luteolus insulae
1 at the Surrey Tea Plantation & 1 at Sigiriya

Yellow-browed Bulbul Hypsipetes indicus guglielmi
Small numbers at Kitulgala & Sinharaja

Black Bulbul Hypsipites leucocephalus humii
1's & 2's at Kitulgala, Sinharaja & Uda Wattakele

Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
Up to 2 at Kitulgala on 2 days, a pair at Sinharaja, a male at Uda Walawe & a female at Surrey Tea Plantation.

Jerdon's (Blue-winged) Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis
A female at Uda Walawe & a pair at Bibile

Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons
A male at Bibile & a pair at Sigiriya

Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Fairly common, 1's & 2's in most areas with up to 10 at Uda Walawe

Indian Blue Robin Luscinia brunnea
1 at Victoria Park on at least 2 days

Oriental Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
Fairly common, seen in most habitats with up to 6 around Nuwara Eliya

Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata atrata
Several birds seen in fields from the van with at least 20 on Horton Plains

Black-backed Robin (Indian) Saxicoloides fulicata leucoptera
Small numbers at Bibile & Sigiriya & at least 20 at Uda Walawe

Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush Myiophonus blighi E
1 heard & glimpsed the first morning at the 'Ben King' pond at Horton Plains. An excellent view of probably the same bird the next morning at the pond about 500m back down the road from the 'BK' pond. Also 1 heard in the forest en route to World's End at Horton Plains

Pied Thrush Zoothera wardii
5 males & 2 females seen (& photographed) in the stream bed near the entrance in the NW corner of the Victoria Park on 3 days

Spot-winged Thrush Zoothera spiloptera E
1 bird in the leaf litter at Kitulgala, 1 at the spurfowl site at Sinharaja & a pair near the research station up in the forest at Sinharaja

Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma imbricata ER
A pair near the research station at Sinharaja was the only sighting

Sri Lanka Blackbird Turdus merula kinnisii ER
1 bird heard & glimpsed by the 'Ben King' pond 2 days running at Horton Plains

Brown-capped Babbler Pellorneum fuscocapillum E
Fairly common in small numbers, seen & heard in most areas

Indian Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii melanurus
At least 1 seen & heard at Sinharaja on several days, also up to 5 birds seen at Horton Plains

Dark-fronted Babbler Rhopocichla atriceps nigrifrons
Up to 3 birds seen at Kitulgala & Sinharaja, 5 at Grafton Estate near Nuwara Eliya & 1 bird at Sigiriya

Yellow-eyed Babbler Chrysomma sinense nasale
3 birds seen at Uda Walawe & a pair seen in a field near Bibile

Orange-billed Babbler Turdoides rufescens E
Parties of up to 10 on 5 consecutive days at Kitulgala & Sinharaja

Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis taprobanus
The most common babbler, with up to 10 birds in flocks at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Bibile, Sigiriya & in Columbo

Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush Garrulax cinereifrons E
8 birds in the forest near the research station at Sinharaja

Sri Lanka Bush Warbler Bradypterus palliseri E
2 birds taped out at the Galway secondary forest near Nuwara Eliya were the only birds for the trip

Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
Singles & pairs at Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Bibile & Victoria Park

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Common in the Uda Walawe reserve & in the grasslands at Horton Plains

Grey-breasted Prinia Prinia hodgsonii leggei
Common in the Uda Walawe reserve

Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica valida
1's & 2's at Victoria Park & the Surrey Tea Plantation

Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis brevicauda
At least 5 at Uda Walawe & Horton Plains on 4 separate days

Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
Several at Uda Walawe, also at Horton Plains & Sigiriya

Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius sutorius & fernandonis
Seen & heard in 1's & 2's at all sites except Sinharaja

Bright-green Warbler Phylloscopus nitidus
Fairly common at Horton Plains, also at Sigiriya

Large-billed Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris
1's & 2's at Sinharaja, Uda Walawe & the Surrey Tea Plantation

Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapica dauurica
Singles fairly common at Sinharaja, Uda Walawe & Sigiriya

Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapica muttui
1's & 2's at Kitulgala & Sinharaja

Dull Blue Flycatcher  Eumyias sordida E
1 at Pattipula station, en route to Horton Plains was the only sighting

Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra
A male & a female seen in the NW corner in Victoria Park, & another adjacent to the Galway secondary forest in Nuwara Eliya

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae jerdoni
3 birds at Sinharaja & 1 at Sigiriya

Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis
Up to 4 birds at Horton Plains on 2 days

Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea ceylonensis
Up to 4 birds at Sinharaja each day, also 1 at the Surrey Tea Plantation & 1 at Sigiriya

Sri Lanka Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi ceylonensis ER
Several tan coloured birds seen at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe & Sigiriya

Indian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
1 white bird at Kitulgala, 2 at Sinharaja, up to 3 at Uda Walawe each day & 1 at Sigiriya

White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola
1 at Sinharaja, up to 3 at Uda Walawe on both days, several at Bibile & Victoria Park & 2 at Sigiriya

Great Tit Parus major
Up to 4 at Victoria Park on 3 days, also several in the forest at Horton Plains & at the Surrey Tea Plantation

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis
Up to 3 on 2 days at Horton Plains by the 'Ben King' Pool

Legges Flowerpecker Dicaeum vincens E
A male at the Blue Magpie Hotel & a female at Sinharaja 

Pale-billed Flowerpecker Diacaeum erythrorhynchus celonese
Several each day at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, at Horton Plains & Uda Wattakele

Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarina Zeylonica Zeylonica
Fairly common throughout, several birds each day with up to 6 at Sinharaja

