Bird Sanctuaries

The tiny island is home to over 430 species of birds, 26 of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Different seasons also bring in different migratory birds to the country. The best way to experience this diverse offering is to travel to the multitude of bird sanctuaries located across the island. From the mangroves and sand dunes of Bundala to the rolling plains and dry forests of Kumana and the lush rainforests of Sinharaja, the different ecologies of the dozens of bird sanctuaries in Sri Lanka offer unique bird watching experiences. The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka is the apex association related to the conservation and study of birds in the country.

  • Peak Wilderness

    Peak Wilderness was declared as a sanctuary in 1940 and is 22,379 hectares in extent. In 2010 it was declared as a World Heritage Wilderness Area considering the biological and ecological importance of this largely intact forest which ranges from 700m 1500m. This is a very important area in Sri Lanka for the conservation of the endemics; flora and fauna. The peak wilderness also supports the last remaining remnant wet zone elephant population in the country. This forest was cut off from the lowland forests by land clearing during the turn of the last century and therefore these elephants have been isolated in this mountainous terrain. It is estimated that 30-50 animals, sufficient in number to maintain a viable population still occur in these forests. All the footpaths to the Adam's Peak are through this forest and many species of birds can be seen during the season as well as off season. This mountain walk begins from a wet evergreen forest and goes all the way up to a montane cloud forest. Even though this involves a strenuous climb many species of birds that are found at different altitudes can be observed. Though accommodation is available in and around Nallathaniya for overnight stay, there are only a very few such places available around Eratna.

     

     


    How to get there:-1)  Colombo - Avissawella - Kitulgala - Norton Bridge - Nallathanniya - Peak Wilderness (4 hours). 2) Colombo - Avissawella - Eratna - Peak Wilderness (31/2hours).

     

    BIRDS: Lower Elevations:- Ceylon Blue Magpie, Ceylon Rufus Babbler, Ashy-Headed Laughingthrush, Layard's Parakeet, Ceylon Green Pigeon, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Ceylon Crested Drongo, Ceylon Trogon, Orange Minivet, Green-Billed Coucal, Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Ceylon Spur Fowl and many more.

     

    Higher Elevations:-  Ceylon Whistling Thrush, Yellow-Eared Bulbul, Ceylon Hill White Eye, Grey-Headed Flycatcher, Ceylon Black Bird, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Scaly Thrush, Mountain Hawk Eagle and many more.

     

  • Sinharaja Rainforest

    One of the most important natural habitats in Sri Lanka, the Sinharaja rainforest offers a huge diversity of species both flora and fauna with a large proportion of those being indigenous to the country and some more specifically endemic to Sinharaja itself. A permit is required to enter the reserve. A forest guide will be provided by the Forest Department. The ticket office at Kudawacan be reached by a car but a four-wheel-drive vehicle with a high ground clearance is needed to reach the forest entrance from which point bird watching has to be done on foot. The paths are well defined but one has to be mindful of the leeches, especially during the rainy season.

     

     

     

    Sinharaja is famous for its mixed feeding bird flocks and a number of endemic birds can be observed during the walks across the forest. Basic accommodation is provided by the Forest Department for those interested in staying overnight but it has to be arranged prior to the visit from the head office at Jayanthipura, Battaramulla. There are also a few private guest houses, which would provide meals and accommodation. There is an entry into the reserve from Deniyaya as well.

     

    How to get there:- Colombo - Kalutara - Agalawatta - Matugama - Kalawana - Veddagala - Sinharaja (4 hours)

     

    BIRDS: Green-Billed Coucal, Red-Faced Malkoha, Ceylon Blue Magpie, Rufous Babbler, Ceylon Hill Mynah, Ashy-Headed Laughingthrush, White-Headed Starling, Yellow-Fronted Barbet, Spot-Winged Thrush, Scaly Thrush, Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Ceylon Spur Fowl, Crimson-Backed Woodpecker, Ceylon Crested Drongo, Layard's Parakeet, Ceylon Green Pigeon, Ceylon Lorikeet, SerendibScops Owl, Ceylon Bay Owl, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Chestnut Backed Owlet, Ceylon Frogmouth, Legge'sFlowerpecker, Scimitar Babbler, Ceylon Trogon, Black Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagles, Hawk Eagles, Crested Honey Buzzard and many more.

