Sri Lanka January - February 2000

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT


By Scott Kennedy. email -

Having already booked the trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives with a stopover in Dubai for two days on the return journey, commencing on the 26th January 2000 and returning on the 14th February 2000. Then a bit of a nudge from my now wife and we decided to get married while in Sri Lanka. Therefore not so much a birding trip but a combination of the usual holiday bits with some birding thrown in for good measure. Before leaving the UK we decided which sites to visit bearing in mind the limited time available, being based in one hotel made things a little more difficult. As although distances to various birding areas were not too great, the time taken to get there increased with the atrocious road conditions, particularly from Ratnapura to Sinharaja.

Our flights were with Emirates, who were brilliant to travel with and thoroughly recommended, in-flight food was good for a change and the entertainment was quite good too, which helped reduce the tedium of a long flight. We hired a car and driver for jaunts out, with an overnight stay when we visited Yala and Bundula, these can be organised very easily once in the country or before hand whatever suits.

Other information, health and money can be gleaned from the travel agent or from any of the many travel guides.

Apart from information from trip reports gained off the internet, I used the following books: (click here for some links to books)

A field guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka by John Harrison
Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Grimmet, Inskipp and Inskipp
Field guide to the birds of the Middle East by Porter, Christensen and Schiermacker-Hansen
The Birds of the United Arab Emirates by Colin Richardson

Basic Itinerary:

Depart Manchester 26th January 2000.
Arrive Hotel at Wadduwa, Sri Lanka 27th January 2000.
Depart Columbo, Sri Lanka 3rd February 2000.
Arrive Lily Beach Resort, Maldives 4th February 2000.
Depart Maldives 12th February 2000.
Arrive Dubai 12th February 2000.
Depart Dubai 14th February 2000.
Arrive Manchester 14th February 2000.

Sri Lanka

A tropical Island approximately 430 Km long and 230 Km at its widest point.

Coastal areas are mainly low lying with many lagoons and wetland areas, the northern portion of the island is mostly flat, intersected by rivers and a few resevoirs (known locally as tanks). The centre of the island is mountainous the highest peak reaching 2524m. The surrounding hill country also contains a few tanks and is the area of tea plantations.

The weather pattern here is mainly of two seasons, May-September the south-west monsoon brings rain to the south-west of the island and the hills facing the wind (known as the wet zone), the rest of the country is left fairly dry. During the other months the north-east monsoon blows, bringing rain to the north and less so to the east and south-east (known as the dry zone). Most rain falls between November & February, the annual total in the wet zone ranges between 2000-5000 mm, in the dry zone it is around 1825 mm in the north and 625 mm in the south-east. The low-lying coastal regions have a uniformly high year round temperature, averaging 27C, the highest temperatures are usually from March-June but rarely climbs above 35C. Temperatures rapidly fall with altitude and in the hill country can be as low as 16C.

Flora: The south-west part of the country or wet zone is mainly tropical rainforest with a tall canopy of hardwoods including Ebony,Teak and Silkwood and a dense undergrowth layer. The central hill country is typically cool, damp highlands with hardy grasses, elfin forests and rhododendron the trees often draped in Spanish moss. The remainder of the island forms the arid dry zone, which has a sparser cover of trees with shrubs and grasslands.

Fauna: The mammals total 86 species including a unique subspecies of Elephant, many species of deer can be seen in all national parks and even Leopard in some. Monkeys are common throughout especially the Long-tailed Grey Langur and Toque Macaque, other interesting species include the endangered Sloth Bear, Jackal, Porcupine, Loris and Flying Fox which roost in huge treetop colonies. Five species of turtle occur in Sri Lanka and all are threatened as is the Dugong and Crocodile.

Long isolation from the asian mainland and a diversity of habitats has helped to endow over 420 species of bird either resident or migrant to the island, of which 21 are endemic species and 70 endemic races.

National Parks visited

: This is a world heritage site and one of the most important reserves on the island, situated in the south-west wet zone, near Ratnapura. It is Sri Lanka’s last remaining virgin rainforest and the richest in endemic flora and fauna.
We hired a guide when we arrived at the reserve, he turned out to be extremely knowledgeable.
Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Myna, Green-billed Coucal, Red-faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Spot-winged Thrush, Scaly Thrush, White-faced Starling.

