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10 Dec 2023, Edition - 3071, Sunday

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A profusion of beautiful migrants to Kodiakarai

Irshad Ahamed


The lagoons in this area, with their rich fish population attract thousands of migratory birds from Siberia.

Nagapattinam: Thousands of colourful winged-guests from Siberia and other Middle Eastern countries have started arriving at the lagoons in the Point Calimere (Kodiakarai) Wildlife Sanctuary, thanks to the onset of north-east monsoon, providing a visual treat to tourists and ornithologists.

“The peak season for the arrival of migratory birds is from November 15 to January 15. About 60 species of migratory birds have so far been sighted this year,” said C Vidhya, District Forest Ranger. She said more species are expected to arrive in the coming days.

The sanctuary, situated in a sprawling 20 sq km area of dry evergreen forests from Kodiakarai to Muthupettai in Nagapattinam district, serves as the abode for 234 species of colourful birds, besides black bucks, feral horses, wild boars and olive ridley turtles.

The lagoons in this area, with their rich fish population attract thousands of migratory birds from Siberia. They visit the sanctuary every year during October and stay up to March.

Agricultural activities in the area also play a major role in attracting the birds. If agriculture in this area is successful, birds will be found in large numbers as grains and insects are available abundantly in the farm lands, apart from the small fishes in the lagoons and fresh water. After all, the birds come here for feeding and not for breeding.

A variety of birds such as blue jay, egret, myna, drongo, brahmini kite, curlew, brown headed gull, flamingo, teal, black-tailed godwit, whiskered tern, blue tailed bee eater, red shank, little stint and painted stork visit the sanctuary every year.

This year, painted storks, little stint, terns, curlew sandpipers and seagulls are found in large numbers. The pied avocet has been sighted this year in Kodiakarai wildlife sanctuary after a gap of five years. Moving around the sanctuary freely, the birds and other wild animals attract a large number of tourists. The soothing tranquillity prevailing in this area provides a pleasant experience to visitors.

The best sightings are between 6am and 8am and 4pm and 5pm. The wildlife and tourism departments have arranged binoculars, telescopes and other optical instruments in the guest house inside the sanctuary to enable tourists to enjoy the sight of birds.

“We have also laid a walking track up to 4 km in the birds’ area to enable the visitors to walk and have a better look at the winged guests. We have also erected four watch-towers and kept ready 20 binoculars at Kodiakarai sanctuary to provide a good viewing experience. A rest house with 22 rooms, audio visual hall and 12 professional guides are also made available,” Vidhya said.

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