Offbeat Step out into nature to learn about birds
M aredumilli Forest in East Godavari District is a haven for bird watchers. Located 90 kilometers from Rajamundry, it forms part of the Eastern Ghats, rich in biodiversity with semi moist deciduous forests. February and March being the breeding season, Maredumilli proves to be an ideal location for a big list of bird sightings. Ninety six birds have been identified and recorded including rare birds like the brown wood owl, ultramarine flycatcher, black caped kingfisher among others.
At Maredumilli, the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department works alongside the local indigenous communities like Valamurus to manage eco-tourism projects in the area. Not far away is the legendary Vaali-Sugriva battle ground. The area is covered with teak and sal trees interspersed with rubber and coffee plantations. It is also home to leopards, mouse deer and Malabar giant squirrels.
A two-day birding camp was organised by the Asian Wildlife Foundation last weekend starting from Rajamundry. The campsite situated in the midst of the forest with tented accommodation on the scenic banks of River Pamuleru offers great photo opportunities.
Members of the Birdwatchers Society of A.P. and birders from Chennai and Bangalore shared their knowledge with amateurs. The trek from Maredumilli through Uttalaluru to Kutravada is fun filled.
“Maredumilli is one of the very few densely forested areas that is easily accessible and safe. Particularly of interest to bird watchers as one gets to spot the Rosy Minivet and Scarlet Minivet, which are winter migrants from the Himalayan foothills. The other spectacular sight is the Malabar Trogon (not easily seen) and Malabar Pied Hornbill common to the Western Ghats. At times we get to hear the sweet song of the White Shama too,” says Satya Srinivasan, software professional and an avid bird watcher.
Asian Wildlife Foundation (AWIFO) is a registered not-for-profit Trust that aims to spread awareness about the need for wildlife conservation through the medium of education and can be contacted for workshops, lectures, audio-visual presentations and nature camps.
To register call 8008008055/ 9177 000097 or mail
PADMINI B. PATELL