Bird watching at Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary.
One fine day in the beginning of March 2017, I visited this place with a Gang who were extremely tired of their daily jobs. From our busy schedules, we found a weekend to take some rest by being with nature. Anawilundawa is a best place for that. Not only for photographers but also for nature lovers who are eagerly waiting to see different kinds of birds in their natural habitat, don’t forget to come to see this place at least once in your life time.
This amazing bird sanctuary is located in the Putlam district in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka between Chilaw and Putlam, as in the below map. It is about 104 km away from Colombo. So If you are travelling from Colombo in a restful mode, it will take 2.3 hours to 3 hours. The best periods to visit this sanctuary is during the early migration season ( Nov- Dec) or late migration season ( Feb- Apr ). The best time to be there with your gears are early in the morning before 6.30 am or late afternoon around 4.30 pm — 6.00 pm.
So If you are going to visit this place from Colombo, It is better to leave Colombo at least 3.30 am in the morning. Keep my words ! If you do so, you can catch up with lot of birds ….
The uniqueness of Anawilundawa is its immediate proximity to three vastly different ecosystems such as the coast, the mangroves and the fresh water tanks making it one of the six RAMSAR Wetlands in Sri Lanka. This unique ecological setting has made it a favorable nesting and breeding ground for hundreds of species of birds.It is set out on 1,397 hectares of forest land and comprises of nine tanks out of them six giant manmade cascading tanks namely Pinkattiya, Maradansola, Anawilundawa, Mayyawa, Surawila and Vellawali. These tanks store water for irrigation and cultivation and acts as a natural habitat and refuge for 150 species of water birds in addition to a few species of threatened Fish, Amphibians, Mammals, and Reptiles.
According to the online documents, some of the Bird species found here are a large breeding colony of Herons, the Open-bill, Great cormorant, White ibis, Egret, Stalk, Pheasant tailed jacna and the Purple swamp hen. A total of 20 species of mammals have been recorded here, this includes the Rusty spotted cat, Fishing cat, the Indian otter, Slender loris, Toque monkey and 74 species of butterflies. Most endemic and resident birds can be observed right through the year while the migrants are best seen between the months of October and April.
In the mean time remember to prepare some “seeni sambal” or “Pol sambal” and some ginger tea in a hot water flask, before start your journey. You also can buy some “Prima” bread from a FoodCity on the day before. So that you can have a nice meal of breakfast after watching birds, on the tank bund with a nice view of sun rise and birds.
Enjoy this beautiful environment, But remember not to leave any polythene or water bottles or non-decaying materials to this fascinating environment. Please let your children to enjoy this as it is….
After watching this, you can directly go to Kalpitiya.. where you and enjoy more.. If you want to arrange this kind of a journey or a road trip in Sri Lanka. We will provide you support, to the best of your budget.
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