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Sri Lanka is a Birdwatcher’s Paradise and bird watching sites are dotted all around the island. The country has more than 400 bird species comprising of endemic, resident and migrant birds. There are approximately 23 endemic and 200 migratory birds recorded within the island. The climate and environment of Sri Lanka is very conducive to the well-being of bird life. One of the best things to do in Sri Lanka is bird watching and when travelling around the island, if you are in need of a superbly conditioned vehicle, rental companies such as Malkey Rent a Car would be a good choice.
Kumana National Park (Yala East) 361 km from Colombo on the southeastern coast is the island’s most popular bird sanctuary and famed for its large migratory waterfowl and wading birds. An important feature here is a 200ha water body known as the Kumana Villu which is powered by the Kumbukkan Oya. It is here that many birds nest in May and June. It has been recorded that more than 225 species of birds have been found here, including the rare species of Lesser adjutant, Black necked stork and Eurasian spoonbill. Other birds here include pelicans, spoon bills and painted storks. Bundala National Park is in the Hambantota district of southern Sri Lanka and is the island’s Ramsar wetland site. It is said that each and every water bird in Sri Lanka visits Bundala. It is an internationally recognized wintering site for migrant birds especially the Greater Flamingo who migrate here in large numbers. Kalametiya in the south is the island’s oldest bird sanctuary and the best time to visit is from November to March. Birds here include the Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl, the Sri Lanka Black Capped Purple Kingfisher, and the Indian Reef Heron.
Other great bird watching sites are Kithulgala, the Peak Wilderness, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawattekele Sanctuary in Kandy, Horton Plains National Park, Knuckles World Heritage Area, Kandalama Sanctuary, Wilpattu, Chilaw Sand Pits, Anavilundawa Sanctuary, Mannar and Vankalai Sanctuary. Closer to Colombo, the Talangama Tank and Marshes and the Bellanwila –Attidiya Sanctuary are good bird watching areas.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.