Long-billed Sunbird Nectarina lotenia lotenia
At least 2 at Uda Walawe on both days, 1 at Surrey Tea Plantation, 2 at Horton Plains, & 1 at Sigiriya

Purple Sunbird Nectarina asiatica
2 at Uda Walawe by the reservoir wall was the only sighting

Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus
2 at Sinharaja, several at Uda Walawe, up to 3 at Bibile on both days & several at the Surrey Tea Plantation

Sri Lanka White-eye Zosterops ceylonensis E
Several in Victoria Park & up to 20 at Horton Plains in forest alongside the 'Ben King' Pool

White-throated Silverbill Lonchura malabarica
At least 2 in the Uda Walawe reserve

White-rumped Munia Lunchura striata
At least 6 at the Blue Magpie Hotel at Sinharaja on 2 days, also 3 at the Surrey Tea Plantation

Black-throated Munia Lunchura kelaarti kelaarti
A male at Pattipula village (en route to Horton Plains) was the only sighting

Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punculata
Up to 7 at the Uda Walawe reserve, also 3 at Pattipula village

Black-headed Munia (Tri-coloured) Lonchura malacca
A large flock of over 200 in the Uda Walawe reserve

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Fairly common in most towns we passed through, with over 30 in Nuwara Eliya

Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar
Several birds seen near hanging nests in the Uda Walawe reserve

White-faced Starling Sturnus senex E
4 birds seen in the distance through the telescope at Sinharaja

Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus
Several birds & a flock of over 30 at Uda Walawe. Also a flock of 100 at Bundalla

Hill Myna Gracula religiosa
Several at Kitulgala, also a pair en route to Sinharaja, plus up to 8 at Sigiriya,

Sri Lanka Myna Gracula ptilogenys E
4 at Sinharaja, also heard each day in this forest

Common Myna Acridotheres tristis melanosturnus
Common & widespread in small numbers, seen almost every day

Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis
1's & 2's at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Bibile & Sigiriya

Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus minor
1 bird at the Uda Walawe reserve was the only sighting

White-vented Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens leucopygialis
Small numbers at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe & Nuwara Eliya

Crested Drongo  Dicrurus paradiseus lophorhynus ER
Several at Kitulgala & up to 5 at Uda Walawe

Sri Lanka Magpie Urocissa ornate E
3 birds by the research station at Sinharaja, also 2 the next day

House Crow Corvus splendens
Up to 10 at Kitulgala, small numbers near the hotels at Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Nuwara Eliya & Kandy

Large-billed Crow Corvus macrohynchos
Small numbers at Kitulgala, Sinharaja, Uda Walawe, Bibile & the Nuwara Eliya area

Animal Species for the Trip

Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica
1 at Kitulgala & 1 at Sinharaja, 1 in the forest at Horton Plains & 2 at Sigiriya

Indian Palm Squirrel Funambulus palmarum
Fairly common

Layards Flameback Squirrel Funambulus layardi
Several seen

Purple-faced Leaf Monkey Presbytis vetulis
Several at Kitulgala & Sinharaja

Toque Macaque Macaca sinica
Small troops at Uda Walawe & at Uda Wattakele

Grey Langur Presbitis entellus
Several seen

Indian Elephant Elephas maximus
Up to 20 at Uda Watakele, 1 on the Yala road, with scats at Bundalla & off the Bibile/Nilgala Rd

Water Buffalo Bubalis arnae
Several at Uda Walawe

Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii
Several seen

Indian Brown Mongoose Herpestes fuscus
Several seen

Golden Jackel Canis aureus lanka
3 glimpsed through telescope at Uda Walawe

Jungle Cat Felis chaus kelaarti
2 at Uda Walawe & 1 elsewhere

Spotted Deer (Chital) Cervix axis
Several in the Uda Walawe park

Sambar Cervus unicolor unicolor
Seen at Uda Walawe

Common Indian flying Fox Pteropus giganteus giganteus
Literally 100's of 1,000's overhead at Deberawewa tank at dusk

Indian (Black-naped) Hare Lepus nigricollis
Several seen

Also several Land Monitors, 6+ Green Garden Lizards, a Kangaroo Lizard, several orange/green Chameleons, 2 Giant Millipedes, a scorpion & numerous fireflies


A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka
John Harrison: Buy from or

  • This field guide describes and depicts all of Sri Lanka's 426 official avian species. The text, highlights the important identification features, such as plumage variations, size, calls and songs, range, distribution, and status, for every species. The plates illustrate the various plumage variations for each bird, and show the birds perched and also in flight. An introduction to the guide describes briefly some of the best sites for watching Sri Lanka's abundant avifauna.

Pocket guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp (Oxford University Press, 1999)

Lonely Planet: Sri Lanka
Verity Campbell: Buy from or

  • For the visiting wildlife enthusiast there are details of all of countries National Parks, with hints about the animals and birds to expected and a full colour photographic wildlife section. This guide to Sri Lanka also provides practical information on most aspects of travel, including health and safety advice, information on local cuisine, advice on customs and etiquette, historical and cultural information, and maps.

Trip Reports (Most on

Sri Lanka, 24 December - 8 January 2000 - Jim Hackett, Hong Kong
Sri Lanka, 6 - 21 January 2001 - Collearts et al
Sri Lanka , January 2002 - Susan Myers
Birding in Sri Lanka & Southern India , 10 February - 5 March 2002    John Hornbuckle
Sri Lanka, 8 - 23 February 2003 - Eduard Sangster


Insight Fleximap of Sri Lanka - 1: 560 000 - ISBN 981-234-274-5 Road Map of Sri Lanka   - 1:500,000 - Survey Dept, Sri Lanka

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