It is a spectacular sight every dawn and dusk at Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary in Tiruvarur district. With the bird migration season at its peak, one can see the largest congregation of birds here.
The winged visitors with all their different colours and features take off from the sanctuary to seek their prey between 6 a.m. and 7.30 a.m and get back to their nests between 4.30 p.m. and 6 p.m. The chirping birds and their colourful flying parade on the storage tank (which acts as the sanctuary) is a delightful sight for bird-watchers and tourists.
One can walk on the two km tourist track laid by the forest department around the tank or use the watch towers to see the winged visitors.
Birds spotted in the sanctuary now are the Open-Billed Stork, egrets, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Jackana, cormorants, Purple Moorhen. Pelicans come and go and all are inland migratory birds.
According to V. Thirunavukarasu, Wild Life Warden, Nagapattinam, 37 species of birds have been spotted at Udhayamarthandapuram. The forest department has planted 10,000 saplings to help the birds nest and roost.
Located on 46.2 acres of land, six km from Muthupettai on Tiruthuraipoondi-Muthupettai road, the sanctuary is no doubt a haven for bird-watchers and now is the right time to see the birds, Mr. Thirunavukarasu said.
The Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary near Mannargudi is also home to the largest congregation of birds now.
The sprawling lake, on the banks of which the famous Sri Kothandaramar Temple is located, attracts a large number of ducks, darters, cormorants, egrets and so forth. The forest department has planted a large number of saplings and built watch towers here as well.