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A Birdwatcher’s Paradise Expanded: The Wonders of Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Sri Lanka’s Coastal Jewel: On the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary stands as a testament to nature’s splendor. More than a mere bird sanctuary, Kalametiya is a vibrant ecosystem where land and water converge to form a sanctuary teeming with life. It’s a place where the Hambantota district’s rugged beauty meets the gentle lull of the Indian Ocean, creating a paradise for wildlife and nature enthusiasts alike.

A Mosaic of Natural Beauty: Kalametiya’s landscape is a rich tapestry that includes everything from pristine sandy beaches to sheltered bays and coves. The sanctuary’s lagoons shimmer like jewels, bordered by dense mangrove forests and expanses of scrubland. Together with Rekawa and Ussangoda, Kalametiya forms part of the “Ruk,” a breathtakingly beautiful area that beckons nature lovers from around the world.

A Refuge of Biodiversity: The sanctuary’s unique coastal ecosystem, akin to the renowned Bundala National Park, is a haven for an astonishing array of bird species. The brackish waters of the Kalametiya lagoon, edged by lush reed beds and salt marshes, offer an ideal habitat for over 150 bird species, including 54 migratory ones1. This makes Kalametiya a premier destination for birdwatchers, with its diverse population of both resident and migratory birds2.

Avian Wonders Abound: Visitors are best advised to explore Kalametiya between November and March, when the dry weather brings the sanctuary to life. The air is filled with the calls of pelicans, herons, egrets, storks, spoonbills, and kingfishers. The sanctuary also hosts a variety of ducks, shorebirds, and bee-eaters, creating a vibrant tapestry of avian life1.

A Seasonal Spectacle: In mid-August, Kalametiya becomes a stage for a remarkable natural event as migrant birds from as far as North India, Siberia, Scandinavia, and Western Europe descend upon the sanctuary. The lagoons and salterns become a temporary refuge for species such as sandpipers, stints, plovers, terns, and harriers1.

Beyond the Birds: Kalametiya’s biodiversity extends to its reptilian inhabitants, with 38 species of reptiles finding sanctuary within its bounds1. The presence of four nationally threatened bird species underscores the importance of Kalametiya as a critical habitat for conservation1.

Exploration Awaits: The sanctuary offers immersive experiences, whether you choose to traverse its paths on foot or glide through its waters by boat. Boat tours, in particular, provide an intimate encounter with the sanctuary’s inhabitants, allowing visitors to appreciate the intricate beauty of this wetland habitat2.

Plan Your Adventure: Located just 22 kilometers from Tangalle, Kalametiya is easily accessible for those seeking to connect with nature. With extended opening hours from 6AM to 6PM, there’s more time to explore and discover the sanctuary’s hidden corners3.

Conservation at Heart: A visit to Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary is a journey into the heart of nature’s diversity. It’s an opportunity to support conservation efforts and witness the sanctuary’s role in protecting threatened species. So, ready your binoculars, set out on the trails, and experience the enchanting world of Kalametiya4.

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  • July 13, 2024 4:09 pm local time

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