Yala: A very large reserve in the south-east of the country with rivers, lagoons, saltpans, shoreline and forest some 305 km from Columbo. You have to vist this reserve in landrovers hired outside the park, not to bad, the compulsary guide had limited knowledge of the birds but that was no problem.
Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Red-faced Malkoha, White-bellied Fish Eagle, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Brown Fish Owl and large numbers of waders.

Bundula: On the south coast near Hambantota, consisting of scrub jungle, saltpans and shoreline. An excellent place for watching birds. Again open top landrovers and compulsory guide.
Asian Openbill, Spoonbill, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler and waders.

Species Lists

Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger)
Commonest of the Cormorants in Sri Lanka, c30 at Yala 31/01, c50 the following day at Bundula many roosting. Sinharaja held 3 on the river 29/01 as did Wadduwa 28/01.

Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)
Two at Wadduwa 28/01, at least 6 at Yala 31/01 and 12 at Bundula the next morning.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Twelve at Yala 31/01 was the only record of this winter visitor which does occasionally breed.

Oriental Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)
A common resident of tanks and rivers of the low country dry zone, 9 were at Yala 31/01 and 2 at Bundula the following day.

Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)
A resident of large tanks and coastal lagoons in the dry zone, a row of dark spots on the upper mandible give it its name, c20 at Yala and 12 at Bundula.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Common resident of dry zone tanks and lagoons, 5 at Yala 31/01 and c20 Bundula the following day.

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Common in marshes and lagoons, 5 at Yala 31/01 and 10 Bundula the following day.

Great White Egret (Egretta alba)
Usually solitary, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01, 12 individuals at Yala 31/01 and 7 at Bundula the next morning.

Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia)
A common resident of wet paddy and marsh of the low country, 5 enroute to Sinharaja 29/01, 25 in the marshes around Yala 31/01 and c75 at Bundula the next day.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Resident of low country lagoons, tank edges and marshes, 10 at Yala 31/01 and 25 Bundula the next day.

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Common throughout the low country wherever cattle are grazing, seen at all places visited.

Indian Pond-heron (Ardeola grayii)
Very common resident, 6 near hotel at Wadduwa 28/01, 7 Sinharaja 29/01, only 4 noted at Yala 31/01 and 9 at Bundula the following day.

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus)
Although a common resident of coastal areas, river banks and tank edges we had only a single bird at Yala 31/01.

Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Four roosting in trees over a lagoon in company of other egret species at Bundula 01/02 was the only sighting.

Black Bittern (Dupetor flavicollis)
A single sighting before moving into dense vegetation alongside the Black river 29/01 near Kalutara.

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
Sizeable flocks seen at both Yala and Bundula totaling over 150 birds.

Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans)
Seen only at Yala and Bundula with c70 birds noted usually in small groups.

Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus)
An uncommon resident of the low country dry zone, endangered in Sri Lanka. So our single sighting at Bundula 01/02 was very lucky.

Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis (aethiopicus) melanocephalus)
A common resident, 5 noted at Yala 31/01 and 9 at Bundula the next morning.

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Fairly common resident of marshes, paddies and tank edges of the low country dry zone, 2 at Yala and 10 Bundula were the only sightings.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
Mainly a winter visitor with some juveniles remaining for the summer, a large flock of c300 on one of the saltpans at Bundula 01/02 with many more birds flying in which was a spectacular sight.

Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica)
Only seen in weedy pools at Yala and Bundula totaling c100 birds.

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
A minimum of 100 birds flying low over the sea at Yala 31/01 was the only record of this dry zone winter visitor.

Garganey (Anas querquedula)
A winter visitor to dry zone coastal lagoons, 6 at Yala and c20 at Bundula

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
A single bird fishing close inshore at Wadduwa 28/01 was the only sighting of this winter visitor.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
A resident of coastal areas in the north with a few straying south in the winter so 2 at Yala 31/01 was a good find.

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
Common in the dry zone usually near water, 2 at Wadduwa 28/01, 3 Sinharaja 29/01, 4 Yala 31/01 and 6 Bundula the next day.

White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Resident of coasts and lagoons of the dry zone, a single adult and 2 immatures at Yala 31/01 and 2 adults at Bundula the following day.

