Sri Lanka, Bentota – March 2017

We’d started in Wilpattu which was significantly further north than some of the other places we planned to visit, so we decided to stop at Bentota for three days on our way. Although the focus here was less on the wildlife, we still made time for some.

The hotel itself was relatively quiet as far as wildlife was concerned, being located in the town, but nevertheless, the garden was frequently visited by Indian Palm Squirrels, Black-hooded Orioles, Indian Pond Heron, Purple-rumped Sunbirds, Red-vented Bulbuls, Rose-ringed Parakeets and the occasional White-throated Kingfisher.

We took a boat to explore the river and mangroves, on which we saw Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Brahminy Kite, Whiskered Tern, amongst others.


It was here that we saw our first, and only, Asian Water Monitor.

Asian Water Monitor

Walking to the beach yielded surprisingly little in the way of wildlife. A number of Large-billed Crows scavenged the beach and the occasional unidentifiable tern would swoop and dive.

Dead Puffer Fish on Bentota Beach

The final new species seen on this leg of the trip was the Brown-headed Barbet – not the first barbet I’ve ever seen, but the first within the Megalaimidae family.

Brown-headed Barbet
Exploring the waterways around Bentota

Our next stop would take us inland to the rainforests of Sinharaja.