Sunday, March 13, 2016

A pelican visits

Today morning we got the exhilarating news of a new bird sighted at the lake - a Pelican no less! To be precise, a Spot-billed Pelican. Birder Madhu spotted it at about 7.30 a.m., followed by Srinivas Pai from the Nature Conservation Society and then Deepa Mohan who happened to come with her group of enthusiasts. We trustees got a flurry of messages about the sighting and photographs. I managed to see it from my balcony. It was so huge that I didn't even need the binocs.

The Spot-billed Pelican has been listed as "Near Threatened". For more info about this bird, please see here. Madhu's report below captures the excitement of seeing the Pelican. She in fact, saw another beauty - a Golden Oriole flying overhead. This is a gorgeous bird which we hope will land, (maybe nest?) at the lake. 

All you birders, a big, big thanks from us. Here's hoping that the Pelican returns with his/her friends. May the number of winged wonders to the lake increase giving you and us, great joy. 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Madhurima Das

This morning, when I went to the lake, one of the first things I saw was a huge boat  near the viewing deck. Looking closely, I realized that it was a spot billed pelican. Upon hurrying to the viewing deck, I saw that a group of pond herons and cattle egrets, which are normally foraging in the reeds, sitting huddled on a perch, while the coot family and the little grebes were going to great lengths to avoid the humongous guest. Pics attached. 

The pelican swam for 15-20 minutes, then it flew and landed on the perch where the cattle egrets and pond herons had taken shelter, scattering them in all directions. Later, the cattle egrets did try to reclaim the perch, but in vain. A black kite also tried to dislodge the pelican from its perch, but was repulsed as the pelican remained seated unperturbed for almost an hour.

Besides the pelican, a golden oriole was also seen at the lake today. It flew around the lake and disappeared near the coconut grove. The greater coucal, little cormorant and purple heron were seen after a long time too.


Cattle Egrets and Pond Herons (Pic: Madhurima Das)

Golden Oriole in flight (Pic: Madhurima Das)

Spot-billed Pelican (Pic: Madhurima Das)

(Pic: Deepa Mohan)

(Pic: Deepa Mohan)

(Pic: Thimanna Bhat)

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