Indulge in bird watching, an activity that needs patience and plenty of persistence. It is not uncommon to spot content people with binoculars and camera feeling happy and strolling through the trees, grasslands and forests in Visakhapatnam. Don’t think them idle for they are not. They are in fact trailblazing natural habitats by ‘Birding’. Birding or bird watching has become a favourite activity of nature enthusiasts in Vizag where the still unspoilt forests, valleys, reservoirs, and reserves are home to many local and migratory birds. Taking you to unexplored places, this activity helps you enjoy nature at its best, while you look out for avian species. While there are many bird-watching destinations, given the spread of greenery around us, here are some sure-fire places for birding enthusiasts.
The bird sanctuary here is a major attraction and is rich in local flora and fauna. The serenity and palm cover is intoxicating as also the blue waters of the lake and the placid palm boats that let you glide between the lotus and lily pads. The region offers space to stay at the guesthouses, relax, enjoy and capture memories of the place.
Spot the Grey Herons that join the Sunbirds and the Bee-eaters, while the Black Drongo and the Red Whiskered Bulbul grace your photographs. While the region is famed for its Pheasant Tailed Jacana also spot the different types of Egrets.
Telineelapuram Bird Sanctuary
Located 65kms from Srikakulam this sanctuary allows one to watch birds in their natural habitat. Undisturbed commercially it is a marshy creek and a migratory bird magnet. A little further away are the swamps of Naupada, where many water birds are known to gather.
Spot the Painted Storks, Open-bill Storks, Grey Hornbills and Spot Bellied Pelicans that are known to fly in here from far off Siberia. It is very pleasurable watching the aviary folks with their young ones and 1000s of these birds flock here every year.
Popularly known as Mudasarlova Water reservoir, this is the oldest park constructed in the British era. With lush greenery, hills and an expansive golf course, this place offers the highlight of capturing birds in flight over the Golf Course or perched and chirping on the trees.
Spot the many eagles, kites, common coots, parrots and other birds here.
Nestled in the green hills of Visakhapatnam and built over Gosthani River, Thatipudi is a haven for many birds. Quite accessible with food and stay options, it makes for excellent weekend getaway plans. You can also choose to head here on your way to Araku valley.
Spot the Forest Wagtails, Larks, Black hooded Oriole, Spotted Owlet, Indian Roller, Indian Silverbell and scaly-breasted Munia.
Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kambalakonda hills and the bio-diversity park are home to many species of birds. Being developed as a hub now for boosting ecotourism, this place is still untouched and you can explore birds in uncommon peace.
Spot the Indian Golden Oriole, Indian Pea Fowl, the Grey Francolin and the White-bellied Sea Eagle. More exquisite are the Paradise Flycatcher, Sirkeer Malkoha, black-headed Cuckooshrike and the Red Wattled Lapwing that flock here in numbers.
While these are some of the natural jaunts, do not overlook Vizag city’s hangouts for birding. Head to Andhra University, Simhachalam hillside, Yarada and by the lighthouse. If you’re willing to go a little further, visit Tyda or Meghadhri gadda near Vepagunta, where birds come in for winter migration. You can spot the Ruddy Shelduck, Lesser Whistling duck, Spot-billed duck and the Tufted duck. Kapuluppada is another destination that’s home to the openbill Stork, Glossy Ibis, white breasted Waterhen, Baya weavers and Purple Swamphen. And yes, give yourself a pat on the back if you spot the black eagle, which is the largest bird on the Eastern ghats or the Malacocincla abbotti krishnarajui named after K Krishnaraju, a famous ornithologist from Vizag.
Vizag Bird Watcher’s Society
With over 400 members, this group was started by Vikram Penmetsa in 2015. While they share information and photographs on their FB group, they also take-up expeditions to places in and around the city. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/vizagbirders/ or call Vivek at 9052797234.
With inputs from Vivek Rathod