Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary : A gem yet to be polished
Honestly, I had high hopes when I went to Kadalundi. It was one of the places which I had planned to visit during a very small leisure window on my visit to Kozhikode (erstwhile Calicut). It was late November and I could not have missed watching and photographing a few migratory birds. But, it was a disappointing outing.
Spread over a cluster of islands, this sanctuary is said to be the abode for more than a hundred species of native birds and 60 species of migratory birds. The area where Kadalundi river flows into the Arabian sea is surrounded by hillocks. These hillocks besides creating a scenic environment also give a splendid view of the sanctuary, river mouth and the sea. Even the main railway line to Trivandrum passes through the sanctuary.
Kadalundi also has a mangrove vegetation which is said to shelter otters and jackals. It is also known for a wide variety of fish, mussels and crabs.
Among the migratory birds which are supposed to abode here are seagulls, terns, sandpipers, sandplovers, red and greenshanks, turnstones etc. But when I reached the sanctuary, I was the only tourist to have come there. The office there was closed. There was nobody to give any information. After a while a person supposedly from the office came and I was barely able to communicate with him because of his poor English and my poor (??) Malayalam. He told me that there were no birds at that time because they have not yet arrived because of ‘climate change’.
I was able to get boat for ride inside the water, but it would take me only to the mangrove side as the other side with presumable some birds had very shallow water and boat couldn’t have transversed that. So, what could I manage to see were some Ibis-
Some herons- white and grey, some common egrets and few other birds-
It was also pleasing to capture some of them in their flight-
More pleasing for me was to capture the Brahminy Kite in its full glory-
Where: Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is around 20 kms from Kozhikode town. You can either take buses from Kozhkode to Kadalundi (near railway station) and then walk to sanctuary near by. Otherwise you can take auto rickshaw or a taxi as well from Kozhikode to Kadalundi. Kadalundi also has a railway station where only passenger trains halt. On normal days boats should be available to take you inside the sanctuary for closer bird and mangrove watching. One might have to bargain for boat rates. It can be some 500 INR for half hour to 45 minutes.
Nice place to be but need to check pre-hand if migratory birds are there. Best time to visit is from November to April.
No nearby places to stay and accommodation has to be managed in Kozhikode itself. There are few other things to be seen on the way from Kozhikode to Kadalundi including famous Beypore port.