Sri Lanka bird trip report 2nd to 16th February 2016

My wife and I spent the first two weeks of February 2016 at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka on a non-birding holiday. I wasn't able to find any public land that was free of human colonisation in which to bird watch so only managed a lowly count of 73 species. The list benefited from a visit the Sinharaja Rain Forest but other than that it was a slow but steady count throughout the two week period.

I hired a scooter for 10 days (8240 rupees which worked out as £4 a day) which provided the opportunity to visit the surrounding area. Sites were chosen by using the satellite view on Google maps. Few turned out to be any good and I daresay one or two good spots were missed too.

Our hotel the Hikka Tranz was lacking in bird life with just single figures of Red-vented Bulbul, Blue-tailed Bee-eater and Yellow-billed Babbler whilst House Crow made up the bulk. Sea watching in early February from here produced some terns but little else. Here's a summary of the birds around Hikkaduwa and Sinharaja Rain Forest:

Yellow-billed Babbler
Yellow-billed Babbler - Common throughout

Red-vented Bulbul
Red-vented Bulbul - Common throughout

White-breasted Kingfisher
White-breasted Kingfisher - Common throughout

Greater Crested Tern
Greater Crested Tern - Frequently seen but having difficulty in separating this plumage from Lesser Crested Tern

Greater Coucal
Greater Coucal - Widespread but not frequent

Lesser Whistling-duck
Lesser Whistling-duck - Seen on two occasions

Purple Swamphen
Purple Swamphen - Often encountered by fresh water

Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill - A pair seen on way back from Sinharaja Forest

Crested Serpent Eagle
Crested Serpent Eagle - One near Sinharaja Forest

Black-headed Ibis
Black-headed Ibis - One seen at Sinharaja Forest

Crested Treeswift
Crested Treeswift - A small party at Sinharaja Forest

Crimson-backed Flameback
Crimson-backed Flameback - A pair at Sinharaja Forest

Sri Lanka Hill Myna
Sri Lanka Hill Myna - One at Sinharaja Forest

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie
Sri Lanka Blue Magpie - A female on nest at Sinharaja Forest

Lesser Goldenback
Lesser Goldenback - The most frequent woodpecker seen

Shikra - One seen near Hikkaduwa

Scaly-breasted Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia - Frequent around rice fields

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret - Common throughout

Black-hooded Oriole
Black-hooded Oriole - Frequently encountered

Orange-breasted Green Pigeon
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon - Quite common throughout

Blue-tailed bee-eater
Blue-tailed bee-eater - Common throughout

Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbird - Widespread but not often seen

Rose-ringed Parakeet
Rose-ringed Parakeet - Common throughout

Brown-headed Barbet
Brown-headed Barbet - Widespread and often picked up on call

Red-wattled Lapwing
Red-wattled Lapwing - Regularly found in open habitat

Indian Pond Heron
Indian Pond Heron - Common in suitable habitat

Sri Lanka Swallow
Sri Lanka Swallow - Regularly seen in and around Hikkaduwa

Little Swift
Little Swift - Fairly regular in and around Hikkaduwa