A welcome sight for farmers , photographers and bird watchers

In tune with an annual practice, egrets have started flocking the hill station.

Though commonly spotted near water bodies, of late, they have become a major attraction in marshlands abutting the Ooty lake.

Hopping around in flocks, they have started drawing people, particularly bird watchers and nature photographers, to such spots.

Pointing out that most of them were cattle egrets,P.J.Vasanthan, an expert on birds said here on Wednesday that they are not only a visual delight but also a welcome arrival from the farmers point of view as they feed on insects, which in turn is beneficial for crops. The egrets are local migrants and they generally prefer marshlands and water logged meadows.

Many have also been seen in open areas near Bethatty on the Coonoor-Kotagiri highway. Stating that normally their feeding time is early in the morning or late in the afternoon, Vasanthan said that they will be in this area till the weather conditions change. Generally they do not like to be disturbed by human beings, he added.