Bird watching is a hobby that anyone, young or old can find pleasure in. It not only exercises the body and mind, but it also makes you truly appreciate the wonders of nature. Bird watching can be a challenging yet exhilarating past time that commands a certain degree of patience and tolerance, as at time even long treks into parks by prove to be fruitless.
Early morning is typically the best time of the day for bird watching, as many birds are at their hungriest, searching actively for food, and are thus easier to spot. The most important quality that any bird watcher should cultivate is a methodical approach. He/she should make a systematic effort to observe, record, interpret and disseminate the information gathered on birds, their lifestyles and habitats.
Keeping track of migratory birds, as well as observing their behavior is an interesting aspect of bird watching, especially in Sri Lanka, which is the final destination for most of these creatures looking to escape the icy winter. Watching these remarkable feathered creatures in flight brings about a sense of calm and freedom that is not otherwise easily acquired; it is never too late to give it a shot!
Extending over the Rathnapura and Monaragala districts of the Sabaragamuwa and Uva province respectively, Udawalawe was declared a National park on 30th June 1972, for the purpose of protecting the intermediate catchment of the reservoir, and providing habitat to displaced wildlife.
Situated in the islands dry zone, the average annual temperature and rainfall at Udawalawe are 29°C and 1524 mm respectively. This National Park, spans over a sprawling 30,821 ha, including the Walawe reservoir and much of its catchment area.
The quickest route to Udawalawe from Colombo is a 185 km long drive, via Rathnapura and Peimadulla on the Embilipitiya road. Noted for its scenic beauty and vibrant wildlife, Udawalawe will awaken you the wonders of nature.
Although Udawalawe Park is popular destination to watch elephants, it is also an excellent location to observe many spices of avifauna. There are about impressive 210 species of birds have been recorded. Even though there is nigh avifauna diversity in the park, there are few endemic bird species have been recorded in the Udawalawe National Park, Fourty five species of migratory visitors are from the Northern hemisphere, looking to flee the frigid winter. Grasslands, dry zone evergreen forests and the wetlands are the major bird habitats within the park.
158 of the 249 resident birds’ species in the island reside at Udawalawe, where they are endowed with .ample food and habitat. Of these the Sri Lanka brown-capped BS (Pellorneurn fuscocapillum), Sri Lanka Gray Narnbill (Ocyceros gingalensis) Sri Lanka Spur fowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata), Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot (Loticulus beryllintiS), and Sri Lanka Jungle fowl (Gallus lafayettii) are endemic! It is imperative that we nurture and protect these magnificent creatures that only breed in Sri Lanka, as many of them have sadly been identified as threatened species,