A two-week introduction to Asia's birds, including more than two-dozen species endemic to the island, with one of the country's foremost birders as a co-leader.
Serendib Scops-Owl, by Mike Crewe
The teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka, located less than 100 miles off the coast of southern India, provides a delightful introduction to Asia's birds--with the added bonus of at least 25 endemic species and a host of endemic subspecies, some of which undoubtedly deserve elevation to species status themselves. But it's not just the locals that will attract our attention; the island shares roughly two-dozen regional endemics with nearby India and serves as a winter home to some highly sought-after species from both the subcontinent and the Himalayas.
Our tour visits all of the country's main habitats, beginning with the lush rainforests of Kitulgala and Sinharaja, which are home to many of the island's endemics, including the newly discovered Serendib Scops-Owl, the tiny White-throated Flowerpecker, and the spectacular blue Sri Lanka Blue-Magpie. We'll also visit the scrubby grasslands of Udawalawe, where Asian Elephants reign supreme, and the teeming mudflats and saltpans of Yala and Bundala national parks, where thousands of wintering shorebirds and herons gather. Then, after a visit to the forests and tea plantations of the central highlands and the remote high plateau of Horton Plains, we'll end our stay in the dry forests around Sigiriya. Over the course of the trip, we should have an excellent chance of seeing all the endemics--and then some!
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Oct 26 - Nov 12
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What to Expect
Mostly good accommodations (3 nights very basic), easy to moderate terrain, 2 nights at elevation above 6000 feet, warm climate, though cooler at higher elevations.
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