Monthly Archives: May 2016

Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary

The Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary (38.4 ha) consists of three freshwater tanks: Periya kollukudi kanmai (13.5 ha), Chinnakollukudi-kanmai (6.2 ha) and Vettangudi-kanmai (18.2 ha) . The only bird sanctuary located in the Sivaganga District which was declared as sanctuary in June 1977. The sanctuary is about about 10 km from Tirupattur and about 51 km from Madurai. The Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary is located at 10 deg 10′ N latitude and 78 deg 20′ E longitude.
This tanks and surrounded paddy fields attracts largest number of winter migratory birds, They were from European and North Asian countries. It is a breeding habitat for grey herons, darters, spoonbills, white ibis, Asian Open bill stork, and night herons. It has also attracted painted stork, grey heron, darter, little cormorant, little egret, intermediate egret, cattle egret, common teal, Spot bill ducks and pintail.

Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary

Busy time for Birds

The Sanctuary receives its major rainfall from the northeast monsoon, So The best time to visit this sanctuary starts in November to January and its continue to March. During this time birds are mostly busy in building and maintaining their nests. Here with a maximum rainfall of 300 mm. Thus, from June to December, rainwater helps to sustain the breeding birds at Vettangudi. Besides this, Vaigai, the major river of the district and surrounding paddy fields also provide foraging grounds.

Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary


This site was selected as an IBA due to the large breeding colony of up to 5,000 birds. More than 250 nests of Asian Open bill have been seen and plenty numbers of nesting colonies of Oriental White ibis, Little Cormorants, Night herons, Little Egrets, Intermediate Egrets. And Greater Spotted Eagle is the familiar raptor of this Sanctuary.

Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary
Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary
Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary
Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary



Summers: During the summer the climate is quite hot. May is the hottest month.

Winters: The climate remains pleasant during this time, as the temperature rarely falls between 20 deg C and 30 deg C

Nearest visiting places:

  • The famous Karpaka Vinayakar Temple at Pillayarpatti near Karaikudi, Sivaganga District.
  • The temple of Kundrakudi Lord Subramanya at Kundrakudi, near Karaikudi, Sivaganga District.
  • And Some Tourist place like Thirumalai Nayak Palace Gandhi Museum: Mariamman Teppakulam and Thirupparankunram located at Madurai
  • And Some Tourist place like Thirumalai Nayak Palace Gandhi Museum: Mariamman Teppakulam and Thirupparankunram located at Madurai

How to reach

Nearest Railway Station: Madurai is connected by Train via Madras with all the main places in India.
Nearest Airport: Madurai
By Road: Karaikudi and Madurai is nearest City and Major Cities has well connected with Madurai by road to Madras (472 kms),
Trichy (142 kms),
Rameshwarm (139 kms),
Kanyakumari (232 kms),
Tirunelveli (151 kms), Kodaikanal (120 kms),
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (136 kms),
Palani (122 kms),
Thanjavur (223 kms),

Birds Check List

Point Calimere

Point Calimere located in Thanjavur district, where the coastline juts out into the sea taking a sharp turn to the west. It spreads over then 1726 ha. This Sanctuaries habitat covers of tidal swamps, dry evergreen forests and mangroves. The sanctuary is famous for its flamingos and blackbuck. A vast variety of water birds such as teals, gulls, terns, plovers, stilts etc. can also be seen during winter months. Other mammals include chital, wild boar etc. The water birds of the great swamp and the dolphins and turtles that often come quite close to the shore are the special interests.
This Sanctuary having annual is Rainfall 1500mm.Point Calimere situated 170 Kms away from Tanjavur and 42 Km away from Thiruthuiraipoondi and Vedaranyam is the nearest town could reach within 10 Km.
Season is in this sanctuary for water birds or Migrant Birds, waders November to February and Season for Blackbuck and Chital all the year around. Here an Accommodation for Birders Forest Rest Houses is available at Point Calimere and also catering arrangements has been provided.
Address for Contact
The Wildlife Warden,
Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary,
110, Public Officers Road,
Nagapattinam – 611 001.

BNHS Bird Migration Centre
The International Leading Ornithological Organisation of Bombay Natural History Society has running it’s Birds migration study centre more than 30 years by its director Dr. Balachanthiran In this Town of Point Calimere.
Dr.Manivannan with Dr. Balachanthiran

Perumbarai Environment Centre

Perumbarai Environment Centre A must see spot for Bird watchers
You can dine with a couple of Grizzled giant squirrels, have tea in front of a dozen Vernal hanging parrots, go for a stroll to sight 60 Pompadour green pigeons.

