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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 4 Places for Bird Watching Sri Lanka – The Bird watcher's paradise
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 4 Places for Bird Watching Sri Lanka – The Bird watcher's paradise

Having recorded 496 species, 33 out of which are endemic to the region, Sri Lanka is a bird watchers paradise. Here are 4 of the best places for bird watching in Sri Lanka.

1

Sinharaja

Sinharaja

Recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the lush rainforest of Sinharaja located in the South Eastern province of Sri Lanka overflows with biodiversity. Occupying an area of roughly 189 square kilometres, the Sinharaja forest is a great place to spot 29 of 33 birds that are endemic to Sri Lanka such as the Ceylon Spurfowl, Celyon Magpie, Ceylon Woodpigeon and Ceylon Hill-Myna. More than 200 birds migrate to the Sinharaja forest from places as far as Western Europe, Siberia and Scandinavia during the months of August/September and leave around April/May. In addition to the stunning range of birds, the Sinharaja rainforest is also home to 3 elephants, around 15 leopards and reptiles like the green pit viper and the hump-nosed viper.

2

Horton plains national park

Horton plains national park

Horton Plains is a well-known birdwatching spot that is home to rare highland birds that can't be spotted anywhere else in Sri Lanka. You'll have to get up early in the morning if you want birds such as the Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Sri Lanka White-eye, Sri Lanka Jungle-fowl, Dull-blue Flycatcher, Yellow-eared Bulbul and Spot-winged Thrush that inhabit the grassland valleys of Horton plains. The Stripe-necked Mongoose, Bear Monkey, Long-tailed Giant Squirrel Wild Boar and Fishing cat are some of the other animals that can be frequently spotted at Horton Plains.

3

Yala national park

Yala national park

The Yala national park is Sri Lanka's 2nd largest wildlife park and is home to more than 125 different species of birds. A tourist visiting the Yala national park during the dry season will be able to spot elephants, leopards, monkeys, deer and many more types of mammals. Hotels and resorts in the area similar to Cinnamon Nature Trails offer some of the best_ bird watching tours in Sri Lanka_. The Kumana national park, located in the eastern region of the Yala national park is another place to that is a must-see place if you're a bird lover. While pelicans are the most common bird species spotted here the black-necked stork is the rarest. The Kumbukkan Oya where is birds build the nest in the swamp during May – June, is one of the main camping areas for birdwatchers.

4

Bundala national park

Bundala national park

Located southeast of Sri Lanka's commercial capital Colombo, the Bundala national park is a wintering ground that has been recognized by the UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and as a RAMSAR wetland. Occupying a space of 6,216 hectares, the park is home to 197 species of birds out of which large flocks of migrating greater flamingos being one of the key highlights. Pacific Golden Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, Common sandpipers, Wood Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plovers, Pheasant-tailed Jacana are some of the other species of birds you'll be able to spot while visiting Bundala. Kokara, a water tank which is situated close to the Bundala lagoon is a great place to observe elephants in their natural habitat at the break of down. Visitors are however advised to proceed with caution when observing elephants as they can get quite aggressive if they are startled due to elephant-human conflicts that have occurred in the area. The area is also a great place to witness a wide variety of butterflies, mammals and reptiles.