Saturday, April 6, 2013

Birding in Lakedew Lake

(April 2nd 2013)   

I live in a community called Lakedew Residency, and there is a lake in its center. So, it's only natural that we get to see flocks of Great Cormorants and Little Egrets flying above us in the evenings. However, it was around 5:00 PM, and a storm was fast approaching. The skies were gloomy and overcast, and before the rain actually beat down on us, we wanted to bird. So me, along with my sister, mom and dad, went to the lake side. There was an influx in numbers of birds, all the birds were eager to get a few tasty morsels before they went to shelter in the rain.

There were plenty of white patches on the other side of the lake.The  Eurasian Coots were numerous and generally stayed close to the hyacinth; my sister counted thirty-one. Then, it dawned upon us that the white patches were actually Little Egrets! There were a few Great Egrets along with the sixty-three Little Egrets. Kites; both Black and Brahminy, swooped around the lake.

There were eight different-looking kites, a sort of border line between both species. Then, after an examination of the species with binoculars, I realized that they were Black Kite-Brahminy Kite hybrids. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good picture. The numerous Black Kites had hybridized with the Brahminy Kites to form individuals with generally a Black Kite's colour, but with patches of the cinnamon brown of a Brahminy on the mantle, and a pale throat, like the Brahminy.

As we observed he hybrids, three huge birds flew in. They flew right past us, and landed near a patch of vegetation. I realized that these were Painted Storks; an amazing sighting for this lake! There were three of them, and they probed around with their bills in the mud, looking for underwater food hidden under the mud. They were quite far away, and using the camera, we were only able to get a pretty grainy picture.

We noticed that a Black Kite-Brahminy Kite hybrid and perched itself atop a tree on the other side of the lake, so my dad and I went in the car to photograph it. There is a running track on that side, where a fisherman lives along with a pack of dogs. As soon as we entered, the dog ran up to my dad, and peed on his pant. But going to the other side was in vain; the kite had already flown off and was gone. Near a fruiting Singapore Cherry tree, we got a glimpse of four Purple-Rumped Sunbirds chirping. On the way, we saw an Indian Golden Oriole chasing another. The rain was beginning, and we got home just in time.

The rain poured down in torrents; our roof even started to leak! No birds were sighted, of course, but the rain was nice to see; providing a large amount of relief from the oppressive summer heat. Truly a good day in Lakedew Residency, a day where 20 different species were sighted. This is my list:

  1. Purple-rumped Sunbird (4)
  2. Rock Pigeon (4)
  3. Jungle Myna (2)
  4. Rosy Starling (Rosy Pastor) (15)
  5. Indian Golden Oriole (2)
  6. Eurasian Coot (31)
  7. Purple Swamphen (7)                                                                                                              NOTE: Breeding season for Swamphen, we observed males fighting for nesting territory
  8.  Black Kite (23)
  9. Brahminy Kite (14)
  10. Black Kite-Brahminy Kite hybrid (8)
  11. Indian Pond-Heron (5)
  12. Cattle Egret (1)
  13. Little Egret (63)
  14. Great Egret (7)
  15. Purple Heron (2)
  16. Gray Heron (1)
  17. Little Cormorant (1)
  18. Great Cormorant (8)
  19. Painted Stork (3)
  20. Little Grebe (Dabchick) (16)
We saw these birds on 2nd April 2013.

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