Palatupana Saltern, Sri Lanka Bird Sanctuary
The Palatupana Salt Pan is in active use, but nevertheless is very good for shore birds. A working salt pan is not a very exciting affair and does not quite have the same visitor appeal as a visit to a working tea factory for example. As a result the only people who do a de-tour here en-route to the Ruhuna National Park, are birdwatchers.
The salt pans are excellent for waders such as Stints, Curlew and Common Sandpiper, Lesser Sand Plover, Grey Plover, Terek Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt and star attractions like Broad-billed Sandpiper. Between five to ten thousand migrant White-winged Black Terns have been seen to roost here together with small numbers of other migrant terns including Common and Gull-billed tern. Other water birds include the internationally threatened Spot-billed Pelican and migrant waterfowl like Pintail, Garganey and Shoveller.
Palatupana is one of the best shorebird sites in the world for viewing and photographing waders at close range
Tissamaharama has a range of accommodation. The accommodation near Yala National Park is within an hour’s drive.