Sri Lanka is the 25th biodiversity hot spot in the world. You can observe many different species of flora & fauna with in a short time and minimum distance travelled. Sri Lanka is rich with 450 bird species 33 species of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. In this tour we specially focus on both endemic and migrant birds of Sri Lanka.
We at Yathra Eco Trails have carefully planned birding tours in Sri Lanka to maximize our birding tours success by visiting as many habitats, altitudinal zones, and local lesser known hideouts as possible while still maintaining a reasonable tour pace.
We offer customized small group birding tours in Sri Lanka with maximum time in the field. Each morning we will be getting an early start to make the best of our time, and maximize our opportunities to see as many species of birds as possible. Each evening, there will also be an optional meeting after dinner to go over the bird list.
In this category of tours, we have carefully selected the best combination of birding tour locations, some times even compromising creature comforts, to ensure the largest variety and number of species possible.
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Day 01: Airport - Negombo
You will be met on arrival at the Colombo International Airport by our Yathra Travels representative who will assist you with your luggage and guide you to your vehicle where your guide awaits. Transfer to the hotel in Negombo. Spend the morning at leisure and have a short meeting with your guide about the next days visits and departure times. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 02: Negombo - Kandy
After an early breakfast, make a start to Kandy, the last capital of Sri Lanka. On arrival in Kandy, proceed to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Here you will have the opportunity to spot the following noteworthy species:
Common Hawk-Cuckoo, Alexandrine Parakeet, Ceylon Small Barbet, Large Cuckooshrike , Indian Pitta.
After the visit, have lunch at a restaurant in Kandy and then proceed to the Udawattakele Sanctuary.
Udawatta Kele Sanctuary or the Royal Forest Park of Kandy is situated on the hillside behind the Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Tooth Relic. This forest extents about 257 acres and is considered to be a vital Bio reserve for the much populated Kandy City.
Possible noteworthy species: Emerald Dove, Ceylon Hanging Parrot, Layard’s Parakeet, Yellow-Fronted Barbet, Ceylon Small Barbet, Crimson-Backed Flareback, White-Rumped Shama, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Brown-Capped Babbler, Common Hill-Myna.
Proceed to the hotel and check in for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 03: Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, make an early start towards Nuwara Eliya. Afternoon visit Victoria Park The Park is well haunted by Bird Watchers, who are bound to see varied species. The Galway’s Land Bird Sanctuary, close to Lake Gregory, is yet another wildlife site for Bird Watchers.
Possible noteworthy species include: Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Yellow-Eared Bulbul, Pied Bush Chat, Ceylon Scaly Thrush, Ceylon Whistling Thrush, Common Blackbird, Sri Lanka Bush-Warbler, Grey-Headed Canary, Kashmir & Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch, Sri Lanka White-Eye. Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Kashmir Flycatcher.
Day 04: Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya
Pre dawn start for Horton Plains National Park. Horton Plains National Park is a protected area of 3,160 hectares (12.2 sq mi)
Situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It’s also designated to be upgraded as a biosphere reserve in the future.
Possible noteworthy species: Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Yellow-Eared Bulbul, Pied Bush Chat, Ceylon Scaly Thrush, Ceylon Whistling Thrush, Common Blackbird, Sri Lanka Bush-Warbler, Grey-Headed Canary, Kashmir & Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Velvet-Fronted Nuthatch, Ceylon White-Eye.
Day 05: Nuwara Eliya - Kithulgala - Sinharaja
After breakfast, descend from the hill country to Sinharaja, en-route stop over at Kithulgala, and visit the Kelani River Reserve for another look at lowland endemics.
Cross the Kelani River in a dugout canoe and reach the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve, which is a lowland tropical rainforest rich in endemic fauna and flora. The Kelani Valley Forest Reserve is ideal for any missed lowland endemics such as Sri Lanka Myna, Green-billed Coucal, Spot-winged Thrush, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Brown-capped Babbler and Red-faced Malkoha. As dusk falls look for the newly discovered Serendib Scops Owl.
Continue to Sinharaja rainforest. On arrival, check into the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 06: Sinharaja
Full days visit to Sinharaja Rainforest (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) for lowland endemics and mixed species bird flocks. According a study of the mixed species bird on average 42 individual birds occur in the flocks, which makes this the world’s largest mixed species bird flock. The mixed species Bird flock study of Sinharaja forest has been continuing since 1981 and is considered as the World’s longest studied bird flock study.
Birding Highlights include: Crested Goshawk, Besra Sparrowhawk, Rufous-Bellied Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Ceylon Spur Fowl, Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Red-Faced Malkoha, Green-Billed Coucal, Chestnut-Winged Cuckoo, Serendib Scops-Owl, Chestnut-Backed Owlet, Sri Lanka Frog Mouth, Malabar Trogon, Yellow-Browed Bulbul, Himalayan Black Bulbul, Spot-Winged Ground Thrush, Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush, Sri Lanka Rufous Babbler, Ashy-Headed Laughing Thrush, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Ceylon Blue Magpie, White-Faced Starling, Sri Lanka Hill-Myna.
Day 07: Sinharaja - Yala
After breakfast, check out and proceed to Yala. Afternoon safari in the Yala national Park. Yala is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka.Of 215 bird species of the park, six are endemic to Sri Lanka. After safari, return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Possible noteworthy species: Painted & Black-Necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Black-Winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Great Thick-Knee, Small Pratincole, Yellow-Wattled & Red-Wattled Lapwing, Pacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Little-Ringed, Kentish, Mongolian & Greater Sand Plover, Marsh, Wood & Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Bengal Bushlark, Ashy-Crowned Finch-Lark, Brahminy Starling, Rosy Starling
Day 08: Yala - Bundala - Yala
Early morning proceed to Bundala National Park. The bio diversity of this park is immense: A total of 383 plant species have been recorded from the park, including 6 endemics and 7 species that are considered nationally threatened.The bird life is also diverse. For keen bird-watchers, the complex wetland system harbours a rich bird life (approximately 197 species), including several species of migratory waterfowl. This has led to the declaration of the park as Sri Lanka 's first ‘Ramsar' wetland – one of great international importance especially for migratory waterfowl.
Possible noteworthy species: Greater Flamingo, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Watercock, Eurasian Stone Curlew, Great Thick-Knee, Small Pratincole, Pacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Little-Ringed, Kentish, Mongolian & Greater Sand Plover, Marsh, Wood, Terek & Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Brown-Headed Gull, Caspian, Great-Crested, Lesser-Crested, Gull-Billed, Whiskered, White-Winged, Saunders & Little Tern, Oriental Skylark, Brahminy Starling,
Day 09: Yala - Negombo
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and proceed to Negombo. On arrival, check into the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 10: Negombo - Airport
Early morning after a quick breakfast, proceed to the Muthurajawela Marshes. Spread over 6230 hectares The Muthurajawela wetland runs parallel to the western coastline of the country and together with the contiguous Negambo lagoon forms an integrated coastal wetland system of high biodiversity and ecological significance.
Possible noteworthy species: Little and Indian Cormorant, Cattle, Little, Intermediate & Large Egrets, Purple Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Little Green Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black Bittern, Yellow Bittern, Chestnut Bittern, Black-headed Ibis, Asian Open-bill, Little Grebe, Lesser Whistling Teal, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, White-breasted Water hen, Purple Swamp hen, Water Cock and Common Moorhen.
Return to the hotel, check out and proceed to the airport for departure.