Tiny vil­lage acts as bird par­adise

Vadu­voor lake hosts thou­sands of mi­gra­tory species

Gulf News - - India -

‘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.

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