Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary is located in Nanguneri taluk of Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. It is situated at a distance of 38 kms from Tirunelveli town and 65 kms from Trivandrum.
From December till June – July.
KBS is the largest reserve for breeding water birds in South India. The village community is actively involved in protecting and in the cases of injured birds and fledglings, even nurturing them. Miscreants who disturb their nests are punished by shaving their head, or making a public procession on a donkey. The festival of Diwali is not celebrated here as the loud crackers would scare away the birds.
Four of us – me, Venky, Ani and Narayan went to KBS during the last week of December on two bikes. The bike ride from Trivandrum to KBS takes you through congested roads from Trivandrum upto Nagercoil and then from Nagercoil up to Nanguneri the roads are part of the Golden Quadrilateral – which means they are quite superb. From Nanguneri you have to take the service lane and cross over to the opposite side under the bridge and from there onwards it is the usual village roads – which mean good in some places, broken up at many places. In between we asked for directions to the local people. After riding for some time we knew we were on the right track. Paddy fields filled with birds greeted us.
Moving on after taking the photos, we reached a water body where we found another flock of birds. A confession here - apart from the usual crow and peacock type of birds, I have no clue about the names of other birds – migratory or otherwise. And till now I have felt no inclination in memorizing the names of all of them. But I really enjoy watching these beautiful creatures and photographing them. So please bear with me if I don’t name these birds. Anyway, we clicked photos of this flock and moved onto the main show.
Soon we reached the sanctuary. We saw that due to the paucity of rains, the turn out of the birds was relatively less. We enquired to the locals regarding the same and they also said that the numbers were less due to the lack of rains. But still there were a few as consolation.
Inside the sanctuary. The vegetation was typical of the region, thorny and shrubby.
The team – Venky on the phone, Narayan in the middle and Ani holding the camera.
Peaceful co – existence. If everyone learned from them, our world would be a much more peaceful one.
Some more pics.
We decided to return after taking rest for some time. We found one small hotel in the village but didn’t have food from there as it didn’t look very hygienic to us. We had some biscuits and other stuff on our way back and had food from Nagercoil. People going to KBS would do well to carry water and food/snacks along with them.