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Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Manko Waterbird & Wetland Center"

Grey Heron at the Manko Wetlands (About 300m from the Center)


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Manko Waterbird and Wetland Center

     GPS
     LatitudeLongitude
     N 26 11.638E 127 40.915




Manko Waterbird & Wetland Center


This is the Manko Waterbird and Wetland Center of Tomigusuku City just outside the borders of Naha. It's not too far from the very visible Toyomi Ohashi Bridge often seen to the east as you are driving down Highway 58. Because of its significance as a stopover point during the winter season for various migratory birds, the Manko Wetlands became a registered wetland area under the Ramsar Convention in May 1999 (Ramsar site no. 996). Inside the center you will see various picturesbird displays, and information on the various birds often seen in the Manko Wetlands. On the second deck, there are birding scopes so you can get a glimpse of some of the wildlife that take refuge there. Just outside the center there is a man-made boardwalk that takes you to an outdoor observation post.

For the most part the center is a very English friendly place. They have a well done English pamphlet that talks about the various wildlife seen there and the history behind the Manko Wetlands. Make sure you grab one of these pamphlets. The pamphlets are located at the sign-in booth as soon as you walk in. If they don't have one, then be sure to ask for one. Also inside the pamphlet is a field map of other observation areas surrounding wetlands. And please don't forget to sign in. There is no entrance fee to go inside, but your name and where you come are important to keeping the place open.

In the photo album you will see some of the various birds just taken in one hour's time: Osprey, Grey Heron, Japanese White-eye, Common Redshank, and the Little Egret. The captions in the photo album will have the scientific name. To see other wildlife in action at the Manko Wetlands visit Mike's Ryukyu Gallery.

Getting there. Getting there is not difficult, however the turn-off can often be missed cause one of the street signs is blocked by a group of trees. Please look at the map and study the landmark and the blue designated vehicle route. Entrance to the wetland center is the very first left as soon as you commence on the road designated by the blue route. It is a 'J' hook turn to the left.

Open: 9am-5pm daily except Mondays, the next day after a holiday, and during Dec 29-Jan 3
Phone Number: 098-840-5121
Website: http://www.geocities.jp/manko_mizudori/ (Japanese Only)
Entrance Fee : Free

They ask you to call in advance for groups of 15 or more.

Other birding areas on Okinawa: Birding Observation Point (Awase).

Other places of interest nearby: Fukushuen Chinese Garden, Monument to Hibari Misora, Pineapple House Store, Sumiyoshi Shrine.