I would like to start the New Year with a happy post and with my favourite subject, BIRDS! Have a look at the beautiful birds first, then read about them!
|Vedanthangal bird sanctuary! The place where we watched them is quite far away which is good for them! No disturbance from us, enemies! Click on the picture to have a better view! The white dots are birds!|
|Entrance to the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary|
|Lone Pelican...most of the birds we saw/noticed were pelicans. These are large birds which mostly come from Australia. We saw some flying with twigs to form their nests!|
|Black-headed Ibis! I will forget the name after an hour, but they look so beautiful!|
|Pelicans...watching the new member landing? Look at their beaks! Their faces look expressive!|
|These birds look beautiful...Don't know the name of the birds!|
|One section of the birds|
|All these birds are beautiful, though we don't know the names!|
|Pelicans looked prominent, maybe because of their size!|
|Open Bill Stork...these are called 'naththai kuththi naarai' in Tamil, means 'snail pricking stork'! |
All these different types of birds stay in separate clusters but they don't seem to disturb others! We can learn a thing or two from them!
We had been planning to visit Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary (near Chennai) for the past many years now. At last we did it, 10 days back, since we read in the paper that the birds had started coming.
This place is 60 kms. from our house. I wanted to be there at 6 am itself, since I thought that it would be nice to watch the birds flying in the morning hours. But somebody at the sanctuary said that the gate would be open at 8 am! But it opens at 6, we came to know after going there! We were told that we can see birds coming from Australia, Siberia, Sri Lanka and many other places for nesting in the Vedanthangal lake in the months of November to March. You can see in the first and second picture, how the birds are sitting in groups on tree tops! A person who works there said that since this years the rains were less and the lake was not filled up properly, only around 30,000 birds have come. Last year, the water level was high and so around 60,000 birds had come. They come here, build their nests, hatch eggs and after the birds come out, even teaching to fly takes place here itself. It will be around March first week and we are planning to go there again to see the baby birds!
Vedanthangal is the oldest water bird sanctuary in the country. Vedanthangal in Tamil language means 'hamlet of the hunter'. This area was a favourite hunting spot for the local landlords in the early 1700s. The region attracted a variety of birds because it was dotted with small lakes that acted as feeding grounds for the birds. Realising its ornithological importance, the British government undertook steps to develop Vedanthangal into a bird sanctuary as early as 1798. This was established in 1858 by the order of the Collector of Chingleput.
Several accounts of the sanctuary were published in the mid-19th Century.Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, and has been fiercely protected by the local population for well over 250 years. In 1936, the park was notified as a sanctuaryand in 1962, the Madras Forest Act legally accorded the status of a reserve forest to Vedanthangal. Ten years later, the place was declared as a wildlife sanctuary.
The local people are very protective of the birds. First, the bird droppings in the water which was also used for irrigation of the nearby fields act as a good fertilizer. Not only that, the locals think that the birds come there to build their homes depending on their goodwill. They never shoot any bird here. They treat them like family. Some local youngman caught a large fish here, a couple of weeks back. The local Panchayat people warned him and fined him Rs.10,000/-. Then after some bargaining, he paid some Rs.3,000/-, it seems! This is a huge amount of money for a lone fish!
The lake is surrounded by a walking tiled path and 3-4 towers for bird-watching. This was built by the Britishers in the 1800s. I saw clean toilets and many dustbins with notifications not to throw anything outside the bin or anywhere else in the sanctuary. Even then I saw a couple of plastic bottles floating in the lake. But surprisingly, the whole area was clean. Drinking water also was available and benches were there to relax and watch the atmosphere relaxingly! I noticed many foreigners with cameras waiting patiently to click a good photograph...children also were fascinated by the birds.
|Our breakfast, Idlies with chutney powder! And then Amul masti (butter milk)!|
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
LET THE COMING YEAR BE PEACEFUL AND
BRING HAPPINESS TO ONE AND ALL!
BRING HAPPINESS TO ONE AND ALL!
Another village which has got bird-loving people is here