Crested Serpent-eagle (Spilornis cheela spilogaster)
Close, excellent views of 2 birds at Yala 31/01 of this endemic race.

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
A single sighting at Sinharaja 29/01.

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
A single sighting of a pale phase at Sinharaja 29/01 of this regular winter visitor.

Chestnut-bellied Hawk-eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii)
A single sighting at Sinharaja 29/01 of this endangered resident, excellent views of an adult circling above the forest.

Changeable Hawk-eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus ceylonensis)
Yala produced our only sighting of this endemic race on 31/01.

Blue-breasted Quail (Coturnix chinensis)
A single bird seen enroute to Sinharaja 29/01, alongside a damp marshy area.

Sri Lanka Spurfowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata)
An endemic species two viewed on the track leading up into the main reserve at Sinharaja 29/01.

Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii)
An endemic species of dense jungle and scrub, 1 adult female and 7 adult males at Yala 31/01 and a minimum of 15 at Bundula the following day.

Common Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
Common at Yala and Bundula, a bird of open areas and scrub of the low country dry zone.

Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator leggei)
Seven of this endemic race crossed the track in front of our vehicle, giving excellent views until they moved into dense cover at Bundula 01/02.

Slaty-breasted Rail (Gallirallus striatus)
Three individuals seen early morning around marshy pools at Bundula 01/02.

White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
A common resident of wet areas ten pairs seen at Bundula and 3 at Yala.

Indian Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio poliocephalus)
A common resident of reedy, swampy areas, at least 80 at Yala 31/01 and 25 Bundula the following day.

Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)
A common resident of weed covered water of the low country, c20 at Yala 31/01 and 17 Bundula the next day.

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus ceylonensis)
Some authorities consider this race to be a separate and endemic species, with its paler grey crown. Thirty were at Yala 31/01, seen in most of the shallow pools and c25 at Bundula.

Crab Plover (Dromas ardeola)
Four seen at the beach lagoon at Yala 31/01.

Great Thick-knee (Burhinus recurvirostris)
A resident of the dry lowlands, 2 at Yala 31/01 one of which was on a nest and 4 seen at Bundula the following day.

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
A single at Yala 31/01 and 22 at Bundula the following day.

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Seven at Yala 31/01 were the only sightings

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
Nine at Yala 31/01 and 9 at Bundula 01/02.

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Fifteen at Yala 31/01.

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus seebohmi)
An endemic race, c30 at Yala and 15 at Bundula.

Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
A common winter visitor to shores and mudflats, 10 Yala 31/01 and 12 Bundula the next day.

Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii)
A winter visitor, Yala held 4 birds while 5 were seen at Bundula.

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus)
Common resident of arid areas, dry paddy and stony pastures of dry lowlands, less dependant on water than Red-wattled lapwing. Two at Yala 31/01 and c12 at Bundula the following day.

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)
Common resident seen not far from water, c50 Yala 31/01 and c30 Bundula the next morning.

Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura)
A winter visitor to lowland paddy and swamp, 4 birds showed well at Bundula 01/02, giving chance to compare with Common Snipe. Showing narrow grey fringing to trailing edge of wing and pale median coverts which show as a pale mid-wing panel.

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Only a single sighting of this wintor visitor at Bundula.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)
Four mixing with other waders at Bundula.

Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Supposedly a rare winter visitor so 11 at Yala 31/01 and 17 at Bundula the next morning were somewhat intriguing.

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)
C100 at Yala 31/01 and 44 Bundula the next morning.

Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)
A regular winter visitor to Sri Lanka, 3 Yala and 9 at Bundula.

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
An uncommon winter visitor, c7 at Bundula 01/02.

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Common in lowland marshes in the winter, 9 at Yala 31/01 and 16 Bundula the following day.

Terek Sandpiper (Tringa cinerea)
Scarce winter visitor to lagoons and estuaries of the dry zone, 7 at Bundula 01/02.

Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos)
Common winter visitor, a single at Wadduwa 28/01, 5 Yala 31/01 and 14 Bundula the next day.

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Two at Bundula 01/02 were the only sightings of this common winter visitor.

Sanderling (Calidris alba)
Four Yala 31/01.

Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Twenty at Bundula 01/02.

Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii)
Ten at Bundula 01/02 of this scarce winter visitor.

