06 August 2016

Variety of Migratory Waterbirds at Keelnathur Lake

It was reported this week in Nationally syndicated newspapers that a huge flock of Pelicans have been spotted at Keelnathur Lake, an irrigation tank, situated along the Tindivanam Road approximately 30 kms from Tiruvannamalai. Naturists claim that this is the first time Pelicans have been spotted so near Tiruvannamalai and that too in huge numbers. 

Pelicans and Painted Storks, Keelnathur Lake nr. Tiruvannamalai

The Pelican (Koohai Kada) is categorised into four species, with the one spotted at Keelnathur Lake being the Spot Billed Pelican.

Spot Billed Pelican

As well as Pelicans, also a large number of Painted Storks (Manjal Mooku Narai) and Purple Swamphens (Neela Thazhai Kozhi) are also at the Lake. Naturists have stated that “Spotting so many birds including such rare varieties signify the lake’s potential as a bird sanctuary.” 

The lake’s uncontaminated water, good fish population, marshy nature, the presence of bushes and vines and grass cultivation in nearby fields make it a haven for the birds. 

Painted Storks

Other Bird followers state, “We are surprised to spot the Pelican in such huge numbers near Tiruvannamalai. I have never spotted them anywhere near this hilly region. They might be in the lake for a long time. Now only we spotted them and realised the importance of Keelnathur Lake as a marshy wetland, a rare phenomenon in Tiruvannamalai. Even people living nearby don’t seem to be hunting or disturbing them. That’s why they thrive here. The place need to be preserved as such.” 

Purple Swamphen

Heavy rains are expected in the upcoming monsoon season, which bodes well for a large and varied migratory bird population this Winter at our own Samudra Eri at Tiruvannamalai.

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