Kandy City may be noisy but its lush green surrounding is a paradise for birds and bird watchers. There is a range of quite different kinds of birdwatching opportunities in and around Kandy, close to the city centre or within tuk-tuk-distance or within car-daytrip-distance.
Udawattakale, also spelt Udawatta Kale, is a Forest Sanctuary in the immediate vicinity of the Tooth Temple. The ticket counter is located only 1 km east of Trinity College in the city centre. Bird species in Kandy’s jungle include Layard’s Parakeet, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Yellow-fronted Barbet, Black-capped Bulbul, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Tickells’s Blue Fly-Catcher, Emerald dove and three species of kingfisher.
In the rear of Udawattakale is no official entrance, but this settlement area behind the Kandy Lake Club is a green side valley of Kandy where all the birds of neighbouring Udawattakale can also be observed. A quite popular budget guesthouse in this birdwatching area is called Green Woods.
Polwattha, also spelt Polwaththa, is Kandy’s more secret haven for bird-watchers. 61 bird species have already been observed here, including 16 endemic species. In the morning hours up to 10 sightings of endemics are a common occurence in the 5 hectares property of the Polwattha Eco-Lodge. Endemics that can be seen here regularly are: the Sri Lankan Yellow-fronted Barbet, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Sri lanka Grey Hornbill, Greater Flameback, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Sri Lanka Chestnut-backed Owlet and Sri Lanka Yellow-eared Bulbul. Besides birds, also monkeys, barking deer and giant squirrel can be observed during the day. Boars, owls, flying squirrels and bats appear at night.
Beginning only 25 km east of Kandy, the Knuckles Range, also called Dumbara Kanduvetiya, is a perfect trekking area without any noisy roads and crowded places. 120 species of montane birds are recorded here, including the endemic species Ceylon Lorikeet (Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot) and Ceylon Grackle. All species occuring in and around Kandy also inhabit the Knuckes Mountains.
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