On Saturday morning, Pepper and I woke at 5 to get up and moving to join a small group of teachers and their kids for a trip to Vendanthangal bird sanctuary. We brought some cheese and crackers, cut veggies, water bottles, sunscreen, hats, our bird guide and camera. We met at the school at 6 in the morning but trickled in for a while after that. It was about a 2 hour bus ride there and we arrived at quarter after 8. We paid 5 rupees each to enter the sanctuary and an additional 25 rupees for having a camera (35 rupees for the two of us comes to about 57 cents). Inside was an amazing collection of pelican, stork, cormorant, ibis and heron nests and roosts. The locals have been protecting the area for centuries when they realized that the bird droppings in the water added nutrients that made the fields that were irrigated nearby more fruitful.
I added a number of species to my life list on the trip: Grey Pelican, Paddyfield Pipit (I think), Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Black-headed Ibis and perhaps a few others that I have yet to identify. I use the Helm Field Guide Birds of the Indian Subcontinent which Pepper gave to me a few months ago.