Bird Watching in Jaffna

“Ye…why not?” I seemed to internally mutter to myself


There comes a point in ones life where you just need to watch some birds

There is no harm in this simple almost primitive fascination

Yet Jaffna is not the first place you would think to be a bird watchers’ paradise

Come and expect to be surprised…Oh the wonders you will stumble upon


Make sure to wake up before the crack of dawn

Pushing aside the morning retribution of last night’s forgone toddy

Do not forget your glasses, your binoculars and/or your huge F*off lens on the DSLR

And jump onto a push bike, scooter, tuk tuk, bus, car, 4WD, truck, train

Anything really that will you get you onto the land bridge connecting Jaffna to Kayts (pronounced /kites/)


An apt name really, for a place where the kites are in fact natures very own

Sailing amongst the gentle breeze of the Palk strait

Under the cool sun waking up from its slumber

The palette of the sunrise splashed across the horizon

As if getting off the couch and stepping into a David Attenborough tele-episode on ABC2


Forget yoga retreats, meditation camps and circling around statues 3 times

THIS …is the happy place we’ve been searching for

That’s right

Who would have thought?

A good old-fashioned gander in Jaffna of all places


I’m not going to pretend that I know the array of avian local and migratory species on offer

However, I do know that if you are lucky

You may come across some migrating flamingos (pictured above)

Apparently from Siberia, a local doctor is known to proclaim


And as the sun rises

The town comes to life

Grab a whiff of that morning peninsular breeze

Before the dry heat of the North kicks in

Aeration factor 8/10

You will not be disappointed. I assure you


* Siberian flamingo photo credit by amateur professional photographer Hari Darshan taken with a big F*off DSLR camera lens

** Bird watching season in Jaffna is roughly between September to March give or take

***The Siberian flamingo is a misnomer (most likely secondary to a communication error with Dr Sivasothy) and is actually ‘The Greater Flamingo’ not ubiquitous in sub-Artic Siberia apart from the odd Huckleberry Finn sub-species

****If interested (like how I surely was) please refer to this Vice article for further reading about the fascinating migratory patterns of the greater flamingo:

***** Does not go without saying, highly recommend in your latest addition to the sarong cupboard. The one Periamma got me; was where the money was at


Sunrise over Kayts. On the way to watch some birds. Taken with my trusty iPhone. 

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