The sprawling lake near Muthupettai plays host to 160 species

Chirping of birds rent the air at Udhayamarthandapuram birds’ sanctuary on Tuesday – thanks to the large numbers of winged visitors flocking the pristine locale. By the crack of dawn, the birds fly to nearby villages, prey on insects and worms in the fields, and return to the sanctuary as dusk falls .

“We can see the birds between 6 and 7.30 a.m. and between 4.30 and 6 p.m.,” said Ayub Khan, a forest official.

Peak season is from November to February. “The copious flow of water in tail-end areas holds out an invitation for birds that have already started arriving in large numbers,” said Ayub Khan. The sprawling lake on 44 hectares of land at Udhayamarthandapuram, 10 km from Muthupettai in Tiruvarur district, plays host to 160 species of birds during its peak season.

Some of them come from countries such as Siberia, Australia, and Sri Lanka. White ibis, night herons, coots, teals, pheasant tailed jacana, pelican, open bill stork, cormorons, pond herons, painted stork, and little egrets are some of the breeds that visit the sanctuary. “Forest department has made arrangements for tourists to see the birds. There are two watchtowers with binoculars and telescopes. Three guides are available to help tourists,” Mr.Khan said.

Vaduvur Lake, which is the second bird sanctuary in the district, too is attracting large flocks of birds.