Foresters and bird watchers across state look forward to fresh flocks by next month.
“The migration season of the birds has just started in the State. With good south west rainfall reported in Kancheepuram district more migratory birds are expected to visit the Pallikarani, Vedanthangal and Karikilli bird sanctuaries,” opined KVRK Thirunaranan, founder, The Nature Trust. The early migrants like grey headed lapwing and marsh harrier have started visiting Chennai and the duck varieties like Garganey and Shovellers are expected shortly.
The other migratory species like Pelican, Painted Stork, Open Bill Stork, Duck varieties including Shovellers and Pintails are yet to arrive, but we are confident that this year the migration in entire north Tamil Nadu covering Pallikaranai, Vedanthangal and Pulicat will be better, Thirunaranan said.
Bird watchers and field biologists have started monitoring the migratory birds and several sanctuaries in the State has started attracting winged visitors. Western Tamil Nadu has received good rainfall in the past two months, said a forest official. The annual bird census by the Forest Department would be planned after the end of monsoon and this year the migration is likely to be better in delta and southern districts that were ravaged by the cyclone Gaja. “We have lost green cover in Udayamathandapuram and Vanduvur bird sanctuaries and steps are on to take up tree planting works during monsoon,” the official said.
“The constant effort of the state government to restore the Pallikarnai marshland has started yielding results and the sighting of migratory birds had improved in the recent years,” said N Balaji, an avid wildlife photographer. Rare birds like great knot, grey lap wing and flamingos are now regularly visiting Pallikaranai marshland. At any particular time Pallikaranai is the habitat for more than 55 species of migratory birds and has recorded close to 175 species of birds till now. Similarly, Vedanthangal can easily accommodate more than 50,000 migratory birds. The bird migration would be better due to rain but there is a constant threat to bird life through pollution and urbanisation, Balaji added.