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| Last Updated:: 25/12/2019

Birds have a new address

 

 

 

Many flock to Perumbakkam marsh, Kovalam creek; squads deployed to protect them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you thought that migratory birds came to roost during the winter only at the Vedanthangal sanctuary, then here's more. The Perumbakkam marshland, an extension of Pallikaranai marsh on Old Mamallapuram Road (OMR), and the Kovalam creek on East Coast Road have emerged as major birding spots in the past few years. Naturalists say migratory birds keep changing their feeding locations and that could be the reason for several of them flocking to Perumbakkam marsh and Kovalam creek.

 

 

 

 

Vikas Madhav, a young birder, said in the past five years, these two water bodies have attracted both birds and bird watchers. However, not many birds have been seen near the road this year. “In 2018 and 2017, the number of birds was even more,” he said.

 

 

 

 

K V Sudhakar, president of the Madras Naturalists’ Society, said Perumbakkam attracts both long-billed migratory birds as well as smaller birds such as black-winged stilts. “But this year, with the wetland brimming with water, the smaller birds have gone to the nearby shallow water bodies. Only long-billed birds such as pelicans, painted storks and cormorants are seen in good numbers at Perumbakkam,” he said.

 

 

 

 

At the Kovalam creek, pelicans and painted storks can be seen scooping up fish from the backwater. Local fishermen said the birds come here for the fish. Chief wildlife warden of Tamil Nadu Sanjay Srivastava said the state forest department was trying to focus on newer spots where birds are nesting during migratory season. The department is deploying anti-poaching squads in these spots, especially during the migratory season. “Protection in such areas is increased depending upon the requirement,” he said.

 

 

 

 

There are a couple of other new birding spots. Sri Ramachandra Medical College in Porur attracts a large number of migratory birds. In Maruvathur, a six-acre lake located near a temple has become a home for birds. Birds have come to Pulicat lake on the outskirts of the city. Munish Raja, a photographer and a regular visitor to Pulicat, said at present the lagoon has a large population of greater pelicans. “Soon, the lesser flamingos will come in large numbers. These birds migrate from Gujarat to the Tamil Nadu coast for roosting and breeding,” he said.

 

 

 

Perumbakkam Marshland

Extension of Pallikaranai marsh on Old Mamallapuram road. It is spread over 75.93 hectares

Kovalam Creek 

Spread over 4.35 sqkm but has been fragmented now. It is located on East Coast Road

Vedanthangal 

Spread over 30 hectares, the lake attracts migratory birds during winter months. At present, about 7,000 birds are roosting and breeding

Pulicat 

Located about 60km north of Chennai. The sanctuary is spread over nearly 15,000 hectares. About 6,000 birds are roosting in this sanctuary now

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: The Times of India, 25 December 2019, Chennai.