Andhra Pradesh

Winged visitors begin reaching Pulicat Lake

Avians scouting for prey in the Pulicat Lake in Nellore district.  

Thanks to the comfortable storage in the major reservoirs in Nellore district, migratory birds, including the famous flamingos, have started arriving to the picturesque Pulicat Lake, the largest brackish water ecosystem in the country, next only Chilika in Odisha.

Bird gazers will not be disappointed this year also, as the aquatic avians have started reaching their winter home early from far off places for the second year in a row as Somisala, Kandaleru and other water bodies in the district are brimming with water, vouching for the availability of prey in abundance.

The arrival of, among other birds, greater flamingos and pelicans, has just begun. The wetland bird population is expected to go up in geometric proportion in the three months till November when the district experiences wet spell as the southwest monsoon retreats from the north.

The district gets water replenishment both during southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon periods.

“The situation is conducive for the arrival of avians in full strength this year also to their winter sojourn,” according to forest officials in the Sullurpeta range.

This is in contrast to the previous years, when the arrival of birds had been delayed in view of drought condition.

“The famous flamingos can now be spotted in hundreds in and around the Pulicat lagoon and also in the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary. So are the spoonbills, which used to be far and few in between a decade ago,” the officials say.

In all, two lakh birds, including the rare ones, are expected to stay put in and around Pulicat as also Nelapattu, which is endowed with Barringtonia and Acacia nilotica species, an ideal breeding site for spot-billed pelicans.

It is a safe haven for 189 bird species, including 50 migratory ones, Sullurpeta Divisional Forest Officer D. Ravindra Reddy says while overseeing the arrangements for the comfortable stay of the winged visitors.

It is also home for black-headed ibis, Asian openbill, black-crowned night heron, and little cormorant. Other migratory birds that visit the sanctuary include northern pintail, common teal, little grebe, northern shoveler, Eurasian coot, Indian spot-billed duck, grey heron, Oriental darter, black-winged stilt, garganey and gadwall, says Sullurpeta Forest Range Officer Venu Atmakuri.

Last year, a large section of the birds had left early from the district in the wake of the devastation caused by the Nivar cyclonic storm during November.


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:25:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/winged-visitors-begin-reaching-pulicat-lake/article36263777.ece

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