Bird Watching In and Around Chennai


Tagged as: Chennai Bird Watching Posted By Satheesh Babu

Chennai, due to its geographical advantages attract a vast number of birds that are both native and migratory. The presence of many water bodies in and around Chennai is also seen as another most important aspect on why these birds gets attracted to Chennai. At many places these water bodies have dense bushes and shrubs that acts as a breeding and feeding ground for these birds. Wiki says that there are around 200 different varieties of birds are currently seen around the city.  Most of these birds visit Chennai during season time which falls around October to March every year. This makes the Chennai city the most unique when compared to any other cities in India for bird watching.

1. Pallikaranai Marsh/Wet Lands

Pallikaranai marsh land is located near Velacherry in Chennai and it covers around 80 square kilometers. There are around 100+ birds varieties found in this wet land. In the current year (2013), there are around 350+ numbers of Flamingos are spotted in this place.

A group of Flamingos seen at Pallikaranai marsh lands,

Best time to visit: November to May

Map: Bird Watching at Pallikarani Marsh Lands

See the below album for more pictures,

Flamingos at Pallikaranai

2. Kelambakkam Muttukadu Backwater

This is the backwater found on the Kelambakkam-Kovalam link road near Muttukadu boat house. You can see thousands of birds visiting this place during season time. Some of them are Pelicans, colored storks, Flamingos etc.

The below pciture is clicked at Kelambakkam-Kovalam link road(at Muttukadu end),

The below picture clicked at Muttukadu backwater(at the boat house end),

Best time to visit: November to February

Map: Muttukadu Backwaters

See the below album for more pictures,

Bird watching at Muttukadu Backwater

3. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located at around 75 kilometers away from south of Chennai. We can reach this bird sanctuary in approximately one and a half hour of journey from Chennai. There are around 30000+ birds of different varieties spotted during the season time that are both native and migratory.  Some of the migratory birds include pintail, garganey, grey wagtail, blue-winged teal, common sandpiper, etc. Other varieties of birds here are grey heron, grey pelican, open-billed stork, painted stork, cormorants, large egret, little egrets, etc.

Best time to visit: November to February

Map: Vendanthangal Bird Sanctuary

See the below album for more pictures,

4. Bird watching at Nanmangalam Reserve Forest and Nanmangalam Lake

Nanmangalam Reserve Forest and Nanmangalam Lake is one among the many bird watching places found in and around Chennai. The specialty of this place is, it is very near from the heart of the city and is easily reachable.
 There are many varieties of birds you can spot here since it has both water bodies and forests. Some of them include,

Indian Robin and Magpie Robin, Golden Oriole, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher and White-breasted Kingfisher, Great Horned Owl, Common Iora, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Purple Sunbird and Loten's Sunbird, Plain and Ashy Prinia, Asian Paradise Bee-eater, Spotted Dove and Laughing Dove, Indian Nightjar, Eurasian Stone-curlew (Thick-knee), Ashy Woodswallow, Common Woodshrike, Blue-faced Malkoha, Babbler, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul and White-browed bulbul, Oriental Honey Buzzard, White-eyed Buzzard and Shikra.

For more information, read here..
For more pictures,

5. Bird Watching at Siruthavur Reserve Forest and Siruthavur Lake

Siruthavur Reserve Forest and Siruthavur Lake is one of the bird watching places found on the outskirts of Chennai. It is also one of the most unknown bird watching places found around Chennai.
This birding place is surrounded by many villages and mainly agricultural lands. There are many varieties of birds you can spot here since it has both water bodies and forests. Some of them are,
Little Green Bee-eater, Pied Bushchat, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark, Paddyfield Pipit, Peacock, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Greater Couchal, Adian Koel, Red-wattled Lapwing, Indian Courser, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher, Little Ringed Plover, Red-rumped Swallow, Shikra, White-eyed Buzzard, Red-necked Falcon, Short-toed Snake-eagle, Baya Weaver, Zitting Cisticola, Plain Prinia, Ashy Prinia and Indian Roller.

For more information, read here..
For more pictures,

6. Pulicat Lake

Pulicat lake or Pazhaverkadu lake is second largest salt water lake in India. The specialty of this lake is it has both shallow and deep water level which favors birds and aquatic life.

A Jelly fish found in Pulicate lake,

There are large number birds that are both native and migratory are found here. The main attraction for bird watchers here is the Flamingoes, one can see huge flocks of Flamingoes in this lake round the year. This lake is situated exactly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra border which is around 90 kilometers away from Chennai city. Most of the birds are spotted around Shar road and Annamalaicherry area of Pulicat. Some birds species found here are greater flamingo, lesser flamingo,  western reef egret, little egret, intermediate egret, great egret, greenshank, common redshank, spotted redshank, godwits, pied avocet, Eurasian curlew, spot-billed pelican, stints, peregrine falcon, northern pintail, northern shoveller ducks, sandpipers, plovers, terns, gulls, osprey, painted stork.

More Pictures,

7. Chembarambakkam Lake

Chembarambakkam Lake is rain fed fresh water lake which also caters the water needs of Chennai city. This lake is spread across 3,800 acre of land including water body and catchment area. Since water is found round the year, this lake attracts large number of birds that are both residential and migratory. Some of the birds species found here are pond heron, little cormorant, purple heron, spot-billed pelican, ashy woodswallow, little grebe, little green bee-eater, white-eyed buzzard, spotted owlet, Oriental darter, little egret, great egret, common coot, purple moorhen, white-breasted waterhen, bay-backed shrike, pied bushchat, grey francolin, ashy-crowned sparrow-lark, paddyfield pipit, black drongo, plain prinia, ashy prinia, black bittern, shikra, red munia, black-headed munia, Indian silverbill, pheasant-tailed jacana, Eurasian wigeon, fulvous whistling duck, peregrine falcon.

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8. Adayar River and Broken Bridge

This area is situated in Adayar, just behind Theosophical Society till the broken bridge and Adayar river bank. You can reach this place from Besant Nagar beach by taking the road where Thalapakatti restaurant is located. There are variety of birds found here which comes from Theosophical Society forest and other migratory birds around the Adayar River near broken bridge.  

More Pictures,

9. Sholinganallur Lake

Sholinganallur lake is located at Sholinganallur, Chennai and it is one of the fastly vanishing birding site due to city expansion and encroachments. This lake is home to large number resident and migratory birds. Early morning and late evenings are best time to see birds. Some of the birds that are found here are Painted Storks, Pelicans, Cormorants, Egrets, Grey and Purple Herons, various Raptors, Northern Pintail, Stilts, Common Coot, Ducks, etc. 

More Pictures,