Seabirds, Oystercatchers and Wildlife celebrity at Palagama Beach

We at Palagama are thrilled that Sri Lanka’s wildlife celebrity Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne visited us for a day of exploring. Arriving early morning at Palagama on 1st September Gehan spent the first hour of the day Seabird watching from the hotel’s coastline. August and September are two peak months for the seabird migration in Sri Lanka’s Western coast. He recorded over 200 Bridle Terns who dominate the seabird migration among other birds like Gull-billed Terns and Little Terns. After a long breakfast and a tour of the hotel he headed to the beach of Kandakuliya to check out more seabirds along with members of our Palagama Team. However we didn’t see much there but did get a chance to see some of the kite surfers in full swing and photograph a not so commonly seen Common Silverline Butterfly on the beach.

​Gehan suggested that we visit Wilpattu National Park through the newly opened Eluvankulam entrance and we ventured out on a boat from the Kalpitiya fishing habour on a 20 minute boat ride to an isolated mangrove forest. On our boat ride we were delighted to see some Little Terns in breeding plumage and a few other terns. Gehan then spotted a pair of Eurasian Oystercatchers (rare migrants to Sri Lanka) on a small sand island. This was an amazing site to see the pair were standing on the edge of the water and we were able to get good views of them from the boat and carefully got a bit close to take some pictures. We then arrived at Wilpattu Nature Resort which is an ideal place for a great Sri Lankan lunch and good quality safari jeeps on hire.

We set off to Wilpattu and had a good 5 hour safari in the park. Though we were not lucky to see any of the big game we saw plenty of birdlife and smaller mammals. There were plenty of Emerald Doves throughout the park and we got great shots of it. The Villu’s (natural water bodies) in the park were mostly dry but some were filled with the lovely ‘Kokmote’ and ‘Bim Savan’ flowers in full bloom showing sheets of white and purple in the park. After the safari one can drive back to the hotel through the main road which will take around 40 minutes.

We thanks Gehan for taking the time off his short holiday in Sri Lanka to visit us and hope he will be back in December to spend more time at Palagama Beach and to explore the seas for the whale and dolphin watching season.Email us to get more details about how to plan a visit to Kalpitiya and to Wilpattu National Park. info@palagamabeach.com and www.palagamabeach.com