About 38 species, including open bill stork, cattle egret, pelicans spotted
The availability of water at the lake in Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary near Mannargudi has made it possible for the birds to extend their sojourn at the sanctuary.
Thousands of birds can be seen chirping in the early hours and in the evenings. They are perched on the trees in the mounds created by the forest department in the sprawling lake abutting the beautiful Sri Kothandaramaswamy Temple at Vaduvur. A watch tower on the Thanjavur-Mannargudi roadside helps bird watchers to have a close look of the winged visitors.
According to K.Soundarapandiyan, Wild Life Warden and S.Chandrasekaran, Forest ranger, nearly 20,000 birds visited the lake this season – October to February. Nearly 38 species of birds have been spotted.
Variety of birds
The birds that visit the lake every year are the open bill stork, cattle egret, little egret, pelicans, grey pelicans, darter, little cormorants, common coots, little tern, pond heron, night heron, painted stork, common keat, and kingfisher . The birds are best viewed between 5.30 a.m. to 6.30 a.m., and between 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
The birds may leave the sanctuary by the second fortnight of March. Following this, the Forest department will take up the desilting of the lake at a cost of Rs.2lakh. The Ipomea will be removed at a cost of Rs.60, 000 and a visitors road will be built along the lake for a three km stretch, Mr.Chandrasekaran said.
Eco Development Committees have been formed in villages around Vaduvur for joint forest management. A six-member committee will help the forest department in the management of the bird sanctuary and forest in the surrounding areas.
There is also a forest guest house in Vaduvur.