Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka

If you are interested in a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka?

The Island is a great place to spend some time to discover the birds that visit here.

Birdwatching in Sri Lanka is something that you can do in all parts of the Island however there are spots where you will see a wide variety of species. 

The Island of Sri Lanka is truly a birdwatching paradise. 

You don’t have to be a ‘twitcher’ or ‘birder’ to enjoy and learn about the residents and migrants to the Island.  

Our interest in birdwatching at GlenMyu Estate has increased as it is hard to ignore the wonderful creatures that enjoy the 5 acre estate.

Where is Sri Lanka on the map?

The Pearl of the Indian Ocean is tropical island in the situated 10 degrees north of the equator.

On the Map it looks like a teardrop falling from the southern coast of India.

The Island boasts diverse and favourable climatic conditions for a wide range of birdlife.

It also has a range of natural habitats including forests, scrublands, grasslands, wetlands, and agricultural lands. 

Being surrounded by the Indian Ocean and close to the tip of India it plays host to various migrant birds at different times of the year.

Sri Lanka at 65,610 km 2 (similar in size to the Republic of Ireland) is quite small but has a great range of birds for your to see.

What Birds visit the Island?

It is home to 439 species of birds:

236 are breeding residents

203 migrants and the rest vagrants.

There are 34 endemic species of birds in Sri Lanka.

There are also somewhere near to 200 seasonal migratory birds both terrestrial and aquatic.

They travel to get away from the Northern winter from as far as Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe.

They arrive around August -September and leave around April-May. 

What are the Endemic birds in Sri Lanka?

Ceylon Jungle Fowl – (Gallus lafayetii)

Ceylon Wood Pigeon – (Columba torringtoniae)

Ceylon Green Pigeon – (Treron pompadora)

Ceylon Spurfowl – (Galloperdix bicalcarata)

Layard’s Parakeet – (Psittacufa calthropae)

Ceylon Hanging Parrot – (Loriculus beryllinus)

Red-Faced Malkoha – (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus)

Green-Billed Coucal – (Centropus chlororhynchos)

Serendib Scops-Owl – (Otus hoffmanni)

Chestnut-Backed Owlet – (Glaucidium Castanonotum)

Ceylon Grey Hornbill – (Ocyceros gingalensis)

Yellow-Fronted Barbet – (Megalaima flavifrons)

Ceylon Small Barbet – (Megalaima rubricapillus)

Crimson-Backed – (Chrysocolaptes stricklandi)

Ceylon Swallow – (Hirundo hyperythra)

Ceylon Wood-Shrike – (Tephrodornis affinis)

Black-Capped Bulbul – (Pycnonotus melanicterus)

Yellow-Eared Bulbul – (Pycnonotus penicillatus)

Ceylon Whistling-Thrush – (Myophonus blighi)

Spot-Winged Thrush – (Zoothera spiloptera)

Ceylon Scaly Thrush  – (Zoothera imbricata)

Sri Lanka Bush Warbler  – (Elaphrornis paljiseri)

Dusky Blue Flycatcher – (Eumyias sordidus)

Brown-Capped Babbler – (Pellorneum fuscocapilius)

Ceylon Scimitar Babbler- (Pomatorhinus melanurus)

Ceylon Rufous Babbler – (Turdoides rufescens)

Ceylon White-Eye -(Zosterops ceylonensis)

Ashy-Headed Laughing Thrush – (Argya cinereifrons)

Legge’s Flowerpecker – (Dicaeurn vincens)

Ceylon Crested Drongo – (Dicrurus lophorhinus)

Ceylon Blue Magpie – (Uroc’ssa ornata)

White-Faced Starling -(Sturnornis albofrontatus)

Ceylon Hill-Myna – (Gracula ptilogenys)

Birdwatching on holiday at GlenMyu Estate, Beragala, Sri Lanka

We do not offer birdwatching tours however it is hard not to get enthralled with the different types of birds that visit the 5 acre estate during the year.

Our interest in birdwatching has been elevated since we have been living in the Hill Country.

We have also found our guests to be fascinated by the birds that they discover whilst staying here.

Here are some photos and videos of what we have seen at the Glenmyu Estate to whet your appetite. No doubt you have a better camera than we do and therefore should get better pictures and videos than we do!

For more videos of the birds that visit GlenMyu Estate please click on our YouTube Link.

If you want to find out more about GlenMyu Estate please visit our website.

Where can I go on a Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka?

Kumana National Park

The main bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka is the Kumana National Park which has 18,149 hectares and is located in the South East part of Sri Lanka in the Easter sector of Yala National Park..

It has a 200 hectare natural swamp lake, called the Kumbukkan Oya.

This is a Mangrove swamp where many water birds nest in May and June.

You can regularly see Pelicans, Painted Storks, Spoonbills, White Ibis, Herons, Egrets and Little Cormorants.

Sinharaja Rain Forest 

This forest is located in the South West of Sri Lanka and it houses a tropical rain forest.

It covers 8,864 hectares and is at an altitude of between 300 – 1,170 metres.

60%of the trees in the forest are endemic to Sri Lanka and many of those would be considered rare.

The forest attracts a lot of endemic wildlife – especially birds.

It is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies.

There are also many types of insects, reptiles and amphibians.

Some of the birds found in the forest are as follows:

Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon (Columba Torringtoni)

Green-billed Coucal (Centropus Chlororrhynchus)

Sri Lanka White-headed Starling (Sturnus senex)

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Cissa ornate)

The Ashy-headed Babbler (Garrulax Cinereifrons)

Sri Lanka Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus orientalis irisi).

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Kalametiya is a coastal wetland area that has an especially rich bio-diversity and is great for a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka.

Is located on the South Eastern coast of Sri Lanka, in tHambantota district.

The sanctuary has a mix of marine and birdlife due to the coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps, scrub jungles and open grassy areas.

Large lakes in the dry zone mostly attract a large number of ducks .

The wetlands such as Weerawila, Kalamatiya and Bundala national park are where larger aquatic birds such as Storks, Herons, Egrets, Spoonbills, Pelican, and ibis can be seen. 

Migrant birds arrive during mid-August nd settle along the lagoons and salterns of the coast areas.

The types of birds that can be seen include Sandpipers, Stints, Plovers, Terns and Harriers.

Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park lies on the Southern Coastof Sri Lanka and stretches across nearly 20 kilometres along a coastal strip between Kirinda and Hambantota.

September to March are the best months to visit the Park

There are around 200 species to be found at the park.

You are likely to see the following birds whilst own a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka.

Greater Flamingo

Common Redshank, 

Petite Blue Tailed Bee-eaters

Indian Peafowl 

Bodinagala Forest Reserve

Peak Wilderness Sanctuary

Kitulgala Forest Reserve

Yala National Park

Wilpattu

Udawalawe

Wagamuwa

Wasgamuwa

So, if you are considering a Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka, we hope that this post has been helpful to you.

GlenMyu Estate
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