In a spectacular sight, flocks of various species of water birds migrating from different parts of Eurasia have started arriving at Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary in Nagapattinam district.
Point Calimere, also known as Kodiyakkarai, is a protected wetland and designated as one of the Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention along with the Great Vedaranyam Swamp. It is situated on the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu in Nagapattinam district, where the coastline takes a near-right angle turn.
The Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary is a tropical dry evergreen forest known for the conservation of the Indian antelope, also known as blackbuck. Plenty of migratory bird species arrive at the sanctuary every year during October and November because of the large extent of sand bars and mud flats.
“The prevailing conditions at Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary following the onset of the northeast monsoon and widespread rainfall across the coastal Nagapattinam district has created a favourable environment for shore birds to forage at the mud flats,” said B. Ayub Khan, Forest Range Officer, Vedaranyam Range.
Over 60 species of shore birds from various parts of Eurasia have arrived at the sanctuary, including Greater flamingo, Caspian tern, Little tern, Gull-billed tern, Whiskered tern, and Curlew sandpiper. The Forest Department has also recorded the arrival of several terrestrial bird species from the Himalayas, Western Ghats, and Sri Lanka, including the Paradise flycatcher and Indian golden oriole, besides the local bird species such as Painted stork, Pelicans, and Grey herons.
These migratory birds arrive at Point Calimere only to forage and feed on larvae, insects, fish, crabs, and phytoplanktons on the mud flats, official sources said. Recently, the traces of breeding of Crab-plover, a migratory wader bird species, had been spotted for the first time at the Mannavaran islet near Point Calimere.
Considering the prevailing weather conditions, a greater number of migratory bird species are likely to arrive at the sanctuary.