It is a connoisseurs’ delight at the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary in Krishna district with the arrival of the first flock of Asian Openbill Stork last week for its annual sojourn.

The unpredictable climatic conditions are to be blamed for the delay of arrival of these birds by at least one month.

Since a few migratory birds are becoming resident birds across India over the past decade, two flocks of Grey and White Pelicans and Painted Storks, which normally set its winter home at the sanctuary, have also arrived here.

“The Stork and Pelicans turn up according to the progress of monsoon system in India. Most of the birds which are arriving in many parts in South India, including Kolleru Lake, are largely retuning from Himalayan range,” Visakhapatnam-based Ornithologist A.S. Bishnoi told  The Hindu

Abundant water levels and vegetation of the India’s Ramasar Wetland site and its surroundings are key attractions for Stork and Pelicans during the rainy season, he added.

Tempting attractions at the sanctuary are spotting of local bird species – Kingfisher, Purple Moren and Black-headed Ibis.

Breeding season

According to the Forest Department Wildlife Wing, significant number of migratory birds have been spotted on the Atapaka Sanctuary premises and breeding season of those birds also started. The number of arrivals is estimated above 20,000 birds, as sighted by the end of September.

“Being a prime sojourn-destination for several birds from various location in India and aboard, the period between October and November is expected to witness the maximum turn out of those birds at the sanctuary,” said In-Charge DFO (Wildlife Management),  S.K. Khalilullah Khan.

Additional mounds

Apart from existing 40 iron stands on the bunds, where birds arrange nests in the heart of the Atapaka Sanctuary, additional 40 mounds are likely to be arranged within the sanctuary premises and Madhavapuram migratory spot in West Godavari district during the ongoing breeding season.