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Lets go for birding in the oldest bird sanctuary near Chennai

Since monsoon is around the corner, birds from various parts start to migrate for survival. No wonder that you could spot more birds in marsh land, rural places in and around Chennai.  Deepak, an ardent bird photographer and Madras Photo bloggers panel team member is sharing his view, thoughts and ideal season to visit bird Vedathangal sanctuary. Let us all listen his view

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary  – is the oldest bird sanctuary in India. The sanctuary is preserved by the local people for over 250 years as they have found that the water that contains birds’ muck mixed with it can prove as best natural fertilizer for the crops.Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is completely dependent upon the rainfall and faces water problems during the summer season. This is the reason why permanent water plants cannot be seen here. The Barringtonia trees are found here, which are used by the variety of birds for nesting purposes. The sanctuary has a lake with lots of trees in the water. Many birds can be seen on water and on trees Open-billed storks are the main visitors of Vedanthagal bird sanctuary.

How to reach?

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located in Kancheepuram district of Tamilnadu. It is around 60 kms from Tambaram and around 25 kms from Chengalpet. The sanctuary is well connected by road and you can have a smooth ride from the city. If you rely on public transport there are buses from Tambaram, Chengalpet and Maduranthagam. The nearest railway Junction is Chengalpet to which there are frequent trains from the city. The best time to visit the park would be between 6AM and 8 AM in the morning and 4PM to 6PM in the evening when there is lot of feeding activities by the bird.

Who is it for?

Are you a bird lover? Do you find birds  fascinating? Then you are in right spot. Do you have kids? Are they asking you to take them to a new place they have not been before? Then Vedanthangal is a good picnic spot for kids and they would get to know about it.. Are you a nature lover? Then go right ahead and be fascinated by the world of birds and prepared to be surprised. Bird photography skill can easily be honed if you involve. Make sure you carry a good Telephoto lens to frame the long distant subjects.

What birds do we get to see?

Below is a list of birds and Animals that can be spotted in Vedanthangal. They usually vary from month to month. You may not be able to spot a Painted stork in early November but later in the winter. You may not be able to spot everything or you may spot new ones that are not listed below. This is not a comprehensive list and only based on observations over the years. So try to spot as many as you can.

  1. Spot billed Pelican
  2. Night Heron
  3. Cormorants
  4. Darter
  5. Egrets
  6. Painted Stork
  7. Pintails/Ducks
  8. Spoonbills
  9. White and Glossy Ibis
  10. Moorhens
  11. Coucals
  12. Golden Oriole
  13. Spotted owlets
  14. Bonnet Macaques
  15. Indian Roller

 How should I behave?

Finally, the most important thing that most of us fail to follow or not taught about is respecting nature. I have observed people calling out birds or making noises to attract them. Please do not do that. Please do not feed any bird or Animal while you are at the park. Please dispose waste only in bins provided for them. Please avoid plastics. Please do not approach any bird. Please avoid getting closer to or photographing nests. Avoid disturbing other bird lovers or making loud noises. These are few things that can make Vedanthangal one of the best bird sanctuaries in India. Happy birding.

Photography by Deepak, Muralimohan Krishnan. Jeeva Varutharaj. Gokul Raghothaman.Vijay Guru,Radheep Radhakrishnan and an article by Deepak. All images are copy right protected.