The dark days of COVID 19 continue for us, humans, but the lockdown, it appears, has opened the doors of the animal kingdom. Our lake, unfortunately, continues to be plagued by sewage with the BWSSB replacing the underground drain at a snail's pace. We recognize and accept that they are hampered by the curfew, non-availability of workers and the occasional rain. Yet, we can't but hope fervently that they will pick up speed in the next few days and complete the drain replacement. Our lake has suffered enough, please, with pollutants and encroachers!
In this bleak phase, what lifts our spirits is the surprising return of birds to our Puttenahalli Lake.
Following the first shower a few weeks ago, we spotted from a distance, Egrets, Purple Swamphens, Eurasian Coots and Little Grebes. Our gardeners, who had been coming on alternate days to water the plants reported the presence of a large number of butterflies. Their photographs, grainy and shaky confirmed it but how do we see these for ourselves? Fortunately, last week we received an order from the BBMP to open the lake with restricted timings. That was enough for our photographers to make a beeline to the lake.
|Purple-rumped Sunbird (Pic: Gopinath Subbarao)|
|Plain Tiger (Pic: Aditi Mahesh)|
Other than several Coots, Grebes, Waterhens and Purple Swamphens, Madhurima reported three pairs of Common Moorhens (they were foraging together and chasing away intruders) and a pair of Bronze-winged Jacanas. She saw a Terrapin and a Pheasant-tailed Jacana and, of course, swarms of butterflies.
|Terrapin basking in the sun (Pic: Madhurima)|
Ah the butterflies ... ! We had first feasted our eyes on Nupur's video and shared it with a few friends. Like a growing ripple, it reached more people.
On Sunday, The Hindu carried an article on the butterflies swarming not just in our lake but in green spaces in the city. Since then, their number at the lake has increased considerably. Our gardener Ramu's video shows a veritable cloud of Dark Blue Tigers!
Apparently, this is the pre-monsoon migration of butterflies to escape the incessant rain in the southern part of the western ghats (Sahyadri). To know more, please see: http://biodiversitylab.
BBMP ordered the lake to be locked from today as a precautionary measure. If you are not able to see the stragglers leave, you can do so when they return between mid-Oct and early Dec.
We shall prevail over these tough times and take delight in these beauties of nature. Go Green and keep the planet safe for all its denizens. Be safe, stay indoors.
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