Tuesday, 17 Feb. 2009, I visited a unique wetland in Eramangalam, 8kms south east of Ponnani. It is called Kayalar by the people. A combination of backwater and river.
In the Google Maps it appears to be a southern detached link of Biyam Kayal. Cultivation happens in summer on the southern side of a ‘bund’ that crosses the wetland. While the northern waterlogged Kayalar is full of wh. teals, spotbilled ducks, cotton pigmy geese, pur. swamphens, jacanas, terns etc., the cultivated part is bubbling with sandpipers, shanks, r. w. lapwings, swallows and yellow wagtails. an aquila and a few bramani kites were also around. It is a freshwater lake and bird density and visibility are extremely high.
A light pink water lilly is also endemic to this wetland. This unique wetland should be conserved for future.
Yesterday evening (Sunday, 8th Feb. 2009) I saw more than one
thousand yellow wagtails in the paddy fields along the Neendur-Kallara
road. It was harvesting and machines were used in fields. The yellow
cloud like formation caught my attention and they were found to be
yellow wagtails. At least two subspecies were visible in the large
I also noticed one unidentified raptor at the site. Later a few
miles ahead in the west on the Kallara-Vechur road we saw large
congregations of mixed egrets and waders (mostly common, green, and
wood sandpipers). They were even uncountable. A black eagle was also
seen around. Plenty of waterhen are also coming on to the road at
dusk. Thousands of whistling teals were also resting in the
While south Kuttanad seems lacking in bird density, north and
upper Kuttanad seem to be thriving with them. This is the observation
that I derive from my recent experience in both Vembanad and Pandy
counts. Cultivation is more rigorous in the south. That could also be
a determining factor. In Kallara and around there are more
uncultivated patches with water. Any way it offers diversity and
dynamism for birders nowadays, but beware of the poor roads.