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Visit Sri Lanka in April - migrants around? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I'm going on a whale watching trip from Colombo to Trincomalee for a week from 22nd April. Naturally I want to do some birding too and will go to the highlands. A couple of points I would appreciate some advice on:

1. Is there any advantage in doing the land-based birding before the trip as against after it? Essentially is there any chance any of the migrants like Pied Thrush and Indian Pitta will still be around? Or should I forget about them?

2. Are there any pelagic birds that I should look out for on the whale watching trip? Migrants from the Southern Ocean perhaps?


Earnest lad

Well-known member
Bridled Terns may be seen in large numbers, sometimes in flocks of up to 400 individuals but more usually small flocks of 5-10. Late April is also a good month to look for Flesh-footed and Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Brown and Lesser Noddies etc.


Well-known member
Photographs taken in April 2010 of Pelagics in the seas off the Kalpitiya Peninsula in Sri Lanka. Species seen regulalry in these excursions include the Lesser Noddy, Brown Noddy, Persian Shearwater, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Long-tailed Skua, Little Terns and Gull-billed Terns, often feeding together in a mixed species flock as seen in some of these pictures.


Thanks, looks encouraging. We'll actually be going round the south side of the island, not via Kalpitya, but the deeper sea in the south might make things better.

As for the land side, I see from ebird that there are one or two reports of winter migrants in April and none at all in May. So that suggests I should do the onshore birding before the whale watching trip rather than after, even if the chances of these birds are probably not that high before.

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