     

  • Kitulgala Forest Reserve

    The forest lies along the Kelani River opposite the Kitulgala Rest House. The river has to be crossed to enter the forest. A dugout canoe stabilised with an outrigger is available at a fee for crossing the river. Besides, the same can be reached by birders on the footpath that extends through the village. Anyway, this forest which is about 1,155 hectares in extent is protected as a Forest Reserve which comes under the purview of the Forest Department. There are many places to stay overnight along the Avissawella-Hatton main road including the Rest House. These have to be booked beforehand.

     

     

     

    How to get there:-  Colombo - Avissawella - Ruwanwella - Kitulgala (2 hours).

     

    BIRDS:  Green-Billed Coucal, Ceylon Lorikeet, Layard’s Parakeet, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Chestnut-Backed Owlet, Ceylon Blue Magpie, Ceylon Jungle & Ceylon Spur Fowl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Ceylon Crested Drongo, Broad-Billed Roller, Spotted-Winged Thrush, Yellow-Fronted Barbet, Black-Naped Monarch, Common Hill Mynah, Crested Serpent Eagle, Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle etc.

     

  • Horton Plains

    The park covers an area of 3,160 hectares of montane grassland fringed and interspersed with patches of dense montane cloud forests. This park and the adjoining Peak Wilderness form the most important catchment area for almost all the major rivers in the country. Three major rivers including the longest, Mahaveli (335km), Kelani and Walawe originate from the within the park itself. Kirigalpotta (2,389m) and Thotupalakanda (2,357m) being the second and the third highest mountains in the country respectively are situated within this park. This is also the highest plateau of the country, being above 5,000 feet, and the western slopes of the park support the most extensive area of montane cloud forests surviving in the country. The park comes under the purview of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and a permit is required to enter the park. There are motorable roads as well as footpaths to different locations in the park including the popular "World's End" as referred by locals, which is a vertical drop of 884m, and the picturesque Bakers falls etc. Most of the species of hill birds can be easily seen here during any walk in the park which is through forested areas, grasslands and streams. A walk to the "worlds end" is also through pristine hill bird habitat. There are bungalows as well as camp sites inside the park which have to be pre-booked with the DWLC.

     

     

     

    How to get there:-1)  Colombo - Avissawella - Hatton - Nanuoya - Ambewela - Pattipola - Horton Plains. 2) Colombo - Ratnapura - Pelmadulla - Balangoda - Haputale - Boralanda - Ohiya - Horton Plains (6 1/2 hours).

     

    BIRDS:  Ceylon Warbler, Ceylon Whistling Thrush, Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Scaly Thrush, Spotted-winged Thrush, Ceylon Rufus Babbler, Ceylon Blue Magpie, Ceylon Hill White Eye, Pied Bush Chat, Kashmir Red-Breasted Flycatcher, Common Buzzard Brown Baza, Yellow-Eared Bulbul, Black-Winged Kite, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle etc.

     

  • Ingiriya Forest Reserve

    449 hectares in extent and protected as a forest reserve, this park is managed by the Forest Department. Within the forest is a Buddhist place of meditation and therefore being silent and behaving decently are of paramount importance. This forest is threatened by encroachments all around. However, one is able to walk for about 1 1/2 km inside the forest and also ascend a small hillock from where the surrounding forest canopy can be observed. There are well defined paths to walk as well as cement steps to climb the hillock. Though not as rich as some of the large forests reserves in terms of the diversity of birds, this location is popular with the Colombo birders due to its proximity to the city

     

     

     

    How to get there:- Colombo - Nugegoda - Piliyandala - Horana - 4 km from Horanajunction, look out for a board stating "Dombagaskanda Forest Hermitage (Aranya)" Follow the boards to the forest (1 1/2 hours)

     

    BIRDS: reen-Billed Coucal, Ceylon Trogon, Ceylon Crested Drongo, Indian Three-Toed Kingfisher, Yellow-Fronted Barbet, Black-Capped, Yellow-Browed & Black Bulbuls, Legge's Flower Peckker, Black-Naped Flycatcher, Large-Billed & Green Leaf Warblers, Ceylon & Green Imperial Pigeons, Brown-Capped & Black-Fronted Babblers and many more

     

     

  • Galways Land Sanctuary

    This is a small but well-preserved patch of montane forest that offers habitat for many species of hill birds. This national park is only 29 hectares in extent out of which 28 hectares are reserved for the bird sanctuary which is under the purview of the Department of Wildlife Conservation. A permit is required to walk into the park. Accommodation is available at many hotels in the vicinity.

