Author Topic: Birding Tours to Mannar launched  (Read 2982 times)


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Birding Tours to Mannar launched
« on: March 15, 2015, 04:37:32 PM »
Birding Tours to Mannar launched

Cinnamon Nature Trails, the wildlife and adventure tourism division at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts launched its first guided bird watching tour to Mannar. This tour was conducted in collaboration with HSBC Premier as an excluasive offering for HSBC premier credit card holders.

The guided tour was open for birders, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts to discover and explore the Mannar peninsula and its diversity. The specialty of Mannar, unlike in other parts of Sri Lanka is that it showcases bird species that are unique to this area. The Mannar region is a very special avi-faunal expanse and a key entry point for the migratory birds that arrive through the eastern flyway.

On the way to Mannar, the group stopped by at a number of wetlands and spotted a variety of wetland birds such as Little Grebes, Gray Herons, Whistling Teals, Painted Storks, and Open Bill Storks, Crested Serpent Eagle, Indian Roller and Plain Prinia.

Moving into the peninsula, a large number of Garganey Ducks, Gulls, Terns and Northern Shoveler were few of the key encounters. Vankalai Bird sanctuary is a haven for migrant water birds and is one of the important areas to observe migratory ducks. During the early morning visit to the Vankalai sanctuary, over thousand Flamingoes were feeding, after observing this flock for almost 15 minutes the entire flock took flight just over the onlookers, an amazing experience that will always linger in one's mind.

Pesalai beach was the ideal place to observe migratory Gulls, Terns Herring Gulls, Brown headed Gulls and Caspian Terns. The historic Talaimannar pier, the main point of the ferry service between Sri Lanka and India for plantation workers during the British occupation, which was stalled in 1984 with the civil unrest northern part of Sri Lanka, was one of the momentous highlights. Many ducks, rare western Reef Heron, Crab Plover and large flock of Black Tailed Godwits were observed on the last day of the tour. During the late evening trails, the spectacular sunset was enjoyed by the guest and it was a perfect opportunity for photographers to capture the moment while a flock of birds rested on the lagoon.

Within the span of three days, the explorers were awestruck by the plethora of colour and flutters of the feathered kind. Although the focus was on birds, it was pleasant to be side-tracked by the famous donkeys in Mannar and the breath-taking sceneries. During the expedition, a total of over 90 bird species were observed together with a large flock of Flamingoes and migratory ducks.

"Mannar peninsula is a must visit destination for keen birders, as many bird species that are restricted to the north and north western coastal region of Sri Lanka can be observed here. This peninsular plays a key role, supporting migratory birds since it is the one of the main entry points for thousands of migratory birds that visits Sri Lanka every year.

Our intension is to increase the awareness of the bird life in Mannar among the general public who did not have access to this area for three decades while enhancing the local community in the area through tourism", Cinnamon Nature Trails Manager Field Operations and Wildlife Biologist Vimukthi Weeratunga stated.

HSBC Premier in partnership with Cinnamon Nature Trails has yet another weekend getaway planned for rainforest lovers during the month of April in search of endemics. Cinnamon Nature Trails, tailor-made tours for both diehard wildlife enthusiasts and families to explore and discover the biodiversity of the island.

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Best Regards
M.  S.