The annual journey of migrant birds to Sri Lanka is now in effect! It typically starts around mid-August during the start of the Northern Autumn and extends into April.
We love migrant birding season. These Blue Tailed Bee Eaters start visiting Sri Lanka from around October and we host then through the winter. Such beautiful colours! #kulusafaris #kuluexperience #birds #beeeater #bluetailedbeeeater #nuts_about_birds #wildlife #yala #srilanka #camping #safari #wildlifephotography #colour #canon #safari #instagood #instabird #birders #birding #your_best_birds
Approximately 200 bird species can be expected to fly in from Northern India, Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe. But not all our visitors are from the North. Some pelagic species of seabirds like Shearwaters, Petrels, and Noddies migrate to Sri Lankan waters from Southern Oceanic islands during the southern hemisphere’s winter (March-October).
#5 in our #weekofcolour – the stunning Indian Pitta. A winter migrant who visits most parts of the island, it's cat-call-esque whistle is unmistakable. Referred to locally as the "avichchiya", it prefers to forage in the dark, shady undergrowth and thus is a challenge to photograph. Here, our guide Manju has had the right combination of guile and luck to capture a stunning shot of this gorgeous bird sunning its feathers. #indianpitta #avichchiya #bird #birdlife #birding @nuts_about_birds #nuts_about_birds #wildlife #nature #natgeo #birdphotography #animals #photooftheday #srilanka #safari #travel #travelgram #kulusafaris #ceylon #tropical #colour #color #vibrant
These seasonal migrations which are thousands of miles long have captured man’s curiosity and awe for millennia. Birds migrate for various reasons, and many of which are complex and not fully understood. The simpler explanations include ease of sourcing food, safe breeding grounds, and favourable weather.
The specific routes they take may be genetically programmed or learned to varying degrees. Many (but not all) take the same routes to return home.
And not all birds return after the winter. The immature birds of many wader species spend the 2nd year of their life in Sri Lanka, instead of immediately returning to their breeding grounds. They leave for breeding when they have reached maturity the following year.
Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus Calidus) @ Veheragala Dam earlier this year. The 'Calidus' variety of the Peregrine/Shaheen line – but would love some more clarity on it. A bird I wasn't expecting to see. According to Deepal's birding guide, this is a rare, winter visitor – so not to be confused with the #Shaheen Would swap 10 leopard sightings for another chance at this chap with better lighting! #falcon #peregrine #peregrinefalcon #bird #birding #birdwatching #raptors #birdsofprey #birdsofinstagram #nuts_about_birds #srilanka #travel #birdphotography #ceylon #travelblog #conservation #rare @speciesaday @nuts_about_birds With @anushkapr #canon #500mm
Yala National Park is well suited to host a broad array of birds because of its diverse ecology. During migrant season, Yala is home to a long list of visiting waders, shorebirds and forest birds so make sure to keep a look out on your game drive. Especially around water holes and lagoons.
The location of our camp in Yala makes it a great place for bird watching as well! The lake in front of camp fills up with the November rains and birdlife in and around your tent is plenty! This is great for kids because we can keep them occupied with birding and nature walks 🙂
You can enjoy a great view of some of these migrants from the deck of your tent or sit out by the water in the morning and watch these vibrantly coloured bombers whizz by while you sip your coffee. Commons winter visitors at camp include Blue Tailed Bee Eaters, Indian Pitta, Forest Wagtail, Brown Shrike, and the Bhahminy Myna. We’ll also be on the lookout for waders once the lake in front of camp fills up. Heading out on the water early morning, in one of our kayaks with a pair of binoculars is a great way observe birds!
Kayaking with us is a great way to do some bird watching or just switch it up from the usual game drive. Here, our guide Manju takes a guest on a early morning birding run on out the water in one of our high-spec kayaks. #camping #naturelovers #luxurysafari #kulusafaris #safari #yalanationalpark #srilanka #travel #travelgram #kayakingadventures #kayaking #outdoors #outdoorlife #holiday #vacation #vacationmode #familyvacation
During game drives, we will be scouring the waterholes and marshlands in Yala for a host of waders and shorebirds that include several species of duck (Gargany, Pintail and Teal), Plovers, Stints, Sandpipers and Terns. We’ll also be on the lookout for the famous Combed Duck who returned to Sri Lanka in 2012, after 80 years in exile 🙂
Whichever you choose, migrant season has begun and we look forward to hosting our winter visitors on your annual trek to Sri Lanka 🙂
Kulu Safaris guide Ramani is one of the most passionate birders on our team of guides. Shas been involved in bird research projects in the past, and has had some great exposure to the nuances of bird behaviour and their habits. Ramani has also worked with some ornithological experts during their research projects in Sri Lanka.