All these are not happening in a bird sanctuary, but in a small habitat loved by the birds. The place is Perumbarai Environment Centre which is 45 kms from Dindigul in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu.
Great Birding spot of Perumbarai Environment Centre (PEC) which is credited for organizing the first South Indian bird watcher’s fair in the year 2004. In a survey conducted in 2006, 160 species of birds were recorded and the number has increased to 176 in 2010. PEC is located at an average elevation of 1000 MSL. “PEC is an area thickly populous with birds and the population here has never declined. This is because there are large number of trees which bears fruits and these fruits are sold only after the birds consume enough of them,” “Bird sighting is a matter of chance,” says N.Arun Sankar, Secretary of PEC.The bird watching trip involved a trek to Vellarikarai, Thariyankudisai and Pullaveli. Around 50 species of birds could spotted during the one days of stay at  PEC. Some of the interesting birds are Asian fairy blue bird, Coppersmith barbet, Pompadour green pigeon, Plum headed parakeet, Lorikeet or Vernal hanging parrot, Crested serpent eagle, etc.

Dr.Manivannan’s Memorable Moment of birding at PEC

In addition to bird watching, the students also got to watch bird videos and learnt a lot about the bird sounds. Bird watching turned out to an exciting affair when two high resolution spotting scopes were carried to the field. There are about 65 species of resident birds and twice the number of Locally migrant birds in the area. Malabar Parakeet has one of the strongest voices amongst all birds and the Drongo mimics 26 varieties of birds. Myna is another bird that mimics various other birds. Male birds sing well to attract the females and this occurs mainly in the breeding season. It advertises itself mainly through its voice.

There are very limited bird watchers in the South and it is merely for leisure and one can’t expect monetary benefits out of it. But conservation is quintessential for all. “Western Ghats is one of the key centers of Bio diversity and there is tremendous need for conservation. The concerned authorities should take responsibility and guide the conservationists for better results,” says Joe Homan, founder of PEC. He feels that everyone is doing their own thing but without meeting up. The idea of beginning the process of environment clubs suddenly hit upon him 45 years back when he came to India.


Dr.Manivannan showing his photograph with Mr.Joe Homan

Joe Homan says that the main idea is to use PEC as a conservation area and also to use it to create awareness. “Indians are quite open to the aspect of conservation but implementing it seems to be very difficult. Training students and making them environmentalists would reap rich results,” added Homan.

PEC though controlled by Boys town society, also founded by Joe Homan, is an independent body. It has tie ups with renowned nature conservation research institutes like The Bombay Natural History Society. Field trips are arranged every two months and students get to enjoy this at very subsidized rates. Coffee, pepper, orange are the major cultivating crops with bananas being grown in some areas. Poaching is minimal here. PEC’s future plan is to create a butterfly park by planting lots of butterfly host plants and opening it commercially to the public.

Here is the list of birds spotted in and around PEC

1.Asian Brown Fly Catcher
2.Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher
3. Jungle Babbler
4. White Breasted Kingfisher
5. White Breasted Water Hen
6.Small Blue Kingfisher
7.Oriental Magpie Robin
8.Red Vented Bulbul
9.Red Whiskered Bulbul
10.Great Tit
11.Jungle Myna
12.Hill Myna
13.Whistling Thrush
15.Crested Serpent Eagle
16.Jungle Owlet
17.Little Spider Hunter
18.Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
19.Spotted Dove
20.Rufous Tree Pie
21.Oriental White Eye
22.Pompadour Green Pigeon
24.Drongo Cuckoo
25.Greater Flame Back Woodpecker
26.Jungle Crow
27.Racket Tailed Drango
28.Bronzed Drongo
29..Eurosian Sparrow Hawk
30. Greater Coucal
31.Ashy Wood Swallow
32.Malabar Parakeet
33.Pond Heron
34.Lesser Golden Backed Woodpecker
35.Yellow Bronzed Bulbul
36..Long Tailed Shrike
37.White Cheeked Barbet
38.Asian Fairy Blue Bird
39.Common Tailor Bird
40.Plum Headed Parakeet
41.Large Cuckoo Shrike
42.Yellow Bronzed Bulbul
43.Black Headed Oriole
44.Coppersmith Barbet
45.Purple Rumped Sun Bird
46.Golden Front Leaf Bird
47.Scarlet Minivet
48.Ruby Throated Barbet
49. Vernal Hanging Parrot