Bird watchers can look forward to identifying about 50 species

The recent spell of rain has livened up the atmosphere at the Vellode Bird Sanctuary here on an expanse of over 77 hectares.

Winged visitors have begun to arrive.

For the next four to five months, avid bird watchers could look forward to identifying about 50 species of resident and migratory water birds, including painted stork, Indian darter (snake bird), egrets, coots, king fishers, adjutant stork, little cormorant, common sand piper, painted snipe, Indian river tern, open billed stork, common teal and yellow wagtail.

In the last fortnight, a spurt in footfall of avid bird watchers has become noticeable at weekends, according to the Forest department staff at the Sanctuary that is open to visitors all through the year.

According to them, the ideal time to visit is from October to February.

The speciality of the lake is permanent availability of water. Though a bulk of the water is from the North-East monsoon, the permanent water availability is enabled by the Lower Bhavani Project main canal that bounds the lake to its West and North.

Located 12 km away from Erode along the Chennimalai road in Perundurai taluk, the Periyakulam lake’s embankment teems with shrub species, and the over 1,000 fruit bearing trees, in keeping with the habitat of the birds, have been planted to attract birds.

The habitat is diverse with tall woody acacia species, lotus patches, aquatic grass vegetation, the department staff said, adding that clear water area and varieties of tall bushy species offer scope for congregation of diverse species.

The Forest department has created small islets in the lake for the birds to rest and build nests.

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