Long-toed Stint (Calidris (minutilla) subminuta)
A winter vistor to wet areas near the dry zone coasts, 4 at Bundula 01/02.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
A rare winter visitor so 2 at Bundula was intriguing.

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Common in lagoons and mudflats of the dry zone, 22 Yala 31/01 and 15 Bundula the following day.

Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)
A winter visitor to dry zone coasts, 12 at Bundula 01/02.

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
A rare visitor, 2 were at Bundula 01/02.

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
A scarce winter visitor to coasts of the SE dry zone, 5 at Bundula 01/02.

Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus)
Mainly a winter visitor, 25 Yala 31/01 and 4 Bundula the following day.

Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica)
Common in coastal areas of the dry zone during the winter, 4 off the beach at Wadduwa 28/01 and 16 at Bundula 01/02

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Common winter visitor to the dry zone, 7 at Bundula were the only records.

Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii)
A summer breeder, 12 at Bundula 01/02.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
A winter visitor, 4 off the beach at Wadduwa 28/01 and 6 at Bundula 01/02.

Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)
Forty following fishing net being hauled onto beach at Wadduwa 28/01, 4 Yala 31/01 and 2 Bundula the following day.

Saunders' Tern (Sterna (albifrons) saundersi)
Five off beach at Wadduwa 31/01 amongst Little Terns.

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus)
A winter visitor to marshes,tanks and paddy of low country near coasts, 2 at Wadduwa 28/01, c30 at Yala 31/01 and 20 at Bundula the next day.

White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)
A winter visitor to marshes, tanks and paddy of low country, 6 at Bundula 01/02.

Rock Dove (Columba livia)
The wild Rock Pigeon is scarce in Sri Lanka and restricted to rocky islets and coasts of the east south-east, the Feral Pigeon is common throughout.

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis ceylonensis)
Endemic race, common in cultivation, gardens and open forest of the dry zone, 8 Wadduwa 28/01, c20 Sinharaja 29/01, c40 Yala 31/01 and c35 Bundula the next day.

Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica robinsoni)
Endemic race common throughout forests and wooded country, 12 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Orange-breasted Green-pigeon (Treron bicincta leggei)
Endemic race common in scrub and wooded patches of the dry zone, 5 at Yala 31/01 and 12 Bundula the next day.

Pompadour Green-pigeon (Treron pompadora pompadora)
Endemic race common in woods and forests of lowlands, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Sri Lanka Hanging-parrot (Loriculus beryllinus)
Endemic species common in wooded areas of wet zone and hills up to 1500m, 5 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria)
Resident in forests of the lowlands, c10 at Wadduwa 28/01, 5 Yala 31/01 and c20 Bundula the next day.

Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Common throughout, c20 Wadduwa 28/01 and 25 at Bundula 01/02.

Layard's Parakeet (Psittacula calthropae)
Endemic species of forests and wooded hills, 5 Sinharaja 29/01 and 4 near Wadduwa 30/01.

Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus)
Resident of lowlands and hills up to 1000m, 4 at Yala 31/01 and 15 at Bundula the following day.

Chestnut-winged Cuckoo (Clamator coromandus)
A scarce winter visitor, excellent views of a single bird at Bundula 01/02.

Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea)
Although a common resident only 4 seen at Bundula 01/02.

Blue-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus viridirostris)
A resident of thorny scrub and secondary forest in lowland hills, a single at Yala 31/01.

Red-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus)
Endemic species, scarce in forests of lowlands and hills, 2 seen at Sinharaja 29/02.

Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
Common resident throughout, a single at Wadduwa 28/01, 2 Sinharaja 29/01 and 2 at Bundula 01/02.

Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus eidos)
Endemic race relatively common in open country, 2 flushed from track at Yala 31/01.

Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne (longipennis) coronata)
Common resident, prefering open country, c25 at Sinharaja 29/01, 15 Yala 31/01 and c20 at Bundula the following day.

Indian Swiftlet (Collocalia unicolor)
Common resident throughout, c40 at Wadduwa most days, c100 Yala 31/01 and c25 Bundula the next day.

Brown-backed Needletail (Hirundapus giganteus)
Scarce resident of hills and occasionally lowlands, 2 at Wadduwa amongst other swift species and hirundines 28/01,
3 at Yala 31/01 and 1 Bundula the following day.

