Monday 21 March 2011

Bird Watching in Chennai

Bird Watching in Chennai

What is the first place that comes to your mind when we say Bird Watching in and around Chennai (those that fly mind you)? Vedanthangal or Pulicat Lake, right? A few others will talk about Guindy National Park, Adyar Estuary and Theosophical Society of Madras. Very few also know about the marsh lands in Pallikaranai etc. These are no doubt very good places for watching birds. Most of those do have a good number of visitors from far off places during the migratory season. Even Google brings up these places.

But, is that all we have? Certainly not. Those who are interested to know about the native birds apart from the migratory birds will definitely want to know more. So, that is what Saravanan, (Peter) Prabhu, Prabhu and yours truly were thinking about. We thought of exploring places where we can spot some local birds. That is how we ended up driving along the reserve forest area between Tiruporur and Tirukazhukundram. Though this stretch of land for different purpose, this is the first time I suggested visiting this place for bird watching.
We started today morning at 4:30am and reached the place by around 6:00am after briefly stopping for a couple of times. We treaded slowly in Saravanan’s new Xylo along the route finding path to walk through the forest and click some photographs. One particular place was quite interesting. It was a tried up path of a stream which lead us well into the forest. Though we did not go too far into that route, it was definitely a very good vantage point for spotting birds. Now here is the list of birds that I was able to spot. Please keep in mind that all of us are amateurs in bird watching and except me, the others are coming out for the first time with Bird Watching as the agenda (the ones that fly, of course…)

Indian Robin – Male and Female
Red Vented Bulbul
Red Whiskered Bulbul
Red Vented Bulbul
White Browed Bulbul
Indian Pond Heron
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Indian Roller
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Green Bee Eater
Black Shouldered Kite
Purple Rumped Sunbird
Purple Sunbird
Spotted Dove
Paddy field Pipit
Coppersmith Barbet
Jungle Babbler
Black Drongo
Common Tailor Bird
Greater Coucal (As usual, I was unable to photograph this one)
Grey Francolin (Very alert ones. Did not get a clear picture of this bird)
White Throated Kingfisher (It was interesting to see these chasing the crows from their territory)
There were also some Painted Storks, Open Bill Storks and Pelicans circling around in the sky.

This place is a must see again, just for bird watching. Anyone out there know of any other place around Chennai for Bird Watching?

This is an update and will be updated as and when I explore more. Following are the places where bird watching can be done around Chennai.

Siruthavur Lake

White Browed Bulbul