Bundala National park, Sri Lankan biggest winter migratory birds harbor, Situated in Southern province close to the Hambanthota. Each and every species of water birds found in Sri Lanka is believed to Bundala National park. Bundala harbors to nearly 200 species .out of 58 species are migratory birds.
The highlight being the Greater Flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Bundala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and raise to a national park on 4th January 1993. In 1991 Bundala became the first wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005 UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka designated the national park as biosphere reserve.
The area is mainly underlain with hornblende-biotite gneiss of the eastern Vijayan series. The low country dry zone climate prevails in the area. The area has an average relative humidity of 80%. The national park contains five shallow, brackish lagoons with saltpans in three. The climatic conditions are tropical monsoonal, with a mean annual temperature of degree Celsius. The annual rainfall varies between 900mm to 1300mm, with dry period persists from May to September. Best time to visit is September to March. During this period, migratory birds arrive at the park.
During September and March, hoards of migrants arrive in Bundala; among them are Marsh and Curlew Sandpiper, Curlew and Greenshank Golden and Kentish Plover, Large and Lesser Sand plovers. While the Broad-billed Sandpipper and Red-necked Phalarope are the rare visitors, the most famous migratory bird is greater flamingo. Hoards of flamingoes are one of the most common sights. In this period over 10,000 shore birds might be feeding at any one day.
The lagoons at the park attract a great variety of aquatic birds: among them are ibis, pelicans, painted storks, Black-necked Stork, terns, gulls, sand-pipers, snipes, teals, egrets and spoonbills. Endemic birds include the Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Wood shrike and Ceylon Jungle fowl.
The forest is an important habitat for the endangered Sri Lankan Elephant, the largest subspecies of Asian Elephant. Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Sri Lankan Leopard, Wild boar, Indian Gray Mongoose, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Axis Deer, Small Indian Civet, Golden Jackal, and Indian Crested Porcupine are the other mammals found in the park.
Bundala Lagoons are home to various kinds of crocodile. It abounds with estuarine crocodile and mugger crocodile. Both of mugger or fresh water crocodile dwells in the small fresh water lakes and in the upper regions of the Kiridi Oya.
The estuarine crocodile is the largest reptile alive today. The mail of the species grows to rather length of seven meters and can weigh around 1200kg, with female much smaller in comparison at the ground. As global warming continues, it will be force to the crocodile population.
The mugger crocodile is found in the fresh or brackish water. They like slow-moving, shallow water, making the lagoon of Bundala are perfect home.
The coastal area attracts Loggerhead Turtle, Green Turtle, Hawk's bill turtle and Olive Ridley: four out of Sri Lanka's five marine turtle species, which come ashore to lay their eggs Between October and January. Watching egg laying turtles in the night, on the beaches of Bundala is a sight that no visitor would forget in his lifetime.