Asian Palm-swift (Cypsiurus (parvus) balasiensis)
Common resident, seen in good numbers throughout.

Alpine Swift (Tachymarptis melba)
Scarce resident, 2 at Wadduwa 28/01 amongst other swift species and hirundines.

Little Swift (Apus affinis)
Common throughout, seen at all places visited in good numbers.

Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus fasciatus)
Endemic race of dense forest, an adult female at Sinharaja 29/01 was the only sighting.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Common alongside water throughout the island, 3 at Wadduwa 28/01, 12 Sinharaja 29/01 and 3 Yala 31/01.

White-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Common throughout, 11 at Wadduwa 28/01, 9 Sinharaja 29/01, 9 Yala 31/01 and 4 Bundula the next day.

Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata)
A rare winter visiter, so one at Bundula 01/02 was a good find.

Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Four at Yala 31/01 were the only sightings.

Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis ceylonicus)
Endemic race, common in open country and scrubby areas near coasts of the dry zone, 6 at Wadduwa, c30 Yala 31/01 and 6 Bundula the following day.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops (superciliosus) philippinus)
Scarce resident and common winter visitor, 4 Wadduwa 28/01, 6 Sinharaja 29/01, 16 Yala 31/01 and c20 at Bundula the next day.

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti)
Resident of lowlands and dry hills up to 1400m, 8 at Sinharaja 29/01, 8 Yala 31/01 and 15 Bundula the following day.

Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)
Common resident of open areas and coconut plantations of low country dry zone, 2 Sinharaja 29/01, 7 Yala 31/01 and 5 at Bundula.

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Resident of open country with scattered trees in dry lowlands and eastern hills up to 1300m, 3 atYala 31/01 and 6 at Bundula the next day.

Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis)
Endemic species of lowland forest and hills up to 1300m, a single at Sinharaja was the only sighting.

Malabar Pied-hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus)
Resident of forests and riverside trees of dry zone, 2 at Yala 31/01.

Yellow-fronted Barbet (Megalaima flavifrons)
Endemic species common in wet lowlands and hills to 2000m, 12 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus wellsi)
Endemic race wooded ares and forests of wet zone, a single at Sinharaja 29/01.

Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense psarodes)
Endemic race a single at Wadduwa 28/0 was the only sighting.

Indian Pitta (Pitta (moluccensis) brachyura)
Common winter visitor throughout, excellent views of birds in the open before seeking cover, 2 at Yala 31/01 and 2 at Bundula the following day.

Rufous-winged Bushlark (Mirafra assamica)
Common resident in open country of lowlands, particularly the dry zone. 12 at Yala 31/01 and c20 at Bundula the next morning.

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix grisea)
Common resident of open coastal areas of dry zone, 10 at Yala 31/01 and 12 Bundula the next day.

Pale Martin (Riparia diluta)
Only recently seperated from Sand Martin, a rare winter visitor to the southern dry lowlands and often near water, two birds over lagoons near Yala 31/01 were a lucky find.

Eurasian Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
A winter visitor, c10 at Wadduwa 28/01, 10 Sinharaja 29/01, 22 Yala 31/01 and 12 Bundula the following day.

Hill Swallow (Hirundo domicola)
A common resident, c20 near Sinharaja 29/01.

Sri Lanka Swallow (Hirundo daurica hyperythra)
Endemic race, common resident of lowland pasture and paddy. Large numbers in all areas visited.

Streak-throated Swallow (Hirundo fluvicola)
A winter vagrant so 2 birds hawking low over cultivated land close to Wadduwa 28/01 was a surprise.

Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Common resident of grassland and low scrub, 3 at Bundula 01/02.

Black-headed Cuckooshrike (Coracina melanoptera)
Resident of open woods and scrub of lowlands, an adult male at Yala 31/01 was the only sighting.

Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)
Common resident of lowland trees and hills up to1700m, 6 Sinharaja 29/01 and 6 at Bundula 01/02.

Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus melanicterus)
Endemic race although considered a seperate species by some authorities, a bird of open forest and woodland of lowland hills up to 1300m, 12 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer cafer)
Endemic race common throughout, seen in good numbers at all sites visited.

