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Galle area of Sri Lanka

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Old Sunday 13th October 2019, 16:54   #1
ScottishBirder
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Galle area of Sri Lanka

Hi folks , I am heading to Sri Lanka in January and wondered if anyone has been here and can recommend sites or area to birdwatch. There for two weeks but have the wife so cant go at it too many days.

Thanks in advance
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Old Wednesday 6th November 2019, 13:00   #2
denisparkes
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Hi there
I'm doing a 15 day tour - solo and exclusive birding - beginning 19 November. Happy to combine any questions you have before this/share my findings etc - depends how far you can get or how many days you can have exclusively birding I guess. My email address is [email protected] if you prefer to correspond privately. Kind regards
Denis
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Old Wednesday 6th November 2019, 16:22   #3
interoception
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I'm going in January too but only have 5 days to go birdwatching unfortunately as I also have work committments in Colombo. I'm planning to go to Kitagula & Nurwaya Eliya as they are close to Colombo and seem to be high on people's list. If anyone has alternate views on how best spend 5 days I'd appreciate it....(don't want to travel too much though)

Anyway, I just bought this book -- it's pretty useful particularly the section on where to go bird watching

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birds-Sri-L.../dp/1912081016

Not only are the main birding areas covered, but there are also areas described that would be useful if you were on a trip that took you to other parts of the country or not exclusively birding.

(I'm also taking the Helm guide for identification).
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Old Wednesday 6th November 2019, 18:46   #4
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Will email you thanks
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Old Thursday 7th November 2019, 22:14   #5
denisparkes
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Based on my research those are the 2 places I would visit on a 5 day trip. Happy to share my findings when I get back and before you go. Kind regards, Denis
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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 08:38   #6
interoception
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Hi Dennis, thanks for that -- look forwards to hearing how you get on.

I'm wondering whether to get a guide for the 5 days (e.g. from Columbo) or whether it's feasible to find a guide for the day in Kitugala / Nurwaya Elia -- I'm not sure I really fancy being 'shown' birds for 5 full days in a row -- for me finding the birds and making my own identification is part of the fun....
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Old Tuesday 17th December 2019, 15:35   #7
jforgham
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[quote=interoception;3916156]I'm going in January too but only have 5 days to go birdwatching unfortunately as I also have work committments in Colombo. I'm planning to go to Kitagula & Nurwaya Eliya as they are close to Colombo and seem to be high on people's list. If anyone has alternate views on how best spend 5 days I'd appreciate it....(don't want to travel too much though)

Hi,
Nuwara Eliya is basically a day's travel from Colombo. Average road speed about 25mph. Closer to Colombo are Talangama Tanks (near the Parliament building) and Muthrajawela Marshes just outside Negombo. Both these could easily be done in a day. If you need further info, message me and I can put you in touch with a local guy who can help.
Cheers,
Jono
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Old Wednesday 18th December 2019, 00:47   #8
Jeff hopkins
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Just got back from Sri Lanka. I found that Sinharaja was better than Kitulgala, but if you're going to Nuwara Eliya, Kitulgala is more convenient.
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Old Friday 20th December 2019, 18:30   #9
interoception
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Hi @denisparkes - how was your trip?

@jforgham -- thanks for that -- I've changed my plans now and will just go to Sinharaja as I don't want to spend ages traveling on slow roads
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Old Saturday 21st December 2019, 00:36   #10
Jeff hopkins
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Originally Posted by interoception View Post
Hi @denisparkes - how was your trip?

@jforgham -- thanks for that -- I've changed my plans now and will just go to Sinharaja as I don't want to spend ages traveling on slow roads
Well, you can get to Sinharaja on good roads, but the best forest is up one of the worst roads in the country and will require 4WD.

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Old Monday 23rd December 2019, 11:20   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff hopkins View Post
Just got back from Sri Lanka. I found that Sinharaja was better than Kitulgala, but if you're going to Nuwara Eliya, Kitulgala is more convenient.
Can you give me idea of what you are likely to find in Sinharaja and any good tips for birding around here
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Old Tuesday 24th December 2019, 03:41   #12
Jeff hopkins
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Can you give me idea of what you are likely to find in Sinharaja and any good tips for birding around here
Take a look at this eBird checklist for what we saw in a given day. There are several other checklists around that date for other more specific areas. Search on the district "Sabaragamuwa Palata" in the Explore Regions search, and look at anything from myself or Bret Whitfield between Nov. 28 and Dec.1. We were on the same tour.

Many of those species were in the primary forest near the Education Center at the top of the hill (4WD required) on the trail to the Research Station. Red-faced Malkoha & Sri Lanka Thrush are only up there. There's also a simple lodge called "Martin's Lodge" about 300m down the road from the top. They have a feeder but many birds that don't come to the feeder come to the trees around the feeder including White-faced Starling and Legge's Flowerpecker. We also spent some time hawk-watching for Legge's Hawk-eagle there, but didn't get it there (though the guides said that's the best place for it). The road up to the top had lots of good birds including 3 different barbets, Sri Lanka Green-Pigeons, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbills, Green-billed Coucal, and Crimson-backed Flamebacks. If you hit a fruiting tree, you're in business.

Sri Lanka Blue Magpies are easy at the Park HQ (there's a feeding station). Spot-winged Thrush and Indian Blue-robin can be seen there, too. There were a lot of good birds (endemics) down the road from the HQ, too.

Other toughies like Serendib Scops-Owl, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Sri Lanka Bay Owl, and Sri Lanka Spurfowl are staked out, but you'll need a guide/ranger to show them to you.

Also, if you want to see what we got at Kitulgala, we were there from Nov-21-23. There's a few checklists for there, too.

One more thing: wear your leech socks. They're voracious little buggers there.

Last edited by Jeff hopkins : Tuesday 24th December 2019 at 03:55.
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