Nagapattinam: Migratory birds from far away countries have started arriving at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary at Kodiakarai in the district on their annual sojourn.
With the north-east monsoon bringing in copious rains since late last month, so far about 30 bird species, including 20 terrestrial, have arrived at the sanctuary spread over 20 sq km area, sanctuary sources said.
Ornithologists have predicted considerable increase in the inflow of migratory birds in the coming days. If the rainfall is too high or too low, the number of birds goes down.
The lagoons in this area with their rich fish population attract thousands of migratory birds from countries as far as Siberia and other West Asian countries every year during the latter part of October. The birds stay till February or March.
A variety of birds such as blue jay, egret, myna, drongo, brahmini kite, curlew, brown-headed gull, flamingo, teal, black-tailed godwit, whiskered tern, blue tailed bee eater, red shank, little stint, painted stork and others visit the sanctuary every year.
The Wildlife and Tourism departments have made elaborate arrangements, including provision of binoculars and telescopes for the benefit of bird lovers and tourists.
Flamingos are found in large numbers this year, say bird watchers noting that last year there was steep decline in their numbers.
For the past few years, an expert team led by renowned scientist Dr K Balachandran, Assistant Director of Bombay Natural History Society, is engaged in extensive research in the sanctuary and had been using rings fitted with satellite- based transmitters to track the birds.
Last year, the satellite tracking had revealed that the birds ringed at the sanctuary were found to be travelling to Alaska, New Zealand and other countries.
Similarly, birds ringed by the authorities in North East Russia among others arrived at Point Calimere.
The tracking had also revealed that the birds travel about 1000-km a day.