     

     

     

    How to get there:  - Colombo - Avissawella - Yatiyantota - Kitulgala - Hatton - NuwaraEliya - pass the Economic Centre to reach the park entrance (5 1/2 hours).

     

    BIRDS:  Black Bird, Ceylon Warbler, Yellow-Eared Bulbul, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Grey-Headed Flycatcher, Ceylon Hill White Eye, Kashmir Red-Breasted Flycatcher, Grey Tit and many more. Hawk Eagle and many more.

     

     

  • Nawadankulama Tank Sanctuary

    This is a very large tank which dries during the dry season exposing large area of lake shore studded with small islandsof trees and shrubs. This is the southernmost location in the country where some of the species which are commonlyfound in the northern part of the country such as the Collared Dove, Indian Grey Partridge can be regularly sighted.It is also a location favoured by large flocks of migrant ducks. One could walk on the bund as well as drive down to the dried up tank shore. Meals & accommodation are available at the Puttalam Rest House and some private hotels.

     

     

     

    How to get there: -  Colombo - Negombo - Chilaw - look for a board on the left "Nawadankulama" at 105th km Post - turn right - 3km to the tank (3 hours).

     

    BIRDS:  Collared Dove, Indian Grey Partridge, Pintail, Gargeny, Osprey, Black-Tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Little Grebe,Cotton Teal, Common Coot, Brown Fish Owl, Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, CrestedSerpent Eagle, Black-Backed Yellow Woodpecker, Golden-Backed Woodpecker, Pied Kingfisher, Orange-Breasted GreenPigeon, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Blue-Faced Malkoha, Indian Pitta, and Crested Tree Swift.

     

     

  • Labugama-Kalatuwawa Forest

    This is a dominant wet zone evergreen rainforest which forms the catchment area of the Labugama and Kalatuwawa reservoirs that provide water to the city of Colombo. Managed by theForest Department this forest is 2,150 hectares in extent and isthe largest forest reserve close to Colombo where many wet zoneendemic species can be sighted. As in other wet zone forests inthe country, leeches are found here too and any excursion into the forest should be with adequate protection.

     

     

     

    How to get there:-  Colombo - Maharagama - Kaluaggala - Turn Left - Many roads can be taken to reach the borders ofthe forest (1 hour)

     

    BIRDS:   Green-Billed Coucal, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Black-Fronted Babbler, Spotted-Winged Thrush, Ceylon Trogon, CeylonCrested Drongo, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Ceylon Small Barbet,Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Ceylon Spur Fowl, Ceylon Green Pigeon,Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Brown-Capped Babbler, Red-Backed & Crimson-Backed Woodpeckers, Lesser YellowNapedWoodpecker, Black-Capped, Yellow-Browed & BlackBulbuls, Layard's & Alexandrine Parakeets, Ceylon Lorikeet,Indian Three-Toed Kingfisher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, BrownCappedPygmy Woodpecker etc.

     

     

  • Mithirigala Forest Reserve

    Protected as a forest reserve and 512 hectares in extent, this forest also comes under the purview of the Forest Department. In this forest too is a Buddhist temple (Aranya). The earlier footpath adjacent to the forest leading to a village has now become a tarred road. During early morning, a walk on this road can be very rewarding and once walked for about 1 1/2 km there is a footpath to the left which leads to an open glade. Bird watching inside the forest hermitage area should be with the permission of the caretakers.

     

     

     

    How to get there:  -Colombo - Kaduwela - Hanwella - Pugoda - After 3 km look for a road on the right hand side with a board "MithirigalaAranyaya" (1 hour).

     

    BIRDS:  White-RumpedShama, Ceylon Swallow, Ashy Swallow Shrike, Ceylon Lorikeet, Black-Capped, Yellow-Browed & Black Bulbuls, Ceylon & Green Imperial Pigeons,Alexandrine Parakeet, Brown-Capped & Black-FrontedBabblers, Black-Headed & Large Cuckoo Shrikes, IndianThree-Toed Kingfisher, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Paradise Flycatcher, Black-Naped Flycatcher and many more.

     

     

  • Salgala Forest Reserve

    This is a forested area where a Buddhist place of worship is located similar to Bodhinagala. The foot path inside the forest is about 1/2 km. But the low country, tall forest is rich in bird life.

