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Sri Lanka Bird Watching Tour

Sri Lanka Bird Watching Tour
When: Mon 6 Mar - Sun 19 Mar 2023
Leaders: Chris Doughty and Saman Kumara
Sri Lanka Bird Watching Tour
Colombo to Colombo (14 Days) $5,772
Single Room Supplement $680
Sri Lanka Bird Watching Tour 
When viewing a map of Asia, the island of Sri Lanka looks like a large tear drop falling into the ocean from the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. For the birdwatcher, islands have the added attraction of endemic species of birds, which have slowly evolved, throughout centuries of isolation. The green and beautiful island of Sri Lanka is no exception; it is home to 34 species of endemic birds, which are the most exciting prize, of a visit to this jewel of the Indian Ocean. While we shall be concentrating on locating all of the endemics, from the secretive Sri Lanka Spurfowl and spectacular Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, to the recently-described Serendib Scops Owl; the island has a great deal more to offer, as it possesses a rich resident avifauna including a host of range-restricted species shared only with peninsular India. At this time of year, there is also the tantalising prospect of large numbers of migrant birds; including waders from Siberia, Hume's Whitethroats from Central Asia and Pied Thrushes from the Himalayas. Sri Lanka also has a fine selection of mammals, and a two millennia long Buddhist-inspired regard for wildlife, has made many of the mammals relatively tame and approachable; we hope to encounter such exciting species as Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Purple-faced Langur, Asian Elephant, and perhaps, a Leopard or two! The tour starts at Colombo airport, from where we head eastwards to Kitulgala, a rainforest area, which is home to Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Layard's Parakeet, Green-billed Coucal, Serendib Scops Owl, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Spot-winged Thrush, Orange-billed Babbler and Legge's Flowerpecker. Our next port of call is the superb Sinharaja Forest, the largest tract of surviving rainforest in Sri Lanka and home to the majority of the island's endemic birds, and in particular Sri Lanka Spurfowl, the spectacular Red-faced Malkoha, Ashy-headed Laughingthrush, White-faced Starling and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie. From here we travel into the dry zone of the southeast, visiting Udawalawe National Park, home of the endemic Sri Lanka Swallow and Sri Lanka Woodshrike, as well as many other interesting birds. We will then explore the bird-rich coastal lagoons at Tissamaharama and Bundala. From the dry zone we climb over 2,000 metres to Nuwara Eliya and the cool uplands of Horton Plains National Park. Here we will be looking for such exciting endemics as Sri Lanka Woodpigeon, Crimson-backed Flameback, Yellow-eared Bulbul, the elusive Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush, the rather skulking Sri Lanka Bush Warbler, Dull-blue Flycatcher and Sri Lanka White-eye. We will also search for some exciting winter visitors, such as the beautiful Indian Pitta, the decidedly uncommon Kashmir Flycatcher and the handsome Pied Thrush. Come with us and enjoy this fabulous Sri Lanka Bird Watching Tour.
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