Yellow-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus)
Endemic species of forest edges and woods in hills above 1000m. A single at Sinharaja 29/01.

White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus insulae)
Endemic race of scrub and forest understorey, 2 at Wadduwa 28/01.

Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica guglielmi)
Endemic race of wet zone forests, 4 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus humii)
Endemic race of tree and forest edges, of wet lowlands and hills to 1800m, c15 in Sinharaja 29/01.

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Resident of gardens, scrub and forest edges in lowlands and hills up to1600m, 12 at Bundula 01/02 were the only sightings.

Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons)
Resident of woods and open country, common in hills up to 1000m. Only 2 seen at Sinharaja 29/01.

Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis)
Common resident, 2 at Wadduwa 28/01, 2 Yala 31/01 and c20 at Bundula the following day.

Indian Robin (Saxicoloides fulicata leucoptera)
Endemic race common in lowlands and hills to 1600m, 7 at Wadduwa 28/01, c20 Yala 31/01 and 12 at Bundula the following day.

Spot-winged Thrush (Zoothera spiloptera)
Endemic species of forests and well wooded country in wet lowlands and hills to 1900m, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01, heard calling regularly and seen briefly.

Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)
Common winter visitor, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01 and 2 at Yala 31/01.

Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui)
Winter visitor to lowland forests especially near streams, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01.

White-browed Fantail (Rhipidura aureola)
Common resident of forests and tall scrub throughout, 2 at Yala 31/01.

Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi ceylonensis)
Endemic race of dry lowlands and eastern foothills, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01 and 4 at Bundula 01/02.

Brown-capped Babbler (Pellorneum fuscocapillum)
Two sightings with excellent views at Sinharaja 29/01 of this shy forest endemic species.

Indian Scimitar-babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii melanurus)
Endemic race, common in forests and scrub, c.15 Sinharaja 29/01, 2 at Yala 31/01 and 5 at Bundula the following day.

Tawny-bellied Babbler (Dumetia hyperythra phillipsi)
Endemic race of scrub and rough grass throughout, 7 at Yala 31/01 and 8 at Bundula the next morning.

Dark-fronted Babbler (Rhopocichla atriceps nigrifrons)
An endemic race of the wet lowlands and nearby hills, 7 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Yellow-eyed Babbler (Chrysomma sinense nasale)
Endemic race of rough grass and scrub throughout, 4 at Sinharaja 29/01 and 5 at Yala 31/01.

Orange-billed Babbler (Turdoides rufescens)
Endemic species fairly common in forests of wet zone lowlands and nearby hills, 23 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Yellow-billed Babbler (Turdoides affinis taprobanus)
Endemic race, common in open scrub, cultivations and well vegetated gardens up to 1700m. Six at Wadduwa 28/01, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01 unusual according to our guide, 6 at Yala 31/01 and 4 at Bundula the next day.

Purple-rumped Sunbird (Nectarinia zeylonica zeylonica)
Endemic race, very common in all areas except high mountains, 4 Wadduwa 28/01, c20 Sinharaja 29/02, 12 at Yala 31/01 and 5 Bundula the following day.

Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica)
Common resident of low country dry zone, 4 at Yala 31/01 and 12 Bundula the following day.

Loten’s Sunbird (Nectarinia lotenia lotenia)
Endemic race of open country with trees of low country, 6 at Bundula 01/02 were the only sightings.

Thick-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum agile zeylonicum)
Endemic race of forests and woods of low country dry zone 7 at Yala 31/01.

White-throated Flowerpecker (Dicaeum vincens)
Endemic species of wet zone forests and hills to 1000m, c35 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Pale-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos ceylonense)
Endemic race, common throughout, 6 Wadduwa 28/01, c30 Sinharaja 29/01, 4 Yala 31/01.

Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis)
Endemic race, common in forests and gardens in lowlands and hills to 2000m, 2 at Wadduwa by riverside 28/01, 8 Yala 31/01 and 15 at Bundula the following day.

Common Woodshrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus affinis)
Endemic race common in gardens and wooded areas of lowlands, a single at Yala 31/01 and 2 at Bundula 01/02.

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
A winter visitor, 3 at Sinharaja 29/01 and 3 at Bundula 01/02.

Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
Resident of dry coastal areas, 7 at Yala 31/01 and 7 Bundula the next day.

Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus minor)
Endemic race, 8 at Sinharaja 29/01, 15 Yala 31/01 and 2 at Bundula the next day.

White-bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens leucopygialis)
Endemic race of wet lowlands and nearby hills, 9 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus lophorhinus)
Endemic race of wet zone forests, 6 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Sri Lanka Magpie (Urocissa ornata)
Endemic species of primary wet zone forests and hills, 2 brief glimpses at Sinharaja 29/01, also heard calling.

House Crow (Corvus splendens)
Resident of coastal areas around towns and villages, slowly expanding inland, c20 at Wadduwa 28/01, c.20 at Sinharaja 29/01, c25 at Yala 31/01 and c50 at Bundula the next day.

Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos levaillantii)
Common throughout, seen in good numbers everywhere.

White-faced Starling (Sturnus senex)
Endemic species, 2 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Brahminy Starling (Sturnus pagodarum)
A winter visitor to scrubby areas and cultivations of dry lowlands, c70 at Yala 31/01 and c200 at Bundula moving around reserve in large flocks the following day.

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis melanosturus)
Endemic race common throughout seen at all places visited.

Sri Lanka Myna (Gracula ptilogenys)
Endemic species of forests and wooded areas of wet zone to 2000m, 7 at Sinharaja 29/01.

Southern Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa indica)
Resident of forest edges and wooded areas of southern lowlands, 5 at Yala 31/01

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
Common resident around cultivation and human habitation, seen at all places visited.

Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar)
Resident of swamps and tank edges of dry lowlands, 11 at Yala 31/01.

White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)
Common resident of gardens, scrub and cultivations up to 1700m, 10 at Sinharaja 29/01, 9 at Yala 31/01 and 22 at Bundula the following day.

Black-throated Munia (Lonchura kelaarti kelaarti)
Endemic race considered by some authorities to be a separate species, prefers gardens, tea plantations, scrub and forest in hills above 250m, 6 at Sinharaja 29/01 were the only sightings.

Other Wildlife:

Sri Lanka Elephant (Elephus maximus maximus)
Seen in small groups in both Yala and Bundula

Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis bubalis)
Only seen at Yala, with several wallowing in a muddy pool and grazing in the bush.

Sri Lanka Spotted Deer (Axis axis ceylonensis)
Common at Yala, often encountered in small groups.

Sri Lanka Sambhur (Cervus unicolor unicolor)
A huge male with impressive antlers seen at Yala.

Indian Wild Boar (Sus scrofa cristatus)
Many seen at Yala, some close to the lodge that we stayed at. Always seen in groups often grubbing around near the roadside.

Sri Lanka Black-naped Hare (Lepus nigricollis singhala)
Several seen enroute to Yala and Sinharaja.

Sri Lanka Ruddy Mongoose (Herpestes smithii zeylanicus)
The largest of the mongoose species seen, being darkish grey/brown mottled darker and black tail tip, pale face. Seen near Yala and another at Bundula.

Brown Mongoose (Herpestes fuscus)
A small brown job, encountered throughout the island at all places visited.

Sri Lanka Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura)
A single seen in the lodge at Yala, a huge beast the size of a domestic cat.

Sri Lanka Grey Langur (Semnopithecus priam thersites)
An Attractive monkey with black face and silvery grey fur, large family groups seen at Sinharaja, Yala and Bundula.

Purple-faced Leaf Monkey (Tachypithecus vetulus)
Several seen at Sinharaja.

Toque Macaque (Macaca sinica)
A few seen at Yala, sitting around begging for food as tourists passed by in the vehicles.

Sri Lanka Swamp Crocodile (Crocodylus paludstris kimbula)
Seen at Yala and Bundula, several basking in the sun.

Water Monitor (Varanus monitor kabaragoya)
Several seen at Yala and Bundula.

Land Monitor Varanus bengalensis bengalensis)
Several sightings of singles throughout the island.

Several other species of Lizard were seen but not identified other than Gecko spp. Some rather brightly coloured.

The only snake seen was a Rat Snake according to our driver at the time and apparently non-poisonous although we didn’t get close enough to find out. Many wonderfully coloured Butterflies and Dragonflies were also seen, but having no field guide for them they remain anonymous.