     

     

    How to get there: - 1. Colombo - Kaduwela - Weliveriya - Attanagalla - Galapitamada - Salgala (1 hour).

     

     

    2. Colombo - Peliyagoda - Warakapola turn right from the junction to Galapitamada.

     

    BIRDS: White-RumpedShama, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Common Hill Mynah, Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-Fronted Barbet, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Black-Naped Flycatcher, Ceylon Small Barbet, Black-Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Crimson-Backed Woodpecker and many more.

     


  • Talangama Tank And Marshes

    This area consists of a large tank, marshes, ponds, well-wooded privet lands and a series of paddy fields with motorable roads through the area. The area can be explored on foot as well as by a vehicle. Many migrant waders and some forest birds can be seen here, particularly, during the beginning and end of the migrant season. It is a popular site among birders due to its proximity to Colombo.

     

     

     

    How to get there:-  Colombo -Rajagiriya -Pelawatte - turn right and drive towards Hokandara Junction - turn left about 150m before the junction on to the ITN TV station road and pass the ITN TV station -Turn right onto the tank road which will take you to the tank (30 minutes).

     

    BIRDS:  Stork-Billed, Common, Pied & White-Breasted Kingfishers, White Ibis, Lesser Whistling Teal, Common Moorhen, Brahminy Kite, Brown Shrike, Ceylon Swallow, Black Winged Stilt, Water Cock, Purple Heron, Gargeny, Common, Marsh &Wood Sandpipers, Yellow Wagtail, Indian Black Robin, Lesser Sand Plovers, Red-Wattled Lapwings, Purple Swamphen, Green Imperial Pigeon & Crested Honey Buzzard etc.

     

     

  • Sri Jayewardenapura Sanctuary

    This area is protected as a sanctuary which comes under the purview of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and 449 hectares in extent. A walk on the footpaths along the marshes during early mornings, particularly during the migrant season, is worth for those interested in watching some local and migrant species. It is also popular due to its close proximity to the city.

     

     

     

    How to get there:- Colombo -Rajagiriya -100m before the parliament, turn right on to "Japan Friendship Mawatha" - drive for about one km and you will come across some marshy areas on the left (20 Minutes).

     

    BIRDS: Lesser Whistling Teal, Black-Winged Stilt, Eurasian Golden Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Yellow Wagtail, Asian Openbill, Common Kingfisher, Spotted Dove, Pintail Snipe, White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Black-Headed Oriole, Ashy & White Browed Prinia, White Breasted Water Hen, Purple Coot, Little Grebe, Wood & Common Sandpipers etc.

     

     

  • Bellanwila-Attidiya Site

    This wetland which is 372 hectares in extent is protected as a sanctuary and is under the Department of Wildlife Conservation. Even though industrial wastes are released to the waterways that flow through the marsh, this, once a very rich wetland, still hosts many interesting species of birds.

     

     


    How to get there:- Colombo- Nugegoda- Pepiliyana- drive towards Bellanwila Temple, as you pass the temple, turn to left and after 30 metres turn to right again. This road goes through the marshes. You can also go past the temple for about 200 metres and turn right towards the "Pump House"of the Water Resources Board from where a footpath of about 1/2 km extends into the marsh along the river.

     

    BIRDS: Lesser Whistling Teal, Asian Openbill, Purple Heron, Blyth's Reed Warbler, Pallas Grass Hopper Warbler, Ashy- & WhiteBrowedPrinia, White Ibis, Black-Headed Oriole, Purple Coot, Water Cock, Common, Pied, White-Breasted & Stork-Billed Kingfishers, Black Winged Stilt, Spot Billed Pelican, White-Breasted Water Hen, Ruddy Crake etc.

     

     

  • Udawattekelle Forest Reserve

    UdawattaKele is managed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, 119 hectares in extent and protected as a forest reserve by the Forest Department. This is a very popular site among the birders in Kandy area. Vehicles are not permitted and tickets have to be obtained to enter the sanctuary. This is a tall, wet evergreen forest. The lake within the sanctuary attracts many species of birds that feed on fish.

     

     

     

    How to get there:- Colombo -Kegalle -Kandy (take the road which goes up past the president's house to reach the entrance).

