Anawilundawa is a great bird sanctuary !
Anawilundawa bird sanctuary is located between Negombo and Kalpitiya, to the west of the newly laid Anawilundawa A3 highway. As the place was declared a sanctuary only in 1997, it is one of the lesser-known sanctuaries of Sri Lanka though it also enjoys the status of Wetland of National Importance. As a wetland sanctuary, you are bound to see plentiful birds that feed and breed here. In fact, Anawilundawa plays hosts to around 150 bird species all year round.
The wetland here comprises of six large man-made reservoirs and three peripheral tanks that are interconnected to each other thus creating a complex irrigation system. According to archaeological data, the irrigation system dates back to the 12th century. The area around the sanctuary is lush and green due to the rice crops that sway under the evening breeze.
Top this up with the adjacent mangroves and you have a perfect setting for birds. Visitors can also spot a variety of primates and other mammals.
Tips to remember:
If you are keen on birds, you should arrive early. It’s the early bird that catches the worm, as the saying goes!
The best season to visit the place is during the migration season. So, if you are in Sri Lanka between November and April, you will be in for a treat.
If you get in here at any other time of the year, you can still spot resident and endemic species.
What can you expect to spot?
Easily: Butterflies, Egret, Cormorant, Ibis, Pheasant tailed-Jacana, Purple Swamp Hen, Cotton Teal, Little Grebe, Lesser Whistling Duck and Mongoose.
If you use your senses: Toque Monkey and Mouse Deer.
If you are lucky: Slender Loris, Rusty Spotted Cat, Fishing Cat and Indian Otter.