33 birds I photographed in Sri Lanka (and another 22 I didn’t)

Yala Crested hawk eagle 440 wide

On my recent trip to Sri Lanka, birdwatching was slotted in around interviews, hotel inspections, and hours and hours on the road. I did get chance to go on a proper birding walk at Rainforest Eco Lodge in Sinharaja and Hotel Sigiriya though, and saw lots of birds on safari in Yala and hiking in the Knuckles. All in all, I clocked up at least 55 species (that’s just the ones I noted down) and managed to photograph (in varying focus) 33 of those.

Sri Lanka has 233 resident species and around 100 visiting migrant species, so I didn’t see even a fifth of what the island has to offer, but I’m pretty pleased with 55 for my first visit! Photos below, and a full list of every species I can genuinely remember is at the bottom. If you can identify those two without a name, do let me know…

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Indian pond heron

Little cormorant

Indian cormorant

Green bee-eater

Indian darter

Crested hawk eagle

Lesser adjutant



White-breasted/throated kingfisher

Dark-haired barbell

Rose-ringed parakeet


Purple swamphen

Purple heron

Emerald dove

Scaly-breasted munia

Purple sunbird

Red-rumped swallow

Red-vented bulbul

Stork-billed kingfisher

Malabar Pied hornbill

Crimson-fronted barbet

Magpie robin

Common moorhen

Common coot

Rock pigeon

Red-backed woodpecker

Spotted dove

Indian robin

White-browed bulbul

Sri Lankan white-eye

Yellow-fronted barbet

Southern hill myna

Common myna

Brown headed barbet

Common kingfisher

Serpent eagle

Square tailed black bulbul

Ceylon magpie

Flame backed woodpecker

White-faced starling

Pale-bill pecker

Grey-headed canary flycatcher

Cimitar babbler

Emerald dove

Yellow-browed bulbul

Dark-fronted babbler

Ceylon crested drongo

Golden-fronted leafbird

Indian blackbird

Great tit



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