     

    BIRDS: Indian Three-Toed Kingfisher, Stork-Billed Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Brown Fish Owl, Forest Eagle Owl, Wood Owl, CommonHill Mynah, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, Green Leaf & Large-Billed LeafWarblers, Layard's Flycatcher, Paradise Flycatcher, Brown-CappedBabbler, Crimson-Backed Woodpecker, Yellow-Fronted Barbet,Layard's, Black-hooded Oriole, Alexandrine & Blossom-HeadedParakeets, Ceylon Lorikeet, Indian Pitta and many more

     

     

  • Victoria Randenigala Rantembe Sanctuar...

    This is the catchment area for the Victoria, Randenigala and Rantambe reservoirs that were built under the accelerated MahaweliDevelopment Scheme. The area enjoys protection as a sanctuary which comes under the purview of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and is 42,087 hectares in extent. The forested hills and the valleys as well as the large reservoirs and rivers make this area suitable for many species of forest birds and raptors. Accommodation is available at some private hotels and MahaveliBungalows.

     

     

     

    How to get there:- Colombo -Kegalle -Kandy -Tennekumbura Bridge -Go straight to reach Raja Mawatha which goes through the sanctuary (4 1/2hours).

     

    BIRDS: Thick-Billed Flowerpecker, Black-Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Large Cuckoo Shrike, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Orange Minivet, Indian Pitta, Ceylon Swallow, House Swift, Forest Eagle Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Black Eagle, RufousBelliedHawk Eagle, Crested Serpent & Crested Hawk Eagles, Black-Winged Kite, Crested Honey Buzzard, Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Rufus Woodpecker, Common Iora, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Green Leaf & Large-Billed Leaf Warblers and many more.

     

     

  • Bundala National Park Sanctuary

    Bundala is the first site in the country to get Ramsar status and is the most important site for resident as well as migrant waterbirds outside the northern part of the country. It is managed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. It was declared as asanctuary in 1969 and received Ramsar status in 1990. The park consists of 6,216 hectares of dense thorny scrub, sand dunes andfive shallow brackish lagoons. The road network inside the park allows the birder to visit much bird sites located within the park ina vehicle. The BundalaSaltern which is adjoining the park has a few motorable roads and is a locality where thousands of migrantwaders can be observed during the season. There are no bungalows inside the park but a few campsites are available in the park.Accommodation is available at private guest houses at Weligatta and Hambantota.

     

     

     


    How to get there:- Colombo- Ratnapura- Pelmadulla-Godakawela- Thimbolketiya- Embilipitiya- Turn left at Padalangala -Sisilassagama- Weligatta. Then turn right - Park Entrance is about 3 km away (6 hours).

     

    BIRDS: Greater Flamingo, Pintail, Gargeny, Shoveller, Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone, Common, Wood & Marsh Sandpipers,Common Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Pratincole, Black-Winged Stilt, Caspian Tern,Lesser Crested Tern, Gull-Billed Tern, Little Tern, Great Stone Plover, Little-Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Stone Curlew, SpotBilledPelican, Spoonbill, Broad-Billed Sandpiper, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Ruddy Crake, Black-Backed Yellow Woodpecker,Yellow-Fronted Pied Woodpecker, Hoopoe, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Marshall's Iora and many more.

     

     

  • Chilaw Sandspits

    This is a location on the beach next to an estuary and is very good for waders like Terns and Gulls. The main sandspit is to the right of the main land and can be reached by a very short boat ride across the river. Meals and accommodation are available at the Chilaw Rest House which is the only such place close to the site.

     

     

     

    How to get there: - Colombo- Negombo- Chilaw- turn right at the Chilaw Rest House and go along the coast road to reachthe sandspit. Towards the end the surface of the road becomes very sandy and thus it is advisable to park vehicles well in advance if it is not four-wheel drive (2 hours).

     

    BIRDS: Sanderling, Common Tern, Little Tern, Lesser-Crested Tern, Great-Crested Tern, and Brown-Headed Gull, Heuglin'sGull, Terek Sandpiper, Whimbrel, and Eurasian Curlew and many more. Rare species such as Oystercatcher, Sandwich Tern etc., have been recorded from this location.

