Tiny village acts as bird paradise
Vaduvoor lake hosts thousands of migratory species
‘When some visitors ask, ‘How do the birds know this lake is full?’, I simply tell them that I telephone the migratory birds and inform them,” Ramesh says, tongue in cheek, as he sits at the tip of a lake in south India.
Ramesh, 43, who goes by the single name, has been watching over the not-so-famed Vaduvoor lake in Tamil Nadu for 14 years and is witness to the thousands of birds decorating the reservoir’s trees.
Officially an anti-poaching guard at the Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary, the strongly-built man is intimately connected to the lake and the bird species, both native and foreign.
Nestled in lush green Thanjavur, the 130-hectare Vaduvoor lake is home to thousands of avian visitors every year from different continents.
The lake offers a perfect spot for the birds to find food, shelter and breeding grounds when the mercury drops in their home countries in Europe, the Americas and sometimes Russia.
The birds’ early morning playful chirps are heard from at least a mile away as winged adults train the young ones to fly. Most of these visitors are aquatic birds. Two roadside watchtowers provide bird-watchers and photographers with a closer look.
‘Complex, silent revolution’
Nonetheless, the number of tourists is minuscule compared to the migratory birds as brisk weekends clock just about 100 people. Most visitors are pilgrims who sojourn the temples dotting the Cauvery river belt.
Vaduvoor, more renowned for its Ram temple than the sanctuary, is an unassuming village located 25km from the quaint and historically rich city of Thanjavur.
“Ecologically, the lake has improved a lot due to the arrival of birds. There is a complex but silent revolution taking place here in terms of ecosystem,” said S. Ramasubramanian, conservator of forests for the Thanjavur circle.