     

     

  • Anavilundawa Bird Sanctuary

    This sanctuary comes under the Department of Wildlife Conservation. It is 1,397 hectares in extent and primarily a complex oflarge tanks and adjoining forest. The largest of the tanks holds a large breeding colony of Herons and other water birds mainlyduring the months of April- June. The dominant species is the Openbill, Great Cormorant, White Ibis and a host of otherspecies occurs here. A stroll on the bund of this tank will allow one to get close to the breeding colony. During the season manyspecies of migrants can also be seen. Meals and accommodation for those interested in staying overnight are available at the Chilaw or Puttalam Rest House and private guest houses in the area.

     

     

     

    How to get there: - Colombo -Negombo - Chilaw -Turn left at a small Buddhist shrine. Upon turning to this road the Anavilundawa Railway Station is on the right - Proceed one km to reach the tank (2 1/2 hours).

     

    BIRDS: Openbill, Purple Coot, Common Moorhen, Lesser Whistling Teal, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Stork-Billed, Common, Pied & White-Breasted Kingfishers, Gargeny, White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, Black-Winged Stilt, Cotton Teal,Indian Shag, Spoonbill, Large, Median & Little Egrets, Black-Backed Yellow Woodpecker, Brown Fish Owl and many more.

     

     

  • Wilpattu National Park Sanctuary

    131,693 hectares in extent Wilpattu is the largest national park in the country,. The main topographical feature in Wilpattu is theconcentration of "Villus" or lakes within the park. These water bodies though looking similar to lakes are formed by flat basinlike depressions with the surface containing pure rain water. The park is unique as there are a number of these with large sandylake shores (Villus) which provide the animals with a continuous water supply during the dry season. Two of these "Villus" are

     

     

     

    salty due to a characteristic of the soil. A permit is needed to be purchased at the entrance and a game guard is also provided.Except at a few locations, visitors are not permitted to get off their vehicles. This is a very scenic park. There are bungalows inthe park which have to be booked in advance through the Department of Wildlife Conservation. There are a few privately ownedbungalows also outside the park.

     

    How to get there: - Colombo -Negombo -Chilaw -Puttalam -Tabbowa -turn left at the Wilpattu Name Board few Kilometres before the Nochchiyagama town (4 hours).

     

    BIRDS: Brown-Capped Babbler, White-RumpedShama, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Pintail Snipe, Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Black-TailedGodwit, Great Stone Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ceylon Green Pigeon, Orange-Breasted Green Pigeon, Malabar PiedHornbill, Racket-Tailed Drongo, Forest Eagle Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Black-Backed Yellow Woodpecker, Rufus Woodpecker,Golden-Backed Woodpecker, Hoopoe, Common Kestrel, Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, White-Bellied Sea Eagle,Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, Ceylon Frog Mouth etc.

     

     

  • Mannar And Vankalai Bird Sanctuary

    This is one of the most important areas located in the north of the country for the migrating waterfowl. 4,800 hectares inextent, this important habitat was protected and declared as a sanctuary in 2008 upon a proposal presented to the Department of Wildlife Conservation after a four year study conducted by the members of the Ceylon Bird Club. During the study the membersdiscovered that the Indian Spot-Billed Duck, a species which was considered a very rare migrant with a history of only a

     

     


    handful of records breeding in this area. This is an arid locality with seasonal water bodies, marshes, lakes, mudflats, thorny scrub, salt marshes, swamps, mangroves, coastal lagoons and sea grass beds. Some of the migrant water fowl species which are commonly seen here are seldom seen in the south of the country. This good spotting scope is of immense value to the avid birder who wants to study many species of waders found at the causeway as well as the many water bodies in Mannar. There are no hotels yet for overnight stay. The overnight accommodation available is mostly the rooms of the houses rented out by the owners.

     

    How to get there:- Colombo - Negombo - Chilaw - Puttalam - Anuradhapura - Medawachchiya - Settikulam - Murunkan - Mannar (6 hours)

     

    BIRDS: Indian Spot-Billed Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Avocet, Common Teal, Northern Shoveller, Pintail, Gargeny, GreaterFlamingo, Crab Plover, Oystercatcher, Red Knot, Great Knot, Ruff, Indian Grey Partridge, Lesser Crested Tern, Great CrestedTern, Caspian Tern, White-Winged Black Tern, Little Tern, Great Black-Headed Gull, Heuglin's Gull, Brown Headed Gull,Common Coot, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Kentish Plover, Black Drongo, RufousRumped Shrike, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Long-tailedShrike, Montague's Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Golden-Backed Woodpecker and many more.